The Best Places to Live in Minnesota

Updated. Mar. 2021

You have to be careful about moving to Minnesota. There are a lot of things that can get you arrested here.

If you’re not paying attention you will end up spending a night in jail while your brother-in-law scrounges around in his couch cushions trying to make bail. For one, if you even think about crossing state lines with a duck atop your head you might as well write your own ticket. If you have a bathtub in your home it must have feet (most Minnesotans are guilty of violating this one). If you are a woman you aren’t allowed to cut your hair without your husband’s permission (don’t worry ladies they are pretty lackadaisical on this one).

And, don’t you dare even think about parking your elephant on Main street. Cherry street? Sure. 4th street? Go right ahead. Taylor street? Absolutely. But if you think for one second, you’re going to get away with parking your elephant on Main Street you’re a fool.

Minnesota is home to some ridiculous laws that no one has bothered changing because they are so ridiculous. But, thankfully, it’s home to some great cities. Below you will find the two best places to live in Minnesota, silly laws or not (oh, we’re Bellhop by the way—Minneapolis movers, St. Paul movers, and movers throughout the country).

Looking for Long Distance Movers in Minneapolis?

Minneapolis skyline


Minneapolis is marvelous. It’s the birthplace of one of the greatest musicians to ever grace the world with his talents… Prince. And, it’s also where the renowned cartoonist Charles Schultz, the mastermind behind the Peanuts, birthed the character he was most famous for… Charlie Brown.

If you are not a fan of either (we will try not to judge)… Minneapolis still has a lot to offer as one of the best places to live in Minnesota.

Minneapolis is often referred to as the “Mini Apple.” One quick Google search of the Minneapolis skyline and you will immediately understand why it’s seen as New York City’s Little Sibling. They are surprisingly similar.

But, more than this, like New York City, living in Minneapolis comes with a seemingly endless amount of stuff to do… practically all the time… even in the dead of winter.

For one, Minneapolis is home to some solid professional teams all sporting very loyal followings… Minnesota Twins, Minnesota Timberwolves, Minnesota Vikings and the Minnesota Lynx.

But, besides just sports, those moving to Minneapolis can enjoy some of the best shopping in the world at The Mall of America. It’s a monstrosity of a mall that required 13,300 tons of steel to build and is so absurdly massive it can fit seven Yankee Stadiums or 258 Statues of Liberty in. Thankfully, it is home to some of the best brands in the world versus spare statues and stadiums.

In fact, it’s home to so many stores that if you were to spend just ten minutes in every single one, you’d be walking around the mall for something like 86 hours. One more fact to throw at you… Mall of America is so heavily trafficked, it has its own counterterrorism unit.

Between sporting events and 86 hours of shopping, you’ll have plenty to do in Minneapolis. But if watching sports and shopping isn’t your thing, you’re in luck. While Minneapolis isn’t anywhere near an ocean, it’s often considered one of the wettest places in the United States. With over 20 different lakes and wetlands surrounding the city, during the spring, summer and fall you’ll have a blast swimming, hiking, kayaking, and paddleboarding.

And, from a career standpoint, Minneapolis is a great choice, too. The city was voted as being one of the top ten places in America to live for Millennials by Forbes. This is partially due to the fact that the average income in the city sits around $50,000 and the cost of living is quite reasonable.

Now, with that said, Minneapolis isn’t all rainbows and butterflies. It has some not so great things about it, too. The city is ridiculously cold in the winter. Like, absurdly cold. So cold, that ice fishing is something people do for fun when it’s freezing, and the twenty lakes surround the city are rock solid.

With that said, Minneapolis has done a stunning job of creating something called the Skyway System. It’s essentially a tunnel system in the sky that connects many of the buildings together that way you don’t have to get out in the cold and whether the freezing temperatures — pretty thoughtful of you, Minneapolis.

So, who is Minneapolis for?

Minneapolis is a big city. Not New York, big. But, big nonetheless. It sits at around 430,000 people, making it the largest city in the state and one of the best places to live in Minnesota. If you’re looking for a big city experience in Minnesota, pack your bags and move to Minneapolis. But, if you want something slightly smaller… keep reading.

Lake in Minnesota

St. Paul

Are you sitting down? Sit down.

Rick, you’re not sitting down. We can see you, right now, standing there reading this.

Sit down, we’ve got something crazy to tell you. Just 7.5 miles away from Minneapolis is another wonderful city in Minnesota called St. Paul. In fact, they’re so close together that often times the dynamic duo are referred to as “The Twin Cities.”

We know. It’s catchy. We feel an exciting bolt of lightning shoot through our chest when we read those words… Twin City.

Anyway, while the pair are often seen as being one and the same, they’re not, but both are two of the best places to live in Minnesota.

They are two separate cities with very different personalities and cultures. While Minneapolis is chalked full of prominent bulky skyscrapers, St. Paul takes pride in having an older Victorian architecture that would make interior designers purr with affection.

The state’s capital refers to itself as the most liveable city in the United States, which might sound a bit pretentious but after you spend a couple of days there, you understand the city’s certainty.

For one, the city is emerging as a significant player in the business world with both it and its twin being one of the most concentrated areas in the world for fortune 500 companies. Target. United Health Group. 3M. Best buy. General Mills. Land O’ Lakes. These are just a few of the 17 massive corporations that reside in the area.

In addition, like Minneapolis, St. Paul offers plenty to do from a sporting standpoint. The city is home to… The Minnesota Wild, St. Paul Saints, Minnesota United FC and Minnesota Whitecaps. So, if you’re a sports fan worried you’re sacrificing some good sports watching by living in St. Paul versus Minneapolis, know that you’re not.

And, if you’re a romantic… surely we have a few romantics reading this? Well, St. Paul has been voted the most romantic city in the United States to take your darling. We know. We know. We were a bit surprised too. We would have guessed somewhere in Hawaii or perhaps a charming little getaway down South would have won the title.

But, no. St. Paul has some serious romantic charm. You can take your lover on a romantic horse-drawn carriage in the wintertime while snow is falling, powdering the streets. And, between all the history and Victorian architecture, living in St Paul can feel like living in a novel.

So, who is St. Paul for?

At 300,000 residents, St. Paul offers a slightly more approachable city than Minneapolis. It’s quieter, smaller and perhaps provides less of the hustle and bustle. But with plenty of Fortune 500 companies in the area, you still have the opportunity to land a great job and move up through the ranks.

Minnesota hiking

There you have it: The best places to live in Minnesota

While both St. Paul and Minneapolis are fantastic cities, they are compared often because they are in such close proximity to one another. Even right now, as you’re reading this, we imagine you’re wondering… which is better? St. Paul? Or, Minneapolis?

Well, they’re very different in wonderful ways. But, what we will say is that St. Paul is certainly cheaper than its twin. While the average rent in Minneapolis is around the $1,500 mark… the average rent in St. Paul is $1,200.

So, you’re certainly saving a pretty penny by going with the smaller of the two twins. With that said, we do think that Minneapolis is slightly more developed and offers a little bit more to do from an activity standpoint than perhaps St. Paul.

If you’re looking for more hustle and bustle, plenty to do and a bigger city vibe we recommend Minneapolis for sure, if you’re looking for something a little quieter and a few more quaint… then perhaps St. Paul would be a great choice for you.

Regardless of what you decide, we want to help you settle right into your new home. Here at Bellhop, we help people like you get to where you’re going in one piece, that means no box or personal belonging is ever left behind. If you decide to move in or to Minnesota, don’t hesitate to reach out. We coordinate local and long-distance moving services in Minnesota and we would love to help!

Harrison Stevens
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