With its laid-back attitude and big-city attractions, Minneapolis, Minnesota is a great place to live. The population in Minneapolis grew from just over 380,000 in 2010 to almost 430,000 in 2020, and today’s estimates indicate that around 444,000 people live here.
Why are so many people flocking to Minnesota’s largest city? It’s probably not the cold, snowy winters — although many residents enjoy experiencing all four seasons. More likely, it’s the wide variety of jobs available in the city, with a low unemployment rate — 2.4% as of February, 2022, compared to 4.1% nationally.
For its size, Minneapolis has a relatively low cost of living; for example, it is about 40% less expensive overall than Oakland, California, which has a similar population.
In a city this big, it can be difficult to decide where to live. After all, Minneapolis has 83 residential neighborhoods, each with its own personality. To give you a starting point, this article will introduce you to five of the best neighborhoods to live in within the city of Minneapolis.
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1. Linden Hills
The first neighborhood we’ll explore is Linden Hills, an upscale neighborhood that is popular with families.
Homes in this area typically sell for between $400,000 and $1.5 million — much higher than the city’s median owner-occupied home value of $268,100. The houses tend to be older homes with character.
Most people in Linden Hills — about 71% — own their homes, but some rentals are available at a median rate of $1,178 per month. Apartments tend to be in smaller buildings and houses, rather than high rises.
Homes in the neighborhood feed into excellent schools, adding to the appeal for families.
The neighborhood is surrounded by parks and greenspace. Two lakes — Lake Harriet and Bde Maka Ska — border Linden Hills, offering walks and bike rides on lakeside trails and picnics on Thomas Beach.
The Bakken Museum, which features exhibits on subjects like electricity and magnets, is located just to the north, and the old Como-Harriet Streetcar Line runs through the neighborhood.
Popular restaurants in Linden Hills include Clancy’s, a butcher shop that serves fresh sandwiches; Martina, a celebrated Argentinian restaurant, and a favorite ice cream shop called Sebastian Joe’s.
For families with high standards and budgets to match, Linden Hills is a top neighborhood.
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If you’re looking for a safe and family-friendly neighborhood at a more modest price, look to the Hale neighborhood.
Hale is located west of Lake Nokomis in the southwest portion of Minneapolis, about 20 miles from the city center. The population of the neighborhood is about 3,244.
Homes in Hale tend to sell for $300,000 to $600,000; the median home value is $341,721, and the vast majority of residents — 94% — own their homes. Houses tend to be modest but tidy two- to four-bedrooms on tree-lined streets.
If you’re looking to rent, you may need to expand your search slightly beyond the neighborhood. Most housing in the area is single-family. The median rent here is about $1,163.
Hale ranks as the most livable neighborhood in Minneapolis and even in Minnesota. It rates particularly well in terms of amenities, employment, low crime and great schools.
The local elementary school, Hale Elementary, has ranked as the #4 elementary school in the Minneapolis Public School District.
Lake Nokomis and Lake Nokomis Park provide opportunities for outdoor recreation.
While the neighborhood is mostly residential streets sprinkled with churches, there are a few places to shop along Chicago Avenue. The Nokomis Farmers Market draws crowds for fresh produce and other treats, and Kowalski’s Market is just a few blocks down the road.
Favorite restaurants here include Hot Plate, a popular breakfast spot, and Heather’s, a place to grab a sandwich or a burger.
If you’re looking for a house in a highly livable neighborhood with good schools and relatively affordable homes, don’t miss Hale.
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South of Linden Hills, at the southwest corner of Lake Harriet (and south-southwest of the city center), you’ll find the community of Fulton.
The Fulton neighborhood calls itself “the quintessential Southwest Minneapolis neighborhood” (fultonneighborhood.org), noting its small-town feel and friendliness. With a population of about 8,181, it ranks as Niche’s top neighborhood in Minneapolis.
If you’re interested in buying a home in the Fulton neighborhood, expect to spend anywhere from $400,000 into the millions (for homes closest to the lake). The median home price is around $535,719, and 88% own their homes. Houses here tend to have character and range from two bedrooms to five bedrooms.
Renters with large enough budgets will find options along the west end of the neighborhood, where upscale units are the norm. The median rent in the area is about $1,626.
Schools in the Fulton neighborhood are highly rated, and public school students feed into the well-regarded Southwest Senior High located just north of Fulton.
Pershing Park Recreation Center is a hub for enrichment classes and playtime on the playground, and Lake Harriet Park, with its unique bandshell, hosts frequent events a short drive away.
Lunds & Byerlys in Edina, the local grocery store, is set amid a commercial area with boutique stores and upscale restaurants.
Broders’ Cucina Italiana draws Fulton residents for pasta and other Italian specialties, while the west side of Fulton neighborhood has Thai, Indian, Mexican and health food options.
For a neighborly vibe and good schools with proximity to higher-end amenities, Fulton is a great choice.
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4. Loring Park
If you’re searching for a neighborhood with plenty of greenspace for long walks, appealing spots to grab a bite to eat and a variety of apartments in Minneapolis to rent, consider Loring Park.
Located near downtown, the Loring Park neighborhood is known for the park of the same name and for the Minneapolis Convention Center. It is adjacent to the Walker Art Center and Minneapolis Sculpture Garden (home of the Spoonbridge and Cherry sculpture).
With most of the neighborhood dedicated to parks, commerce and multifamily housing, you may struggle to find a single-family home to buy in Loring Park — although occasionally a stately older home does come on the market.
Of the residents in Loring Park, fully 81% rent their homes, and the median rent is around $1,125. Rental units consist of converted houses, moderate-sized brick apartment buildings, converted industrial and historic buildings and some newer, larger developments. For seniors, the nearby Kenwood retirement community is highly rated.
While Loring Park may be best suited to individuals and couples without children, the schools that serve the area are well regarded. Minneapolis Community and Technical College is located here, too.
Loring Park’s proximity to the city center make it easy to get to entertainment venues and events. Along the edges of the neighborhood, you’ll find restaurants and bars as well as access to public transportation. Grocery stores and Target are nearby for basic needs.
Among the popular dining spots in Loring Park are Eggy’s Diner, Lotus Vietnamese, Sushi Train, and multiple Dunn Brothers Coffee locations.
If proximity to the city’s amenities matters more to you than having a private yard, check out Loring Park.
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5. North Loop
For those who want a little more night life and a hip vibe, the North Loop — also known as the Warehouse District — must be on the list. This formerly industrial neighborhood north of the city center is now vibrant and growing.
The North Loop is all about transformation. Old factories and warehouses have been converted into sophisticated loft apartments, restaurants, bars and shops. Hewing Hotel, which Conde Nast Traveler has listed among the best hotels in the Midwest, used to be a farm implement warehouse.
Looking to buy in North Loop? Expect to pay more for the privilege of living in such a popular area. Only 33% of residents own their home here, and the median home value is $375,254. That price might get you a two-bed, two-bath condo with a little over 1,000 square feet.
North Loop isn’t known for its schools; while some families live happily in the area, it is generally considered a better place for young professionals.
What you will find here is entertainment. Target Field, home of the Minnesota Twins, is a big draw. Other attractions include Acme Comedy Company and the Lab Theater. The North Loop Dog Park is a favorite stop for dog owners, and rock climbers frequent the Minneapolis Bouldering Project.
Coffee shops and trendy restaurants abound in this neighborhood. At the high end, there is Spoon and Stable, a chic restaurant in an old carriage house with a James Beard award-winning chef. Or try the Smack Shack for seafood, the Fabled Rooster for barbecue, or any of the many burger joints and breweries. After dark, the bars in the neighborhood come to life.
For those who would rather not deal with a car, the North Loop is fairly walkable and has access to public transportation, making it easy to get around.
If you want to live in a fun, up-and-coming neighborhood and you have the budget for it, consider moving to the North Loop.
Minneapolis is a big, diverse city, and each neighborhood offers something a little different. Take this list as a starting point and explore until you find the right place for you.
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