Best Things About Mahtomedi

November 6, 2010 1:47 PM

Lila and Claudine's Yarn and Gifts

(credit: CBS)

On the shores of White Bear Lake is a city that could be overlooked for the bigger town on the west side of the lake. But Mahtomedi holds its own with a small town feeling that the community embraces. Early on, this area was popular for the Wildwood Amusement Park that was built by the streetcar company to give metro residents a reason to ride to the end of the line. You could say back in the early 1900s when people said they were “going up north,” this was where they were going. Even though the amusement park is long gone (it closed in 1932) there is still plenty to see and do that’s old and new. From enjoying the outdoors to relaxing with a cup of coffee and knitting needles, head to the smaller city next to the big lake. 

In no particular order …

Lila and Claudine's Yarn and Gifts

(credit: CBS)

No. 1: Lila and Claudine’s Yarn and Gifts

86 Mahtomedi Avenue
Lila and Claudine’s Website

Tucked in the basement of an adorable home-turned-gift shop, Lila and Claudine’s Yarn Shop has everything and more that the novice knitter — or the beginner — could ever want. The business was started by two sisters, Kirsten and Polly, who named the shop after their grandmothers, Lila and Claudine. As Polly said, “there’s not a lot of rules here.” While it’s a shop with tons of colorful bundles of yarn and endless options for crafts to buy, the best part is taking a seat and catching up on your latest project. The hours seem to fly by whenever you’re in this cozy underground haven. Polly said people come for the experience and when they come, it’s because of good word-of-mouth. Check the website often for the latest classes and events on how to perfect your latest creation. And click here to check out this amazing video that gives you a little insight for what you’re in for at Lila and Claudine’s.

Katherine Abbott Park


No. 2: Katherine Abbott Park

1000 Lincolntown Avenue
Katherine Abbott Park Website

It’s an escape into nature as you enter Katherine Abbott Park off Lincolntown Avenue (you’ll see the sign). The 76-acre community park offers trails, through tall pines and around a few ponds for you and your four-legged friend (don’t forget the poop bags). If you’re looking for other ways to enjoy the park, how about cross-country skiing, bird watching or going for a picnic? There’s also a rentable park center to hold events, parties or meetings because it has heat, water, bathrooms, full kitchen and fireplace. From Katherine Abbott Park you’ll also be connected to the scenic and historic Streetcar Trail.

Coffee Cottage

(credit: CBS)

No. 3: Coffee Cottage

88 Mahtomedi Avenue

Whether you need that mid-afternoon pick-me-up or a warm freshly-made pastry to start your day, you’ll find it all within the homey comforts of Coffee Cottage. The locally-owned coffeehouse offers delicious sandwiches and an array of coffee drinks — both piping hot and over ice. Between the friendly staff and the inviting décor, you’ll feel right at home at Coffee Cottage. If you’re looking for unique finds, they recommend you sip and shop! From art on the walls to crafts in the corner, almost everything inside is for sale.

Betty's Pies

No. 4: Betty’s Pies

700 Wildwood Road
Betty’s Pies Website

Looking for a taste of the Up North in the metro? Head to Betty’s Pies in Mahtomedi where you’ll get the same atmosphere and taste but instead of driving hours up to the North Shore, it’s just a short drive north off Wildwood Road. You can’t miss the big blue “Betty’s Pies” sign outside the store that opened about two years ago. Inside you’ll feel like you were Up North with old signs and pictures of the North Shore. Choose a made-from-scratch meal from a large menu that includes sandwiches, salads, burgers and, of course PIE! What kind of pie? Well, you’re just going to have to stop in to see what’s being baked fresh, straight from the oven!

Art In Triangle Park


No. 5: Art in Triangle Park

Mahtomedi Avenue
Weekend of Mahtomedi High School Homecoming

In its second year, this event that aims to bring the community together while also giving artists a place to showcase their crafts is taking off. Art in Triangle Park is held in conjunction with Mahtomedi High School’s homecoming events, which happens to be held Sept. 25 this year. The art fair shuts down about two blocks of Mahtomedi Avenue for 35-40 vendors to showcase and sell. It’s a chance for the community to come together while lots of people are already in town for homecoming. It also provides an opportunity for Mahtomedi to see all the amazing artists who might just live next door. Organizers hope the event continues to grow in popularity and grow the community together for people to see what Mahtomedi has to offer.

Dugout Bar

(credit: CBS)

No. 6: Dugout Bar

96 Mahtomedi Avenue
Dugout Bar Website

While their address may technically put them in Mahtomedi, those who love the Dugout Bar want you to know this place is in Willernie. What is Willernie? Why it’s the small town that sits in the middle of Mahtomedi. But that’s another story. As for the Dugout, it’s got all you’d want in a neighborhood bar — great food, rockin’ live music, HD for all the best games and, of course, a cold drink to chug or sip. Check out the bar’s calendar for the latest live music and daily specials.

Chautauqua Fine Arts Center

(credit: CBS)

No. 7: Wildwood Artist Series

Chautauqua Fine Arts Center – 8000 75th Street North
Wildwood Artist Series Website

Looking for some family-friendly entertainment provided by acts from around the world? Step into the Chautauqua Fine Arts Center (connected to Mahtomedi High School) for the Wildwood Artist Series. Since 1990, volunteers from the Mahtomedi Area Educational Foundation have worked hard to find amazing performers to entertain audiences — from the Vienna Boys Choir to Celtic singer, Katie McMahon. Ticket prices are very reasonable, as the series hopes to draw young and old from Mahtomedi and beyond for these special performances.

flowers Best Things About Mahtomedi

(credit: Jupiter Images)

No. 8: Mahtomedi Garden Club

Mahtomedi Garden Club Website

Green thumbs or beginning gardeners come together to learn more about their passion for all that grows and blooms in the Mahtomedi Garden Club. Their mission is to support gardening for all ages and to educate the community and schools about conservation and horticulture. During the “off season,” the club offers monthly meeting and educational programs for members. As their website so eloquently says, the Mahtomedi Garden Club “is a great way to learn more about gardening and help to make Mahtomedi a ‘blooming community.'”

4 Seasons Restaurants

(credit: CBS)

No. 9: 4 Seasons Restaurant

114 Mahtomedi Avenue

Outside it looks like an old-fashioned diner and inside is where you can get an old-fashioned good meal. What used to be a drive-in, the 4 Seasons also used to be called 3 Seasons Restaurant and it’s owners have called Mahtomedi home for more than 30 years. Instead of a drive-in, the outside has been changed into and outside patio with tables, umbrellas and lots of music. Inside you’ll find some history of Mahtomedi with pictures of the old Wildwood Amusement Park that once brought many to town in the late 1800s. The 4 Seasons is great place for a quick lunch or a family meal with homemade, down home comfort food. Looking for a frosty mug of goodness? They make their own root beer and you can even get your own keg to take home for your next party!

No. 10: Mahtomedi Beach

1045 Park Avenue
Mahtomedi Beach Website

While there are many things to do in Mahtomedi, you can’t forget that this city is on White Bear Lake. And in order to enjoy this big metro lake, head to Mahtomedi Beach which can be found off Park Avenue. You’ll be welcomed to the lake by a sand beach, picnic tables and benches. If you live in Mahtomedi and need a place to keep your canoe, check out renting a spot on the rack for easy access to the lake.

-Karna Bergstrom is a Web Producer for WCCO.COM and wants to learn how to knit after visiting Lila and Claudine’s.