15 Best Places to Live in Minnesota

Written by Darren Griffiths
Updated on
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The small but perfectly formed state of Minnesota falls on the USA and Canadian border just east of Lake Superior. This is a genuinely diverse and naturally abundant state, did you know there are more than 10,000 lakes? Like, actual lakes! Not just really big puddles! Aside from Lake Superior, dear Minnesota can boast that the spectacular Lake Itasca falls within its state lines.

Ultimately, we all want to feel part of a community, which is why we have considered the opinions and feedback of the existing residents of each of our 15 best places to live in Minnesota.

Although crime statistics and median home value can give you a formal impression of a place, the feelings of local people offer the most rounded, arguably accurate view of a place.

Let’s get started with the 15 best places to live in Minnesota.

1. Eden Prairie

Eden Prairie, MinnesotaSource: Kira Volkov / shutterstock
Eden Prairie

You’ll find Eden Prairie, a small town with extensive city amenities, close to the Minneapolis St Paul Metro. With its attractive neighborhoods and affordable housing, Eden Prairie has open land with residential parks and plenty of open spaces to take in breathtaking scenic views, lakes, and beaches.

In this small town, you’ll find delicious, award-winning restaurants, a shopping center, highly recommended schools, and plenty of entertainment options. Residents who live in Eden Prairie will tell you that their quality of life here is well above average for Minnesota.

So if you’re considering making Eden Prairie your new home, a loving community and an excellent economy will welcome you with open arms. It is truly one of Minnesota’s best places to live and work!

Entertainment & Activities

In Eden Prairie, you’ll find conservation areas, recreational facilities, and trails. One of the most popular trails in this area is the Minnesota River Bluffs Regional Trail. Some of the best things to do in Eden Prairie, Minnesota are:

  • Round Lake Park and Beach
  • Bryant Lake Regional Park
  • Staring Lake Observatory
  • Como Park Zoo
  • Minnesota Zoo
  • Minneapolis Institute for the Arts
  • Air Maxx Trampoline Park
  • AMC Eden Prairie Mall 18
  • Brunswick Zone XL Bowling
  • The Original Pancake House
  • Redstone American Grill
  • Kona Grill

2. Edina

Edina, MinnesotaSource: Deyan G. Georgiev / shutterstock

According to a poll, in 2023 Edina was ranked the best city-like suburb in the United States. Edina has an exceptional entertainment scene, great options for transportation, and an outstanding selection of jobs. Around forty percent of Edina’s housing comprises a diverse apartment selection accommodating various lifestyles.

Edina is unlike any place you’ve ever lived. Its neighborhoods have a fantastic walkable score and many churches, schools, and parks. Edina also features a long list of popular restaurants, boutiques, and its well-known annual Art Fair that is popular among residents.

Edina also has highly ranked public and private schools, including its preschools, making this an excellent location for families with children. No matter what the season in Edina, you can find a wide range of activities in Edina.

Entertainment & Activities

Some of the top things to do in or near Edina are:

  • Centennial Lakes Park
  • Edinborough Park
  • Southdale Center
  • Wooden Hill Brewing Company
  • Bredesen Park
  • Centennial Lakes Farmers’ Market
  • Edina Aquatic Center
  • The Galleria
  • AMC Southdale 16
  • Braemar Golf Course

3. Chanhassen

Chanhassen, MinnesotaSource: Holly Kuchera / shutterstock

The town of Chanhassen has grown from a quiet town to a popular suburb of Minnesota. Residents living in Chanhassen will tell you it’s one of Minnesota’s best places to live. Chanhassen is filled with gorgeous scenic views, various attractions, and more.

Chanhassen was ranked one of the best places to live in Minnesota due to its cost of living, amenities, and quality of life. While strolling these neighborhoods, you’ll find they’re safe and lined with abundant trees. One popular area worth mentioning is Paisley Park, the private estate of the late musical artist Prince.

Chanhassen has a wide selection of nature parks for those who consider themselves nature lovers. You’ll find Lake Susan Park and Marsh Lake Park in this suburb. So many great things about Chanhassen would make anyone want to consider it home.

Entertainment & Activities

Some of the top things to do in or near Chanhassen are:

  • Paisley Park Museum
  • Chanhassen Dinner Theaters
  • Minnesota Landscape Arboretum
  • Brindisi’s Pub
  • Chanhassen Cinema
  • Country Club Lanes

4. Falcon Heights

Falcon Heights, MinnesotaSource: Runner1928 / Wikimedia
Falcon Heights

Located in Minnesota’s Metropolitan area, you’ll find the small town of Falcon Heights. As one of Minnesota’s best places to live, residents find this charming town peaceful and family-friendly. This town has an excellent school and parks, making it a very desirable location for families with children.

Nearby, you’ll conveniently find several shopping centers and easy access to major highways. Residents in this town love all of the amenities it has to offer while still being able to enjoy its quiet atmosphere. Known for its diverse community, it hosts its fair share of cultural events.

So if you’re looking for the perfect family home or are searching for a peaceful community to call home, there’s something for everyone in Falcon Heights.

Entertainment & Activities

Some of the best things to do in or near Falcon Heights include:

  • Minnesota State Fair
  • Bell Museum
  • Minneapolis Sculpture Garden
  • House of Wong Chinese Restaurant
  • Mississippi National River and Recreation Area
  • Phalen Regional Park

5. Deephaven

Deephaven, MinnesotaSource: Doug Wallick / Flickr

Deephaven is known as one of Minnesota’s best places to live, with breathtaking views of Lake Minnetonka and the downtown area. This small town is known for its warm and friendly residents, with many local events hosted throughout the year. During the summer, you’ll find the residents participating in boat races and being involved in holiday parades during the winter.

Located close to Minneapolis, the small town of Deephaven has a wide selection of shopping and restaurant options and activities in the great outdoors, making this the perfect place to call home.

Known as an up-scale suburb, this great town has attractive things to do for both its residents and visitors. From beautiful parks to sandy beaches, there’s more than one way to spend your days in this suburb of Minneapolis.

Entertainment & Activities

Some of the best things to do in or near Deephaven are:

  • Beanhaven Café
  • Snuffy’s Malt Shop
  • Spasso
  • Lake Minnesota
  • Sunset Point
  • Thorpe Park
  • Cottage wood General Store
  • Wabi Sabi Shop
  • Old Log Theater
  • Discovery Flights

6. Lakeville


Little known to a few, Lakeville is one of Minnesota’s best places to live. When you drive down 35W, Lakeville is just steps away from Minneapolis and has several parks, lakes, and playgrounds. Lakeville is one of the most educated towns in Minnesota and has a high graduation rate, a plus for families with children.

That’s not all Lakeville has. Lakeville has a low unemployment rate with affordable housing. If there’s one thing that the residents take seriously in Lakeville, it’s the fun. This town has activities and attractions that are great for any season.

If you’re a big foodie, Lakeville has over ninety places to indulge in delicious food and beverages. Whether you want to indulge in a juicy burger or throw down a gourmet steak, Lakeville has just what you’re looking for!

Entertainment & Activities

Known as the largest city in Dakota County, it’s one of Minnesota’s fastest-growing and most thrilling places to live. Some of the best things to do in or near Lakeville are:

  • Lakeville Area Art Center
  • Applewood Orchard
  • Casperson Park
  • Crystal Lake Golf Club
  • Steve Michaud Park
  • Angry Inch Brewing
  • Bowlero 
  • Renaissance Festival

7. Dellwood

Dellwood, MinnesotaSource: www.edinarealty.com

If you’ve been looking for a small suburban community to call home, look no further than Dellwood, Minnesota. Despite its size, this community has various activities to keep you entertained and content. If you chat with any residents, they’ll tell you how much they enjoy exploring the parking, biking along the trails, and playing golf.

If you need to go shopping, you won’t find much here, but you can travel to the neighboring town of White Bear Lake for shopping, dining, and entertainment.

In addition, Dellwood has a low crime rate and provides a safe and secure environment for its residents. If you’re looking for a place of relaxation and recreation to call home, Dellwood is the place to be!

Entertainment & Activities

Some of the best things to do in or near Dellwood are:

  • Vines Vineyard
  • White Bear Lake County Park
  • The Flame Bar
  • Tamarack Nature Center
  • Rudy’s Redeye Grill
  • Big Wood Brewery

8. Minnetonka

Minnetonka, MinnesotaSource: nikitsin.smugmug.com / shutterstock

Located just eight miles from downtown Minneapolis, Minnetonka is one of the best places to live. Known as a lakeside suburb, Minnetonka has a diverse community of many races and religions.

Minnetonka is also home to two of Minnesota’s largest companies, Cargill and United Healthcare. This means when it comes to employment, the state is thriving. Minnetonka’s unemployment is one of the lowest in the United States.

Locals quickly note that if they had to live their lives over again, they would still choose Minnetonka which is quite the compliment. 

Parents will be pleased to hear that this great school district offers young people a flying start in life.

If you’re a big family considering moving to Minnetonka, you’ll find comfort in knowing that Minnetonka has one of the highest graduation rates in the state.

Entertainment & Activities

As a popular suburban community for outdoor activities, Minnetonka has over fifty nature parks and over one thousand acres of public land. Some of the best things to do in or near Minnetonka are:

  • Gray’s Bay Marina
  • Minnetonka Mills
  • Minnetonka Ice Arena
  • General Store of Minnetonka
  • Entertainment in the park
  • Minnetonka Tennis Club
  • Bunker Indoor Golf
  • Spring Hill Park
  • Bennett Family Park
  • Shady Oak Beach
  • City of Minnetonka Farmers’ Market

9. Woodbury

Woodbury, MinnesotaSource: Mulad / Flickr

The largest city in Washington County, Woodbury, can be found in the southeast of Minnesota’s Twin Cities, St Paul, and Minneapolis. There is confounding information about whether Woodbury is a suburb of St Paul or Minneapolis.

Residents, however, identify Woodbury as a stand-alone neighborhood for this suburb is surely developing into a city all of its own!

On a development note, it is no surprise that Woodbury is popular with millennials looking to settle down and start a family. With growing families in nearly every home, development is welcomed in the area, bringing better infrastructure and more job opportunities.

If you’re looking for a place with nothing but entertainment, Woodbury will not disappoint. In Woodbury, you’ll find downtown shopping districts, restaurants, movie theaters, and live music.

Entertainment & Activities

Some of the best things to do in or near Woodbury are:

  • Battle Creek Regional Park
  • Afton Apple Orchard
  • Bruce Vento Trail
  • Woodbury Community Theater
  • Tamarack Nature Preserve
  • Wild Bill’s Sports Saloon
  • Alamo Drafthouse Cinema
  • Madison’s Place Playground
  • Woodbury Farmer’s Market

10. Plymouth

French Regional Park in Plymouth, MNSource: Robin Clifton / shutterstock
French Regional Park In Plymouth, MN

Known for its outstanding quality of life, Plymouth is one of Minnesota’s best places to live. Located twelve miles north of Minneapolis, you’ll find everything from hiking trails to highly-ranked public schools.

If you have a commute to work or school, Plymouth is located next to many major highways, so transportation is one less thing you’ll need to worry about. The residents of Plymouth rave about all of its natural amenities, such as its lakes. Located in Plymouth is Medicine Lake, one of the largest lakes in the county.

In addition to being one of the best places to live in Minnesota, Plymouth is an excellent place for a booming economy. Plymouth is ranked as having the fourth largest economy.

This beautiful Minnesota community is the perfect place for families and professionals. From big-name stores to small local mom-and-pop shops, Plymouth has everything you need!

Entertainment & Activities

From its regional parks to local indoor attractions, you’ll find some of the best activities in Plymouth. Some of the best things to do in Plymouth are:

  • Eagle Lake Park
  • Parker’s Lake Park
  • Luce Line State Hiking Trail
  • Medicine Lake
  • Hilde Performance Center
  • Millennium Garden
  • Luce Line Brewing Co
  • Plymouth Ice Center
  • Plymouth Grand 15
  • Rock Elm Tavern

11. Victoria

Victoria, MinnesotaSource: SocialMediaAdventure / Flickr

Victoria is a small, charming town known to be one of Minnesota’s best places to live. Famous for its lakes and parks, residents take extra care of their natural surroundings. Victoria has twelve lakes and thirty-two active parks over four hundred acres of land.

If you talk to any residents here, they’ll tell you they love Victoria, especially for the many things to do and experiences, making every day an adventure, even if you live there. Victoria has been given the nickname “City of Lakes” and is known for being friendly and having excellent public schools.

If you’re an outdoor enthusiast, you’ll love that Victoria has hiking trails, campsites, and nature centers. The outdoors isn’t the only thing that attracts its residents, you’ll find a variety of indoor activities from axe throwing to wineries.

Entertainment & Activities

Some of the best things to do in or near Victoria are:

  • Lowry Nature Center
  • Victoria Lions Park
  • Victoria Burrow
  • Lake Auburn Campground
  • Schram Vineyards Winery & Brewery
  • Big Stone Mini Golf
  • Ruby’s Roost Bakery
  • Grimm Farm
  • Volksfest Festival
  • Victoria Ice Arena

12. Shoreview

Shoreview, MinnesotaSource: bjorn.watland / Flickr

Shoreview by name and nature Turtle Lake, Snail Lake, and Lake Owasso can all be found within this neighborhood’s reach. This is a highly desirable area to live in and is becoming increasingly popular with millennials, partly due to the great schools and the great property prices.

You’ll find the beautiful natural landscapes of Shoreview. This charming community has lakes, parks, and plenty of open spaces. While living in this community, you can access fourteen parks and more than fifty miles of trails and sidewalks.

In the summer, Shoreview has its Slice of Shoreview Days where residents and visitors will have a fun-filled day with an art fair, parade, and more! Weather doesn’t stop the fun in this town, you’ll find plenty to do in the winter and summer months.

Entertainment & Activities

Some of the best things to do in or near Shoreview are:

  • Lake Judy Park
  • Island Lake Golf Course
  • Tropics Indoor Waterpark
  • Tropical Adventure Indoor Playground
  • Turtle Lake County Park
  • Victoria Valley Orchard
  • Island Lake County Park

13. Laconia


Known as a hidden gem, Waconia was once Minnesota’s best-kept secret and has become one of Minnesota’s best places to live. It’s only thirty minutes from the Twin Cities and has lakes, parks, and other exciting destinations.

Known as “Tree City USA” by the NADF (National Arbor Day Foundation, it’s nestled right beside Lake Waconia, one of the largest and cleanest lakes in the area.

In addition, Waconia’s economy is booming with industrial parks, high-ranked schools, and outstanding healthcare facilities. With all these factors, Waconia is a great place to call home.

Entertainment & Activities

In Waconia, the whole family can enjoy plenty of activities and attractions. Spend your day at Lake Waconia, play a game of tennis, or test out the nightlife at one of their lively bars. When you live in Waconia, there’s always something to do, rain or shine!

Some of the best things to do in or near Waconia are:

  • Emagine Theaters Waconia
  • Historic Andrew Peterson Farm
  • Island View Golf Club
  • Safari Island Community Center
  • City Square Park
  • D’Vinci’s Restaurant
  • Hoppers Bar & Grill
  • Lola’s Lakehouse Restaurant 

14. Mendota Heights

Mendota Heights, MinnesotaSource: John Chilton / Flickr
Mendota Heights

Located in Minnesota, you’ll find Mendota Heights, a beautiful city on the Mississippi River’s southern bank. You’ll find miles of trails, dog parks, and nature parks in this gorgeous city. According to its residents, this city offers a quiet feel and has popular attractions.

Today, Mendota Heights thrives on business and is known for its natural beauty and great quality of life. When considering Mendota Heights as a place to call home, you’ll have fantastic housing options, access to the airport, award-winning restaurants, entertainment venues, and so much more!

Entertainment & Activities

Some of the best things to do in or near Mendota Heights are:

  • Mall of America
  • Minneapolis Convention Center
  • Sunfish Cellars Wine & Spirits
  • Nicolett Mall
  • The Mudd Room
  • Big Rivers Regional Trail
  • Simley Island Park
  • South Valley Park

15. Arden Hills

Arden Hills, MinnesotaSource: sevenMaps7 / shutterstock
Arden Hills

Rounding off our list and located just eight miles from Minneapolis, you’ll find the city of Arden Hills. Arden Hills has become a highly sought-after place to live, loaded with great schools, outdoor spaces, and all of the suburban amenities you could wish for.

Arden Hills is known to be one of the hidden gems of the twin cities. According to Niche, Arden Hills is ranked #13 in Minnesota’s Best Suburbs to Live. Arden Hills is your number one city if you’re searching for a quiet community with a slower pace!

Entertainment & Activities

Some of the best things to do in or near Arden Hills are:

  • Benson Great Hall
  • Flaherty’s Arden Bowl
  • Sweet Chocolate
  • Tony Schmidt Regional Park
  • Northern Lights Bingo Hall
  • Minnehaha Falls
  • Lake Calhoun


15 Best Places to Live in Minnesota:

  • Eden Prairie
  • Edina
  • Chanhassen
  • Falcon Heights
  • Deephaven
  • Lakeville
  • Dellwood
  • Minnetonka
  • Woodbury
  • Plymouth
  • Victoria
  • Shoreview
  • Laconia
  • Mendota Heights
  • Arden Hills