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Old 04-21-2015, 12:04 PM
 
6 posts, read 13,078 times
Reputation: 15

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Hello everyone

My husband and I are deciding between moving to Mankato or St. Cloud. Of course, I did research online and compared the two, but I find that it is helpful to hear from people who have/are actually living there, and have first hand experience and insight into differences that might not be so obvious in cold research.
We are both in our 20's. I'm a student and my main focus is on attending a good university (with a decent tuition), and working at least part time. My husband will be looking for full time work. We will be relaying on public transportation so that is an important aspect for us. We'll be looking to rent without breaking the pocket (somewhere between $500-600). Another important aspect is scenery and activities. We both love green and lakes (seems that Mankato wins as far as that goes?), and want to have things to do in the town we live in (music, library, interesting shops) etc.

To summarize:
University (focus on: good programs and decent tuition)
Jobs
Reliable public transportation
Rent ($500-600+-)
Recreational activities
Safety would be a big bonus.

Thank you for your insights!
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Old 04-21-2015, 02:04 PM
 
Location: Marshall, MN
209 posts, read 188,674 times
Reputation: 272
I can't tell you anything from first hand experience from living in either town, but although Mankato is quite scenic, once you start heading north out of St. Cloud, it even gets better. St. Cloud is halfway between where I live and Duluth and and when heading north I am always happy to get through St. Cloud as I know the boring part of the drive is past.
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Old 04-21-2015, 08:42 PM
 
150 posts, read 264,618 times
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I live in St cloud and as far as universites we have about 5 colleges (the biggie is St Cloud State).

There are jobs to be had, we have a good bus system and tons of taxi cabs.

You might be a bit light on what you are wanting to spend on rent, you could probably get an apt for that but it won't be the nicest (more on that in a sec). I can't really speak to activities , I'm pretty much a home body. I would call it a safe town, we have just over 100 sworn police officers and the sheriff's dept. HQ, plus a district office for the State Patrol; suffice to say that's a lot of cops.

Back to the neighborhood thing, there are A LOL of Somalis in town, I can't think of a decent way to describe what they do to an area so I will just say you do NOT want to live in an area with a lot of them. I'm not talking crime wise, just lousy neighbor wise.

Any other questions , fire away

Adam
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Old 04-22-2015, 06:58 AM
 
137 posts, read 160,765 times
Reputation: 264
Of the two, I heartily recommend Mankato. I've lived near both, but never actually in either. As I'm sure you've noticed, they're pretty much identical on paper.

Mankato strikes a nice balance. It's embraced its role as the "big city" of a good chunk of southern Minnesota and northern Iowa. Yet, it doesn't try to pretend it's an actual big city. For a city its size, Mankato has a great music scene. They recently built a little amphitheater in a park along the river near downtown. They have concerts with local, regional, and national bands all summer long. The signature event is Ribfest in early August. In general, I've enjoyed the local bands the most. They also play at bars around town and plenty of Twin Cities bands make the trek down to Mankato. With Minnesota State University and two private colleges in the area, there are no shortage of college music, drama, and athletic events, too. (Technically, the same can be said of St. Cloud). For better or worse, Mankato hosts the Vikings training camp every summer.

I love the scenery in the Mankato area. Either you're down in the valley surrounded by scenic bluffs or your up on the bluffs looking down on the city. Stray too far from the river, and it gets pretty flat. There are all sorts of trails and parks along the river- both in town and out of town. Mankato also sits near most of southern Minnesota's lakes.

I can't comment on public transit in Mankato. I'd guess that's it's geared heavily towards getting students to and from the University. I'm not sure on housing costs, either. Finding a job should be pretty easy. Finding a long-term career might be trickier depending on the field. I'd generally feel safe in either. They both have some sketchy areas and characters and trouble occasionally pops up around bar closing time.

Many of the same things can be said of St. Cloud. I just get a completely different feeling from the two. It's not that St. Cloud is bad; it's just that no matter what list of criteria you use, at least one of Mankato, Duluth, Rochester, or the Twin Cities will be better. In your case, I think it's Mankato.

That said, you really should look at the Fargo/Moorhead area too. I am not directly familiar, but I suspect it stacks up favorably against Mankato and St. Cloud by most of your criteria.
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Old 04-22-2015, 07:08 AM
 
Location: Marshall, MN
209 posts, read 188,674 times
Reputation: 272
Quote:
Originally Posted by r_shackleford View Post

That said, you really should look at the Fargo/Moorhead area too. I am not directly familiar, but I suspect it stacks up favorably against Mankato and St. Cloud by most of your criteria.
Except for scenery. I've only been to Fargo once and it is extremely flat and featureless. There is also only 1 tree per square mile it seems.
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Old 04-22-2015, 10:12 AM
 
6 posts, read 13,078 times
Reputation: 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by mn shutterbug View Post
I can't tell you anything from first hand experience from living in either town, but although Mankato is quite scenic, once you start heading north out of St. Cloud, it even gets better. St. Cloud is halfway between where I live and Duluth and and when heading north I am always happy to get through St. Cloud as I know the boring part of the drive is past.
Thank you.
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Old 04-22-2015, 10:13 AM
 
6 posts, read 13,078 times
Reputation: 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by mn shutterbug View Post
I can't tell you anything from first hand experience from living in either town, but although Mankato is quite scenic, once you start heading north out of St. Cloud, it even gets better. St. Cloud is halfway between where I live and Duluth and and when heading north I am always happy to get through St. Cloud as I know the boring part of the drive is past.
Thank you!
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Old 04-22-2015, 10:20 AM
 
6 posts, read 13,078 times
Reputation: 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by StcLurker View Post
I live in St cloud and as far as universites we have about 5 colleges (the biggie is St Cloud State).

There are jobs to be had, we have a good bus system and tons of taxi cabs.

You might be a bit light on what you are wanting to spend on rent, you could probably get an apt for that but it won't be the nicest (more on that in a sec). I can't really speak to activities , I'm pretty much a home body. I would call it a safe town, we have just over 100 sworn police officers and the sheriff's dept. HQ, plus a district office for the State Patrol; suffice to say that's a lot of cops.

Back to the neighborhood thing, there are A LOL of Somalis in town, I can't think of a decent way to describe what they do to an area so I will just say you do NOT want to live in an area with a lot of them. I'm not talking crime wise, just lousy neighbor wise.

Any other questions , fire away

Adam
Thank you.

What would say is a more realistic range for rent in a decent neighborhood in St. Cloud?

I'm also a home body. My husband is sociable, and so it's important to have things to do outside the home and people to interact with, outside of college parties that is (he's 26, almost 27), so he's looking for a mature group of people to make friends with. Minimal shenanigans

Thanks again.
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Old 04-22-2015, 10:28 AM
 
6 posts, read 13,078 times
Reputation: 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by r_shackleford View Post
Of the two, I heartily recommend Mankato. I've lived near both, but never actually in either. As I'm sure you've noticed, they're pretty much identical on paper.

Mankato strikes a nice balance. It's embraced its role as the "big city" of a good chunk of southern Minnesota and northern Iowa. Yet, it doesn't try to pretend it's an actual big city. For a city its size, Mankato has a great music scene. They recently built a little amphitheater in a park along the river near downtown. They have concerts with local, regional, and national bands all summer long. The signature event is Ribfest in early August. In general, I've enjoyed the local bands the most. They also play at bars around town and plenty of Twin Cities bands make the trek down to Mankato. With Minnesota State University and two private colleges in the area, there are no shortage of college music, drama, and athletic events, too. (Technically, the same can be said of St. Cloud). For better or worse, Mankato hosts the Vikings training camp every summer.

I love the scenery in the Mankato area. Either you're down in the valley surrounded by scenic bluffs or your up on the bluffs looking down on the city. Stray too far from the river, and it gets pretty flat. There are all sorts of trails and parks along the river- both in town and out of town. Mankato also sits near most of southern Minnesota's lakes.

I can't comment on public transit in Mankato. I'd guess that's it's geared heavily towards getting students to and from the University. I'm not sure on housing costs, either. Finding a job should be pretty easy. Finding a long-term career might be trickier depending on the field. I'd generally feel safe in either. They both have some sketchy areas and characters and trouble occasionally pops up around bar closing time.

Many of the same things can be said of St. Cloud. I just get a completely different feeling from the two. It's not that St. Cloud is bad; it's just that no matter what list of criteria you use, at least one of Mankato, Duluth, Rochester, or the Twin Cities will be better. In your case, I think it's Mankato.

That said, you really should look at the Fargo/Moorhead area too. I am not directly familiar, but I suspect it stacks up favorably against Mankato and St. Cloud by most of your criteria.
Thank you!

Mankato sounds much like what we are interested in from what you described. The balance between big city and small(er) town, is certainly beneficial.

I did some Googling for Moorhead (North Dakota is out of the question), why do you recommend the area more?
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Old 04-22-2015, 09:44 PM
 
150 posts, read 264,618 times
Reputation: 309
I would say a decent place rent wise would be in the $900 - $1100 range. Nothing against the other poster but I've lived in St cloud for about 10 years now,so I can give a little better first hand info.

What are you into activities wise?
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