“From the Land of Sky Blue Waters” might bring back nostalgic scenes of Hamm’s Beer commercials or family vacations on one of the nearly 12,000 lakes in Minnesota. With the prevailing Minnesota Nice perspective, Minnesotans also don’t like to brag much, so they keep their slogan to the “Land of 10,000 Lakes,” and it does look impressive with all those zeros. The state is also home to over 6,000 rivers and streams, including the mighty Mississippi River, which begins at Lake Itasca State Park in northern Minnesota and flows south to the Gulf of Mexico.
In early days, the state was inhabited by the Dakota and Ojibwe/Anishinaabe, before an influx of voyageur fur traders and European settlers. Many of these settlers came from New England and became farmers and loggers, using the riverways for transport. Later in the range country, underground and open-pit iron mining was booming, and the ore was sent by rail to the ports of Duluth and Two Harbors for shipping across the Great Lakes.
Now, the state consistently ranks well for its standard of living, low unemployment rate and lifestyle opportunities. In 2018, Minnesota rated #2 (behind Iowa) on the U.S. News and McKinsey & Company Best States report, largely because of its high rankings for quality of life, opportunity for its citizens, health care, infrastructure and education (see full report here).
You can find your favorite setting for work and play within the state’s bountiful choices of urban, suburban, country or secluded locations. The Minneapolis/St. Paul area supports a large segment of the state’s population and a wide variety of cultural, recreational, educational and business opportunities.
This Twin Cities area features the popular Mall of America, the Minneapolis–St. Paul International Airport (MSP), art museums, sporting events, including the Minnesota Vikings, Twins, Timberwolves, Wild, Lynx and college games, and an abundance of live theatre, including the Guthrie Theater situated on the banks of the Mississippi River. With its beautiful lakes, rivers, parks and bike trails, the metro offers outdoor activities for everyone.
In Greater Minnesota, you’ll find open spaces, resort towns, farmland and rural communities. The state is home to a rich variety of parks, including national forests, the breath-taking Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness and Voyagers National Park. You’ll also find opportunities for music, birding, festivals, zoos, aquariums and amusement parks. There are casinos, shopping centers, quaint towns, antiques and boutiques.
Except for Alaska, Minnesota is the most northern state in the U.S. It borders Lake Superior and draws visitors to its northern region with attractions such as the Split Rock Lighthouse, Gooseberry Falls State Park, the Superior Hiking Trail, biking, boating and scenic views.
The state is known for its medical care industry with the distinguished Mayo Clinic and University of Minnesota Medical School. General Mills, 3M, Target, Best Buy, Cargill and Carlson Companies of Radisson Hotel fame are just a few of the well-known Minnesota businesses. The state has also produced celebrated musicians such as Prince, Bob Dylan, the Trashmen, The Andrews Sisters and Soul Asylum.
Many movies and TV shows have been filmed in Minnesota, including Purple Rain, North Country, Sweet Land, Airport, Drop Dead Gorgeous, A Serious Man and Untamed Heart—or have featured a Minnesota setting, such as in Grumpy Old Men, Grumpier Old Men, The Mighty Ducks, the Mary Tyler Moore Show and Little House on the Prairie.
A few of Minnesota’s famous authors are Laura Ingalls Wilder, Sinclair Lewis, Garrison Keillor, LaVyrle Spencer, Joann Fluke, Tami Hoag, and William Kent Krueger who has written the popular Cork O’Connor series featuring the Minnesota north country and its original inhabitants, the Anishinaabe.
Although many people complain about the cold winters, snow and ice, the state has gorgeous variety with its seasons. In spring, the flowering trees are fragrantly beautiful, and the air is fresh. Bicyclists have options of many beautiful trails including the Mississippi River Trail and the North Star Route for energetic riders which spans from the Twin Cities to Duluth and ends along the Canadian border overlooking Pigeon Falls, Minnesota’s highest waterfall. Fishing and baseball are also back in full swing.
Summer brings golf, festivals, garage sales, county fairs, outdoor concerts and annual running marathons like the Duluth-hosted Grandma’s Marathon along the North Shore of Lake Superior. The lakes and rivers entice people for fishing, swimming, water skiing, boating, reunions and camping, and the Great American Get-Together, Minnesota’s State Fair, closes out the summer, drawing thousands daily for the 12 event-filled days running through Labor Day.
In fall, Minnesotans are ready for football, and as the leaves turn color, it’s time for a drive in the woods and along the rivers. Runners participate in the Twin Cities Marathon which charts a course around metro lakes and the Mississippi River. All seasons have festivals, and one of the largest in fall is the Renaissance Festival with all its bold adventures. It’s also time for a trip to the apple orchard and cider mill, music and friends at street dances, and beer and brats at Oktoberfest.
Winter might be cold and snowy, but in Minnesota, it’s a winter wonderland of beauty and activity. Minnesotans revel in it. From the Winter Carnival, snow sculptures and ice carvings to the opportunity for ice fishing, skating, skiing and snowmobiling, the fun continues. For some brave souls, the Polar Plunge is a daring and worthwhile event. Holidays also bring opportunity to cut down your own Christmas tree, gather with friends, shop, dine and celebrate, or view seasonal lights—maybe at the Duluth Bentleyville Tour of Lights.
In this state of 5.5 million people and land of opportunity, there are a lot of reasons to make it your home. Whether you prefer a single-family home, townhome or condo, there’s a neighborhood waiting for you. As always with such an important transaction, if you’re a buyer, it’s equally as important to work with an experienced real estate agent who can help you prepare to move quickly in a high-demand market.
Currently in Minnesota, it’s a seller’s market. That spells a great time to sell your home or commercial building if you’ve been considering a change. The real estate business is always active as people buy and sell homes and business owners and investors look for commercial property opportunities. Wherever you would like to reside, retire or invest, you can find it in Minnesota.
To help you find the best source of local information and expertise, here is our recommended list of the top 25 real estate agents in the state of MN. Their years of experience and knowledge in their markets will provide you with the guidance needed for a smooth and successful real estate transaction. Contact one or more of these top 25 agents for an interview today!