12 Best Places to Live in the Twin Cities for the Highest Quality of Life

by Jem
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The Twin Cities are more than just a metropolitan area; they’re a blend of vibrant culture and suburban life. From the bustling streets of Minneapolis to that of St. Paul, the Twin Cities offer a diverse range of lifestyles and landscapes. But with such a variety of neighborhoods, finding the perfect spot to call home in this dynamic region can be a challenge. To assist you in your decision, I’ve crafted this guide on the best places to live in and around the Twin Cities.

I’ve traveled through Twin Cities over the years and can vouch for their unique blend of urban charm and suburban tranquility. From the artistic heartbeat of Minneapolis to the historic allure of St. Paul, and from the serene lakeside communities to the family-friendly suburbs, the Twin Cities’ diversity is captivating. Whether you’re enticed by the lively urban scenes, the quiet of suburban life, or the natural beauty of lakes and parks, there’s a part of the Twin Cities that feels tailor-made for you.

But where should you begin your search? The perfect location varies for everyone. Some may seek vibrant cultural experiences, others might prioritize top-notch education, and for many, affordability is key.

Join me as I navigate the best cities and towns in the metropolitan area to live in, tailored to what you value most. As someone who has experienced the many facets of the Twin Cities, I’m here to guide you through the best places to live. I’ve analyzed research, reviewed statistics, and engaged with locals to compile a list that suits every lifestyle and budget. Let’s explore!

The top places to live in the Twin Cities for all

The Best Places to Live in The Twin Cities    

Eager to explore the most picturesque neighborhoods in and around the Twin Cities? Nestled between the banks of the Mississippi River and the scenic beauty of Minnesota’s lush landscapes, there’s truly something for everyone in this vibrant region. Continue reading to unveil the top living spots around the Twin Cities.

Searching for the ideal place to call home in the Twin Cities? Whether it’s urban excitement or suburban peace you’re after, the Twin Cities cater to a wide array of preferences.

  • Best for suburban living: Blaine
  • Best for historical charm: Carver
  • Best for nature lovers: Corcoran
  • Best for family-friendly living: Cottage Grove
  • Best for outdoor activities: Dayton
  • Best for small-town feel: Farmington
  • Best for community engagement: Hugo
  • Best for quality of life: Inner Grove Heights
  • Best for scenic beauty: Jordan
  • Best for urban conveniences: Maple Grove
  • Best for peaceful retreats: Otsego
  • Best for community spirit: Rogers

Here are all the prime locations in the Twin Cities metro area you need to know about:

1. Blaine

Discover a hidden gem in the Midwest, where urban convenience meets serene suburban living. Blaine strikes a perfect balance, offering residents spacious parks and vibrant community events while being a stone’s throw from the city’s hustle.

Blaine’s allure isn’t just its location; it’s the sense of community that captivates. Families thrive here, thanks to excellent schools and a plethora of outdoor activities. The National Sports Center, a highlight for sports enthusiasts, adds a unique flavor to the city’s recreational offerings.

What sets Blaine apart as one of the best places to live in the Twin Cities is its commitment to growth and development. The city’s expanding infrastructure, with new housing developments and business opportunities, promises a future as bright as its present. Blaine isn’t just a place to live. It’s a community to belong to, making every day here feel like a slice of the good life.

With its expansive parks and exciting community events, Blaine finds the ideal balance for its inhabitants.
With its expansive parks and exciting community events, Blaine finds the ideal balance for its inhabitants.

2. Carver

Nestled along the Minnesota River, Carver is a picturesque town where history and modernity intertwine. As such, it’s one of the coolest places to live in the Twin Cities. This charming town, with its historic downtown and scenic river views, offers a peaceful retreat from the urban rush.

Carver’s community spirit shines in its well-preserved heritage buildings and the enthusiasm of its residents. The annual Steamboat Days festival is a testament to this, bringing together history buffs and families for a celebration of Carver’s rich past.

For those seeking a blend of tranquility and activity, Carver delivers. The town boasts ample outdoor spaces, including parks and trails ideal for biking, hiking, or a leisurely stroll. Despite its quaint atmosphere, Carver is just a short drive from the city’s larger amenities, offering the best of both worlds.

As one of the Twin Cities’ best cities to live, Carver appeals to those who cherish a tight-knit community feel. And the best part? It still has all the metropolitan conveniences. It’s a town that promises a slower pace of life without sacrificing the perks of city living.

Carver is a charming town where modernism and history coexist, tucked away along the Minnesota River.
Carver is a charming town where modernism and history coexist, tucked away along the Minnesota River. | Image Credit: Zillow

3. Corcoran

Corcoran is a town where rustic charm meets suburban convenience. It definitely stands out as one of the best places in the Twin Cities to live. This town, with its sprawling landscapes and friendly neighborhoods, offers an idyllic setting for those who appreciate a quieter way of life.

In Corcoran, community and nature go hand in hand. Residents enjoy access to beautiful parks and trails, perfect for weekend hikes or leisurely evening walks. The town’s commitment to preserving its natural beauty is evident in every green space and community garden.

The allure of Corcoran is further enhanced by its proximity to the Twin Cities. This makes it an ideal spot for those who work in the city but crave a peaceful retreat at day’s end. It’s a town that epitomizes the best of both worlds: rural tranquility and urban accessibility.

Living in Corcoran feels like a nice city to live in the Twin Cities’s suburbs. It offers a unique blend of peaceful living with the convenience of nearby city amenities. This makes it a perfect choice for families and individuals seeking a balanced lifestyle.

Among the nicest neighborhoods in the Twin Cities to reside is Corcoran.
Among the nicest neighborhoods in the Twin Cities to reside is Corcoran. | Image Credit: Zillow

4. Cottage Grove

Imagine a town where every street tells a story, and every corner offers a new adventure. Welcome to Cottage Grove, a vibrant community that proudly ranks as one of the best places to live in the Twin Cities. This town is a mosaic of historic charm and modern amenities, creating a perfect setting for families and young professionals alike.

Cottage Grove is renowned for its diverse recreational opportunities. From picturesque parks and nature reserves to family-friendly activities and cultural events, there’s always something happening here. The town’s commitment to providing a high quality of life is evident in its well-maintained public spaces and active community calendar.

What truly sets Cottage Grove apart is its inclusive community spirit. Here, neighbors become friends, and new faces are welcomed with open arms. It’s a place where community events are the highlights of the year and where every resident contributes to the town’s vibrant atmosphere.

As a place where to live in Minnesota, Cottage Grove offers an irresistible combination of small-town feel and big-city perks. It’s a town that doesn’t just provide a place to live but a place to thrive. This makes it an ideal destination for those seeking a fulfilling and balanced lifestyle.

One of the nicest communities in the Twin Cities to reside in is Cottage Grove, a thriving neighborhood.
One of the nicest communities in the Twin Cities to reside in is Cottage Grove, a thriving neighborhood.

5. Dayton

Dayton, a town where nature’s beauty is on full display, emerges as a good place to live in the Twin Cities. With its scenic river views and lush landscapes, Dayton offers a serene escape for those looking to connect with nature.

The town’s charm lies in its natural offerings. From kayaking on the Mississippi River to exploring the numerous trails that wind through forests and fields, outdoor enthusiasts find a haven in Dayton. The town’s commitment to preserving these natural treasures ensures a green and vibrant environment for all residents.

But Dayton is more than just a picturesque setting; it’s a community where small-town warmth meets modern living. The local farmers’ market, community events, and friendly local businesses add a sense of togetherness. This makes residents feel instantly at home.

For those pondering the best areas to live in the Twin Cities, Dayton stands out as a unique choice. It offers a peaceful, family-friendly lifestyle, balanced with the convenience of being just a short drive from the city’s urban amenities. In Dayton, life moves at a gentler pace, allowing residents to fully enjoy each moment.

Dayton is one of the better Twin Cities towns to reside in because of its abundance of natural beauty.
Dayton is one of the better Twin Cities towns to reside in because of its abundance of natural beauty.

6. Farmington

Step into Farmington, and you’ll find yourself in a town that beautifully balances modern living with a rich historical tapestry. Known as one of the best areas to live in the Twin Cities, Farmington captivates with its blend of past and present.

The heart of Farmington beats in its historic downtown, where quaint shops and local eateries offer a glimpse into the town’s heritage. This historical charm is complemented by contemporary amenities, ensuring residents have everything they need right at their doorstep.

Farmington isn’t just about scenic beauty and historical sites; it’s a hub of community activities. From local festivals to farmers’ markets, the town buzzes with events that bring people together, fostering a strong sense of belonging.

This town is more than a great place to live in the Midwest. It’s a community where every day brings a new opportunity to connect, explore, and enjoy. Whether it’s the friendly faces, the peaceful parks, or the vibrant community life, Farmington offers a welcoming and fulfilling lifestyle for all who call it home.

You'll discover that Farmington is a town that skillfully strikes a balance between a rich historical tapestry and modern living.
You’ll discover that Farmington is a town that skillfully strikes a balance between a rich historical tapestry and modern living.

7. Hugo

Embrace the allure of Hugo, where the tranquility of nature and the comforts of suburban living merge seamlessly. This town is not just a place. It’s an experience, epitomizing the essence of being one of the best Twin Cities towns to live.

In Hugo, the landscape is painted with lush green spaces and picturesque lakes, perfect for those who love the outdoors. The town’s numerous parks and trails invite residents to bask in the beauty of nature, whether it’s a morning jog or a weekend family picnic.

Beyond its natural appeal, Hugo is known for its thriving community spirit. Local events, like the annual Bluegrass Festival, showcase the town’s cultural vibrancy and bring residents together in celebration. It’s this combination of community and natural beauty that makes Hugo so special.

Living in Hugo means enjoying the serenity of a small town while having easy access to the amenities of the Twin Cities. It’s a place that stands as one of the best places to move in the Twin Cities. The town offers a peaceful yet connected lifestyle, ideal for families, professionals, and retirees alike.

Accept Hugo's charms, where suburban amenities and the peace of nature coexist together.
Accept Hugo’s charms, where suburban amenities and the peace of nature coexist together. | Image Credit: Zillow

8. Inner Grove Heights

Experience the perfect blend of suburban charm and urban convenience in Inner Grove Heights, a town that stands out as a nice part of the Twin Cities. This delightful suburb offers a quality of life that’s hard to beat, with its combination of green spaces, community spirit, and proximity to city amenities.

Life in Inner Grove Heights is about enjoying the simple pleasures. The town’s parks and recreation facilities are top-notch, offering everything from sports fields to serene walking paths. For families, this means weekends filled with laughter and community bonding.

But it’s not just the outdoor spaces that make Inner Grove Heights special. The town boasts a vibrant local economy, with a variety of shops and restaurants catering to every taste. The sense of community here is palpable, with local businesses and residents supporting one another.

As a place that epitomizes the best towns to live in the Twin Cities, Inner Grove Heights offers an ideal balance. It’s a community where you can enjoy a peaceful suburban lifestyle while still being just a short drive from the vibrant city life of the Twin Cities. It’s a town that doesn’t just provide a place to live, but a place to thrive.

A nice part of the Twin Cities, Inner Grove Heights is an area that offers an ideal mix of rural beauty and urban ease.
A nice part of the Twin Cities, Inner Grove Heights is an area that offers an ideal mix of rural beauty and urban ease.

9. Jordan

Jordan, a town that exudes a unique blend of historic allure and modern vibrancy, is undoubtedly one of the best cities to live in the Twin Cities. This charming town is a canvas of rich history, picturesque landscapes, and a warm, welcoming community.

Walking through Jordan, one can’t help but be enchanted by the well-preserved historic buildings that line its streets, each telling a story of the town’s storied past. This historical charm is complemented by the town’s dynamic present, evident in its lively festivals and community events.

The appeal of Jordan goes beyond its historical roots. The town is a haven for nature lovers, with numerous parks and natural areas providing ample opportunities for outdoor activities. Whether it’s a peaceful hike, a family picnic, or bird watching, Jordan’s natural beauty is a constant source of joy for its residents.

Jordan emerges as the most livable city in the Twin Cities, offering a lifestyle that balances the tranquility of a small town with the conveniences of modern living. It’s a town where history is not just preserved but is a living part of the community. This makes life in Jordan both enriching and enjoyable.

One of the nicest places to live in the Twin Cities is Jordan, a unique blend of modern life and historic beauty.
One of the nicest places to live in the Twin Cities is Jordan, a unique blend of modern life and historic beauty.

10. Maple Grove

Often cited as one of the best places to live in the Twin Cities, Maple Grove is a city where modern amenities and natural beauty blend seamlessly. This harmonious coexistence offers residents the best of both worlds. This city is a haven for those seeking a balanced lifestyle, with its impressive array of shopping, dining, and recreational options.

The heart of Maple Grove is its vibrant Town Green, where community life flourishes. Here, residents gather for concerts, outdoor movies, and seasonal festivities, fostering a strong sense of community. The city’s numerous parks and trails offer an escape into nature, perfect for relaxing weekends or active afternoons.

What sets Maple Grove apart is its commitment to providing a high-quality living experience. The city boasts top-notch schools, excellent healthcare facilities, and a thriving business environment. This blend of community focus and modern conveniences makes Maple Grove not just a place to live, but a place to thrive.

Maple Grove stands out as a place where are the best places to live in the Twin Cities, offering an ideal setting for families, professionals, and retirees. Its unique combination of community warmth and urban sophistication makes it a standout choice for anyone seeking the best of suburban living.

In Maple Grove, contemporary conveniences coexist harmoniously with the surrounding scenic splendor.
In Maple Grove, contemporary conveniences coexist harmoniously with the surrounding scenic splendor.

11. Otsego

Otsego is a city where community values and natural splendor converge, creating an exceptional living experience. This city is often celebrated as one of the best Twin Cities cities, attracting those who desire a serene yet vibrant community.

The charm of Otsego lies in its expansive green spaces and the Mississippi River that gracefully flows along its edge. These natural features offer residents a multitude of recreational activities, from peaceful walks along the riverbank to adventurous outdoor sports.

Yet, Otsego is more than just a scenic locale. The city prides itself on its close-knit community atmosphere. Neighborhood events, local markets, and volunteer opportunities abound, fostering a strong sense of belonging among residents.

As a city that stands as what are the best places to live in the Twin Cities, Otsego offers a unique blend of small-town feel and modern amenities. Whether it’s the friendly community, the stunning landscapes, or the convenient location, Otsego provides an idyllic backdrop for a fulfilling lifestyle.

Otsego is a city that offers a remarkable quality of life by combining natural beauty and community values.
Otsego is a city that offers a remarkable quality of life by combining natural beauty and community values.

12. Rogers

Welcoming you with open arms, Rogers offers a unique suburban experience that has rightfully earned its place as one of the top cities in the Twin Cities to live. This city is a delightful blend of community spirit, natural beauty, and modern convenience.

In Rogers, life revolves around community engagement and outdoor living. The city’s parks and recreational facilities are second to none, providing families and individuals with countless opportunities for fun and relaxation. From summer concerts in the park to winter sports, Rogers ensures year-round enjoyment for all ages.

The city’s growth in recent years has brought in new businesses and amenities, enhancing the quality of life for residents. Despite this growth, Rogers retains its small-town charm, characterized by friendly neighborhoods and a close-knit community feel.

Rogers, as among the best cities in Twin Cities, is not just about the amenities it offers but the sense of belonging it fosters. It’s a place where you’re not just a resident but a valued member of the community. This makes it an ideal choice for those seeking a harmonious and fulfilling lifestyle.

Rogers has deservedly established itself as one of the best places to live in the Twin Cities.
Rogers has deservedly established itself as one of the best places to live in the Twin Cities. | Image Credit: Zillow

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About the Best Places to Live in The Twin Cities       

Interested in learning where the best place to live in the Twin Cities? Let’s dive into some frequently asked questions about the finest places to call home in the Twin Cities area.

Where is the best place to live in Minneapolis?

Determining Twin Cities’ best places to live, specifically in Minneapolis, depends on individual preferences and lifestyle. If you’re seeking vibrant city life, Downtown Minneapolis is a top choice. It’s a hub for arts, entertainment, and dining, perfect for those who thrive in a bustling urban environment.

For a more relaxed, family-friendly atmosphere, consider neighborhoods like Linden Hills or Southwest Minneapolis, known for their charming homes, unique restaurants, and community feel. Each area in Minneapolis offers unique qualities, from the historic charm of Northeast Minneapolis to the scenic lakeside living in Uptown. Ultimately, the best place to live is where you feel most connected to the community and surroundings.

Is Twin Cities a good place to live?

Absolutely, the Twin Cities, encompassing Minneapolis and St. Paul, are widely recognized as some of the best cities to live in the Twin Cities area. This metropolitan region stands out for its blend of urban amenities and natural beauty. Residents enjoy a high quality of life, marked by excellent educational institutions, robust job opportunities, and a diverse cultural landscape.

The area is known for its vibrant arts scene, numerous parks and lakes, and a strong sense of community. Furthermore, the Twin Cities boast a rich history and a commitment to innovation. This makes it an ideal place for families, professionals, and retirees. Whether you’re drawn to the bustling city streets or the tranquility of suburban life, the Twin Cities offer a living experience that caters to a wide range of preferences and lifestyles.

What is the richest suburb in Minneapolis?

The suburb often regarded as the richest in Minneapolis is Edina. Known for its luxurious homes, high-end shopping, and top-rated schools, Edina stands out as one of the most livable cities in the Twin Cities. This affluent suburb offers a mix of upscale residential areas and commercial developments. This makes it a popular choice for well-to-do families and professionals.

The area is characterized by its beautiful parks, well-maintained public spaces, and a strong community focus. Additionally, Edina’s proximity to downtown Minneapolis makes it a convenient location for those seeking a blend of suburban tranquility and city life. Its reputation for wealth is also reflected in its high property values and the overall quality of life it offers to its residents.

Offering a variety of living alternatives, the Twin Cities blend the buzz of the city with the tranquility of the suburbs.
Offering a variety of living alternatives, the Twin Cities blend the buzz of the city with the tranquility of the suburbs.

Is it expensive to live in Twin Cities?

Living in the Twin Cities can be considered moderately expensive, but it largely depends on the specific area and lifestyle choices. Housing costs in Minneapolis and St. Paul, and their suburbs, can vary significantly. Areas like Edina and Minnetonka are known for higher property values, while other neighborhoods offer more affordable living options.

When it comes to day-to-day expenses, such as groceries, utilities, and transportation, the Twin Cities are generally in line with the national average. However, some costs, like healthcare and education, can be higher. The Twin Cities boast a robust public transportation system, which can help mitigate transportation costs.

Overall, while the Twin Cities might not be as expensive as some of the major coastal cities in the U.S., they still present a range of living costs that cater to different budgets. The key to affordability here is finding the neighborhood that best suits your financial situation and lifestyle preferences.

What salary do you need to live comfortably in Minneapolis?

To live well in Minneapolis, aim for a yearly income of $50,000 to $60,000 for one person. This amount should cover your basic needs like housing, food, transport, and healthcare. It also allows for fun activities and saving money.

However, this can vary depending on personal circumstances and lifestyle choices. For instance, living in a more upscale neighborhood or opting for a larger living space will increase this requirement. Similarly, individuals with dependents or specific financial goals may need a higher income.

Minneapolis has many amenities and services for different budgets, which helps with living costs. The city offers various housing options, public transportation, and many entertainment and dining choices. This means you can adjust your lifestyle to match your income.

Is Minnesota cheaper than California?

Yes, Minnesota is generally cheaper to live in than California. Living in Minnesota, including the Twin Cities, costs less than in many parts of California. This is due to cheaper housing, lower taxes, and general expenses.

Homes in Minnesota are more budget-friendly. Buying or renting property here is less expensive than in California’s big cities like Los Angeles, San Francisco, and San Diego.

Daily costs, such as food, utilities, and transport, are also cheaper in Minnesota. These prices can change based on where you live and your lifestyle, but generally, Minnesota is more affordable.

Taxes in Minnesota are usually lower too, especially property and sales taxes. Income tax rates can vary for each person, though.

Final Thoughts on the Best Places to Live in The Twin Cities

The Twin Cities combine city excitement with suburban peace, offering various living options. Minneapolis has fun nighttime activities, while Maple Grove and Edina are calm suburbs. Each area offers a unique lifestyle.

For affordable living, consider Farmington and Hugo. These suburbs offer good value and show that the Twin Cities can be budget-friendly. For those who prefer city life, Minneapolis and St. Paul are full of culture, career growth, and social events.

The Twin Cities are also renowned for their balance of work and play. Areas like Edina and Minnetonka are not just affluent suburbs but hubs of happiness, offering a perfect mix of recreational activities and urban amenities. The region’s commitment to maintaining a high quality of life is evident in its parks, lakes, and community events.

So, what are the best places to live in the Twin Cities? The answer varies as much as the landscapes and lifestyles the area offers. Whether your priority is a family-friendly suburb, a culturally rich urban center, or an affordable yet vibrant community, the Twin Cities have something to offer everyone. In essence, living here is not just about finding a place to reside. It’s about discovering a lifestyle that resonates with you.

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