MinneapolisCity Guide

Minneapolis, known for its beautiful landscape, is a city filled with people on the move — literally. Shape magazine rated it as one of the fittest cities in America. You can frequently find residents bicycling, golfing, or just enjoying one of the many parks. The city also boasts a solid job market and low crime rates.

Local Perspectives

Get the inside scoop on what it’s really like moving to Minneapolis, as told by locals.

Local Perspectives

archetype Grant Spanier

Filmmaker, freelance writer and creative director, and creator of the podcast “10,000 Hours”

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Time spent in Minneapolis

Moving to Minneapolis: Grant SpanierSix years. I came here for college and stayed because of the creative community, the energy, and the opportunities. I’m probably a little biased, but there is a really incredible advertising and creative industry in Minneapolis. Because of the Fortune 500 companies that call Minnesota home, there’s infrastructure to support a network of advertising agencies, and thus, a whole slew of creative service and production companies.

Why Minneapolis

An awesome music scene — the iconic First Avenue attracts amazing musical acts. An amazing art scene — the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis Institute of Art, and Weisman Art Museum hold it down on that front. A really impressive food and drinks scene. A very gay-friendly dating scene. A great public transit system. A super bike-friendly environment — particularly with the city’s Nice Ride bike-sharing program, which only costs $65 a year to be a member.

After work to-do list

I go to music shows, especially at First Avenue and Icehouse. St. Anthony Main Theatre is fantastic for movies. My favorite Meetup group is @Minnstameets for Instagrammers. My favorite spot for drinks is Marvel Bar. If you like sushi, Masu (Northeast) is amazing, with a cheap happy hour. There’s a really active biking community, and we’re a pretty fit city (we run around the lakes). I also love yoga and always try to make the 12 p.m. class on Saturdays at CorePower off Washington Avenue — it’s that good.

Easy commuting

I work from my home studio in Downtown East, which is conveniently located for commuting to anywhere else in the Twin Cities. Most of my work meetings are downtown or in Northeast — I can walk over, bike in 10–15 minutes, or take a $5 Uber. Occasionally I’ll venture further over to Uptown, which is 15–20 minutes by bus, a bit shorter by car.

The political scene

Minnesota tends to vote on the left side of things, and there’s a socially super-active liberal sect in Minneapolis. But remember that this is the Midwest, land of the generally white, German-settled territory, so there is a certain amount of conservatism in the area that follows that lineage.

City guide: Moving to Minneapolis-Kayaking

Weekend getaway destination

Duluth, which is right on Lake Superior, is gorgeous, especially during the fall. There are a lot of cool shops and restaurants, but the best thing is its natural beauty — the gigantic lake, woods, hills, and camping on the North Shore.

Local Perspectives

archetype Shelisa Demuth

Sales Director for Woodchuck USA

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Time spent in Minneapolis

Moving to Minneapolis: Shelisa DemuthFour years. I moved from Florida as a transfer student to the University of Minnesota, because I wanted to experience a vibrant city at a Midwest-style pace. Minneapolis has that, and it’s so beautiful throughout the seasons.

Why Minneapolis

People are welcoming and creative. The events scene is really connected, which makes it easy to network if you’re new to the area. When I first moved, I did a lot of volunteering and met many people through helping to plan nonprofit events. I also watched the local venues for music I liked and found that a similar crowd was drawn to the same shows and dance nights that I was. It was pretty easy to make friends.

Best neighborhoods, IMO

The North Loop is a wonderful mix of industrial charm and modern loft space. You’ll find creative firms, unique restaurants, and luxury boutiques (my very favorite clothing items usually come from shops there). Uptown is the younger, messier version of the North Loop — cheaper boutiques, louder restaurants, and more bars than I can count. Northeast, where I work, is one of my favorite neighborhoods; it’s a little grittier but it has gained the reputation of being the “true artists’ space.” It’s nestled between downtown Minneapolis and St. Paul, so if you’re not sure which of the Twin Cities you want to live in, consider the Northeast neighborhood your gateway to either.

Surprises about Minneapolis

The rivalry between the Twin Cities — who knew everyone had such a preference? I live in St. Paul and I’ve had several Minneapolis friends refuse to “cross the river” for events.

You’re not a local if …

You can’t pronounce street and city names like Hiawatha, Wayzata, and Shakopee. You go to the Mall of America on purpose.

City guide: Moving to Minneapolis- Dogs walking in snow

The dating scene

There are wonderful people to meet, but it’s tricky — Minneapolis is a small city, so you see the same people often! It’s important to change the neighborhood and events you attend in order to break away from the familiar gang. There isn’t much anonymity here. I fell in love with the man who lives across the hall at my apartment building, and we’re about to get married.

Commuting is easy, parking is expensive

The Twin Cities are connected by the light rail, which makes everything accessible. I commute from St. Paul by car, but even in high traffic, I find it easy to get around. There are plenty of park-and-ride options available for the bus system and light rail. Many people I know prefer this because parking rates in Minneapolis are high.