Considering moving to Minneapolis? The Minneapolis-St. Paul area is an excellent place to live, thanks to its growing economy, affordable housing, family-friendly activities, budding arts community, and more! In addition, Minneapolis has one of the best downtown areas for raising a family and is one of the best cities for veterans. If you’re thinking about living in Minneapolis, here are 13 things to know before relocating!
An Affordable Big City in the Midwest
Ranked in the top ten best places to live by U.S. News & World Report, Minneapolis combines small town charm with big city amenities, making it a Midwest hot spot for all ages! Though the cost of living in Minneapolis is 6% higher than the national average and 4% higher than the Minnesota average, its housing is incredibly affordable, with median home prices at $213,000 and median monthly rent at $898. In addition, the Minneapolis-St. Paul metro continues to grow, which is leading to more housing developments and job market increases, so now’s a good time to get in!
Work with Fortune 500 Companies
If you’re moving to Minneapolis in search of a new start with a large company, you’re in luck! Minnesota is home to 19 Fortune 500 companies with five located in Downtown Minneapolis: Target, Xcel Energy, US Bank, Thrivent Financial, and Ameriprise Financial. And with a 2.8% unemployment rate and an income per capita that’s 12% higher the national average, those looking for jobs in Minneapolis and surrounding areas will no doubt find great employment opportunities!
Enjoy the Weather (When It’s Nice)
It’s no secret that the weather in Minneapolis can get pretty dicey during the winter with long stretches of sub-zero temperatures, freezing winds, and snowfall that would shut down any other major city. But once spring and summer return, you can bet that the people living in Minneapolis will be out and about enjoying the weather! What are some of Minneapolis’ favorite things to do when it’s nice out? Check out the Mill City Farmer’s Market, where you can buy local produce and handmade good from May through October. Join the nation’s second largest Juneteenth Celebration at Bethune Park in June and kick off the summer season with parades, live music, food vendors, and more. Or hang out at one of the incredible local parks in Minneapolis—which have been named third-best in the nation—where you can find family-friendly events like Music & Movies in the Parks.
Use the Minneapolis Skyway System
So how do Minneapolis residents get around when it’s unbearably cold? Well, if you’re in Downtown Minneapolis, you take the Minneapolis Skyway! With 9.5 miles of enclosed walkways connecting 80 city blocks, it’s the largest system of enclosed bridges in the world! Through the Skyway, you can get from the Minneapolis Convention Center near Loring Park all the way up to the Warehouse District without ever touching the sidewalk. And the best part? You can go shopping and grab something to eat or drink at one of the many businesses located on the same level as the Skyway!
You Don’t Always Have to Drive
Minneapolis has made it a point to become more environmentally-friendly through sustainability policies enacted by local government. But more comes by way of those living in Minneapolis opting for more eco-friendly modes of transportation! You can easily get around downtown with the help of Metro Transit, which operates bus lines, above-ground light rails, and carpool groups. The transit system even offers bike lockers across the city so that you don’t have to leave your bike out! Additionally, Minneapolis has more than 129 miles of on-street bikeways, giving riders the freedom to get to work safely—whether there’s snow on the ground or not!
Explore the Minneapolis Riverfront
No matter what time of year, the riverfront along the Mississippi is a breathtaking sight to behold when you live in Minneapolis! Walk or bike across the Stone Arch Bridge and stop to see the incredible power of St. Anthony Falls, which helped power the milling industry throughout the 19th and 20th century! If you’re heading away from Downtown Minneapolis, venture over to Wilde Cafe & Spirits for some of Oscar’s Gelato. Better yet, catch a concert at Father Hennepin Bluff Park throughout the summer. Want to have a picturesque picnic? Pick up some incredible meat and cheese from Minneapolis staple Kramarczuk’s and then make your way to Nicollet Island!
A City Filled with Incredible Artwork
In Minneapolis, you don’t have to travel far to see amazing artwork from renowned artists and local talents. The downtown area is filled with murals painted across multi-level buildings, including the now-famous “The Times They Are A-Changin'” Bob Dylan mural. But murals aren’t the only way to experience art in the city! Minneapolis is home to excellent museums like the Minneapolis Institute of Art, the Weisman Art Museum, and the Minnesota Museum of American Art. You’ll find even more art at the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden, where you can see impressive works like the Spoonbridge and Cherry or the 25-foot-tall blue rooster, both of which have become iconic installations among Minneapolis’ art scene.
Take a Walk on an Endless Bridge
If you want to see a show in Minneapolis or take a tour of an architectural wonder, head down to the The Guthrie Theater. Situated between Gold Medal Park and Mill City Museum, the Guthrie—which is the second iteration of the theater after the original closed in 2006—hosts shows on two stages inside of the building and is home to two architectural oddities. The first is the Amber Box on the 9th floor, which extends 15 feet from the building and provides an incredible view of the riverfront. The second is the Endless Bridge, extending out 178 feet over the street toward the Mississippi River. Both are things you have to experience for yourself at least once when you live in Minneapolis!
Celebrate the Gift of Water
Every year during the third full week of July, the city hosts the Minneapolis Aquatennial Festival! The four-day celebration has been held every year since 1940 to celebrate the city’s famous lakes, rivers, and streams and includes events like AquaJam (a skateboarding trick competition) and the Life Time Torchlight 5K. On Saturday evening of the festival, get out and enjoy the Target Fireworks! If you haven’t seen this fireworks spectacular before, just know that it’s one of the top five largest in the country!
A Top Music Scene Led by Royalty
It’s well-known that Prince, who passed in 2017, had cemented himself as the true king of the Minneapolis music scene, but the city has been home to many popular artists throughout the years. The late ’80s saw the rise of The Replacements, who helped push the punk scene to the forefront in the Upper Midwest. The ’90s saw bands like Soul Asylum and Semisonic rise to prominence with massive hits and Grammy wins. And at the turn of the century, Rhymesayers Entertainment turned the underground indie hip-hop scene on its head by picking up Minneapolis artists like Atmosphere, Brother Ali, and P.O.S. Don’t just take our word for it! Spend your weekends in Minneapolis discovering amazing live music at great venues around the city like Cabooze, The 331 Club, First Avenue & 7th St Entry, and Honey!
Get Your Fill of Minneapolis Sports
Professional and college sports lovers alike will love living in Minneapolis! NFL fans can catch the Minnesota Vikings inside of the state-of-the-art US Bank Stadium, which was built to look like a viking ship in the heart of Downtown Minneapolis. If you love baseball, take in a Minnesota Twins game at Target Field in the North Loop. NBA fans can see both the Minnesota Timberwolves and the four-time WNBA Champion Minnesota Lynx at Target Center. And if you’re a fan of college sports, head across the river to the University of Minnesota to watch Golden Gopher basketball games at The Barn, volleyball games inside the Maturi Pavilion, hockey games inside the 3M Arena at Mariucci, or football games at TCF Bank Stadium!
Dig Into Good Midwestern Eats
One of the best perks about life in Minneapolis is the food! Have breakfast on the mind? Start your day with Eggs Benedict or the Dinkytown Omelet at Al’s Breakfast in Dinkytown. Want burgers you’ll never forget? Try the original “Jucy Lucy” at Matt’s Bar in Powderhorn. Thinking high-end dining? Make a stop at Spoon and Stable in Warehouse District to enjoy dishes made by James Beard Award winner Gavin Kaysen. Looking for international fare? Your options are endless! Find South American cuisine at Hola Arepa and Chimborazo, Vietnamese cuisine at Lotus Restaurant, Nepalese cuisine at Himalayan Restaurant, and Ethiopian cuisine at either Dilla’s or Fasika. If you still have room in your stomach, visit Milkjam Creamery in Whittier for unforgettable ice cream flavors like Cereal Killers and Hard Knock Life 2.0!
The Land of 10,000…Breweries
Being the City of Lakes, the unique access to natural water sources in Minneapolis has helped create a booming craft beer market in the area! If you’re looking for things to do in Minneapolis, check out the many breweries scattered throughout the metro. Hit Surly Brewing to grab a pint of their Furious IPA, then head over to Dangerous Man Brewing taproom to try the Apiary Drop Triple IPA. Looking for less hoppy beers? Pop over to Indeed Brewing and try their Old Breed Bourbon Barrel-Aged Barleywine, or make your way to Fulton Beer to try their Lonely Blonde. Can’t find what you’re looking for? There are about 15 more breweries within walking distance of each other. You can’t go wrong with beer in Minneapolis!
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