Top Five Cities to Retire in Minnesota
One of the biggest states in the American Midwest, Minnesota is also one of the most varied. With its combination of bustling urban centers and large stretches of wilderness, Minnesota has something to offer retirees no matter what their passion.
With countless lakes, Minnesota boasts more shoreline than either California or Florida. Northern Minnesota is an outdoor enthusiast’s dream, offering access to nearly every outdoor recreation activity, and Lake Superior even allows for surfing and kayaking. The south is dominated by the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul, the third largest metropolitan area in the Midwest. The Twin Cities are a vibrant hub of theatre and music, aided by the presence of a large number of colleges and universities, where many artists, such as Minnesota native Bob Dylan, launched their careers.
For those who thrive on the urban lifestyle, the right neighborhood in Minnesota’s largest city could be an ideal place to celebrate the autumn years. Uptown Minneapolis, on Lake Calhoun, combines a large art community, great restaurants, shopping and theatre with opportunities for sailing, kayaking and other lake-based activities. The Warehouse District in downtown Minneapolis has attractive old apartments, many of which have been updated to offer modern comfort while retaining their historic charm. The city’s variety means that seniors can find affordable housing and health care no matter what their budget.
Duluth is a vibrant port city boasting the largest metropolitan area on Lake Superior. The city boasts such attractions as the country’s only all-freshwater aquarium, as well as a jump-off point for visits to Minnesota’s gorgeous North Shore. Duluth benefits from its “Superior” location in the summertime, when the lake cools the hot, humid temperatures. Home prices in Duluth are well below the national average, and other factors such as state funding for the arts and access to year-round recreation – from golf courses in the summer to cross country ski trails in the winter – help to make Duluth an attractive retirement destination.
A small town ideal for more adventurous retirees, Ely offers easy access to a wide variety of outdoor activities including hiking, fishing and hunting. It's a popular entry point for the Boundary Waters Canoe Area, and is only a short hop from Superior National Forest. Quiet and picturesque during the colder months, Ely is a bustling destination in summer as visitors flock to enjoy the wilderness, pick wild blueberries, and spot exotic wildlife. Ely has grown increasingly popular with seniors in recent years, in part because the cost of living and median home prices are quite low compared with the rest of the country. For unmatched natural beauty and year-round opportunities for adventure, look no further than Ely.
The city of Rochester, home of the renowned Mayo Clinic, is the heart of Southern Minnesota. For those who love their urban amenities, Rochester offers the shopping, restaurants and access to the arts that city-dwellers expect. However, the city also boasts 85 miles of paved pedestrian and bike paths, while the Root River and Douglas State trails offer another 55 miles of scenic recreation trails in the area surrounding the city. The average home price in Rochester is below the national average, and the city also boasts a low crime rate. It has been nicknamed the “Bioscience Zone” for its dedication to health care and technology.
A serene suburb of Minneapolis, Edina features beautiful historic neighborhoods, a top-tier school system, and terrific local shopping. For those looking to add a bit more spice to their weekly routine, Edina is a mere 15 minutes from the heart of downtown Minneapolis and its active theatre and music scene. The crime rate in Edina is low, and proximity to Minneapolis also means easy access numerous hospitals and a variety of low cost health care options.