Minneapolis began when Fort Snelling, built in 1819 at the junction of the Mississippi and Minnesota Rivers, established a strategic presence and attracted settlers to the area. Saint Anthony Falls, highest waterfall on the Mississippi, provided hydro-power for mills processing lumber, flour, grist, wool, cotton, paper, and more. By the start of the 20th century, almost 10% of the country’s flour and grain milling was processed in the city’s 34 flour mills, all powered by the river. Early settlers arrived from New England, Canada, Finland, and Scandinavia. Later, immigrants from Germany, Italy, Greece and Poland arrived, followed by Eastern Europeans. Today, Germans and Scandinavians make up almost 44% of Minneapolis’s population, with the rest coming from all corners of the world
Minneapolis experiences a wide range of weather conditions and temperatures. Winters are cold and snowy, while summers are hot and humid. Arctic air from Canada brings cold temperatures and strong winds, creating severe winter conditions at times. Summers are usually pleasant with average temperatures ranging from the low 80s during the daytime to the mid 60s at night. However, humid air from the Gulf of Mexico sometimes moves into the region, producing hot, humid conditions and strong thunderstorms.
The Metro Transit system provides extensive bus and light rail transportation throughout the Twin Cities region, and commuter rail and bus service to Elk River, Big Lake and St. Cloud. Each train and many of the buses have racks to accommodate bicycles, and bicycle lockers are available at many of the Park & Ride lots. The Minneapolis/Saint Paul Airport has a reputation for being clean and modern, earning it’s recognition as Best Airport in America by Travel + Leisure Magazine.
Cost of Living in Minneapolis
With a high quality of life rating and low unemployment, it is no surprise that the cost of living is higher than the nation’s average by almost 12%. Housing is particularly expensive and there is a low vacancy rate on rental properties. Use these tools to see how far your budget will go in Minneapolis.
The quality of education in Minneapolis is excellent, with a wide selection of public, private, and charter schools for children of every level. More than 30 colleges and universities populate the Minneapolis and Saint Paul metropolitan area, providing learning opportunities for nearly any pursuit.
Abbott Northwestern Hospital of Minneapolis is ranked as the number one hospital in the Minneapolis metropolitan area and number four in the state of Minnesota. Abbott Northwestern is nationally ranked in four adult specialties and known for its high-performance in eight others. Abbott Northwestern is also a teaching hospital. If you have recently moved to the Minneapolis area, make sure you get to know the medical resources available to you:
Minneapolis Real Estate
The median home price in Minneapolis is about 12% above the national average, but with a great public transit system and commuter services available, you can extend your choices to include neighborhoods further from the city center. Use the links below to find homes in Minneapolis.
Dozens of comfortable and elegant hotels are located in downtown Minneapolis, within walking distance of the Metrodome, Target Field, and the Nicollet Mall. The Whitney Hotel offers European-style charm in a converted flour mill that is just steps away from Saint Anthony Falls. For a romantic getaway, The Nicollet Island Inn provides 24 luxury guest rooms in a secluded island setting in the middle of downtown Minneapolis.
When it’s time to eat, you are never far from a delightful experience in Minneapolis. Cavé Vin in South Minneapolis serves French bistro food while Restaurant Alma on University Avenue has earned a nearly perfect Zagat score. More casual dining experiences can be found at The Midtown Global Market on East Lake Street which features more than twenty eateries with something to suit every taste. If you seek the authentic taste of Eastern Europe, the menu at Kramarczuk’s Sausage Company features dishes like piroshok, szegedin goulash, and varenyky. Just saying it is a mouthful! Explore more places to eat in Minneapolis using the links below.
Things to Do in Minneapolis
Park the car and find your way to Nicollet Mall where you can stroll along or ride the free shuttle service. If you love craft beer, more than a dozen tap rooms are waiting for you, all within easy access of the public transit system. Visit the Walker Art Center with free admission on Thursday evenings, and catch a stage production at the Guthrie Theater. And, if you have you ever dreamed of driving a bulldozer, Extreme Sandbox will teach you how, as you play with heavy equipment in their 10 acre sandbox. Live Entertainment can be found any day of the week at Hell’s Kitchen where lunch and dinner is served with live entertainment by local artists.