James J. Hill Depot and Gardens
402 Lake Street E, Wayzata, MN 55391
Lake Street between Grove Lane E. and Broadway Ave. S.
Tended by the Lake Minnetonka Garden Club
No admission fee
Peak season (notes)
Mid to late summer
Free street parking
These are primarily long, narrow gardens between a main street of the city of Wayzata and Lake Minnetonka. The gardens are near the restored stucco and half-timbered Great Northern Depot built by rail baron J.J. Hill in 1906. Around the turn of the century, people from all over the Midwest traveled to Lake Minnetonka for healthful retreats. The transportation needs of the resort towns were also served by a network of water “streetcars” that crisscrossed the lake. Near the gardens is a pier which services the restored “Minnehaha” launch which travels to Excelsior, another lakeside town. The depot remained in use until 1971. It now houses the Minnetonka Chamber of Commerce and the Wayzata Historical Society. The surrounding gardens are primarily narrow sunny swaths of flowering annuals, perennials and ornamental grasses and then wider beds shaded by old Mugo Pines which contain mixtures of hosta and other shade tolerant perennials.