A Comprehensive List of the Best Places to Live in Minnesota

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If you’re considering moving to Minnesota, there are a wide variety of places where you might want to live. Our list includes some of the best places to purchase real estate in Minnesota. Some of these towns are peaceful suburban hotspots, while others are busy cities with all the exciting shops, restaurants, and activities you could ever want.

Best Places To Live in Minnesota

If you’ve researched the best places to live in Minnesota, you’ve likely noticed that some cities outrank others regarding happiness and success levels. Some of the best cities in the Land of 10,000 Lakes are attractive places for professionals and families seeking excellent schools, abundance of employment opportunities, and healthcare options.

Some of the best cities to live in include Duluth, on the shores of Lake Superior. It offers beautiful scenery, access to nature, and a wide variety of outdoor activities. You might also like St. Louis Park, where you can find excellent public schools and beautiful neighborhoods.

Another favorite is Rochester, which is world-renowned for its famous Mayo Clinic facility and is the home to various educational institutions. These cities, and more, are described in detail below.


Population: 121,465
Median Income: $106,000
Average Housing Price: $377K

Rochester, Minnesota, is a vibrant place to live in Olmsted County. It is best known as the home of the Mayo Clinic, a world-renowned medical center. The city attracts healthcare professionals, those seeking the best medical care worldwide, and more. The city is also known for its high-quality public and private schools.

The University of Minnesota is also in Rochester, attracting young people worldwide and providing numerous job opportunities. Near Rochester, you can visit the Zumbro River. It’s a beautiful part of the state, also home to numerous outdoor spaces that families and lovers flock to.

The city is also home to the Rochester Art Center, Rochester Civic Theatre Company, and many art galleries and cultural venues, so it’s also a great place to live if you love enjoying the arts.


Population: 86,372
Median Income: $58,014
Average Housing Price: $279K

Duluth is another city in Minnesota to live in. It’s located on Lake Superior and surrounded by the Northwoods and North Shore. There are beautiful forests and mountains as far as the eye can see. It is the ideal place to move if you love the outdoors and are ready to escape city life’s hustle and bustle.

You might also be interested in Duluth for its outstanding schools, including the University of Minnesota Duluth and Lake Superior College. These schools attract young people moving into the city (as does the city’s healthcare sector, marked by two large hospitals).

The city is also known for its low crime rates, tight-knit communities and family-friendly atmosphere. You can expect to meet people of all walks of life, as well as different types of families if you live there.


Population: 20,729
Median Income: $73,877
Average Housing Price: $379K

Northfield is located just south of the Twin Cities off of Interstate 35. It is home to several colleges and is known for the affordable costs of its real estate options and the abundant outdoor recreation. There are more than 30 parks in Northfield, making it a hotspot for nature lovers.

This city is one of the smallest on our list, with around 20,000 residents. Most of these are college students and young families. There is also a large retirement community in the city.


Population: 53,318
Median Income: $54,000
Average Housing Price: $400K

Edina is one of the most popular places to move to in Minnesota in recent years. It is close enough to the neighborhoods in Minneapolis to visit but not so close as to feel like a suburb of the city.

The city is also one of the more expensive places to live, with a high housing price and an impressive school district. If you move there, you’ll find there is a lot to do as well, with lakes, abundant parks, and many activities to enjoy.

Saint Paul

Population: 307,000
Median Income: $59,700
Average Housing Price: $285K

As the capital of the state, Saint Paul is, without a doubt, one of the most popular places to live in the Minnesota area. The Twin City is known for hosting several prestigious educational institutions and for its diverse and growing economy.

The city has a deep historical significance, numerous areas to enjoy outdoor activities along the river, and much more. As a larger city in the state, you’re going to find a wide range of activities to enjoy, economic levels, and ample opportunities for employment.

Louis Park Moorhead

Population: 49,539
Median Income: $87,600
Average Housing Price: $367K

The St. Louis Park Moorhead area is one of the best places to live in Minnesota. Like many of the best cities in the state, it is great for students and young families. It is known for having a mix of commercial and residential areas and a truly diverse community. There are also numerous parks and recreation areas to enjoy.

Some nearby educational institutions include Minnesota State University Moorhead and Concordia College. Families living there also enjoy how close this area of the state is to a thriving business district with various dining options, shops, and other businesses.


Population: 44,500
Median Income: $90,642
Average Housing Price: $365K

Shakopee is a city in Minnesota that’s known for its small-town charm mixed in with all the amenities you’d want in a city. It’s situated Along the banks of the Minnesota River and boasts some truly stunning natural landscapes. If you love spending time outdoors and don’t want to live in a very large city, Shakopee might be for you.

The city has a strong sense of community, abundant real estate for sale, as well, hosting several events each year and putting a strong emphasis on local tradition and the arts. Shakopee is also home to Valleyfair, a favorite amusement park in the state offering families more than 75 attractions and rides.

Eden Prairie

Population: 63,161
Media Income: $120,000
Average Housing Price: $446K

Eden Prairie is one of the more expensive places to live in Minnesota, but it might be worth it for everything it has to offer. It’s close to the north bank of the Minnesota River and is in the outer suburbs of the Twin Cities. The area features many walkable shops, safe streets, and amazing scenery.

The community has a mixed-income level and has several different conservation areas and parks. Residents enjoy visiting Lake Riley, Purgatory Creek, Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, and Round Lake. The city has been named one of the best places to live in the United States several times.


Population: 14,455
Median Income: $73,651
Average Housing Price: $313K

Monticello, Minnesota, is located along the Mississippi River in Wright County. It’s one of the smallest cities, population-wise, on our list. It is known for its incredibly large park system, home to over 25 city-owned parks.

If you love spending time and the outdoors and exploring intricate trail systems, this is one of the best places to live in Minnesota to do so. It’s very common to find families outside enjoying everything from paddleboard classes to fishing lessons.


Population: 76,990
Median Income: $108,055
Average Housing Price: $385K

Woodbury, located in Washington County, Minnesota, was founded in 1858 and is one of the best places to live in the state. It is around 36 square miles and is one of the more populous cities in Minnesota. It’s near the Mississippi and St. Croix Rivers and contains several lakes, like Lake Powers, which are popular with families and outdoor enthusiasts.

One of the largest employers in the area is State Farm, which attracts a great deal of business. The neighborhoods are also ideal for families, with many beautiful new homes to choose from.

Eden Prairie

Population: 63,600
Median Income: $97,000
Average Housing Price: $446K

Eden Prairie is a decently sized, affluent community about 30 minutes from downtown Minneapolis and certainly ranks as one of the best places to live in the state.

Considering how close it is to Minneapolis, it offers some more affordable housing (and some more expensive housing) than you’re likely to find in the rest of the state. Residents love to spend time outside, walking and biking on the many trails or taking day trips to Duluth.


Population: 53,200
Median Income: $135,000
Average Housing Price: $415K

Minnetonka is a suburb of the Twin Cities situated 10 miles west of Downtown Minneapolis, and just east of Lake Minnetonka. It has one of the highest median household incomes of any city in Minnesota and is home to some quiet neighborhoods and beautiful shops.

The city is known for its parks and coffee shops, with many highly-rated public schools nearby.

If you decide to buy homes for sale in Minnetonka, you’ll enjoy how the city merges the best suburban and urban neighborhoods.


Population: 60,803
Median Income: $60,038
Average Housing Price: $487K

Plymouth is an affluent Minnesota city with low unemployment and high graduation rates. The residents enjoy spending time on the lake, including Gleason Lake, or shopping at the many shops in town.

The city is located in Hennepin County, about 10 miles from Minneapolis. It also has an impressive history, dating to around 1,400 AD.


Population: 64,317
Median Income: $79,000
Median Home Price: $353K

Fifteen miles from Minneapolis is Burnsville, MN, one of the best places to live in the state. It is located along the south bank of the Minnesota River and close to its confluence with the Mississippi River.

The city is home to young and established families and many people hoping to start their careers while enjoying the outdoors. You’ll find everything from large malls to the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge in the city.

FAQ: Best Places to Live in Minnesota

Here are a few of the most commonly asked questions about the best places to live in Minnesota:

Is Minnesota a good place to live in?

Yes, Minnesota is commonly considered to be a good place to live. It has much to offer, from lakes and trails to large businesses and medical centers.

What’s the nicest city in Minnesota?

The nicest city in Minnesota is up for interpretation, but some of the nicest include Eden Prairie, Minneapolis, Burnsville, and Plymouth.

Is Minnesota a good place to retire?

Yes, Minnesota is a good place to retire. It ranks number one in various categories that might be important to retirees, including healthcare and opportunities for entertainment.

What are the cons of living in Minnesota?

Some cons of living in Minnesota include the cost of living, which can be high in some cities, the heavy snow and rain in the winter months, and how far Minnesota is from the popular states along the West and East coasts.

Is Minnesota expensive to live in?

Some cities in Minnesota are expensive to live in. But, whether or not one city is costly depends on your budget and which part of the city you choose to live in. The overall cost of living index in Minnesota is 97.2, below the national average of 100.

Why is Minnesota so popular?

Minnesota is so popular because it has a great combination of City Life and outdoor escapes. The state has more than 10,000 lakes and some truly exciting cities.

How much money do I need to live comfortably in Minnesota?

To live comfortably in Minnesota, it’s recommended that one adult with no children should make around $31,000 a year. Two adults with no children should bring in around $50,000 a year.

Are taxes high in Minnesota?

Minnesota ranks eight out of the 50 states for the highest individual income taxes. It also ranked 22nd in property tax and 23rd in total sales and excise taxes.

What is the quality of life in Minnesota?

It depends, of course, on which city you live in, but people in Minnesota generally enjoy an outstanding balance between suburban and urban life. The state has thousands of lakes and trails, making getting outdoors very easy.

Is it cheaper to live in MN or WI?

It is about 7% cheaper to live in Wisconsin than it is in Minnesota. When choosing between the two states, this may be the deciding factor for some families.

Summary of Best Places to Live in Minnesota

Minnesota is a state filled with incredible places to live. If you want to purchase Minnesota homes, condos or any other property type, do a custom search with eXp Realty. If you aren’t seeing one exactly where you are hoping, set up an alert so you know when one has hit the market.

Once you find the home of your dreams, contact a local eXp agent and become one step closer to closing on the deal of your lifetime.

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