People in Minnesota are a tough bunch to be sure. But withstanding frigid temperatures in January is no big deal, especially not when the cities here offer such great quality of life. And, as anyone who lives here knows, there are not only plenty of ways to enjoy the winter months, but the rest of the year has simply beautiful weather. Which cities are best in the North Star State to discover this for yourself? We looked at key factors like crime rates, economy, education, amenities, cost of living, and median income to find out.
What do you think? Did your city make the list? Have a reason why it should if it didn’t? Let us know by leaving a comment below.
This smaller city just Southwest of the Twin Cities takes the number one spot on pure numbers alone. The unemployment rate is incredibly low, and the graduation rate is incredibly high. Amenities like the Chanhassen Dinner Theater helped it rank high in that category as well. Plus, you’re really not too far away from Minneapolis and St. Paul whenever for when you want to take advantage of the big city.
Plymouth is snapping at Chanhassen’s heels with solid education systems and employment rates. There is also a phenomenal park system that connects all the way to Minneapolis. Plymouth is an all-around good choice to make a home, not only for the reasons already mentioned but because there are also a surprising amount of good restaurants and plenty of things to do as well.
#3 Maple Grove
For quiet, safe streets and, a common thread on this list, excellent school system. The city has plenty of amenities, especially when it comes to shopping, and surprisingly low cost of living for a city with an impressively high median household income. So low crime rates, good schools, and it isn’t crazy expensive? Sounds like a pretty worthy pick for #3.
No “best of” list would be complete without Minnesota’s biggest city. Known, along with it’s twin St. Paul, as the cultural center of the Midwest, this growing city offers residents plenty to do. From vibrant theaters and art museums, to nationally-ranked restaurants, to a park system and biking system rated best in the country (rare for big cities), it really is a great place to live. It also manages to stay fairly affordable. If it weren’t for crime rates, it would rank much higher on this list.
#5 Eden Prarie
It’s a great place to raise children, as it is quiet, safe, and like many other entries, has a fantastic school system. In fact, Lakeville’s schools are some of the best in the state. The unemployment rate is low, and there are plenty of parks and recreation areas to spend time with the family on days off.
#6 St. Michael
Another Minneapolis suburb, Eden Prairie is one of the most affluent on this list. The schools are great, and home values are high. This means also that the cost of living is higher, as safe and well-funded communities like this don’t typically come cheap. Still, if the pocketbook allows it, Eden Prairie is a great place to end up. Bonus: Eden Prairie Mall, a great place for locals to go shopping, was also the mall featured in the 1995 hit movie Mallrats.
#7 St. Michael
Rounding out our list is a city north of the metro, St. Michael is one of the most affordable cities on the list. But you get a lot without having to pay for it. Unemployment rates are low, and there are plenty of natural amenities to take advantage of. The city is quaint and charming, and if you’re looking for the quiet of outstate Minnesota without sacrificing the things that make a city great, St. Michael is a great place to end up.