Where to Stay
Lake City offers a variety of accommodations including quaint bed and breakfasts, lakeside vacation homes and deluxe motels and condominiums.
Where to Eat
From fresh baked artisan breads and restaurants featuring locally grown produce to superb family dining Lake City offers eateries to please anyone's palate with a wide spectrum of cuisine.
What to Do
Lake City is an outdoor enthusiast's paradise. We offer unmatched access to the lake, championship golf and miles of hiking and biking trails.
Lake City has a population of 5,339 and is located on the western border of 21-mile long Lake Pepin, the widest spot on the Mississippi River. Renowned as the Birthplace of Water Skiing, it was here that Ralph Samuelson invented the sport of water-skiing in 1922. Considered one of the best sailing lakes in the nation, Lake Pepin is also prized for excellent water activities of all kinds. Lake City is home to the largest small-craft municipal harbor on the Mississippi River, and has over 600 boat slips. The area is known for its spectacular scenic views and is a haven for tourists looking for excellent fishing, sailing, golfing, birding, bicycling, snowmobiling, hiking and many other activities.
Large concentrations of bald eagles and an abundance of migratory birds have earned Lake Pepin the designation of "Globally Important Bird Area".
Lake City is located approximately 15 miles south of Red Wing, 35 miles north-east of Rochester, 45 miles north of Winona, and 65 miles south of Minneapolis/St. Paul.
The City of Lake City is located 65 miles South of the Twin Cities at the intersection of highways 61 South and 63 North right on the Mighty Mississippi River at a beautiful spot called Lake Pepin. Lac de Pleurs (Lake of Tears) was the name given to Lake Pepin by Father Louis Hennepin, who camped on the shore of the lake in 1680. He christened the large body of water Lac de Pleurs after observing his Sioux captors weeping near the lake over the death of a chief's son. The war party of Isanti Sioux had captured Hennepin and his two companions several miles south along the Mississippi and were camping near the lake on their return north to their Sioux villages near present day Mille Lacs.
The first known settler was Jacob Boody, who arrived in 1853. In the years to follow, several explorers passed through this area. The town was platted in 1855.
The town supervisors were given special powers by the State Legislature in 1864 to create a port market for grain. At Lake City the waters of Lake Pepin were deep enough to allow for such a port. Soon the town became noted as a profitable market with the volume of trade for the year 1866 bringing in a little over a million and a half dollars.
The City of Lake City became incorporated in 1872 and since has continued to thrive in its location on beautiful Lake Pepin. It is widely known for its attractive surroundings and bountiful fishing for every fresh water species.
Did you Know?
- Lake Pepin is the largest lake on the entire length of the Mississippi River and one of the few natural lakes (not a reservoir created by a dam).
- The Lake City Marina is the largest marina on the entire length of the Mississippi River and the lighthouse at the entrance to the marina is the only working lighthouse used for navigation on the River.
- Waterskiing was invented in Lake City in 1922 by Ralph Samuelson who was pulled by his brother, Ben, behind a boat on July 2, 1922 at approximately 4:11 p.m.
- Laura Ingalls Wilder was born on the Wisconsin shores of Lake Pepin and in the winter the Ingalls family would hook a horse up to a sleigh and traverse across the frozen Lake to shop in Lake City.
- Lake Itasca, the source of the Mississippi, is 1475 feet above sea level so the River falls 1475 feet between there and its mouth at the Gulf of Mexico. 800 feet of that drop in elevation occurs in the State of Minnesota, almost 5 times the height of Niagara Falls which is 175 feet high.
- The picnic area at Frontenac State Park features a breathtaking scenic overlook of Lake Pepin that ranks as one of the top scenic areas in the Upper Midwest.
- Over 225 species of fish live in the Upper Mississippi River and Lake Pepin is widely regarded as one of the best fisheries in the Midwest.