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Best Places to Live in Minnesota: Twin Cities Region

Some of the best places to live in Minnesota are found in the Twin Cities region and the list of reason why is a long one! The Twin Cities metro area gets its name because of the close proximity of the state’s largest two cities — Minneapolis and St. Paul.

A park bench overlooking the skyline of St. Paul, one of the best <a href=places to live in Minnesota.” class=”wp-image-11427″/>
A scenic view of the skyline of St. Paul, one of the best places to live in Minnesota.

With Fortune 500 companies like Best Buy, General Mills, Target, and Land O’ Lakes, there are lots of job opportunities. High salaries, along with lower housing costs, make the Twin Cities communities worth considering if you’re looking for a new place to call “home.”

In this article we’ll share, in no particular order, some of the best places to live in Minnesota’s Twin Cities region and what’s to love about living in this location.

Why Living In Minnesota Is the Best

Minnesota has a population of 5.6 million people. A fun fact: There is one boat for every 6 people. This is because of the many lakes and rivers found here — Minnesota has the most boats per person of any state.  

Minnesota is known for beautiful parks, lakes, rivers, and forests, as well as the active outdoor lifestyle that residents enjoy in these open spaces. The weather in Minnesota is warm and wet during the summer but cold and snowy in the winter, which makes the state a great place for outdoor enthusiasts of all kinds.

If you enjoy beautiful scenery at all times of the year, nature trails and hikes, wildlife, water activities, and winter sp orts, then you’ll love Minnesota.

The state is known for its outdoor activities. 

There are many lakes and forests to explore. One of Minnesota’s nicknames is the “Land of 10,000 Lakes” which is interesting because there are almost 12,000 lakes. If you include rivers, there are over 15,000. 

The state has 66 state parks, 9 recreation areas, and 6 national parks — so there’s plenty of protected land to enjoy.

There are some notable locations in Minnesota.

The Mall of America is over 9.5 million square feet. It is the home of Nickelodeon Universe and has more stores than you could imagine in one place. It is the largest mall in America. 

You can also visit a few famous parks including the Gooseberry Falls State Park, Minnehaha Park, and Superior National Forest.

Eden Prairie

View of a paved path lined with trees displaying brilliant fall colors near Eden Prairie, one of the best places to live in Minnesota.
Gorgeous foliage near Eden Prairie.

Number one on our list of best places to live in Minnesota is Eden Prairie. The city was listed as one of the best places to live in America by MONEY Magazine. With a population of 60,000, it is close to Minneapolis with a small-town feel. 

The top Reason to live in Eden Prairie

It is an affluent neighborhood with an average home price of $475k and an average rental cost of $1,400. It has a very high satisfaction rating among its residents. But the number one reason people like living here is the schools. If you are raising a family, Eden Prairie is listed as the top public school district in the state. 

Falcon Heights

View of a field at Gibbs Farm in Falcon Heights, one of the best places to live in Minnesota.
Gibbs Farm is an historic site in Falcon Heights, located close to the Minnesota State Fairgrounds.

Falcon Heights brings your small-town dreams to life. With a population of 5,500, it has very little crime and is home to the Minnesota State Fairgrounds. The Minnesota State Fair is the largest fair still around in America. 

The town is also home to the University of Minnesota and is well known for its great public school system. 

The average house in Falcon Heights costs around $294k to own and between $850 — $1,000 to rent. One of the coolest things about Falcon Heights is its architecture. The town promotes modern architecture. There is a neighborhood in the town called University Grove where 103 homes are all designed by an architect. Any home built in this neighborhood has to be completed by an architect. 

Shorewood

Shorewood is a city located on Lake Minnetonka. It has a rural lakeside feel. With a population of 7,300 people, it is a great place to get to know your neighbors. 

Homes in Shorewood sell for a higher average of $485k with lots of lakefront properties. Rental costs average $1,600 per month however, rentals are limited in the area as most of the residents own and live in their homes. 

There are many beautiful lakes and trails available for outdoor activities. Boating is also a common pastime in Shorewood. It is home to Lake Minnewashta Regional Park and Christmas Lake. There are many islands found in the lake, making it a great place to explore. 

Edina

If Shorewood is a little too small for you, then the next location on our list of best places to live in Minnesota is Edina. Only 20 minutes from downtown Minneapolis, Edina is almost completely lakefront property. Houses line the shores of many lakes, the largest being Lake Cornelia. 

Homes in this area sell for an average of $475k and rent for around $1,400 per month. The city is more of a retirement community and may be best suited for an older family or a couple looking to purchase a home and settle down while still having access to the city. It has a population of 51,000 and has over 50 public schools. 

Shoreview

A view of morning fog on a body of water in Shoreview, one of the best places to live in Minnesota.
Beautiful morning fog on water in Shoreview.

Shoreview is ranked number one in Minnesota for families. With great schools, affordable housing, and lots of child-friendly activities, it is a great place to raise your family. Homes average around $275k and rentals average $1,200 per month. 

There are a few great lakes and regional parks in the area including Turtle Lake, Snail Lake Regional Park, and Lake Owasso. Shoreview is also home to a dinosaur museum

The population is around 25,000 residents, giving it a suburban feel. It is close enough to commute to St. Paul, with the average drive time around 15 minutes with low traffic. 

Dellwood

Dellwood is next on our list of best places to live in Minnesota. This St. Paul suburb is best known for its great rent prices. You can get a place for under $500 a month, but they run out quickly — so jump on them when you can!

Dellwood has a population of 1,100 with a high median annual income. Most of the families in Dellwood own their homes. The city is considered the wealthiest in Minnesota and listed among the top 25 wealthiest cities in America. 

There are many beautiful outdoor adventures nearby including the Tamarack Nature Center, vineyards, lakes, and trails.  Dellwood is also notable for being the home of F. Scott Fitzgerald, the novelist. 

Minnetonka

Lake Minnetonka is one reason why Minnetonka is one of the best places to live in Minnesota.

Minnetonka shares its name with nearby Minnetonka Lake. The lake is the 10th largest in Minnesota but the most used. If you live in Minnetonka, you’ll likely spend days hanging out and boating on the lake. 

The population of Minnetonka is 51,000. The homes average $347k and rent averages $1,400 per month. The city is on the wealthier end of Minnesota living and general satisfaction rates are high among the city’s residents. 

Minnetonka is also the home of Cargill foods, one of the largest corporations still family-owned in America. 

Arden Hills

Arden Hills is a suburb of St. Paul and is home to 10,000 people. It has access to many lakes and parks including Lake Johanna, Lake Joseph, and Lake Owasso. 

Arden Hills started as a simple farm called Arden Farm and grew in the 50s and 60s as the rest of Minnesota started to grow. Today Boston Scientific, the medical equipment company, and Land O’ Lakes call Arden Hills home. 

Homes in the area average $292k and rent goes for around $1600. Rent is in high demand in the area. If you are looking to purchase a home near St. Paul, it’s an affordable suburb and close to all the great amenities of St. Paul. 

Mendota Heights

Mendota Heights comes next on our list of best places to live in Minnesota. It is considered the greenest place in Minnesota and is the home of Fort Snelling Park, an historic park for those who enjoy hiking and mountain biking. 

Mendota Heights has a small tourist population that comes during the summer because of the great hiking opportunities. The city is also near the Science Museum of Minnesota and the Mall of America. 

Right on the Mississippi River, the area has a population of 11,100 and home prices averaging $392k. Rent is an average of $1,100 per month. It boasts a convenient location that is close to both Minneapolis and St. Paul. 

There are many great outdoor destinations nearby like waterfall hikes, parks, and lakes. 

Deephaven 

If you are looking for a big, beautiful home for your family, then Deephaven is the place for you. With a smaller population of 3,700 people, Deephaven is located along Lake Minnetonka and is almost exclusively comprised of mansions. 

Homes in Deephaven average around $540k and rent is hard to find, at over $2,000 a month. It is a higher-cost area but if you are looking for the right house, it is a beautiful place to live. 

It is home to Deephaven beach, a beautiful lakeside beach. It is also close to the Big Island, a great place to visit and hike. Schools in the area are well rated and crime is low. Deephaven is a small town with lots of charm, located just outside the Twin Cities. 

Plymouth

Plymouth is another community on our list of best places to live in Minnesota. It is one of the larger suburbs (population of about 74,000), with high satisfaction scores among the residents. Homes cost an average of $350k with rentals going for an average of $1,300 a month. 

Plymouth is on this list because it is a great place to live if you are looking for a church or religious community. It is known for large and welcoming congregations. 

Plymouth is also a great place to spend time on the water, with Medicine Lake, Parkers Lake, and Gleason Lake close by. You also have access to great outdoor spaces like parks, gardens, trails, rivers, creeks, and adventure parks. 

Summit Hill 

If you are a younger professional looking for a job in the city of St. Paul, Summit Hill may be the best neighborhood for you. It is filled with young professionals that work in the city who enjoy a commute that is only 10 minutes out from the heart of downtown. 

The neighborhood has many beautiful Victorian homes with an average housing price of $378k. Median rental costs are $1,000 per month. The area has a great nightlife with lots of restaurants, coffee shops, and bookstores. 

The homes are filled with families and the median age of residents is 38. 

St. Paul downtown

Early morning view of downtown St. Paul, one of the best places to live in Minnesota.
Downtown St. Paul.

Many of the towns and cities in our list of best places to live in Minnesota are the suburbs of the twin cities. The list wouldn’t be complete without adding in the cities that make them so wonderful. St. Paul is a bustling city with lots of job opportunities. 

It is considered a low-crime city. Most of the people who work in the city commute from the surrounding suburbs. 

Homes are well priced at $230k on average. Rent is also well priced at an average of $1,000 a month. 

There are many things to visit in the city like museums, the Mall of America, and all the attractions of the suburbs like the lakes and hiking trails. St. Paul is a smaller version of its twin, Minneapolis. 

Minneapolis

Lake Calhoun Minneapolis

Minneapolis is the largest city in Minnesota. It gives you every downtown urban vibe you need. It is close to St. Paul with lots of available transportation. If you are looking for the ideal city to live in, Minneapolis is for you. 

Houses average $350k and rent is around $1,400. Minneapolis has the best-ranked nightlife in Minnesota with lots of restaurant options. 

Final Thoughts About Living in Minnesota

Many of the best places to live in Minnesota are found in the suburbs of Minneapolis and St. Paul. Both cities provide great jobs to families and have created many high-income areas that are still considered affordable.  Living in the Twin Cities region of Minnesota gives you the opportunity to experience the natural beauty of all the different seasons while also having easy access to city amenities. 

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