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Old 04-24-2015, 11:09 PM
 
Location: La Crosse, WI
26 posts, read 45,566 times
Reputation: 20

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Compare and contrast Grand Rapids, Hibbing, Virginia, and Cloquet.

1. Which city/cities do you like most? Least?
2. What are some major differences between the cities?
3. Which are the nicest to live in and raise a family?
4. Which has the best economy?
5. Are the people friendly?
6. What are some recreational things to do in/near these cities? (Both indoor and outdoor.)
7. What is the culture like in these towns?
8. Where is the closest hospital and what's its reputation within the community?

I'm an OB nurse looking to relocate to the North Woods.
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Old 04-25-2015, 03:47 PM
 
Location: Duluth, MN
515 posts, read 928,986 times
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I think you'd have a lot more employment options in Cloquet, being so close to the hospitals in Duluth. Grand Rapids is probably a close second, though. That said, I don't work in the health care industry, but that can be researched easily enough.

Since I live here, I obviously like Duluth. I like Grand Rapids, too. I could easily live there. Virginia is small, but growing, and you can access a lot of different places from there.

From the time I've spent in Hibbing, it seems rather dumpy. I've seen enough trash on the sides of the road to make me take notice. Not just bottles and cans, either. Apparently, some people there decide that instead of going to the landfill, they'll simply deposit their old recliner, paint cans, and assorted household garbage on the side of any road that no one happens to be watching at the time. Very sad. That's just my experience, of course, and it's mainly limited to the outskirts of the city, for obvious reasons. I DO like the downtown area, though.

I'm sure someone with more in-depth knowledge of each location will chime in, but that's just what I thought of off the top of my head.
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Old 04-26-2015, 12:57 AM
 
5,799 posts, read 4,810,185 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by terf View Post
Compare and contrast Grand Rapids, Hibbing, Virginia, and Cloquet.

1. Which city/cities do you like most? Least?
I lived in that area for many years. Grand Rapids is the most modern. The old paper mill stinks but brought lots of money into town. GR is transitioning from a paper mill economy to tourism/environment/education oriented. I've always liked Hibbing - it has some nice old houses and buildings from the pre 1940s boom years. However, it is still very Iron Rangy - insular and mining oriented. Virginia has a lot of poverty - and MinnTac is about to close down for a while. I like Cloquet. It is more oriented towards Duluth than the other towns - many residents commute to Duluth.
2. What are some major differences between the cities? See above.
3. Which are the nicest to live in and raise a family? See above.
4. Which has the best economy? Either Grand Rapids or Cloquet - you'll have to look at current stats.
5. Are the people friendly? The Iron Range is not at all known for being friendly to outsiders. Again, either Grand Rapids or Cloquet would be more welcoming.
6. What are some recreational things to do in/near these cities? (Both indoor and outdoor.) O jeez, everything. Hiking, fishing, canoeing, hunting, skiing. Grand Rapids is on the Mississippi. Cloquet is further away from the taconite pits and plants. Get Demtion to chime in here.
7. What is the culture like in these towns? Grand Rapids has the McRostie Art Center MacRostie Art Center - Dedicated to Community Growth through the Arts in Northern Minnesota and a wonderful library and the KAXE community. KAXE Northern Community Radio Oh - and a Community College Itasca Community College - ICC - Grand Rapids, MN. Cloquet has a very active historical museum Carlton County Historical Society and community theater Encore Performing Arts Center | Cloquet MN| County Seat Theater. And there is a Tribal College nearby. Fond Du Lac Tribal Community College If you want to be closer to the happenings in Duluth pick Cloquet.
8. Where is the closest hospital and what's its reputation within the community? Fortunately I never had to go to a hospital up there so can't help you. They both do have hospitals in town. I do know that most serious cases get taken to Duluth, and the specialists are in Duluth.

I'm an OB nurse looking to relocate to the North Woods.
Maybe you should see if you can find stats on birth rates in the area? But anyway, if I were to rank the 4 towns you mentioned, it would be:

1) Grand Rapids
2) Cloquet
3) Hibbing
4) Virginia (very far below the others).

Good luck!
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Old 04-26-2015, 06:24 AM
 
1,833 posts, read 2,707,402 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 601halfdozen0theother View Post
Maybe you should see if you can find stats on birth rates in the area? But anyway, if I were to rank the 4 towns you mentioned, it would be:

1) Grand Rapids
2) Cloquet
3) Hibbing
4) Virginia (very far below the others).

Good luck!
Having lived 30+ years up north, including Duluth and Hibbing (only for a short time), I would second this rating. People were definitely not very friendly in Hibbing or Virginia when we would drive over there. I don't like anything about Virginia. Absolutely love Grand Rapids. It is beautiful and friendly and has everything you need while still be closer to the bigger city of Duluth. Having spent so many years in Duluth, of course we knew people in Cloquet. It is a nice area too, nice that it is closer to Duluth. Easy access to the interstate to get to Duluth and The Twin Cities. Grand Rapids, hands down, would be my recommendation but ultimately depends on how close you want to be to a bigger place.
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Old 04-27-2015, 01:09 AM
 
5,799 posts, read 4,810,185 times
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I thought I would add that you might also want to look at the towns of Ely, Grand Marais, Two Harbors, and (going west) Bemidji for that "Up North" life that interests you. All have hospitals.
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Old 04-29-2015, 06:24 PM
 
Location: Marshall, MN
209 posts, read 188,558 times
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I'd thought about retiring by La Crosse but after considerable thought I decided I wanted the north woods also, and on a lake, so have decided on the Park Rapids area. I just think that the farther north you go, the larger the bugs become.
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Old 04-29-2015, 08:04 PM
 
1,188 posts, read 1,050,028 times
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I would say Grand Rapids out of those 4.
However, I prefer Bemidji and Park Rapids.
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Old 05-01-2015, 02:23 PM
 
Location: La Crosse, WI
26 posts, read 45,566 times
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Thank you all for your input! I'd love to hear what other people think as well. It sounds like many people recommend Grand Rapids. I'll have to explore that area more. As far as other towns in Northern MN that have been suggested: my only fear is getting too isolated that far north and in smaller towns in general. I chose Cloquet, Grand Rapids, Hibbing, and Virginia because they are larger towns and also not too far from the big city of Duluth. I'm looking for a small town feel but still within driving distance of the city for when I want to get that big city fix.
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Old 05-01-2015, 02:25 PM
 
Location: La Crosse, WI
26 posts, read 45,566 times
Reputation: 20
Also I've heard that the Iron Range in general isn't very friendly to outsiders. How true is this? I would hate to move to an area just to discover that the people there dislike newcomers.
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Old 05-01-2015, 08:25 PM
 
1,833 posts, read 2,707,402 times
Reputation: 1770
Quote:
Originally Posted by terf View Post
Also I've heard that the Iron Range in general isn't very friendly to outsiders. How true is this? I would hate to move to an area just to discover that the people there dislike newcomers.
Let me point out that Grand Rapids is not part of the Iron Range. I've always found the people in Grand Rapids to be very friendly. People barely spoke to us when we lived in Hibbing. Going to the store, you could tell that people knew we weren't Iron Rangers. Maybe things have changed since we lived there, but they were definitely not very friendly in our experience.
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