Falling on the USA and Canadian border tucked just east of Lake Superior is the small but perfectly formed state of Minnesota. This is a truly 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.
If we could all get by on natural beauty alone we’d surely all consider ourselves millionaires. Alas, when thinking about where your next home will be, natural beauty is not the primary deciding factor.
Factors like cost of living and job availability play an important role in the decision-making process. For young families, aspects like proximity to great public schools and social provisions are all major players.
Ultimately, we all want to feel part of a community and this is why we have taken into consideration 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 it is the feelings of local people that offer the most rounded, arguably most accurate view of a place.
Let’s get started with the 15 best places to live in Minnesota.
1. Eden Prairie
Eden Prairie is a gorgeous town lying only 30-minutes south-west of bustling Minneapolis. To avoid beating around the bush, Eden Prairie is an affluent but non-exclusive town. With 62,626 living here, there is a wonderfully diverse community of high achievers.
Median household income is $97,640, this is almost unheard of to have a whole town earning upwards of $50k a year. Unsurprisingly, resident satisfaction is high, probably due to the fact very few have money worries!
The small town feel is what initially draws families here but being less than an hour away from the big city of Minneapolis means that when youngsters tire of playing ball in the street they have a safe and thriving city to explore.
Edina is formally known as the City of Edina and can be found in Hennepin County; being just a 20-minute drive from Minneapolis CBD this is a cosy suburb of the larger of Minnesota’s Twin Cities.
Being in Minnesota, of course, Edina is practically lakeside on every corner, the biggest lake in the area is Lake Cornelia which is surrounded to the north by Rosland Park.
House prices here are pretty darn steep compared to the national average but on par with other suburbs of Minneapolis; averaging at $404,000 many families would find this suburb something of an aspiration.
This is a fantastic schooling district and with over 50 public schools to choose from, parents have their work cut out discerning one outstanding school from another.
Lying just north east of Eden Prairie is the neighbourhood of Chanhassen, home to 24,437 people. This is our most affordable suburb in our top three and there are always some great properties on the market.
That’s not to say it’s a transient area, there is a long established, happy community here; with many family homes now housing empty-nesters, some residents have started to move onto pastures new leaving in their wake some phenomenal homes for you to choose from.
At the high end of the scale there are homes that fetch upwards of a million dollars but equally, there are charming family homes for as little as $193k; making for a wonderfully diverse community.
4. Falcon Heights
This small and secure suburb of Minneapolis is home to just 5,484 people; being one of the city’s smaller neighbourhoods there is very little crime here, people certainly look out for one another.
This is the first location on our list of 15 best places to live in Minnesota that has a noteworthy median rent value. On average, a tenant in Falcon Heights can expect to be charged $871, well below the national average. With 45% of people living in rented accommodation here it’s suffice to say the hunt for rental properties would be more fun than arduous, spoiled for choice some may say.
The University of Minnesota campus can be found here in Falcon Heights and residents say that the influx of students brings nothing but benefits to the area.
Scoring an impressive overall A+ on niche.com, Deephaven is a bit of a hidden gem. With only 3,700 full-time residents, this small and cosy suburb of Minneapolis is seldom on the radar of newcomers to the state. This is an expensive place to buy property but with almost all homes boasting lakeside views in some capacity, you can hardly complain.
The houses are big too, mansions in fact, so with that in mind the median home value of $539,400 is actually quite reasonable. You won’t be shocked to hear that with median rent hitting $2,045 monthly, only 5% of residents opt to rent!
Most families here earn upwards of $100k a year so the punchy price tags aren’t that scary to those who live here.
Minneapolis really is at the heart of the action in Minnesota and as such the suburbs of the city are thriving. It is safe to say that each suburb of the city could be classed as a small town in its own right. If you liked the lakeside feel of Deephaven but not the crazy high house prices, you’ll surely fall in love with Shorewood.
With house prices averaging at a little more affordable $401,400 and many homes on the market nearing the $300k mark, you’ll want to move in right away.
Curving around Lake Minnetonka this neighbourhood is perfect for anyone who likes to get outdoors and get active; being so close to Minneapolis’s city centre means you really do get the best of both worlds here.
When researching Dellwood we were astounded to discover that this tiny suburb of Minneapolis has an even tinier median rent value, just $444 a month!
There are only 6% of residents living in rented accommodation meaning rental homes become available once in a very blue moon but should you have the patience to wait until a rental property becomes available you’ll be in the money, well no…just not out of pocket!
Being home to just 1,164 people there is a close-knit but type-cast community here. With average annual income being upwards of $160,000 a year, there is little room for economic diversity here.
Minnetonka is cute by name and by nature, being on the water’s edge of its namesake lake this suburb is home to 51,240 people. Although on paper another suburb of Minneapolis, those living in Minnetonka would be quick to prove that this is a town all of its own.
Unlike Dellwood, Minnetonka has a truly diverse community of residents; although earning under $80k a year on average, Minnetonkans are living a more than comfortable existence here.
Locals are quick to 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 is a great school district offering young people a flying start in life.
Being the largest city in Washington County, Woodbury can be found to the south-east of Minnesota’s Twin Cities, St Paul and of course Minneapolis. There is confounding information as to whether Woodbury is a suburb of St Paul or Minneapolis.
Local residents, however, identify Woodbury as a stand-alone neighbourhood for this suburb is surely developing into a city all of its own!
On the development note, it comes as no surprise to hear that Woodbury is popular with millennials looking to settle down and start a family of their own. With growing families in nearly every home, development is welcomed in the area bringing with it better infrastructure and more job opportunities.
Home to Medicine Lake, Parkers Lake, and Gleason Lake (to name but a few) you are never too far from the water in Plymouth. This township is a solid all-rounder; ample job opportunities, good schools and high resident satisfaction.
There are 73,896 people that call Plymouth home and they seldom have a bad word to say about the place. With an affordable cost of living and plenty of opportunities to get outdoors and socialise, why would you complain?
Houses here in Plymouth are spacious and stately, many mansions with large gardens and long dining rooms to enjoy as a family. Median home value is $297,400 but in reality, you need $390K to play with should you want the options to choose from.
‘Charismatic’ is the way one local describes Victoria, others refer to it as ‘irreplaceable’ and ‘beautiful’. High praise indeed.
The overriding opinion is that this town is small and safe enough to raise a family but close enough to Minneapolis that commuting into the city is by no means a chore. That is exactly what many residents do of a workday and it is certainly proving to be profitable as the average household income here in Victoria is $131,971 per annum.
With Minnesota Landscape Arboretum to the east and Carver Park Reserve to the north, there are countless opportunities to get outdoors and get fit. In the balmy summers, take a dip in one of the many lakes within the suburb.
Shoreview by name and by nature Turtle Lake, Snail Lake, and Lake Owasso can all be found within this neighbourhood’s reach.
This is a highly desirable area to live and is becoming increasingly popular with millennials, partly due to the great schools and partly due to the great property prices.
The home value here averages at $233,100 which is not aspirational for many working families. As such, there is a hardworking and diverse community here. Shoreview is a mid-sized suburb home to 25,951 people.
Although there is a suburban feel to the neighbourhood, with countless parks and lakes to explore you’re ever too far from lush green parklands.
13. Linden Hills
Linden Hills is home to a number of long-term residents who are quick to mention how wonderful this neighbourhood is, we don’t disagree.
There are 47 public schools in the area and with only 21% of residents being of school age, there is always an idealistic teacher to pupil ratio. Many of the schools are exceeding targets set by the government which is another major plus point for Linden Hills.
Residents here are earning nearly double the national average and live well, within their means. There is a strong community focus and as such, crime levels are minimal. In turn, this has lead Linden Hills to be regarded as the best neighbourhood to raise a family in the Minneapolis area.
We need say no more.
14. Mendota Heights
Mendota Heights can be found in Dakota County, south of the Twin Cities. This is our greenest neighbourhood to date. Falling on the south bank of the Mississippi River, Mendota Heights is home Fort Snelling Park. This historic park offers a wonderful array of hiking and mountain biking trails and is certainly enjoyed best in the summer.
This neighbourhood is home to 11,172 people, many of which are earning upwards of $95k a year.
Being so close to the Twin Cities means that residents have all the infrastructure and working opportunities they could desire with the added bonus of only ever being a matter of meters away!
15. Arden Hills
Scoring highly on niche.com across the board is our final neighbourhood on our 15 best places to live in Minnesota, Arden Hills. High quality of housing, reasonable cost of living and great public schools all contribute to the appeal of Arden Hills.
Just under 10,000 people call this town home and as such there is all the amenities and facilities you could wish for. Although not developing as rapidly as areas like Woodbury, Arden Hills is pretty perfect just the way it is.
The local’s only complaint would be that the winters here are harsh, we suggest you invest in a warm and cosy bobble hat and move right on in.