Minneapolis tends to get a bad rap for being cold and not enough attention for being cool. The Mini Apple provides big-city culture and fun in a smaller package. For true city kids, there are tons of walkable neighborhoods to choose from in Minneapolis proper. However, a modest metro population makes everything more accessible, even to those who want to spread out in the suburbs. From fantastic infrastructure to year-round outdoor activities, here are 10 reasons you should move to Minneapolis – and why you’ll love it.
1. The grass is greener
In fact, it’s green on both sides of the fence! Minneapolis has more than 270 parks, and 98% of residents live within a 10-minute walk of one (compared to a national average of only 55%). Because of this and other factors like park amenities, the city’s park system was ranked fifth best in the country in 2022 by Trust for Public Land. Minnehaha Falls and Loring Park are two favorites for city dwellers who want to escape into nature without going anywhere.
For those who want to venture farther out, check out the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, run by the University of Minnesota and wander the beautiful gardens, take a nature class, or stop by the AppleHouse to shop for the U’s signature creation: the Honeycrisp apple.
2. Holiday heaven
Recently, WalletHub ranked the metro area 15th best winter holiday destination. If you move to Minneapolis, not only will you get a white Christmas, but there are plenty of outdoor celebrations if you want to do more than just admire it through the window. Classics include downtown Minneapolis’ Holidazzle festival and Bentleyville, a walk-through holiday light display on Lake Superior’s North Shore.
If you’d rather stay toasty, take the family to the drive-through musical light show Christmas in Color or enjoy some adult fun with Brews n’ Bulbs, a holiday bus tour through the Cities. Great entertainment and food options also make Minneapolis an amazing place to celebrate New Year’s Eve.
3. Dollars and sense
Minnesota isn’t especially affordable, but it has the highest median family income in the U.S., adjusted for cost of living. No wonder it also has the highest average credit score in the country. Minneapolis was ranked sixth best city overall by Livability, partly because its real estate is “remarkably affordable when compared to similar cities of its size.”
4. Fortune favors the cold
Why are so many Minnesotans financially secure? Perhaps because the state has the most Fortune 500 companies per capita in the U.S., which means economic stability and plenty of excellent job opportunities. It’s no coincidence that Minneapolis is considered one of the most innovative cities in the country, especially when it comes to tech and healthcare.
The metro is also well-equipped for remote work, greatly contributing to the state’s high prosperity ranking. Minneapolis women, in particular, have the best median income and the highest percentage of business ownership in the country.
5. Incredible infrastructure
It makes sense that businesses large and small thrive in a state that invests so heavily in its infrastructure. MSP International Airport was named best in the U.S. for 2022, and its central location means most major U.S. cities are less than a four-hour flight away. Despite being a major manufacturing hub, Minneapolis is also considered one of the nation’s greenest cities in large part because it is both bike-friendly and extremely walkable.
The Light Rail, pioneered by former Gov. Jesse Ventura, also continues to expand farther into the suburbs, and although roads can be difficult to navigate in winter weather, they are very well-maintained.
6. Sports fans unite(d)
Minneapolis is #1 in this category, too, with teams to cheer for in every major sport. Of course, the Wild consistently excel on the ice at the Xcel Energy Center; it’s the State of Hockey after all. But Minnesota also represents in the NBA with the Timberwolves. More of a fair-weather fan? Root for the Twins at outdoor Target Field, with a backdrop of the awesome Minneapolis skyline.
Not to be left out, St. Paul’s Allianz Field is home to the state’s newest professional team: United Football Club (as in, what Americans call “soccer.”) If it’s good old-fashioned American football you’re after, the Vikings may not be the most dependable winners, but at least you’ll have a great time at gleaming U.S. Bank Stadium. Plus, Vikes fans throw some of the best tailgating parties in the country.
7. Food for thought
One reason the parties are so good is that Minnesotans know their food. And it’s not just hotdish and lutefisk. Minneapolis’ culinary offerings are very eclectic, including authentic Latin American, African, and Middle Eastern cuisine, in addition to European specialties like Russian and German food. But the metro food scene’s biggest claim to fame is its amazing Asian offerings.
Spice and Tonic is one of the highest-rated Indian restaurants in the U.S., the pho at Vietnamese Quang is a cult classic, and the recently-opened Asia Mall is already receiving buzz for its pan-Asian restaurant offerings. Add in soul food like award-winning Chef Justin Southerland’s Handsome Hog and funky vegan options like Herbivorous Butcher, and you’ll start to understand why Minneapolis is so highly ranked by Foodies.
8. Land o’ Lakes
It’s not just a butter brand. Minnesota boasts more than 14,000. Metro favorites include the state’s largest, formerly known as Lake Calhoun. The city of Minneapolis recently voted to revert to its original name, Bde Maka Ska (pronounced “buh-DAY muh-KAH SKAH”), which means “White Earth Lake” in Dakota.
For an easy getaway while living in Minneapolis, drive a few hours north of the Cities to beautiful resort towns like Brainerd, St. Cloud, Duluth, and Grand Morais to take in miles of the gorgeous Lake Superior shoreline. With so many choices, it’s no wonder Minnesota is the U.S.’s fourth-best state for fishing.
9. Year-round outdoor adventures
There’s more outdoor fun to be had in the summer than just fishing: Kayaking, paddle boarding, and windsurfing are other popular options. If you’re into chasing waterfalls, the Mighty Mississippi flows directly through the metro area. You’ll also find plenty of wide-open spaces for hiking and camping.
Even when temperatures drop, Minnesotans earn their state title of most active in the nation. Snow sports are obviously in abundance, but if you want to try something new, befriend a local with an ice fishing hut and enjoy a different side of lake culture.
10. Great place to set down roots
Whether you’re buying a home in Minneapolis or looking for apartments to rent, the city is an excellent place to live at every stage of life. With so many activities to do, museums to visit, restaurants to enjoy, and outdoor spaces to explore, it’s hard to get bored living in this city. It’s no wonder so many residents move here and decide to stay forever.
Join in the happiness and move to Minneapolis
By now it’s probably obvious why so many people choose to move to Minneapolis and call the city home. Come and see for yourself why it’s the third happiest state in the country—and first in its residents’ hearts.
Explore more Minneapolis articles:
Fun Things to Do in Minneapolis: 13 Can’t-Miss Activities for New Residents
Is Minneapolis a Good Place to Live? 10 Pros and Cons of Calling the Twin Cities Home