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The 14 Best Neighborhoods in Minnesota

If you move to Minnesota, or move within Minnesota, choosing the right place to live is very important. There are towns and cities to choose from that will suit your lifestyle, but there are also neighborhoods within those towns and cities you will need to consider.

What makes a neighborhood the best neighborhood to live in? On one level, it must be about the feel, sense of community, amenities, while considering the amount of crime. On another level, though, the best neighborhood is quite simply the one that makes you feel at home.

Let’s explore the 14 best neighborhoods in Minnesota to help you with your decision.

1. Macalester-Groveland

First on the list of best neighborhoods in Minnesote is Macalaster-Groveland. This neighborhood, a suburb of St. Paul, is named after Macalester College. There is a large student population, most of which indicate that they feel safe in and around the campus, even at night, which is good, as there is plenty of nightlife.

This neighborhood is good for families and has superior schools, with colleges close by for older students. Apart from the students, the population includes young professionals, who are catered to by a range of properties.

The feel is that of a dense suburban arrangement, with a variety of eateries and businesses, but there are also parks and open areas.

2. St Anthony Park

St Anthony Park, a suburb of St Paul, is all about good schools, good people, and lots of open spaces. There is still a strong urban feel, though. The number of bars and restaurants and other eateries means there is rich nightlife for the young professionals that live there.

This is the home of the St Paul campus of the University of Minnesota, so the population is filled out by academic staff and students. Most of the houses are single-family homes, but with plenty of opportunities for student accommodation too.

The neighborhood is attractive, with the streets following the curves of the gentle hills. It is home to the State Fair, which attracts visitors each year.

Stone Arch Bridge and  St. Anthony Main Skyline in St Anthony Park, one of the best neighborhoods in Minnesota

3. Eden Prairie

Eden Prairie is a town in Minnesota, near Minneapolis with an effective urban and suburban mix. Most of the residents are young professionals, who own their own homes. The area is generally affluent but does not discriminate on the basis of income. The population is generally high achieving and the median household income is relatively high. There is a sense of belonging and pride in the area.

There are lots of coffee shops for socializing in Eden Prairie and parks for exercising, picnicking, or just sitting out in the sun. The suburb is safe for children, who have the opportunity to attend highly rated public schools.

4. Falcon Heights

Falcon Heights is one of the smaller suburbs of Minneapolis. The limited size means that the community looks out for each other and the crime rate is very low. The neighborhood gives residents the best of both the urban and suburban, with parks and outdoor areas, as well as plenty f coffee shops, restaurants, and other eateries.

The average rent in Falcon Heights is significantly below the national average, which allows students at the University of Minnesota, in the neighborhood, to choose from a range of affordable residential options.

This means there are a lot of students in the area, which also attracts young professionals with growing families. Another attraction for them is that the schools in the suburb are highly rated.

The Minnesota State Fair at Falcon Heights, one of the best neighborhoods in Minnesota

5. Shoreview

In Ramsay county, you will find Shoreview, close to Turtle Lake, Snail Lake, and Lake Owasso. In summer, residents have many opportunities for activities on, in, and next to the water. This makes Shoreview a relaxed and exciting place to live. The overall suburban feel contrasts with the lakes and nearby parklands.

The schools in the area are recommended and the property prices are affordable. All of this makes the neighborhood popular with millennials, mainly with growing families.  The community is hard-working and diverse. The crime rate is low. The opportunities are many.

Shoreview gives you a perfect combination of work and play.

6. Esko

Esko is a community in Thomson Township, near Duluth. It is a small, caring community in an essentially rural setting surrounded by beautiful, open countryside. Because it is a small community and the surroundings are natural, Esko has a rural feel, with some urban amenities.

The cost of living is low and most residents own their own homes. The neighborhood offers great schools and is a perfect place to raise a family. In fact, the majority of the residents are married and have young families.

7. Roseville

Roseville is a suburb to the north of the Twin Cities and there is an easy commute to both Minneapolis and St Paul. The general feel of the neighborhood is suburban, with mostly freestanding houses owned by the inhabitants.

As the public schools are very good, Roseville is very attractive to families. There are ample opportunities to shop, especially at the highly-regarded Rosedale Mall. Read more about the mall in our post about malls in Minnesota. Every year, the mall offers events that incorporate everyone.  The majority of the population in the neighborhood are young professionals and retirees and the sense of the neighborhood is safe and close.

8. Cloquet

Cloquet is an Industrial Town in North East Minnesota on the St. Louis River

Cloquet is a neighborhood near Duluth and offers a rural lifestyle with access to nearby urban centers. The area is dedicated to enriching the life and lifestyle of the residents, with a solid education, good healthcare, and many community activities, like the various festivals and events held throughout the year.

The relatively low cost of living makes this an area that speaks to anyone from young singles to retirees. Families will find the area safe for children and for those keen on exercise, particularly along the many bike trails and in and on the water. The only opportunity for white water rafting in Minnesota is something you will love having on your doorstep.

There are plenty of opportunities for socializing, at the number of eateries and other amenities. There are also plenty of shops for any retail need in Cloquet, one of the best neighborhoods in Minnesota.

9. Carag

Carag is unique in that it has such a strong tradition of residents being involved in activities and the area is named after a neighborhood group: Calhoun Area Residents Action Group. This speaks volumes about the high energy and invested locals and makes it a very attractive area for twenty-somethings to settle.

There are plenty of shops and eateries catering to all tastes, some of which are trendy and some of which appeal to a more conservative taste. Near to Carag is the Nickelodeon Universe, which is an exciting place to visit and an attraction for people from out of the area. 

If you are a young professional or an active single, this will be a very good neighborhood to consider for one of the best neighborhoods in Minnesota.

10. East Brainerd

The highways and airports close to East Brainerd mean that travel opportunities, as well as commuting for work and other obligations is easy. If your commute is further afield, then the flight is a realizable option. There are perfect opportunities for professionals in the area.

East Brainerd is a close suburban area, but is close to downtown Chattanooga, with the city feel and related amenities nearby. The whole area is full of potential for both work and play. There are lots of shops and eateries available for every profile. It also means that there is plenty of potential employment in East Brainerd itself.

The range of activities for children makes this an attractive neighborhood for families. It is home to the Chattanooga School for Liberal Arts, so an artistic temperament and feel is encouraged in the suburb.

11. Cobb’s Hill

The quiet and gentle atmosphere of Cobb’s Hill, Rochester makes it a peaceful and rejuvenating neighborhood to live in for all ages. The highly regarded public schools will attract families, but the number of recreational and green spaces are perfect for all ages and stages. Nearby Washington Grove offers 27 acres of natural land, crisscrossed with walking trails.

The streets are shaded and graceful, as care has been taken in landscaping the area. A noteworthy example is Nunda Boulevard, a wide grassy mall designed by Alling DeForest, one of the best landscape architects in the United States. The highest point of the hills in Cobb’s Hill offers wonderful views of the cityscape of Rochester, right alongside a large reservoir.

The schools in Cobb’s Hill are highly regarded and there are some strong faith-based communities. The varied shopping districts cater to all tastes and all budgets.

12. Gem Lake

Gem Lake is located close enough to downtown both St Paul and Minneapolis for access to the city life. It is also a manageable commute for work. It is a thriving commercial district in its own right and there are also plenty of recreation facilities for downtime. Plenty of shops cater to all retail requirements and there is a range of eateries for different tastes.

The largest group of the population is baby boomers and millennials, meaning there are both older and younger families. There are great schools and the whole area is a good place for families and for raising children.

Gem Lake is known for keeping the local history alive and also protecting the local environment.

13. Waconia

With a rate of crime that is lower than the national average, Waconia is in the top 10% of safest cities to live in in the United States. This is one of the aspects that has attracted young families and professionals to the neighborhood. The good schools and standard of education are an added attraction. Overall, the safety and general amenities mean the suburb caters to families and children. This makes a close, caring community.

For those seeking a bit more excitement, the nightlife is good, if you look for the correct places, such as the bars and other eateries.

The neighborhood has an overall dense, suburban feel, but there are parks and green spaces that offer opportunities for play and picnicking. Or just walking.

14. Minnetonka

Last but not least on the list of best neighborhoods in Minnesota is Minetonka. If you are looking for a busy, interesting lifestyle, then Minnetonka just might be the neighborhood that suits you, with various coffee shops and eateries to enjoy, or parks in which to play, exercise, or just sit and enjoy being outdoors.

The area tends to attract young professionals and retirees alike. For the younger families, there are schools to choose from that are all highly rated. For older residents, there are opportunities to relax and enjoy the slower pace of life.

The rate of unemployment in Minnetonka is relatively low, which means job opportunities for all ages. There are houses to suit all pockets and all tastes.

Minnetonka is near Lake Minnetonka, so you can grab your swimsuits, or kayak and head for the water, or you can just take the time to enjoy the beauty of the lake. If you love the outdoors, then you can take to the water, or just go walking.

Minnetonka Lake with path along shoreline


How do I choose the best neighborhood to live in in Minnesota?

Choosing where to live always depends on your preferences, but you should always consider basic points like the cost of living, crime rate, the profile of the residents and amenities. Make sure that the details of a community fit in with what you consider to be important and what is best for your family.

Which does a suburban, urban or rural feel in a neighborhood mean?

A neighborhood with a suburban feel is a relaxed area with freestanding houses, yards, and streets that are quite wide. A neighborhood with an urban feel will be busier and have houses/apartments, shops, and businesses closer together. A neighborhood with a rural feel is in a small town, with a slow pace of life and wide-open spaces close by.

Best Neighborhoods in Minnesota?

There are neighborhoods with small, close communities and there are those that are larger and busier. There are communities that have lots of parks and recreation areas and those that have busy shopping areas with lots of eateries. Then there are neighborhoods with a suburban feel and those that make you feel as though you are out in the country. The choice of neighborhood is yours and must suit your lifestyle and where you feel at home.

When looking for a new neighborhood to live in, you might like the Best Places to Live in Minnesota: Twin Cities Region or 21 Of The Best Places To Live In Minnesota.

Find the perfect location for your happy home in one of the best neighborhoods in Minnesota. If you know of another great neighborhood we should add to the list, please let us know!

Ready for more Minnesota living advice, info, and guides? Whether you’re a local or a passerby, discover the best of Minnesota that our great state has to offer!