Advertisement
real estate

#2 Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minn.

The Twin Cities offer a hip and progressive atmosphere with a midwestern sensibility, multiple cultural outlets, pro teams in all four major sports, a dozen universities and colleges, and a diverse economy.

What we loved: Nye's Polonaise Room, where singles, couples, families and priests enjoy the piano bar or Ruth Adams and the World's Most Dangerous Polka Band.

Okay, Twin Cities. It's time to drop that lingering sense of inferiority -- the suspicion that you can't compete with the big boys. You're a cosmopolitan gem. And for travelers who crest a hill as they approach Minneapolis, the skyline is as riveting as Oz.

The seven-county metro area spreads out from downtown Minneapolis and St. Paul, which are built along the banks of the Mississippi. Minneapolis is progressive and hip, but with a midwestern sensibility. Its cultural beacons include the Guthrie Theater and the Walker Art Center. In St. Paul, there's the Ordway Center for the Performing Arts, home of the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra and the Minnesota Opera, and the Fitzgerald Theater, which hosts A Prairie Home Companion. The Twin Cities are among the smallest markets to have pro teams in all four major sports.

Advertisement - Article continues below

In addition to the University of Minnesota, which has two campuses, the Twin Cities are home to a dozen private colleges. The economy includes government plus businesses involved in retail, technology, medicine, finance, recreation, agriculture and manufacturing.

Yes, the winter weather isn't for wusses. But locals embrace the cold with winter festivals, and they make the most of every pleasant day with trails, parks and outdoor restaurants.

In a testament to the vibrancy and ease of city living, Tom Berthiaume, 57, and his wife, Cherryl Kachenmeister, 59, gave up their suburban home on prestigious Lake Minnetonka for a 2,000-square-foot loft in the warehouse district of Minneapolis, for which they paid $635,000.

Downtown St. Paul tends to be less expensive than Minneapolis. In the rapidly developing outer suburbs, you can get a newish, four-bedroom, three-bath home in Anoka County (to the north) or Lakeville (to the south) in the low to mid $300s. Visitors from the coasts will chuckle over so-called traffic congestion, and improved public transportation, including light and commuter rail, is in the works.

-- Patricia Mertz Esswein

Advertisement
Advertisement

Most Popular

Social Security Recipients, Veterans Must Act Now to Get Extra $500 Stimulus Check
Coronavirus and Your Money

Social Security Recipients, Veterans Must Act Now to Get Extra $500 Stimulus Check

The deadline for seniors and veterans to request an additional $500 stimulus check for a dependent child is approaching fast. See how you can claim yo…
September 25, 2020
Trump Promises $200 Prescription Drug Card for Seniors
Medicare

Trump Promises $200 Prescription Drug Card for Seniors

Medicare beneficiaries will soon receive a debit card in the mail that they can use to pay for prescription drugs.
September 25, 2020
Election 2020: Joe Biden's Tax Plans
taxes

Election 2020: Joe Biden's Tax Plans

With the economy in trouble, tax policy takes on added importance in the 2020 presidential election. So, let's take a look at what Joe Biden has said …
September 18, 2020

Recommended

25 Small Towns With Big Millionaire Populations
investing

25 Small Towns With Big Millionaire Populations

Large concentrations of high-net-worth households are found in surprising locales across the U.S. Check out the latest list of American small towns te…
September 15, 2020
How to Catch a Rock-Bottom Rate
Buying & Leasing a Car

How to Catch a Rock-Bottom Rate

Rates on everything from home mortgages to car loans are at record lows. We’ll tell you how to qualify for the best rates.
August 27, 2020
Why ‘Rent vs. Buy’ Is the Wrong Question
buying a home

Why ‘Rent vs. Buy’ Is the Wrong Question

The equation for owning a home or renting isn’t as straightforward as it may first appear. The deciding factor for you could come down to something ot…
August 11, 2020
12 Cheapest Small Towns in America 2020
real estate

12 Cheapest Small Towns in America 2020

Affordable small towns aren't necessarily the best places to live for everyone, but each cheap small town on our list has its charms.
August 6, 2020