I’ve referenced Mpls.St.Paul Magazine’s article on the Twin Cities’ best places to live a couple times. The first time focused on their “Best Walkable Neighborhoods”, and the second post focused on their list for downtown. There are still a few more to be shared and discussed, and this time it’s all about the suburbs, what they’ve chosen to designate as “sanctuaries”. The magazine selected Excelsior/Wayzata, Edina, Golden Valley, Roseville, and St. Louis Park as their favorite Twin Cities suburbs, giving the most time and attention to Excelsior/Wayzata and, surprisingly, Edina. The surprising part comes from the fact that they felt the need to put forth reasons for why Edina should be a top suburb pick, whereas they designated Roseville as a “perennial favorite” with very little explanation. It should be the opposite way around, in my book. People know Edina’s a top pick, but Roseville isn’t a frequent flyer on many “best of” lists.
Now onto the reasons for their choices – Excelsior/Wayzata is fairly easy to understand. Mind you, these are two different cities, but they’ve been lumped into one pick since they’re both small cities with similar vibes, located within the same vicinity on Lake Minnetonka. These are boat towns, but that doesn’t mean they’re run-down or stagnant. In fact, development has been strong over the past few years, bringing in new restaurants, shopping, and even a brewery, as noted in the article. Median home values have also increased in both Excelsior and Wayzata over the past few years (above half a million dollars), similar to much of the rest of the metro area. The article also points to the promise of the cities’ bright future with younger families moving in, having renewed interest in the cities’ vitality and success. If you need a reason to head out west other than the beautiful, active lake, make your way to Bellecour, Wayzata’s most active establishment (probably). This baby’s a winner on all fronts, and it’s got the patrons to show for it.
Aaaand, then there’s Edina, the city we've chosen to call "home". Briefly, because we’ve discussed it before, Edina appeals to professionals, families and retirees alike. It’s a first ring suburb that has had a major face-lift over the past several years. People have snatched up homes, only to tear them down (or gut them) and build modern wonders in their place. Edina’s got great schools, beautiful parks, lots and lots of money for the city to spend to continue improving the landscape and infrastructure, and close proximity to the lovely SW Minneapolis lakes and downtown Minneapolis. It’s just pretty difficult to find an affordable place here.
Then, St. Louis Park could be considered Edina’s younger cousin, with a lot of interest in the city spilling over from luckless Edina searchers. The article cites the city’s location near Minneapolis as one of its major selling points, and we agree. The article praises Golden Valley for its proximity to downtown Minneapolis and other major employers, as well as the expansive Theodore Wirth Park. And for Roseville, the article merely references its “leafy” characteristics and the city’s sizable investment into its parks. We’ve got nothing against Roseville, but you’re going to have to give us more than that to convince us it’s a “perennial favorite”. What about Eden Prairie, which was named the second best place to live in the nation by Time’s Money Magazine? Or even City Pages’ Best Suburb – South St. Paul, the little known historic meat-packing town on the east side of the metro? You can expect another blog post soon digging more into Roseville and what’s truly unique about the city.
As always, if you’re interested in checking any homes out – please reach out (952-258-3100 or email).
Photo credit: user kconnors, morguefile.com