7 Factors Rank Minnetonka as one of the Best Cities in Minnesota
Author: The HOMEiA Team & Gloria Russell
Minnetonka, Minnesota is an attractive midwestern city for people of all ages located 10 minutes west of Minneapolis. The city has much to offer for families, singles and seniors—and all within a short distance of the amenities of the Twin Cities metro.
Its proximity to beautiful Lake Minnetonka makes it a preferred locale for all those who love the outdoors and lake activities. Combine that with top-notch schools and safe neighborhoods, and there’s a lot to love in this western suburb.
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First settled along Minnehaha Creek, this Minneapolis suburb has an enviable blend of peaceful nature and bustling city life. With a population of around 55,000 and 2,000 acres of parkland and preserves, residents can enjoy outdoor activities on the miles of trails and dozens of community and neighborhood parks. For a unique approach to a balanced mind and body, the Marsh is a fitness, spa and gathering facility with relaxing views of the marshland.
The city offers a variety of dining choices—one such local favorite is the upscale American bistro, BLVD Kitchen, with its fresh cuisine and lively bar. You’ll also find family fun at the Bunker Indoor Golf Center, Glen Lake Golf, Big Thrill Factory, or iFly Minneapolis for indoor skydiving adventures. Ridgedale Mall serves up shopping, dining and entertainment, and the Mall of America and IKEA are only a short drive for a quick shopping trip or a weekend adventure.
Statistics show that the cost of living in Minnetonka is about 16% higher than the Minnesota average and 28% higher than the national average—and, to support this, the average household income is well above averages as well. Not surprisingly, homes come with a higher price tag than across the country. When travel is in order, the location proves convenient with the Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport only 20 minutes away.
With average home values in the $300,000 range, most residents are homeowners and have been enjoying the consistent rise in appreciation. Often, real estate pricing is more than 50% higher than elsewhere in the state. However, one-fourth of the area residents are happy to rent and let someone else manage the upkeep. Average rent is higher than typical for Minnesota, and evidently, well worth it! Minnetonka has often been referred to as a city perfect for recreation, retirement and families.
4. Safety and Healthcare:
The city has a low crime rate compared with other Minnesota or U.S. cities. Excellent healthcare is readily available at nearby Children’s Hospital, Park Nicollet, Fairview Southdale, North Memorial, Abbott Northwestern or Maple Grove Hospital. North Memorial Health Urgent Center in Minnetonka is open 365 days for urgent care treatment.
Minnetonka is a prosperous community that welcomes business, has a growing job market and an unemployment rate of 2.5% which is well below the national average of 3.9%. With major industries in finance, insurance, retail, manufacturing, healthcare and hospitality, some prominent businesses in the area are Cargill, UnitedHealth Group, G&K Services, Carlson Companies, Best Buy, Digi International, Digital River and Opus Group.
Transportation options include Metro Transit routes to Minneapolis, Metro Mobility services for residents with disabilities, and Park and Ride locations to make the commute even easier.
Minnetonka residents are well educated, and a high percentage have college degrees. It’s a wonderful place to raise a family with highly rated public schools. The city is served by three school districts—Minnetonka, Wayzata and Hopkins—all with top-ranking educational statistics.
Cities included in the Minnetonka district are Minnetonka, Shorewood, Tonka Bay, Deephaven, Excelsior, Eden Prairie, Chanhassen, Greenwood, Victoria and Woodland. There are also private schools, library systems (Minnetonka Library and Ridgedale Library) and many places of worship.
Families enjoy the parks and green space in and around Minnetonka. With an abundance of parks and trails, some favorites are Purgatory Park with its beautiful landscaping and walking paths, as well as Jidana, Civic Center and Big Willow Park where you’ll find views of Minnehaha Creek, connected paths and baseball and soccer fields.
For more lakeside and water sports, there’s Gray’s Bay Public Access and Marina and the 85-acre recreational favorite, Shady Oak Beach. The nearby Libbs Lake Beach Park offers a smaller neighborhood setting, perfect for hiking or biking access.
Winters may be cold but there are several outdoor ice rinks (and more in neighboring Hopkins—and indoor open skating) to provide exercise and on-the-ice fun. Skiing, snowboarding, ice fishing and sledding provide more cold-weather fun. Watch for the Arctic Fever winter festival featuring snow sculptures, sleigh rides, bike races and bonfires.
To sum up:
Minnetonka is a much-loved western suburb with its combination of recreation, shopping and dining and its exceptional housing and schools. Employment opportunities are transportation options are attractive, and the safe, family-oriented environment welcomes community and solidarity.
If you have enjoyed this article and learned more about the beautiful city of Minnetonka, please share it with a friend who might be interested as well. Thank you!