Lake City, MN: Best Minnesota City for an Affordable Lifestyle
Author: The HOMEiA Team & Gloria Russell
Leading in 7 Factors for Best MN Cities for an Affordable Lifestyle
Minnesota is well known for its bountiful lakes and natural resources, and there’s no better showplace than Lake City. Located 70 miles southeast of the Minneapolis/St. Paul metro, this small town is a veritable paradise along the Mississippi River and Lake Pepin. It is nature’s finest playground all year long.
In addition, the area has great schools, excellent healthcare services and a good job market. Even with all this, the cost of living is lower than expected, housing costs are reasonable, and crime rates are low. Sounds inviting, doesn’t it?
Table of Contents:
When you’re interested in a small town that has it all, welcome to Lake City. Located in southeastern Minnesota, it lies unpretentiously along the mighty Mississippi and the shores of Lake Pepin. It’s the perfect location—just 70 miles southeast of the bustling Twin Cities metro and 35 miles east of Rochester and the world-renowned Mayo Clinic.
The area attracts families and retirees for its safety, affordability, and outstanding geographic and recreational features. People love to get outdoors, and the good news for all those people spending time outside is that the air quality remains very good.
With a strong economy, this small town attracts businesses, families, retirees and tourism. Generally, the city has a more mature population with an average age of nearly 50. Only in Your State listed Lake City as #1 on the 17 Best Places in Minnesota to Retire and noted that one-fourth of the residents are retired and enjoying the location and amenities. The city has reasonable tax rates and well-run services.
Jobs are plentiful, and the unemployment rate is consistently lower than the national average. Major industries are manufacturing, transportation, education, hospitality, retail and healthcare, and most people have a short commute.
A few of the larger employers are Ardent Mills, Acrotech, Automation Services Hydraulics, Federal Mogul, Hearth & Home Technologies, J&B Pallets and Mayo Clinic. Accessibility for travel is also reasonable, with the Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport just a 90-minute drive from Lake City.
Although it might seem bigger, Lake City has a population of just under 6,000. Rent is very reasonable, and you get more for your money when it comes to housing. Homes also have a much lower value than averages in the state, making this an affordable location for homeownership. Three-fourths of the city’s residents are homeowners, and there is a good range of prices for homes on the market. Access to stores, schools, recreation and fitness is comfortable, leaving more time to relax and watch the eagles soar.
Residents in this small town are well educated. They value education and have excellent public and private school systems to attest to it. With many technical colleges and universities within 35- 45 miles, there is easy access to higher education options. The public library actively serves the community and is part of the regional system with access to materials from all southeastern libraries.
6. Safety and Healthcare:
Lake City is one of the safest cities in the state with a much lower crime rate than average. The city also has a higher percentage of full-time law enforcement employees than the state average. That’s something to celebrate and an important factor in choosing a place to raise a family, to start a business or to retire.
The city is served by the Mayo Clinic Lake City branch, and the celebrated Rochester clinic is just a short drive away if needed. With these services, residents have easy access to excellent, affordable healthcare which is equally as important.
The climate and weather in Lake City is pretty much ideal for people with an appreciation of nature and the changing seasons. Yes, it will get cold in the winter, although the extremes are not as severe as many parts of Minnesota—and anyway, that’s why you have a warm coat, gloves and hat! You also learn to test your driving skills—and we mean on snow and ice, not on the golf course—but that’s part of the adventure.
In summer, you’ll see motorcyclists on the curving highways, golfers on the fairway, and sailboats on the sky-blue water. Fall gives reason to walk or bike along the bluffs to take in the splendor of the autumn colors or to make a trip to the apple orchard or pumpkin patch.
Winter is the perfect time for snowmobiling, snowboarding, skiing or ice sailing—or relaxing by the fireplace with a good book and a glass of wine. With spring comes a renewed interest in getting ready for more outdoor fun, planting flowers or outdoor yoga.
To sum up:
Known as Minnesota’s South Shore, Lake City is a stunning location with water, river bluffs, valleys and all the beautiful scenery that accompanies these marvelous resources. Outdoor activities such as hiking, biking, boating, water sports, fishing, golfing are enjoyed to the max.
It sounds expensive, and it can be if you like. However, the real beauty of this fair city is that it can be very affordable and still allow you the lifestyle pleasures you enjoy. Statistics show that the cost of living is lower than the national average.