Little Falls: Best Minnesota City for an Affordable Lifestyle
Author: The HOMEiA Team & Gloria Russell
7 Factors that makes Little Falls one of the Most Affordable Cities to live in Minnesota
Leading in 7 Factors for Best MN Cities for an Affordable Lifestyle
Named for the beautiful Falls on the Mississippi River, this small city of 8,700 is welcoming and easy to call home. It’s located mid-state along the Mississippi River and just a two-hour drive from the Twin Cities metro. So, even the big city is accessible—as is the international airport when it’s time for travel. For people who have decided they would like “life at the cabin” every day or those who want to get a little closer to nature, Little Falls will give you just that experience at an affordable rate.
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With a low crime rate, historic downtown, beautiful natural setting and slower pace, families love the time to enjoy life and live each moment in a more natural environment. Some people might equate it to “less concrete, less stress” or “more nature, more joy.”
You’ll find a variety of churches with Catholic and Lutheran in the forefront and family-friendly, year-round activities. The town is brimming with people each September for the 2-day Arts and Crafts Fair with car show, music, happy people, culture and great food.
Largely due to the lower cost of homes, utilities, transportation and healthcare, the cost of living is well below the state average. Enjoy convenient shops and restaurants along Broadway and maybe catch a concert or art show along this well-maintained main street. In addition to the typical shops and Walmart, you’ll also find thrift stores and consignment shops for great bargain hunting.
With the city’s pro-business environment, new businesses are encouraged and welcomed. The unemployment rate is slightly less than the U.S. average of 3.9%, and the average household income is considerably lower than the national average. However, Little Falls is the perfect place for those who enjoy working at local businesses, farming, starting a small business or working from home with an internet connection.
Established employers are manufacturers Little Falls Machine, DJ Products, RMI Outdoors and Falls Fabricating, refrigerated trailer company Wabash National, specialty connector company AirBorn, and software companies Lakemaster and Hoonuit. Understandably, employment is largely represented in the areas of manufacturing, retail, educational and healthcare services, and some residents commute to the larger cities of St. Cloud or Brainerd for specialized employment.
Residents old and new are pleased with the affordable and varied options in housing. There are older neighborhoods with well-maintained homes, new homes along the Mississippi River, and homes along the golf course. The median home price is $166,000 and rents are well below typical averages.
Overall, monthly housing costs are much lower than other areas. Attractions abound with the Pine Grove Zoo, the Minnesota Fishing Museum, the Charles A. Weyerhaeuser Museum, Linden Hill Historic Estate, Starry Eyed Brewery (taproom and craft brewery), and the Great Rivers Art Center which features live theatre, art exhibits and classes for aspiring artists of all ages.
At the Charles Lindbergh House, the childhood home and interpretive center showcases the life of this local inventor, aviation pioneer and naturalist. You will enjoy a tour of the house, the museum and a walk along the river trail. You can extend your trip by camping at the Charles A. Lindbergh State Park. You might also plan a day at the championship 18-hole Little Falls Golf Course and a relaxing meal after the game with scenic views of the Mississippi.
The school district welcomes 2800 area students, and there are several choices of higher education less than an hour away: St. Cloud State University, St. Cloud Technical College, Staples Technical College and Brainerd’s Central Lakes Technical College. Serving the area is the renovated Carnegie Library which dates to 1905 and has been placed on the National Register of Historic Places.
6. Safety and Healthcare:
Water and air quality is above average in the city of Little Falls. There are definite advantages to country living! This city of 8,600 residents has an excellent safety rating with a violent crime rating (per 1000) of 0.92 and property crime (per 1000) at 14.3—both considerably lower than the national average. Healthcare is provided by St. Gabriel’s Hospital.
Or, only 45 minutes away is the nationally recognized St. Cloud Hospital offering medical and surgical specialties and the Veterans Hospital, also in St. Cloud, serving area veterans with a wide variety of medical services.
The Minnesota temps range from 90+ degrees in summer to below zero in the winter. You can easily take advantage of outdoor fun—from ice fishing and snowmobiling in the winter to golf and canoeing in the summer. With 15 city and county parks and miles of trails for hiking and biking, the possibilities are endless. You’ll soon appreciate the beauty of the changing seasons and look forward to each for its unique splendor and activities.
To sum up:
If small-town charm and friendly neighbors are what you’re looking for, you’ll find them in this charming river town. It’s one of the oldest towns in Minnesota with a gracious blend of old and new. The people feel safe and enjoy the peaceful camaraderie of rural life without the big city price tag. Affordability and nature’s finest are yours in Little Falls!