Best Places to Live

Minneapolis, MN

Population: 399,950
LIV
SCORE
661
iStock/AndreyKrav

Prince famously said of Minneapolis, “I like Hollywood. I just like Minneapolis a little bit better,” and that’s how most locals feel. In fact, many Minneapolis natives leave this city of more than 400,000 to explore bigger metropolises, only to return a few years later. And we totally get it! Minneapolis offers all of the perks of much larger cities with the tight-knit sense of community and Midwestern friendliness that make for an unmatched quality of life.

Minneapolis’ unemployment rate is significantly lower than the national average, and the city has tons of awesome jobs available in growing industries including tech and health care. Public transportation, bike lanes and bike trails make it easy to get around the city. There are even 11 miles of skyways that make it possible to walk between skyscrapers in the winter without going outside!

Local Obsession: The music scene! Prince is from here, as is Bob Dylan, The Replacements, Soul Asylum, Atmosphere, Semisonic and tons of other famous musical acts.

Climate Described in 6 Words Or Less: Very cold and very hot.

Top Employers: 3M, Target corporate, University of Minnesota, Thomson Reuters, General Mills, Mayo Clinic and the State of Minnesota

Local Dream Job: Marketing for First Avenue (the iconic music venue)

Quintessential Meal: Beef stroganoff at The Red Stag (a cozy, Midwestern meal at an iconic local restaurant) with a Surly beer (a beloved local brewery).

Favorite Weekend Activity: Some sort of lake-centric activity. Minneapolis has 13 lakes within city limits, so people are always swimming, canoeing or kayaking in the summer and ice fishing, Nordic skiing or playing hockey in the winter.

After-Work Meetup Spot: The happy hour at Muddy Waters is always popular, and for good reason — $2 beers and $3 house wine!

Best Brewery: Surly

Beloved Bookstore: Magers & Quinn — they also host great events and book readings!

Free Way to Have Fun: Run, walk, rollerblade or ski around one of the city’s many lakes.

Truly Hidden Gem: Marvel Bar is behind an unmarked door behind and beneath The Bachelor Farmer. Bartenders chip the ice for your cocktail off an enormous ice block and serve Cheetos in tiny glasses.

- Sarah Von Bargen

Read More:

Here’s Why Minneapolis Is a Great Place to Live

A Guide to Prince’s Favorite Things to Do in Minneapolis

8 Reasons to Move to Minneapolis Right Now

“My favorite local spot is The Riverview. It’s an amazing, beautifully restored second-run theater in south Minneapolis. They have four or five shows a day and run both blockbusters and indie films — for $3! I go almost weekly.”

- Sarah Von Bargen, writer and blogger at Yes & Yes.

Minneapolis, MN Ranking Data

Civic
50
Demographics
67
Economy
79
Education
45
Health
67
Housing
68
Infrastructure
84