There are hundreds and hundreds of cities across the great state of Minnesota and the Minneapolis-St. Paul Metropolitan Area is home to over 200 of those cities. With so many great suburbs surrounding the Twin Cities, many people choose to live outside the city because it’s a simple 20-minute commute in or out (depending on the time, of course). So you can have a bit of the suburb life but still enjoy all of the events and delicious food that the city has to offer. It’s hard to narrow down the best in the state, but we picked some of the best places to live in Minnesota around the Twin Cities.
As more and more people are choosing to move and make a lifestyle change, it can be overwhelming to know where to look and why. So we’ve compiled a list of the best cities in Minnesota and the Twin Cities to check out. You want the place you live to check all of your boxes from delicious restaurants to having places for nice nature walks. This list should help!
Minneapolis is one of the best cities in Minnesota for a fully immersive city life experience. As one of the smallest ‘large cities’ in the nation, Minneapolis boasts easy transportation by car, bus, bike, and taxi, with everything being incredibly accessible and walkable. With 13 lakes, Minneapolis is home to tons of beaches, parks, and walking trails that are open to the public all year round.
Bigos currently has three apartment complexes within Minneapolis, two of which are near Bde Maka Ska, formerly known as Lake Calhoun, which is a bustling lake in the summer, and just as easily accessible and walkable for a beautiful winter walk or snowshoe on the lake. There are also events, local markets, farmer’s markets all summer, so you will never ever be bored. There is truly something for everyone in Minneapolis, and it is a great central point to everything from the airport to the Mall of America.
The St. Paul website says it is the “Most Livable City in America,” and it brings the city life to people looking for slower, quieter city life. The “other” city of the Twin Cities, St. Paul, borders up to Minneapolis and is also located along the Mississippi River. St. Paul has some of the best restaurants in the Twin Cities, and you can find most of them all within walking distance from your apartment.
With multiple parks throughout downtown and Lowertown, such as Mears Park, Rice Park, and Kellogg Mall Park, St. Paul may have some of the most walkable, most accessible parks in the metro area. They also have Excel Energy Center that hosts our Minnesota Wild games, along with concerts and events all year round, plus CHS Field for our minor league baseball team, The St. Paul Saints. Fun fact: Bill Murray is part owner of the Saints and has been seen tearing tickets at the front gate. Bigos has nine apartments throughout the St. Paul area, no more than a short drive from downtown or to neighboring Minneapolis. Take a look!
Edina is a suburb southwest of Minneapolis. It’s known for its upscale golf courses, shops, and restaurants. It also borders Bloomington and has tons of shopping at Southdale Center, 50th and France, and The Galleria. Edina is still close to everything Minneapolis has to offer, especially its upscale Linden Hills neighborhood. For a high-scale level of living, Edina is the place to be, with gorgeous homes and even more beautiful landscaping.
Edina is also home to some good eats. Some of the best restaurants you can find in Edina include Edina Grill, Cahill Bistro, COV Edina, The Hilltop, Tavern on France, and Snuffy’s Malt Shop.
Go just a little more Southwest of Edina, and you’ll find Eden Prairie. Eden Prairie is home to over 15 lakes, which opens up numerous activities for families to enjoy. There are river walks, swimming beaches, and beautiful views along the Minnesota River. For indoor fun in the winter months, Eden Prairie Center, where the cult classic MallRats was filmed, is great for shopping and grabbing a bite for dinner without having to go too far! Plus, Eden Prairie is becoming especially attractive to people who work downtown but are sick of commuting because the Southwest Light Rail Transit system will eventually connect all the way out to Eden Prairie. Those living in St. Louis Park, Minnetonka, Hopkins, and EP can all benefit from fast, traffic-jam-free transportation to work!
Minnetonka is in the Western suburbs, a few miles west of Minneapolis. It is home to Lake Minnetonka, the 9th largest lake in the entire state. It is very popular in the summer, and you will find boaters, sailors, and fishermen filling the lake all summer long and into the winter months during ice fishing. With boat-up restaurants and dinner cruises, it’s definitely the place to be for a nice summer evening on the water. Home to many local celebrities and athletes, Minnetonka houses the elite and brings a very upscale vibe to the suburbs. It’s one of the most beautiful cities with lake views and the cutest little shops for a nice Sunday stroll.
Located east of St. Paul, Woodbury is one of the largest populated cities in the state, with over 70,000 people. Woodbury has 45 parks and over 100 miles of trails. It even has a large indoor central park next to the library, which can lead to a nice Sunday afternoon in the cold months, bringing the outdoors in, and be able to read in the “park.” Not to mention, there are tons of places to go shopping, go out to eat, and a plethora of other ways to enjoy the suburb life in Woodbury. One of our favorites is the Alamo Drafthouse—combining dinner, drinks, and movies all in one fancy theatre.
Plymouth is the 7th largest city in the state and is a great residential area not far from the Twin Cities. It has movie theatres, restaurants, shopping, golf courses — you name it! Plymouth is home to over 58,000 people and is extremely family-friendly while also giving first time home buyers a great location close to the city, but with a nice neighborhood for their first homes. At just 15 miles outside of downtown Minneapolis, it’s not hard for people to have bits of the city life while also going home to the view of a lake or pond in the lush landscape that is Plymouth.
Now, we can’t forget about the southern suburbs! Apple Valley is located south of Burnsville and Eagan and is home to the beautiful Minnesota Zoo, amongst other golf courses, dog parks, and lush landscape. Apple Valley is a beautiful blend of lush riverbank, parks, and farmland. It’s mainly residential and home to homes built after the 1950s — it’s a perfect midwest suburban town!
Quaint is a great way to describe Chanhassen, found southwest of Minneapolis, Eden Prairie, and Shakopee. With cute residential homes with lush trees and walkable neighborhoods, Chanhassen is an adorable suburban city. Its claim to fame is also home to Paisley Park Studios, where Prince lived and recorded his famous hits and albums. Tourists flock from miles around to tour Paisley Park to this day!
Located about 10 miles south in Downtown Minneapolis sits the beautiful suburb of Bloomington. With over 34 square miles, Bloomington is home to large, tree-filled neighborhoods, tons of shopping (including the Mall of America), and hundreds of businesses. In fact, Bloomington is home to hundreds of thousands of jobs, having more jobs per capita than Minneapolis and St. Paul.
With modern housing at moderate prices and a great school system, Bloomington has become one of the best suburbs for families. It is especially nice for those who work in the city, but don’t want to live the city life. It’s a short jaunt between Minneapolis or St. Paul and Bloomington—thanks to both 35W and 494 running through the nearby suburb.
Smack dab in between South Minneapolis and Bloomington lies Richfield. Richfield was actually voted Best Twin Cities suburb by City Pages back in 2018 and has continued to become one of the go-to places to buy a home amongst young home buyers. Richfield is much smaller than its surrounding cities but has quaint little homes, in cute little neighborhoods, with stores like Target and Walgreens nestled in convenient locations throughout the city.
It’s also home to many small businesses that cater to any niche need you may have. There is also a large park that hosts a small water park in the summer and hill sledding in the winter. The residents of Richfield boost about its beauty, its small-town feel in the middle of a big city, strong diversity, and the fact that everyone knows their neighbors as some of the #1 reasons they love living there.
Though it sometimes seems that White Bear Lake is super far away from the cities, it’s just a short drive right outside of Downtown St. Paul. WBL has some amazing nature parks, hikes, apple orchards—you name it. They are also home to many good restaurants and shopping, especially in downtown White Bear Lake. Residents can benefit from everything being so close by, and connections to most major highways make getting in and out of the Twin Cities super fast and easy.
Some of the best attractions near White Bear Lake include Lake Phalen, Pine Tree Apple Orchard, Tamarack Nature Center, White Bear Meadery, Emagine Theatres.
Maple Grove is about 15 to 20 minutes outside of Minneapolis and is one of the suburbs that has grown the most in the last couple of decades. Once filled with empty plots and open farmland is now home to The Shoppes and Arbor Lakes shopping center, a large Community Center, and tons of department and big-box stores. But it also houses dozens of amazing parks with beaches and outdoor activities.
From Elm Creek Park Reserve to Fish Lake Regional Park, there is no limit to outdoor fun to be had in this neighboring suburb. Maple Grove is also home to one of the largest Hindu Templates in the United States at 43,000 square feet and serving 40,000+ Hindus in Minnesota. It’s an incredible building that you can see towering through the trees as you drive past on Highway 94. It’s definitely worth a visit if you can! Another amazing building is the Maple Grove Senior High School that is, believe it or not, shaped like a Maple Leaf from an aerial view. A gigantic sports complex was also added to the High School property, which is great for kids playing sports who need a place to practice all year round.
There are hundreds of beautiful cities in Minnesota, both in and around the Twin Cities. Bigos is centered within the Minneapolis-St. Paul Metropolitan Area and we love that we can help you find a home that is in the perfect city for you. We love the views, the trails, and the city life that these cities have to offer. Check out one of our open apartments today!