Excelsior Paddle Tap brings the party to Lake Minnetonka.Tyler, left, and Ryan Jaeger, right, outside Lord Fletcher’s, one of Paddle Tap’s pick-up sites.
Like many great ideas, the Excelsior Paddle Tap was a result of a lazy day on the lake. Out at the family cabin in Annandale, Ryan Jaeger and his friends were inspired by the paddle boats—and soon, they came up with “the first and original human-powered party boat in the Midwest.” It was an immediate hit. “People are very interested in doing it,” says Jaeger, “and everyone wishes they had thought of it.”
The experience itself is relaxing. Groups meet up at Lord Fletcher’s for pickup (there are also pickup sites in Excelsior, Wayzata and at the Lafayette Club) and Paddle Tap supplies the ice, the driver and a staffer to help with the biking. Each boat holds up to 13 people, with 10 paddle stations and a three-person bench. Sessions last for two hours—so plan accordingly, since there’s no bathroom on the boat. Getting in the water isn’t allowed. They also offer 45 minute “date night” tours. The trips are relatively customizable, as long as the weather cooperates—the boat can stop at bars and restaurants or head along the Seton channel.