Once known as a Civil War milling crossroads populated primarily by Irish Catholic and freed black farming families, Edina is a city with a rich and diverse history. Many Edina buildings are well known for their historical and architectural significance. A number of locations, including the Country Club District, the Baird and Grimes homes, the Grange Hall and the Cahill School are on the National Register of Historic Places, as is the City Hall building. The Edina Historical Society operates a museum at Arneson Acres Park. The city is also proud of its more recent history and the extensive development that occurred after World War II.
The city prides itself on providing its residents with nearly 40 parks and recreational facilities. Parks with lakes include Adams Hill Park, Staring Lake Park, Normadale Lake Park and Rosland Park. Edinborough Park is a unique, multi-use, one acre park that is completely indoors. More than 6,000 plants, trees, shrubs and flowers live in the climate-controlled facility. There is an Olympic-sized swimming pool, an ice rink, a running track, fitness center and play areas along with an amphitheater. Paddleboats are available for rent at Centennial Lakes Park. This park also offers an 18-hole putting course, picnic areas, an amphitheater and the Centrum building, which can be rented for events in the fall, spring and summer. In the winter, the Centrum is used as a warming house and concessions area for ice-skaters.