This week the holiday festivities are located all within one part of the state, the city of Excelsior.

(credit: Amy Rea)

(credit: Amy Rea)

It’s hard to imagine a more cheerful holiday setting than downtown Excelsior, located on the shores of Lake Minnetonka. The quaint buildings are festive all on their own, but decorate them for December, and it’s even more attractive.

Bonus: there are lots of places that are easy to walk to and shop for your nearest and dearest.

Here’s a sampling of what you can find within just a few blocks.

(credit: Amy Rea)

(credit: Amy Rea)

At one end of Water Street, the main drive, you can find two very family friendly shops: Noah’s Ark and Excelsior Bay Books.

Noah’s Ark is a pet and pet supply store. However, they do not sell dogs, but they do rescue cats and put them up for adoption.

Excelsior Bay Books is a book store complete with books and gifts for all ages.

(credit: Amy Rea)

(credit: Amy Rea)

Primp Boutique bills itself as a “Cheap Chic Boutique.” That was the vision of the two local women who created the concept, a place to buy fun, fashionable clothing without spending couture prices. There are also locations in St. Paul, White Bear Lake, and St. Louis Park.

(credit: Amy Rea)

(credit: Amy Rea)

Nearby is The House of Amore and Fede, a faith-based women’s fashion store, and Wilcock Gallery, a source of oil, pastel and watercolor paintings by several regional artists, among other art objects available for purchase.

 

(credit: Amy Rea)

(credit: Amy Rea)

Antiquers can browse to their heart’s content at the Country Look in Antiques, next door to Que Sera, a home furnishings boutique and interior design studio.

(credit: Amy Rea)

(credit: Amy Rea)

Long-time Excelsior retailer Capers has a wonderful array of gift items, some silly and quirky, and lots of items for kids.

(credit: Amy Rea)

(credit: Amy Rea)

Another long-time Water Street resident is Leipolds, which sells a huge variety of antiques and gifts.

Looking for food and drink gifts?

(credit: Amy Rea)

(credit: Amy Rea)

The Wine Republic sells only organic, sustainable and biodymanic wines.

There’s also a wine bar there, if you’d like to take a break from shopping.

If your giftee’s tastes runs more to hops than grapes, Excelsior Brewing is right around the corner.

Maybe you’re looking for sweets?

No problem!

Excelsior has two chocolate shops for you to indulge.

(credit: Amy Rea)

(credit: Amy Rea)

Laketown Chocolates, right on Water Street, creates handcrafted chocolates from decades-old European recipes.

A little outside of downtown, Truffle Hill Chocolates is also a long-time Excelsior retailer, offering award-winning chocolates and truffles, among other goodies.

If you buy gifts for someone with an artistic streak, or a knack with yarn, look no further than Artworks, an art supply and framing shop.

Artworks is located next door to Lakeside Yarn, a craft store filled with sumptuous yarns and knitting and crochet supplies.

(credit: Amy Rea)

(credit: Amy Rea)

Across the street from Artworks and Lakeside Yarn is the Excelsior Mill, home to four shops and a restaurant. Here you can find gifts items, home furnishings, toys, women’s accessories, kitchen goods and tasty homemade soup.

What else is happening in our state? Be sure to check out the 10 p.m. Sunday night WCCO newscasts, where you can learn more in the weekly segment, Finding Minnesota.

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