Most accessible by I-35, US Hwy 61, and MN State Hwy 97, Forest Lake is only 25 minutes from the Twin Cities, 2 hours from Duluth, and 15 minutes from the St. Croix River valley.
From the North or South (Twin Cities, Duluth): I-35 takes you to one of three exits that give you access to Forest Lake.
Main Exit: Exit 131
South end Exit: Exit 129
North end, in-direct: Exit 132
Alternative from the North or South: US Hwy61 takes you directly to Forest Lake's downtown.
From the East (Scandia, Marine on St. Croix, Osceola): MN Hwy 97/Scandia Trail gives you a scenic ride through Forest Lake's rural eastern half as it guides you to US Hwy 61.
From the Northeast (St. Croix Falls, Taylors Falls, Chisago-Lindstrom: US Highway 8 gives you the option of access Forest Lake via hwy 61 or I-35.
From the West (Ham Lake, East Bethel): West Broadway Ave is the main access road from the west, giving route takers a direct route downtown
From the Southwest (Blaine, Lino Lakes): Take Lake Drive across I-35 to access Forest Lake.
Forest Lake is served by Greyhound, Jefferson Lines, and Metro Transit. The main bus terminal for all bus lines is located at the Forest Lake Transit Center, 19955 Forest Rd. N.
The city is located along the Hardwood Creek/Sunrise Prairie Bike Trail, a 30+ mile paved, bike trail stretching from Hugo, MN to North Branch, MN. The trail also passes areas of hardwood forest, deep marsh wetlands where sightings of grouse, deer, wild turkey and waterfowl are common. Additionally, the city has built two bike/pedestrian bridges in the last two years to allow for safer travel.
The Forest Lake Park Board has made a bike map for biking in and around the city .
There are plenty of restaurants throughout Forest Lake. The city is home to many popular chains such as Famous Dave's, Applebee's, and all the major fast food chains. In addition to the well known chains, Forest Lake has restaurants and cafes unique to the region.
Norman Quacks, 843 West Broadway (West of I-35 and east of US-61.), ☎ 651-982-6777, . 11am to 10 pm. A family owned and operated discount chophouse. Normans boasts an expansive menu with something for everyone. Meals range from fish-and-chips to buffalo burgers to fajita style baked potato to fresh cob salads. Normans also has a large selection of hard and soft drinks. Normans is a casual eatery.
The Forest Laker (The Laker), 131 Lake St Forest Lake, MN 55025, ☎ (651) 464-4647, . 11am to 1am. The Laker is divided into two areas that offer customers the option of a classy restaurant or a fun piano bar. The restaurant has an upscale dining feel that overlooks the lake of Forest Lake. The bar has a 1940s styled cocktail lounge that frequently features live music. The Laker also offers a game room and roof deck seating with more views of the lake.
Vanelli's by the Lake (Vanelli's), 55 South Lake Street Forest Lake, MN 55025, ☎ (651) 395-2400, . Su 11a-9p, M-Th 11a-10p, F-Sa 11a-11p. Family owned and operated Italian-American restaurant that has classy dining room seating, a casual bar area, outdoor patio, indoor bocce ball court, and billiards. Located in downtown Forest Lake, close proximity to the lake.$8-$20.
Friar Tuck's Pub (Friar Tuck's), 1500 South Lake Forest lake, MN 55025, ☎ (651) 464-5040, . 10:30am to 1am. Frair Tuck's offers dozens of drafts and specialty drinks at reasonable prices. The pub offers pool, pull tabs, jukebox music, and darts. Friar Tuck's frequently has live music and various drink and eat specials.
Hitching Post Motel (Hitching Post), 23855 Forest Boulevard North Forest Lake, MN 55025 (North of Forest Lake on US-61), ☎ (651) 464-1900 , . Hitching Post is budget motel on the north end of Forest Lake. It is located about five minutes from downtown Forest Lake and three minutes from I-35. A scene from the Cohen Brothers film Fargo was shot there.$58+.
Forest Lake Motel, 7 Sixth Ave. N.E., Forest Lake, MN 55025 (North of downtown Forest Lake on US-61), ☎ (651) 464-4077, . Forest Lake Motel is a budget motel on the north side of the city. The motel within walking distance of the lake and downtown Forest Lake.$51+.
AmericInn Motel, 1291 West Broadway Avenue Forest Lake, MN 55025, ☎ 1-866-599-6674, . Motel is located less than a 1/4 mile from I-35 and within walking distance to several restaurants and shopping.$75+.
Country Inn and Suites, 1954 W Broadway Ave, Forest Lake, MN, 55025 (West of I-35), ☎ (651) 982-9799, . Hotel features an indoor pool, whirlpool, complimentary Continental Plus Breakfast, and complimentary high speed internet access in all rooms. $75+.