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Old 09-21-2015, 10:00 AM
 
5 posts, read 5,723 times
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Hello Everyone,

I'm curious if there's anyone here who can recommend any "rural" towns - population 20K or larger - with an exceptional K-12 district.

I am familiar with some of Minnesota having live there for about 4 years and plan on moving back once our child is ready to begin school. Although my wife and I are trying to leave the hustle of the city (currently in Houston, TX) we still would like to be in an area not totally secluded from amenities and potential job prospects. The type of work I'm looking for will be in electrical/mechanics if not with a company self-employed offering services. To some extent I'm flexible in the work aspect.

I think the largest town we would like to be in would be similar to St. Cloud. Education being a huge factor a college town would be preferable as well.

Any comments or advice is welcomed. We're just trying to find a good community to settle down in. Thanks for your time and help in advanced!

Last edited by cstephen; 09-21-2015 at 10:12 AM..
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Old 09-21-2015, 02:46 PM
 
Location: MSP
442 posts, read 476,498 times
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Check out Northfield.
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Old 09-21-2015, 05:20 PM
 
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Thanks for your response Bryan, I definitely will.
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Old 09-21-2015, 09:34 PM
 
Location: In the reddest part of the bluest state
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Northfield is good, you can check out St. Peter also. If you want to be near an outstanding private school, Shattuck is in Faribault, just down the road from Northfield.
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Old 09-22-2015, 10:41 AM
 
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Nyuk Nyuk Nyuk that a town over 20,000 in population would be called "rural", or that either Northfield or Faribault could be considered "rural".

On the other hand, there are lots of nice rural communities in Minnesota, and many have great public and private schools.
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Old 09-22-2015, 11:56 AM
 
Location: In the reddest part of the bluest state
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I guess your definition of rural is different than mine. it doesn't have to be a home in the middle of nowhere, and on the other hand I think of 'small town' and 'rural' to mean the same thing. 20,000 to me is a small town. Having spent time in all those towns, I can tell you that by attitude, services, accessibility to nearly any amenity found in the metro areas, Faribault and Northfield, to me, are rural. How small does small have to be before you consider something 'rural' 601?
Most small town in MN are dying, aging as fast as the population left inhabiting them. And before you jump on me for city elitism, I spent the first 18 years of my life in towns with populations under 1000.
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Old 09-22-2015, 12:26 PM
 
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I appreciate all the responses and I agree that "rural" and even "small town" can be subjective. I have lived in towns as small as 500 under currently over 2 million. Balanced and simple is what we're looking for.
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Old 09-22-2015, 12:37 PM
 
Location: In the reddest part of the bluest state
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I think you'll find that in the towns that were mentioned. I too have kids and its important for us to have access to cultural and technological 'events' that can influence their later life. I want a less parochial attitude than small towns engender, at least they did when I was growing up, and a more balanced look at life. The towns mentioned are far enough from the metro to not have metro problems, like traffic, but close enough for easy access should you want it.
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Old 09-22-2015, 02:57 PM
 
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Northfield is the one that is always suggested in threads like this. It's the first that popped into my mind since its about the right size, has two private colleges in town, and is surrounded by farms. It's definitely worth a look.

I lived near Owatonna and Faribault for awhile and worked with many people who lived in one or the other. They're both nice towns and would be similar to Northfield but without the colleges.

I really like Mankato and the surrounding area. It hits above its weight in terms of amenities and entertainment, but really maintains a rural charm. I'd probably live there if it had more career potential in my field.

I'm not a fan of St. Cloud. As I've said previously, I can't articulate any objective reason for it. I just don't like it.

Technically, Marshall and Bemidji might match your specifications, but I barely even have any secondhand knowledge of either. They're a little more remote than the others, but may be worth a look.

Rochester itself is probably a little big for you. Some of the surrounding towns have good schools and a good "rural" feeling. No matter the specialty, there will be jobs in and around Rochester.

Finally, don't forget Winona. It's on the Mississippi River and has both a private catholic college and public state university in town. I've never been there, but I've heard good things about it.
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Old 09-22-2015, 03:32 PM
 
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Thanks again for all the responses, I've noticed most people are saying really good things about Mankato to Northfield and towns mostly South-East of these two. I've noticed looking at the maps there aren't as many lakes in these area, can anyone offer any insight into what South-Eastern MN is like as far a parks and recreation (outdoor activities and similar)? I have never really been through these parts of the state, only along I-35.
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