Best Places to Live

Minneapolis, MN

Population: 399,950

Courtesy of Dustin Gaffke under a CC 2.0 license.

The Minneapolis, MN, music scene usually gets respect with the words "The Replacements," "Prince" or "Husker Du" – all artists hailing from here. And there are many accolades and rave reviews from artists and fans, to boot. Travel + Leisure listed Minneapolis No. 8 among America's Best Music Cities, while two of its record shops, Electric Fetus and Hymie's Vintage Records, made Rolling Stone's list of the country's best. 

Artists love playing the venue First Avenue, located in the vibrant Warehouse District downtown. Most remember it from the Prince movie Purple Rain, and if you want to know who has graced its stage, look no further than the building's star-spangled exterior. Each star bears a name such as U2, B.B. King, Death Cab for Cutie, Wilco and many more.

Another popular Warehouse District venue, the Fine Line Music Cafe, has presented shows by artists such as John Mayer, Sheryl Crow, The Black Keys, Lady Gaga, Ben Harper and Buddy Guy over the past two decades.

Meanwhile, the Varsity Theater in Dinkytown counts to its credit performances by artists such as Amy Winehouse, Cold War Kids, Girl Talk, Feist and The Ting Tings, to name a few.

Summer festival fans will fill their calendars quickly here with the Bella Music Festival and Soundset both in May, Rock the Garden and the Twin Cities Jazz Festival, both in June and the Basilica Block Party in July.

Prefer symphonic sounds? Minneapolis also is home to the Minnesota Orchestra, and nearby you can catch the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, the nation's only full-time professional chamber orchestra.

Artists with Minneapolis, MN ties: Prince, Soul Asylum, The Replacements, Husker Du, Tapes 'n Tapes, The Time

Noted venues: First Avenue, Varsity Theater, Fine Line Music Cafe and The State Theatre

Cool record stores: Electric Fetus, Hymie's Vintage Records

Fun fact: Bob Dylan, who lived in Minneapolis from 1959-1961 during his time at the University of Minnesota, co-owned the Orpheum Theatre with his brother at one time. The City of Minneapolis purchased the theater in 1988. The Orpheum is one of four along Hennepin Avenue now managed by the Hennepin Theatre Trust.

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