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Old 09-19-2018, 12:29 PM
 
Location: Minneapolis, MN
41 posts, read 43,944 times
Reputation: 72

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Howdy hey guys. My wife and I are coming up on our 1 year anniversary of being in Minneapolis (and Minnesota), and I thought it would be interesting to hear from some others here about the best areas of the state to live and visit.

I make the distinction between live and visit because I'm sure many of us, including myself, would have two different picks for those categories.

I have pretty limited experience compared to a native but so far we've loved Minneapolis as a place to live. For a major city, it's affordable, manageable in size, safe (mostly), and just has felt like home since the minute we got here.

As for visiting, I've been to a few places up north, and so far Ely and the area around it was just gorgeous! I didn't get a chance to check out the Boundary Waters but I might do that later. I used to live in Upstate New York and it sort of reminded me of the more northern regions of the state, except flatter obviously.

I also popped down to Red Wing during a flight lesson and that area looked quite beautiful as well, although I only saw it from the air and during a very brief touchdown at the airport there. The rolling hills and bluffs took me by surprise but I definitely want to go back to the area some point this autumn.

I haven't been to the western side of the state where the Great Plains get started but I hear they can be scenic in their own right if you have the proper mindset.

Last edited by SmoothOperator545; 09-19-2018 at 12:44 PM.. Reason: Accidentally posted before completion
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Old 09-19-2018, 02:14 PM
 
Location: Beaverton, Oregon
997 posts, read 533,810 times
Reputation: 1625
Quote:
Originally Posted by SmoothOperator545 View Post
Howdy hey guys. My wife and I are coming up on our 1 year anniversary of being in Minneapolis (and Minnesota), and I thought it would be interesting to hear from some others here about the best areas of the state to live and visit.

I make the distinction between live and visit because I'm sure many of us, including myself, would have two different picks for those categories.

I have pretty limited experience compared to a native but so far we've loved Minneapolis as a place to live. For a major city, it's affordable, manageable in size, safe (mostly), and just has felt like home since the minute we got here.

As for visiting, I've been to a few places up north, and so far Ely and the area around it was just gorgeous! I didn't get a chance to check out the Boundary Waters but I might do that later. I used to live in Upstate New York and it sort of reminded me of the more northern regions of the state, except flatter obviously.

I also popped down to Red Wing during a flight lesson and that area looked quite beautiful as well, although I only saw it from the air and during a very brief touchdown at the airport there. The rolling hills and bluffs took me by surprise but I definitely want to go back to the area some point this autumn.

I haven't been to the western side of the state where the Great Plains get started but I hear they can be scenic in their own right if you have the proper mindset.
I have also lived in Minnesota for bit more than a year. I like it so far and have adapted well. Duluth is a great place to be and has its own character to it. I really enjoy living here. The scenery, outdoorsiness, Lake Superior, lack of heavy traffic, low cost of old style houses, and the city layout are my highlights.

My favorite place to visit is Minneapolis (what a coincidence). I think the city is well put together and very scenic. It is setup well for not having a car and I like walking around the city.

Both cities have tremendous history. It would have been interesting to the see Minneapolis and Duluth 100 years ago.
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Old 09-21-2018, 06:28 PM
 
Location: Columbus OH
1,593 posts, read 2,888,330 times
Reputation: 1763
As a native of Hopkins and former resident of St. Paul and Minneapolis, I would say my favorite place to live in Minnesota would be SW Minneapolis. Having access to the chain of lakes is an amazing amenity, not to mention how central the area is to downtown, Uptown, and other areas with great restaurants. At some point, We’ll likely move back to Mpls.
As far as visiting, Duluth and the North Shore (Split Rock, Gooseberry Falls, Tettaguche) are some of my favorites. But Red Wing, Stillwater and Northfield are great places to visit that are close to the Twin Cities.
Venturing further away, New Ulm is a very picturesque town, plus offers tours of the Schell’s Brewery. 5he Brainard Lakes Area is also scenic. A lesser known pl@ce we really enjoyed was Glacial Lakes State Park in western MN (near Benson & Starbuck). It features some pleasant little hills (drumlins or eskers from the melting glaciers) wi5h lots of wild flowers.
The drive down Highway 61 between Red Wing and La Crosse is also beautiful, with bluffs, Lake Pepin and some cute towns.
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Old 09-22-2018, 09:18 AM
 
Location: Cambridge, Isanti County, MN
3,069 posts, read 4,711,162 times
Reputation: 4053
We live in Cambridge, the seat of Isanti County, about 45 minutes north of the cities. You don't hear much about this area living in the cities, but we've found it to be a great spot for us to settle. It's very affordable, has plenty of basic shopping/food outlets, and is surrounded by beautiful Minnesota lakes/countryside. I like that it feels so rural out here but that we're still close enough to the northern suburbs and the cities to go at the drop of a hat for anything we want/need. Like many others, we moved here fairly recently and quickly fell in love with the state.... so we found our spot, bought a home and are putting down roots.

As for visiting, I hear the Alexandria area is beautiful, especially this time of year. We've been in MN about a year and a half and like OP have not explored the western parts of the state yet, but are looking forward to it.

Aside from that, the North Shore and the Ely/Lake Vermillion area - along with the driftless zone in SE Minnesota (Lanesboro, Rushford, Winona) are our favorite places to go.

We also love to drive through St. Paul. That town is a wonderful mix of beautiful terrain and interesting
neighborhoods.

Last edited by Tyryztoll; 09-22-2018 at 09:35 AM..
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Old 09-22-2018, 10:56 AM
 
6,837 posts, read 3,896,434 times
Reputation: 24191
Blue Mound State Park and Pipestone make a nice weekend and are chock full of history. Tour the pipestone quarry where Indians from all over the country got the stone for their peace pipes and other uses.

Nearby in the aforementioned Starbuck are ancient Indian petroglyphs which are being preserved and interpreted.

Mankato has Minneopa State Park with its twice-falling waterfall, remains of an old mill, buffalo herd and some of the last original prairie land. Sibley Park is also located there with its wide assortment of plant life.

The drive along the Mississippi from Red Wing is beautiful in the fall and includes Lake Pepin and Wabasha, the oldest town in Minnesota. Wabasha has a raptor center where they restore the health of wounded eagles and have programs on their life habits.

You can end up in Rochester for lunch. Or go a little farther to the west to Mantorville and eat at one of the oldest establishments in Minnesota, the Hubbell House. It was once a stop for stages traveling east. Take time to look at the guest book for names rich in historical significance.

Stillwater to the north is well visited in the Fall. I think it still has an old-style riverboat ride down the Mississippi with Dixieland jazz band and lunch.

The southeastern corner, the driftless area, that the glacier missed when it bulldozed through is a lovely vacationing spot with trout streams and bluffs, a few quaint and friendly towns filled with bed and breakfasts.

Last edited by Lodestar; 09-22-2018 at 11:07 AM..
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