Excellence with a Smile

Minneapolis & St. Paul Communities


The Suburban Twin Cities Area of Minnesota

 


 

The following information is provided only as a starting point for people who are transferring to the Twin Cities metro area.  Further research can be done on the web once you have a sense of the diversity offered in our metro area.

Minneapolis

Saint Paul

Minneapolis, named City (Greek "polis") of Lakes (Dakota "minne" for water) by Charles Hoag the City's first schoolmaster, is the more cosmopolitan of the Twin Cities.  The downtown area features thriving businesses, historical theaters, the Nicollet Mall, the winter Holly Dazzle parade, the Target Center, the Metrodome, and numerous club opportunities.  Much of the downtown is connected with a skyway system allowing the commuter to access shopping, business, and food courts without donning a winter coat.  The Minneapolis lakes and surrounding trails encourage walking, roller-blading, sailing, people watching, swimming, canoing, fishing, milk carton races during the Aquatennial, and more.  "Clubbing" and dining abound for the nightlife crowd.  The seeker of more sedate activities will find a myriad of arts to expand his/her repertoire including The Walker Art Center, The Sculpture Garden, The Minneapolis Institute of Arts, the University of Minnesota's metal architecture by Frank Gehry that houses the Frederick R. Weisman Art Museum, the historic Orpheum and State Theaters where Broadway shows tour, the Guthrie Theater, and Northrup Auditorium.  The nickname "Minnie-apple" springs from this City's variety of artistic venues.

St. Paul, Minnesota's state capital and second largest city, is worlds apart from the busy-ness of Minneapolis.  St. Paul has a reputation for retrofitting attractive old buildings to house new occupants.  The resultant mixture of historic with new adds a sense of rootedness to St. Paul's personality.  St. Paul's moniker once was "Small Towns in the Big City" because the city's neighborhoods have characteristics of small towns.  Boutique businesses outnumber the well-known "chain" brands.  Residents frequent the numerous privately owned coffee shops.  The Capitol Building, the Cathedral, the Xcel Energy Center, Grand Avenue, the State Fairgrounds, Como Park, the St. Paul Winter Carnival, St. Patrick's Day, The Science Museum, The Children's Museum, a myriad of colleges and technical schools, Bandana Square's Twin City Model Railroad Club exhibit, paddle boats on the river, neighborhood parks, numerous walking/biking trails, the Charles Schultz statues, The Ordway and more, make St. Paul a great place to live or visit.

Andover Andover, an Anoka County suburb north of Minneapolis, is  home to beautiful parks including Bunker Hills which contains a wave pool, overnight camping, horse back riding trails and golf.

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Anoka Anoka, "Halloween Capitol of the World" is located northwest of Minneapolis where the Rum River and the Mississippi converge.  The city's name means "on both sides" because it originated as a trading post on both sides of the river and later was heavily involved in logging.  Anoka is Anoka County's county seat.

Demographics Schools

Apple Valley Apple Valley, directly south of Bloomington's Mall of America, is in the northwest corner of Dakota County.   Formerly the rural community of Lebanon Township, residential development sprang up in the mid 1960's.  Orrin Thompson, one of the developers, named his developments Apple Valley and planted apple trees in many yards spurring the name change to Apple Valley.  Rolling hills and valleys characterize the city which is home to the Minnesota Zoo and Imax Theatre.
 

Demographics Schools   Schools

Arden Hills Arden Hills is located about 8 miles north of Minneapolis and St. Paul's downtown area.  The northern one third of Arden Hills is occupied by the Twin Cities Army Ammunition Plant.  Other large businesses, numerous small businesses and two private colleges (Bethel University and Northwestern University) call Arden Hills home.

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Blaine Blaine, bounded by Anoka on the west and Arden Hills on the east, is directly north of the Twin Cities downtowns.  Here are the Anoka County Airport, the National Sports Center (an Olympic class training facility), and the Tournament Players Club golf course. 

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Bloomington Bloomington, a Hennepin County city located south of the Twin Cities on the Minnesota River, once had the motto "All the Businesses That Will Fit".  Possibly that motto was the reason Bloomington became home to the world's largest shopping mall, the Mall of America.

Demographics Schools

Brooklyn Center Brooklyn Center is a first ring suburb located just minutes north of downtown Minneapolis.  Although a smaller suburb it boasts its own school district.  The Earl Brown Heritage Center and Brookdale mall are both located in Brooklyn Center.
 

Demographics Schools

Brooklyn Park Brooklyn Park located north of Minneapolis on the west bank of the Mississippi River is the 6th largest city in the state.  Here you will find the Edinburgh Golf Course facility, affordable and high end housing, and easy access to downtown.

Demographics Schools   Schools   Schools

Burnsville   Burnsville in Dakota County is just 20 minutes south of either downtown.  The Burnsville Mall and Buck Hill attract many visitors.  Burnsville takes pride in over 1700 acres of parkland.

Demographics Schools

Champlin Champlin, "The Hometown Place for Hometown People", is bounded on the east and north by the Mississippi River and by Brooklyn Park, Dayton, Maple Grove and Elm Creek Park on the west and south.  Champlin is in northern Hennepin County approximately 17 miles northwest of Minneapolis.

Demographics Schools

Columbia Heights Columbia Heights is a first ring suburb directly north of Minneapolis.  It boasts the highest point in Hennepin, Ramsey, and Anoka counties which is why "Heights" was added to its name.

Demographics Schools

Coon Rapids Construction of a dam at Coon Creek Rapids caused a small town to separate out from Anoka Township and become Coon Rapids.  Now the 5th largest suburb in the metro area, the Coon Rapids Dam is part of the Regional Park system connecting trails along the Mississippi.

Demographics Schools

Cottage Grove Cottage Grove is located just 8 miles southeast of St. Paul on the east side of the Mississippi River in Washington County.  Its recent rapid expansion in manufacturing, retail and housing makes it one of the fastest growing communities in Minnesota.

Demographics Schools

Crystal Crystal, a second tier suburb, is northwest of Minneapolis in Hennepin County.  The Crystal Airport houses small planes for hobby pilots.  The city swimming pool, water slide, and the Crystal Community Center form a social center for the town.
Demographics Schools
Eagan The city of Eagan is directly south of the border between Minneapolis and St. Paul on the south side of the Minnesota River.  Predominantly an agricultural community until the 1950's, Eagan has carefully planned to preserve beautiful parks (like the Lebanon Hills Regional Park), and create restful residential areas while maintaining quality commercial development.
Demographics Schools           Schools
Eden Prairie Eden Prairie, located southwest of Minneapolis, was a farming community through the 1960's.  Contributors to the change were Flying Cloud Airport, Interstate 494, and the Eden Prairie Shopping Center.  Today's business count equals the human population of 1960.
Demographics Schools   Schools 
Edina Immediately southwest of Minneapolis quartered by Highways 62 and 100 is Edina.  Edina is home of Southdale, the first completely enclosed and climate controlled shopping mall in the nation.  Were Edina a woman, she would be the grand dame of the metro area.
Demographics Schools
Excelsior Excelsior, a one square mile city, located on the shore of Lake Minnetonka, is about 20 minutes west of Minneapolis.  Excelsior's small town environment has maintained a blend of old and new.  Excelsior makes a destination spot when you bike the Southwest Regional Light Rail Transit Trail. 
Demographics Schools
Falcon Heights

Falcon Heights is on St. Paul's northern border.  This "t" shaped town's 2.28 square miles is packed with items of interest including the St. Paul campus of the University of Minnesota, the state fair grounds, Gibbs Farm, the U of M golf course and a community park with prairie plant restoration in process.


Demographics Schools
Fridley

Fridley is bordered on the west by the Mississippi River, the southwest by Minneapolis and southeast by Columbia Heights.  For 13 years Fridley had the honor of being the smallest county in the United States until it was annexed into Anoka County in 1870.  The Mighty Ducks III was filmed in the Columbia Arena.  Fridley is home to the world headquarters of Medtronics, Inc., which is housed on the site of the worst tornadoes in the history of the Twin Cities in 1965.


Demographics Schools  Schools  Schools   Schools
Golden Valley Golden Valley, just 5 miles west of Minneapolis, is a thriving community with a recently re-developed city center at Hwy. 55 and Winnetka Ave. N.  Several major corporations have their facilities here including General Mills, Tennant, United Health Group, Honeywell and Cyberoptics.  Four major highways (100, 169, 55, and 394) provide easy access to or from town.
Demographics Schools     Schools
Hopkins Hopkins located about 13 miles west and slightly south of Minneapolis originated as home to the Minneapolis Threshing Machine Co.  It's named after one of its first residents.  While Minnesota is the land of 10,000 lakes, Hopkins does not claim any of its 4 square miles to be water.  The city owns the Shady Oak Beach in Minnetonka to fill this gap.
Demographics Schools
Inver Grove Heights Located southeast of St. Paul in the northeast corner of Dakota County, Inver Grove Heights offers a championship golf course at Inver Wood, 30 square miles of rolling wooded terrain, housing options ranging from apartments to large lot estates, all balanced with commercial facilities to make a vibrant healthy city.
Demographics Schools
Lauderdale

Lauderdale, "The Island in the Metro", may be the smallest suburb geographically at .4 square miles.  The "island" is sandwiched between the U of M golf course on the east, St. Paul on the south, Roseville to the north and Minneapolis on the west.


Demographics Schools
Lake Elmo Lake Elmo is located east of St. Paul in Washington County just minutes from downtown St. Paul.  The city is currently mostly farmland but is expected to change over the next few years as a result of a new city plan.
Demographics Schools
Lilydale Lilydale is just across the Mississippi River from St. Paul on the south side.  Located in Dakota County the 2000 census reported only 552 residents!
Demographics Schools
Mahtomedi Mahtomedi on the east shore of White Bear Lake encompasses 4 square miles in Washington County.  They are just 20 minutes east of the downtowns and used to be a recreational stop at the end of the street car line.  They call themselves 'A "Small Town" City'.
Demographics Schools
Maple Grove

Maple Grove, a northwest suburb in Hennepin County, is the second fastest growing city in the state.  The recent Arbor Lakes Development of their downtown has changed the face of shopping in the northwest suburbs.  Maple Grove is home to Boston Scientific.


Demographics Schools   Schools
Maplewood Maplewood, in Ramsey County, shaped roughly like a square kite with a long string which allows it to border both  the north and the entire east side of St. Paul.  It is home of the Maplewood Mall, 3M's corporate headquarters and a portion of Battle Creek. 
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Medicine Lake Medicine Lake is a small Hennepin County city west of downtown Minneapolis.  It is located on the south side of Medicine Lake and on a peninsula which juts into the lake.  With only 368 residents reported in the 2000 census, it's close to being the smallest metro suburb.
Demographics Schools
Mendota

Mendota, however, is smaller than Medicine Lake.  Located south of the river from Ft. Snelling, Mendota is an important center of Minnesota history.  Only 197 residents lived in Mendota during the 2000 census.


Demographics Schools
Mendota Heights Mendota Heights is south and east of the juncture of the Minnesota and Mississippi Rivers at Fort Snelling only separated from the rivers by Mendota and Lilydale.  Lovely rolling bluffs create close knit neighborhoods.  Mendota Heights is just minutes from the Mall of America, the MSP airport, and both downtowns, 
Demographics Schools
Minnetonka Minnetonka means "Great Lake" in Dakota and the suburb of Minnetonka is indeed on the "Great Lake" of the metro area.  Located just 8 miles west of downtown Minneapolis, Minnetonka is conveniently located for access to the major highways and the lake.

Demographics  Schools  Schools  Schools

Mounds View Mounds View is in the farthest northwest corner of Ramsey County.  The city was named for it strange mounds of sand and gravel that could be viewed from the entire city when it was first created.  The mounds for which it was named have since been removed for use elsewhere.
Demographics Schools
New Brighton New Brighton is located on the north side of the metro in Ramsey County where 35W and 694 intersect.  New Brighton was a center for the cattle industry in its early history and was named after the cattle center of Brighton, Massachusetts which supplied Boston.  The Twin City Packing Co. eventually lost its business to the cattle industry in South Saint Paul.
 
Demographics Schools  Schools
New Hope

New Hope is a second ring suburb about 10 minutes northwest of downtown Minneapolis.  The City is bounded by 62nd Ave. on the north, Hwy. 169 on the west, Medicine Lake Rd on the south and an irregular border on the east that is shared with Crystal.  The City sports parks, a municipal pool, 9 hole golf course, and the ice arena where the Mighty Ducks was filmed.  There is a strong industrial base for business combined with new development which is changing the face of the City.


 

Demographics Schools
North Oaks North Oaks, about 8 miles north of downtown St. Paul, is bounded by Highway 96 on the south and is just west of Highway 35E.  Originally designed as a golf course community, it is now a private residential community with 600 acres of conservation area and 25 miles of walking trails for the exclusive use of th residents.
Demographics Schools   Schools
North St. Paul North St. Paul is located north east of downtown St. Paul.  The founder Henrey Castle's goal for the village was a combination of busy commercial with quiet shaded residential areas.  More than 100 years after its founding, Castle's vision for the town has come to fruition.  The town office city logo, the snowman, can be seen at the corner of Highway 36 and Margaret Ave.
Demographics Schools   Schools
Oak Grove Oak Grove is located in northern Anoka County about 25 miles directly north of Minneapolis and about 10 miles directly east of Elk River.  The 36 square mile area had less than 7000 residents in the 2000 census.
Demographics Schools   Schools
Osseo

Osseo, about 14 miles northwest of downtown Minneapolis, encompasses only 1 square mile and had a population of just over 2500 in the 2000 census.  School District 279 which is now the 5th largest in the state originated in Osseo.  Main Street still exists, and you can greet your neighbor when you leave the local cafe.


Demographics Schools
Plymouth Plymouth is one of the fastest growing communities in the Twin Cities area.  Located about 10 miles northwest of downtown Minneapolis, Plymouth provides lakes, easy commuter access to highways, diverse housing choices, an extensive park system, and businesses to attract new residents.
Demographics Schools  Schools  Schools  Schools
Richfield

Richfield township had its first town meeting on the same day that Congress admitted the State of Minnesota to the Union, May 11, 1858.  Its name Rich--field tells of its agricultural origins.  Richfield is bounded by Minneapolis on the north; the MInneapolis St. Paul Airport on the east; Bloomington on the south; and Edina to the west.


 
Demographics Schools
Robbinsdale Robbinsdale abuts the northwest corner of Minneapolis and is home to North Memorial Medical Center.  The town originated as Crystal Lake.  Andrew Robbins found the town to be so attractive he purchased 90 acres of land with the goal of making a suburban community.  Crystal Lake later voted to disband and the town of Robbinsdale took its place. 
Demographics Schools
Rosemount Rosemount, in Dakota County, is just 15 miles south of the Twin Cities metro area.  Within its 36 square miles will be found strong commercial endeavors with easy access to rail, air, barge, and freeway transportation; undeveloped land; and residential communities.  Its strong Irish heritage is demonstrated in the high school team's name, the Irish, and the shamrock on the city flag.
Demographics Schools
Roseville   

Roseville, the only suburb to border on both Minneapolis and St. Paul, is considered to be the retail and commercial center of the northeast suburbs.  Immediately north of St. Paul, either downtown can be reached in less than 10 minutes.  Roseville's area has a variety of uses with established residential neighborhoods, vibrant retail and commercial areas, and ample open space.  Its tax policy to keep tax increases below the rate of inflation, makes its taxes some of the lowest in the metro area.


 

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St. Anthony   Demographics Schools
Savage

Under Construction

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Shakopee   Demographics Schools
St. Louis Park   Demographics Schools
Spring Lake Park   Demographics Schools
South St. Paul   Demographics Schools
Shoreview   Demographics Schools
Vadnais Heights   Demographics Schools   Schools
Wayzata   Demographics  Schools
White Bear Lake   Demographics Schools
White Bear Township   Demographics Schools   Schools
Woodbury   Demographics Schools
Willernie   Demographics Schools
West St. Paul   Demographics Schools

 

For

"Excellence with a Smile"

e-mail Bonnie or call 612-419-1829