Midwest Gems: Why Everyone Loves Minneapolis

Minneapolis is having a moment. This Minnesota city is so awesome that Prince, one of the coolest musicians of all time, never left, despite his global success. But what is it about this mid sized city that inspires such intense loyalty in its residents? The combination of affordable housing, natural beauty, and a thriving cultural scene is hard to beat.

Midwest Gems: Why Everyone Loves Minneapolis

Industrial Past, Now Transformed

Industrial Past, Now Transformed

One half of the Twin Cities (St. Paul, right next door makes up the other half), Minneapolis has a gritty, industrial past. However, in recent decades it has been transformed by a plethora of lush green spaces. Located along the banks of the Mississippi River, Minneapolis was once a major milling and shipping center. Today, the Mississippi is no longer packed with river barges, but the river continues to be a beautiful, scenic landmark in the center of the city.

Get a taste for the city's industrial history at the Stone Arch Bridge. Built of limestone and granite in 1883, the bridge was constructed to transport goods across the river. Though the Minneapolis economy no longer relies on flour mills, signs for the historic mills still stand along the river. Also visible from the Stone Arch Bridge: St. Anthony's Falls, the only natural waterfall on the entirety of the Mississippi.

Another great thing about the Minnesota city is how bike-friendly it is. Despite the brutal winters, Minneapolis has been ranked the most bike friendly city in America by Forbes in 2015. The flat landscape and wealth of bike trails makes the city a great place to be a cyclist. The riverfront bike trail is a particularly scenic route through the city. Most businesses have bike racks out front and bike lanes are extensively developed. In fact, Minneapolis is so bike friendly, and so compact, that you can get away with not having a car.

Natural Splendor at Your Fingertips

The parks and trails surrounding the lakes are perfect for cycling or jogging

Minneapolis is also known as the City of Lakes. To the west of the city is the chain of lakes, which includes Lake Harriet, Lake Calhoun, Lake of the Isles, Cedar Lake and Wirth Lake. The parks and trails surrounding the lakes are perfect for cycling or jogging, and locals love taking kayaks and paddle boats out on the lakes during the summertime. During the warmer months, there are often concerts by the lake, and at night the city screens outdoor movies.

For a small city, Minneapolis has an incredible art scene. The Walker Art Center is a nationally renowned contemporary art museum, and the attached Minneapolis Sculpture Garden is definitely worth a visit. The city also is home to the Minneapolis Institute of Art, as well as an array of contemporary galleries such as the Soap Factory and the Soo Visual Arts Center.

Eat Your Way through the Twin Cities

Eat Your Way through the Twin Cities

This midwest city was founded by Scandinavians, and Minneapolis remains proud of its Scandinavian heritage. Get a taste at Fika, a popular Swedish restaurant at the American Swedish Institute in Minneapolis.

Living in the heartlands has its perks. Minneapolis is also known for its excellent culinary scene. In particular it specializes in farm-to-table cuisine. The Birchwood Cafe serves amazing food all day long, but is especially famous for its brunch menu. My dad ate breakfast there in 2015 and he is still talking about the jam, years later. The chef behind the Bachelor's Farmer, a Swedish style restaurant in town, won the James Beard award for best Midwest chef.

A Boomtown at a Bargain Price

This amazing city comes at an amazing price. Millennials have been flocking to the Minnesota city, where they can get all of the perks of a major metropolis at a bargain price. The average rent for an apartment in Minneapolis is $1651 per month. One bedrooms go for $1438 per month and two bedrooms cost $2019 per month on average.

More and more people are catching onto the midwestern gem that is Minneapolis. The US Census reports that Minneapolis's population has increased by 6.8% between 2010 and 2016. Despite the city's newfound popularity, rents have remained relatively stable. In the past year, the average rent in Minneapolis has decreased by 0.18%.

This affordable cost of living is paired with a strong economy. In 2015, The Atlantic published an article titled "The Miracle of Minneapolis" about the ways the city has successfully mixed wealth, opportunity and sustainability. The median household income in Minneapolis was $71,008 per year as of 2016. That is more than $15,000 per year greater than the national median, which is $55,775 per year.

In addition, the Twin Cities have the highest employment rate for people between the ages of 18 and 35 of any metro area in the country.

If the lakes, bike lanes and Midwest charm of Minneapolis are calling your name, check out our rental listings to find your Minnesota dream home.

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