7 Factors Rank Wayzata, MN as one of the Best Cities in 2020
Wayzata, Minnesota is a lovely, lakeside city directly west of the Minneapolis/St. Paul metro area by 12 miles. In the Land of 10,000 Lakes, this city is serious about providing a clean, accessible, public lake experience for all with plans for continual improvement of the downtown and lake experience. It’s a safe city with eco-conscious, family values, and the lake is a main attraction and a gathering place for friends of all ages.
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With a population of around 4,500, Wayzata, Minnesota (pronounced wy-zeta) is the perfect place for those of you who like clean living, shopping and dining, and life on the north shore of a Minnesota favorite: Lake Minnetonka. The downtown lakefront district visually demonstrates the historical significance of the railroad with the Depot Museum and the Section Foreman’s House as landmarks.
Admittedly, the cost of living in Wayzata is much higher than national average, and the lifestyle and amenities seem to support it gracefully. It’s a family-friendly city with plenty of opportunities for work, play and worship. Being so closely connected to the water, sailors expand their horizons at the Wayzata Yacht Club for sailing and racing on Lake Minnetonka and in the Apostle Islands.
With significantly lower-than-average unemployment, residents enjoy careers in retail, professional and technical services, healthcare and science, and finance and insurance. With attractive employment in the city and the nearby Minneapolis metro, the average commute is less time-consuming than the national average. Employment choices are plentiful with such companies as Cargill, Polaris, General Mills, Carlson Companies, Target, Best Buy, Thrivent and UnitedHealth.
Typical home prices in this water-inspired community are around $500,000- $600,000 which is much higher than most cities in the state. And, if you’re looking for luxury, you’ll easily find homes with values in the millions and square footage to allow entertaining the entire neighborhood with room to spare. With appeal for families and empty nesters, Wayzata offers some of Minnesota’s finest properties.
The highly educated community is definitely focused on education, with an educational spend per child above the national average and test scores consistently ranking much higher than state or national averages. The Wayzata school district includes roughly 11,400 students in parts of eight communities with several elementary and middle schools and one high school, all dedicated to their vision of providing a world-class education for all. Private schools are also readily available as are highly acclaimed colleges and universities.
6. Safety and Healthcare
Understandably, the crime rate in Wayzata is lower than the U.S. average, and residents feel it’s a very safe place to live, raise the families and retire. The city has claimed top billing on lists of most playful cities, safest cities for families with young children and best cities for a healthy retirement. Excellent medical care is convenient at Park Nicollet and Abbott Northwestern, both highly regarded hospitals. Also within a reasonable distance is Children’s Hospital and Maple Grove Hospital.
If you’re familiar with Minnesota’s weather, you’ve undoubtedly heard incredible stories of winter survival comparable to living in the arctic. Not true. It does get cold in winter of course, but Minnesotans are a hardy bunch who enjoy skiing, snowboarding, ice fishing and tobogganing.
Drivers are tough, and vehicles are tougher. You’ll even find winter festivals and parades. Once spring hits, there’s nothing more beautiful than sunlight on the water and flowers starting to bloom. Winter clothes are stored away, and convertibles are all the rage.
Summer finds temperatures in the 80s and 90s, and people on the golf course, on the beach and in the parks. Take your pick of biking, hiking, tennis or bocce ball, and join friends and family for free Sunday concerts. Or, test your sailing skills on the lake or take yourself back on time while relaxing aboard the Steamboat Minnehaha with views of the stylish homes along the shore.
Dining varies from lakeside casual to elegant cuisine, and patios and decks are always great gathering places. No matter the season, this city is absolutely stunning and a peaceful place for a little zip-code enchantment.
To sum up:
A gem of a city, Wayzata is a safe place to call home, with a welcoming blend of historic waterfront and charming boutiques, excellent schools and a growing job market. Neighborhoods instill a sense of community, and the city harbors a deep, protective bond with nature.
The beloved Lake Minnetonka is ever-present in the daily life of residents, workers and visitors. Just a quick 15-minute drive west of Minneapolis, Wayzata is close to all the action of the big city for the best of both worlds. When you’re looking for a city with an upscale, vacation-style identity, you’ll find it in Wayzata.
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