Moving to Duluth, Minn., appeals to those looking for a vibrant city center, with lots of things to do, and access to quality education and a true community feel. With a population around 86,000, Duluth offers a small-town vibe with many one-of-a-kind attractions and gathering spots. Here are eight more reasons to move to Duluth:
1. Four Seasons of Fun
Outdoor lovers will find Duluth a prime spot for recreation year round. Residents experience all four seasons full of their own things to do and ways to enjoy the outdoors. Spring and summer are warm but not uncomfortable, and residents enjoy spending time downtown and on the water. Fall and winter offer great hiking weather, and residents can ski and snowboard at Spirit Mountain, the Midwest's largest terrain park. The city also ranked on our Top 10 Best Places for Fall Foliage.
2. Lake Superior
Because Lake Superior is so superior, it stands alone as a reason to move to Duluth. Lake Superior is the largest fresh water lake in the world, with 3 quadrillion gallons of fresh water. The lake also affects the weather, which means Duluth has warmer winters and cooler summers. Residents enjoy camping, hiking, charter fishing, canoeing, and Canal Park is a popular place to walk the lake while checking out the latest shops and restaurants.
American, Japanese, Italian or Sunday brunch; you'll find it all in Duluth. Online restaurant reviewers rave about Duluth Grill, which was featured on Food Network's Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. Other dining hot spots include New Scenic Cafe, which you'll find while taking a scenic drive along the north shore of Lake Superior (the Skyline Parkway drive is also a must-do in Duluth), and Northern Waters Smokehaus, which specializes in smoking fish and meats.
4. A Vibrant Downtown
Duluth's downtown waterfront district encompasses 90 blocks and works to ensure the downtown and Canal Park areas continue to thrive. Downtown visitors will enjoy browsing unique shops and complexes including Fitger's Brewery Complex, which has boutiques, restaurants and nightlife spots, and office spaces. The DeWitt-Seitz Marketplace is a multipurpose building with its own shops, restaurants and office spaces.
5. Yellow Ribbon Community
In 2010, Duluth was designated a Yellow Ribbon Community in recognition of the city's efforts to unite residents, government organizations, agencies, and employers in order to support the servicemen and women in the military and their families. The city hosts events to help and honor the military including health seminars, yoga classes, job fairs and more.
6. University of Minnesota – Duluth
Education continues to increase its importance as more companies look to attract well-educated and trained employees. Moving to Duluth gives students the opportunity to attend University of Minnesota – Duluth, ranked on U.S. News and World Report's list of Best Colleges in Regional Universities. Other top-ranked schools, according to GreatSchools, includes Congdon Elementary School and East Senior High School.
7. Aerial Lift Bridge
This major landmark attracts thousands of visitors each year. This steel-and-cable bridge has a clearance of 180 feet and measures 386 feet in length, and spectators love to watch ships travel underneath it. In fact, it's one of the most photographed landmarks in the state. Visitors love it so much it's the No. 2 thing to do in Duluth and a Certificate of Excellence recipient on TripAdvisor.
8. Lots of Neighborhood Options
Don't let Duluth's population of more than 86,000 fool you when it comes to where to live. The city encompasses nearly 30 neighborhoods for residents to pick from. Looking for a more rural, laid-back lifestyle? Then check out Bayview Heights or Morley Heights-Parkview. If you're more into the college-town vibe, then Chester Park or Endion, which is close to Duluth's two-year colleges and downtown, may be the right pick. Additionally, many neighborhoods offer their own amenities including recreational activities, shopping and business districts.
Bonus: One of the Happiest Cities in the U.S.
A 2014 survey conducted by the U.S. National Bureau of Economic Research found that Duluth is one of the happiest cities in the U.S. The study relies heavily on resident surveys, which ask participants about their overall satisfaction about life. Also in 2014, USA Today ranked Duluth in the Top 10 list of their happiest U.S. cities. If the happiness factor isn't enough of a reason to move there, then what is?