Legacy of the Lakes Museum, Alexandria Minnesota

As museums go, this one’s a breath of fresh air.

Going up north to the lake has been a special experience for generations of families who have sought fun, relaxation and rejuvenation among the resorts, cabins and activities of Minnesota’s lakes. Legacy of the Lakes Museum celebrates these lake traditions and legacies - exhibiting them and preserving them for the future. Learn more about our mission, history and more here


We are currently closed for the season. Reopening in mid-May 2019. Off-season office hours are Monday-Friday 8:00 am - 4:00 pm

Admission Adults: $8.00
Seniors (65+): $7.00
Students (5-17): $5.00
Families (parent & children 17 and under): $18.00

Children under 5 are FREE when accompanied by a paying adult. Members are always FREE!

We’re located just west of Big Ole. Map & directions.

Prime Frontage on Minnesota’s Lake History

Events at the Museum

There are no upcoming events at this time.

For a complete calendar of events see our museum calendar page here.

Venue Rentals

The Legacy of the Lakes Museum & Gardens offers a beautiful setting for wedding ceremonies and receptions, business events, retirement parties, memorial services, and more. Available rental packages.

Support Us


It’s easy to be part of the Legacy of the Lakes Museum. Learn about individual memberships, business memberships and how you might add to our collection.

Minnesota Boat Builders

Minnesota Boat Builders

New 2018 Exhibit: Boat builders in Minnesota were instrumental in fueling the vacation boom of the 1950s and on by providing affordable, maintenance-free, trailerable boats to middle-class Americans who eagerly hit the road with their families in search of adventure and fun.

The Amazing Gar Wood

The Amazing Gar Wood

New 2018 Exhibit: Growing up on Lake Osakis in Minnesota, Garfield “Gar” Wood’s love of boats and speed started at an early age. He went on to become a successful inventor, entrepreneur, boat racer, and national icon.

Grand Hotels and Resorts

Each June they would arrive via the Great Northern and Minneapolis, St. Paul and Sault Ste. Marie Railroads, bringing trunks filled with silks and linens, formal dinner wear and European hats. See how these affluent early visitors summered in grandeur.

Wooden Boats

Since the Museum's inception, wooden boats have held center stage. Few museums offer as wide a range of rare boats including Chris-Craft, Gar Wood, Century and Hackercraft, as well as the ultimate collection of made-in-Minnesota craft.

Shapes of the Future

Fiberglass revolutionized the boating industry—making boats more affordable while enabling radical new designs. See some of the coolest in our “Fiberglassics” exhibit today.

Go Fish!

See how fishing technology has evolved since our area first became famous for great fishing in the late 1800s. Check out some amazing catches and learn about the legendary guides that made them possible.

The Minnesouri Club

In 1890, 20 men from Missouri and 15 from Minneapolis formed a club overlooking the waters of Lake Miltona. Experience life on the lake back in the day with our re-creation of a Minnesouri Club front porch.

Made in Minnesota!

Minnesota's been home to skilled watercraft builders since Native Americans first fashioned birch bark canoes hundreds of years ago. The museum boasts the most complete collection of Minnesota-made boats from Larson to our own Alexandria Boat Works.

The Gardens

Legacy Gardens

Stroll the pathways of our Legacy Gardens and find yourself surrounded by beautiful landscaping, water-features and flower beds.

Open daily and free to the public. The Legacy Gardens are available for event rental. A photography permit is required if you wish to take professional photos in the Gardens. Contact us for more information.

Support Us


Volunteers are an invaluable part of the Museum. Make a difference by becoming a docent, helping with events, maintaining the Legacy Gardens, promoting the Museum, constructing displays and more. Contact us if you would like to help out.