Moving to Minnesota

Dubbed the “Land of 10,000 Lakes” (among other nicknames), Minnesota is an Upper Midwestern state that offers stunning nature and high quality of life. It is also home to St. Paul and Minneapolis, known collectively as the Twin Cities, which account for 60% of the state’s population. 

Whether you’re interested in the quiet life (with colorful autumns and snowy winters), endless water sports, or life in an urban setting with rich multicultural diversity, Minnesota has it all! Is your next move pointing to the North Star State? If so, check out our comprehensive moving guide. It includes the following information:

  1. Things to Consider Before Moving to MN
  2. Top Places to Live Here
  3. Interstate Moving Checklist
  4. Great Guys Moving Services

Great Guys Long Distance Movers makes it super easy and cheap to select quality moving services. When you’re ready, we can provide you with free quotes from top-rated Minnesota moving companies.

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Living in Minnesota: What to Know Before Moving to Minnesota

Headed to the Gopher State? As the 12th largest state by total area (86,939 square miles) and 22nd most populous state (5.57 million resident), Minnesota is a special place. Check out what it has to offer below.

Pros and Cons of Living in Minnesota

Pros: 

  • Outdoor activities: Offering world-class recreation (including fishing, biking, boating, and cross-country skiing), Minnesota is an outdoor enthusiast’s playground.
  • Cultural diversity: Long known as a hub for immigrants, the state has large populations of residents from China, India, Korea, Vietnam, and other countries.
  • Land of 10,000 Lakes: The number is closer to 12,000, but you get the idea. If you like canoeing and ice skating (among other water activities), you’ll love it here!
  • True four seasons: With four distinct seasons, residents experience hot summers, crisp falls & springs, and snowy winters. Autumn is especially gorgeous with its colorful foliage.
  • Arts scene: Home to many art museums, theaters, and arts festivals (along with several acclaimed liberal arts colleges), the state offers a flourishing arts culture.
  • Delicious food: This pertains mainly to the Minneapolis-St. Paul metro area. Embracing its Nordic history and multicultural richness, the Twin Cities have created a booming food culture.
  • Easygoing & earnest folks: The residents of Minnesota are friendly, speak their mind, and offer each other a helping hand. Many people chalk up this neighborly attitude to the equalizing effect of surviving winters here.

Cons:

  • Cold winters: With temperatures as low as -35 degrees, Minnesota is home to extreme winter weather. Snow can start as soon as October and last until to May.
  • Overall bland cuisine: Now, this depends on location, but overall, the state lacks culinary variety. The Twin Cities, on the other hand, have a diverse foodie scene.
  • Odors: Full of farms and mining operations, the state is home to some interesting smells. Strong odors can range from corn to livestock, so pick up an air freshener or two.
  • Not particularly lively: Of course, this a generalization, but many residents aren’t exactly social butterflies. If that’s your thing, however, Minnesota offers plenty of peace and quiet.
  • Minnesotan accents: A point of preference, you’ll either love or loathe how locals sound. The accents are similar to their northern neighbors in Canada (dontcha know?).
  • Weird laws: Not some much a con, Minnesota has its fair share of bizarre laws. For example, it’s illegal to import or export live skunks. It’s also against the law to operate a vehicle in neutral.

Tax Rates

  • Property Tax: 1.15%. Minnesota’s effective real-estate tax rate ranks #32 in the country.
  • Sales Tax: 6.875% (base state sales tax). The total sales tax rates by municipality range from 6.875% to 8.375%.
  • Income Tax: Graduated. There are four brackets: 5.35%, 7.05%, 7.85%, and 9.85%.

Housing Market

To Rent or Buy? It depends. If you’re planning on living in a Minnesota home for at least 3–5 years (10 years is even better), homeownership is a great option. Minnesota is one of the Top 20 most affordable states for housing. In the Twin Cities, however, there has been a trend of high demand and low inventory.

  • Median Home Value: $238,100
  • Median Rental Expense: $857 (1BR), $1,090 (2BR)

Cheapest Places to Live in Minnesota:

  1. Montevideo
  2. Hibbing
  3. New Ulm
  4. Kasson
  5. Crookston
  6. Fairmont
  7. Byron
  8. Isanti
  9. International Falls
  10. St. Francis

Cost of Living

According to the Cost of Living in Minnesota by BestPlaces, Minnesota has a cost of living index of 106.3. This index is higher than the nationwide index average of 100.

Using the Family Budget Calculator, we can compare the average monthly expenses in two Minnesota metro areas. We’ll use a family of four for the examples (2 adults + 2 children). 

Minneapolis / St. Paul / Bloomington:

  1. Housing = $1,089
  2. Food = $795
  3. Childcare = $1,845
  4. Transportation = $1,207
  5. Healthcare = $1,255
  6. Other necessities = $760
  7. Taxes = $1,271
  8. Grand total = $8,223 per month or $98,675 per year

Duluth Metro Area:

  1. Housing = $848
  2. Food = $778
  3. Childcare = $1,558
  4. Transportation = $1,196
  5. Healthcare = $1,379
  6. Other necessities = $656
  7. Taxes = $1,101
  8. Grand total = $7,516 per month or $90,193 per year

Weather & Natural Disasters

The state of Minnesota has a continental climate. This leads to cold winters and hot summers. 

On average, the state sees 18–32 inches of rainfall per year, along with about 36–70 inches of annual snowfall (depends on region). Minnesota also experiences around 195 days of sunshine (compared to the national average of 205 days.) Summer high temperature hovers around 80 degrees in July, while the winter low can drop to approximately 2 degrees in January.

Natural Disaster – Threats & Risks:

  1. Blizzards / Snowstorms
  2. Tornadoes
  3. Floods
  4. Wildfires
  5. Heatwaves

Economy & Job Market

Minnesota is currently ranked #18 in Economy Rankings by US News. This ranking is based on several categories, including business environment (#18), employment (#3), and growth (#29). The state’s GDP is approximately $350 billion, and the median income is $36,156.

Top Industries:

  1. Manufacturing
  2. Agriculture
  3. Retail
  4. Healthcare / Biomedical
  5. Technology
  6. Finance
  7. Professional & Business Services
  8. Computer Programming / Data Processing
  9. Mining
  10. Fishing

Top Employers:

  1. Target
  2. UnitedHealth Group
  3. Country Inns & Suites by Carlson
  4. Cargill
  5. Best Buy
  6. 3M
  7. Coustic-Glo International Ceiling Maintenance
  8. US Bank
  9. Mayo Clinic
  10. Medtronic

Looking for work in Minnesota? Here are some handy resources:

  1. MN.gov page: Find a Job in Minnesota
  2. Job search: Indeed, LinkedIn, CollegeRecruiter, CareerBuilder
  3. Resume help: Monster, TopResume, ResumeRobin

Traffic and Transportation

Transportation in Minnesota:

  1. Highway transportation
  2. Metro Transit (Twin Cities metro area) 
  3. Bus services (transit buses and intercity bus lines)
  4. Railroads (light rail, commuter/intercity rail, freight rail)
  5. Air (the principal airport is Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport)
  6. Water (commercial shipment of commodities)
  7. Taxi/limousine service
  8. Ridesharing (Uber, Lyft, Didi, Ola, etc.)
  9. Van / motorcoach rentals 
  10. Bicycle trails (The Minneapolis Bicycling Program, Nice Ride MN)

Primary and Auxiliary Interstate Highways:

  1. Interstate 35
  2. Interstate 35E
  3. Interstate 35W
  4. Interstate 90
  5. Interstate 94
  6. Interstate 335
  7. Interstate 394
  8. Interstate 494
  9. Interstate 535
  10. Interstate 694

Minnesota has approximately 921 miles of highway, with maintenance provided by the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT). According to Best and Worst States to Drive In by WalletHub, Minnesota is ranked #16 overall for traffic. Here’s a breakdown: cost of ownership & maintenance (#20), traffic & infrastructure (#28), safety (#21), and access to vehicles & maintenance (#20). 

Things to Do

  • Food & Drink: Ike’s Food & Cocktails, Cornerstone Buffet & Restaurant, Marvel Bar, Surly Brewing Company, Spoon & Stable, Matt’s Bar, Shuang Cheng, Great! Lakes Candy Kitchen, Spyhouse Coffee, Cupcake, Palmer’s Bar, Bogart’s Doughnut Co., Kingsfield Farmers Market, Vellee Deli, Meritage, Revival, The Anchor Fish & Chips, Natedogs, Tullibee, Izzy’s, Kowalski’s Market, Broder’s Pasta Bar, Murray’s, Manny’s Steakhouse, Candyland, Broder’s Pasta Bar, Pizzeria Lola, Unideli
  • Parks: Lebanon Hills Regional Park, Leif Erickson Park & Rose Garden, Minnehaha Park, Enger Park & Tower, Centennial Lakes Park, Elm Creek Park Reserve, Canal Park, Lake Park, Green Giant Statue Park, Teddy Bear Park, Franconia Sculpture Park, French Regional Park, Hyland Lake Park Reserve, Loring Park, Mill Ruins Park, Alexander Ramsay Park, Lester Park, Bayfront Festival Park, Colvill Park, Glendalough State Park, Fish Lake Regional Park, Quarry Park & Nature Preserve, Mears Park
  • Hiking Trails: Cascade River State Park, Kawishiwi Falls Trail, Superior Hiking Trail, Paul Bunyan State Trail, Mill Ruins Park, Cannon Valley Trail, Tettegouche Trail, Oberg Mountain Loop, Midtown Greenway, Central Lakes Trail, Gateway Trail, Honeymoon Bluff, Dakota Rail Regional Trail, Hellacious Overlook, Lake Elmo Park Reserve, Bass Lake Trail, Gunflint Trail, Sugar Loaf, Split Rock Loop Trail, Circle Trail, Beaver Islands Trail, Silverwood Park, Trezona Trail, Baker Park Reserve
  • Nature & Wildlife Areas: North American Bear Center, Vince Shute Wildlife Sanctuary, National Eagle Center, International Wolf Center, Leech Lake, Minnesota Valley National Wildlife, French Regional Park, Hawk Ridge Bird Observatory, Tamarack Nature Center, The Raptor Center, Quarry Park & Nature Preserve, Whitewater State Park, Wood Lake Nature Center, Jay C. Hormel Nature Center, River Bend Nature Center, Lake Elmo Park Reserve, Sherburne National Wildlife Refuge
  • Museums: Lake Superior Art Glass, Minnesota Marine Art Museum, Minneapolis Institute of Art, Grand Portage National Monument, Minnesota History Center, Sivertson Gallery, Lake Superior Maritime Visitor Center, The Museum of Russian Art, American Swedish Institute, Science Museum of Minnesota, Split Rock Lighthouse, Schell’s, Spam Museum & Visitor Center, Historic Fort Snelling, LARK Toys, Chik-Wauk Museum & Nature Center, James J. Hill House, Mill City Museum 
  • Zoos & Aquariums: Sibley Park Zoo (Mankato), Como Park Zoo & Conservatory (Saint Paul), Minnesota Zoo (Apple Valley), SEA LIFE at the Mall of America (Bloomington), Great Lakes Aquarium (Duluth), Oxbow Park & Zollman Zoo (Byron), Como Park Zoo & Conservatory (Saint Paul), Lake Superior Zoo & Zoological Society (Duluth), Cook’s Country Connection (Cook), Safari North (Brainerd), RAD Zoo (Owatonna), Pine Grove Zoo (Little Falls), Hemker Park & Zoo (Freeport)
  • Water & Amusement Parks: Nickelodeon Universe (Bloomington), Lego Imagination Center (Bloomington), Valleyfair (Shakopee), Cascade Nay Waterpark (Eagan), Bunker Beach Water Park (Coon Rapids), Cafesjian’s Carousel (Saint Paul), Casey’s Amusement Park (Alexandria), Wild Mountain Water Park (Taylors Falls), Amazing Mirror Maze (Bloomington), Evergreen Gifts & Fun Park (Park Rapids), Drive a Tank (Kasota), Como Town Amusement Park (Saint Paul)
  • Spas & Wellness: LutZen Reflections Massage Studios, Mayo Clinic Healthy Living Program, Embury Spa, Just for Me Spa, The Spa Within, Nisswa Yoga, Brick Alley Studio of Massage & Bodywork, WatersMeet Spa & Wellness Center, Eagles Nest Massage Therapy, Glacial Water’s Spa, The Pebble Spa Co., Calla Lily Spa Co., The Salt Cave, Aveda Institute Minneapolis, Shoreview Community Center, Healing Touch Spa, Spalon Montage, The Woodhouse Day Spa, The Marsh
  • Nightlife: The Nook, Pedal Pub Twin Cities, Wabasha Street Caves, The Local, Dakota, Brave New Workshop, The Happy Gnome, Up-Down Minneapolis, First Avenue, The Winery at Sovereign Estate, The SHOUT! House Mpls – Dueling, Bunny’s Bar & Grill, Bar 209, Matt’s Bar, Ernie’s On Gull, Cuyuna Brewing Company, Sisyphus Brewing, 318 Café, Wildcats Bar & Grill, Steel Toe Brewing, The White House, Hayes’ Public House, Old Capital Tavern, Cowboy Jack’s Downtown Minneapolis
  • Cool & Unusual: Orfield Labs Quiet Chamber, Devil’s Kettle, Frank Lloyd Wright Gas Station, House of Balls, City Savage, Sidewalk Harp, Paisley Park, Elf Door at Demings Height Park, The Herbivorous Butcher, Center for Lost Objects, Spoonbridge & Cherry, Jolly Green Giant Statue, The Mall of America, Ax-Man Surplus, Lark Toys, Ingebretsen’s Scandinavian Gifts, Birthplace of F. Scott Fitzgerald, World’s Largest Ball of Twine Rolled by One Man, Studio Payne Art Gallery & Oddities

Schools and Universities

According to USA Today’s Geographic Disparity: States with the Best (and Worst) Schools, Minnesota is ranked #10 in the nation. Coupled with a handful of top colleges and universities (including some of the best liberal arts colleges in America), you have a recipe for a stellar education. 

Top MN Colleges:

  1. Carlton College (Northfield)
  2. Macalester University (St. Paul)
  3. Hamline University (St. Paul)
  4. St. Catherine University (St. Paul)
  5. Bethel University (St. Paul)
  6. Augsburg University (Minneapolis)
  7. Dunwoody College of Technology (Minneapolis)
  8. The University of Minnesota – Crookston (Crookston) 
  9. The University of Minnesota – Duluth (Duluth)
  10. Gustavus Adolphus College (St. Peter)

Top MN Public School Districts:

  1. Minnetonka Public School District (Minnetonka)
  2. Wayzata Public School District (Wayzata)
  3. Eden Prairie Public School District (Eden Prairie)
  4. Edina Public School District (Edina)
  5. Orono Public School District (Long Lake)
  6. St. Michael-Albertville School District (Albertville)
  7. Mahtomedi Public School District (Mahtomedi)
  8. Prior Lake-Savage Area Schools (Prior Lake)
  9. Mounds View Public School District (Shoreview)
  10. Sartell-St. Stephen School District (Sartell)

How to Become a Minnesota Resident

To become an official resident of Minnesota, the state requires you to satisfy the following:

  1. Be physically present in MN
  2. Reside here voluntarily
  3. Not maintain a home elsewhere

To become eligible as an MN student for state financial aid, you must show proof of one of the following:

  1. Graduated from an MN high school while residing here
  2. Received a GED in MN after living here for at least one year
  3. Lived here for 12 months for reasons other than education
  4. A member of US armed forces stationed in the state
  5. A spouse or dependent of someone in the armed forces stationed here
  6. Relocated to MN within 12 months of disaster area declaration
  7. A refugee who has settled and continues to reside in Minnesota
  8. Dependent student: parents lived in MN when the app was submitted
  9. Independent student: met resident definition and hasn’t moved since

Moving to Minnesota DMV

Acquiring a new driver’s license:

After moving to Minnesota, new residents have 60 days to apply for a driver’s license.

Steps to obtaining a new license:

  1. Establish Minnesota residency
  2. Complete MN driver’s license application
  3. Provide: social security number, one primary ID, one secondary ID
  4. A present out-of-state license (this will be invalidated)
  5. Provide proof of passing testing requirements (if applicable)
  6. Pass vision test
  7. Have photo taken
  8. Pay applicable Class D fees

Vehicle registration:

New MN residents must either visit a Deputy Registrar Office in person to register their out-of-state vehicle OR mail an application to title and register a motor vehicle in Minnesota to Driver & Vehicle Services (DVS). It is required to show proof of ownership (registration card or current certificate of title).

To qualify to vote, you must be:

  1. A United States citizen
  2. 18 years or older on election day
  3. An MN resident for at least 20 days
  4. Completed all parts of a felony sentence

You may register to vote online (MN driver’s license or ID required), download the application and mail it, or register when you vote (at a polling place on election day or early voting location).

*Note: Convicted felons receive restored voting rights upon completion of sentence.

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Best Places to Live in Minnesota

Wondering where to put down roots? Here are our top picks of places to live in Minnesota.

Northern Minnesota

Duluth

Population: 90,000
Median Home Value: $177,400

Situated in Saint Louis County on the north shore of Lake Superior, Duluth is a major port city (and the 4th largest city in Minnesota). Seeking a better work-life balance, millennials are now flocking to this MN city. Some 60% of residents own their homes, and many consider the public schools here above average.

As a popular tourist destination, Duluth offers affordable housing, historical sites, and a booming arts scene. There are also plenty of outdoor activities, including hiking, biking, sailing, kayaking, and much more. As for work, you’ll find opportunities in tourism, healthcare, technology, education, and aviation. All of this adds up to what is arguably one of the best small cities in the United States.

  • Top public schools: Harbor City International School, East High School, Lester Park Elementary School, Congdon Elementary School, and Ordean East Middle School. 
  • Top private schools: Marshall School, Lakeview Christian Academy, Holy Rosary School, St. James Catholic School, and St. Johns School. 
  • Top colleges: Lake Superior College, University of Minnesota Duluth, The College of St. Scholastica, Cosmetology Careers Unlimited – Duluth, and Duluth Business University.

Are you looking for a city with a small-town feel, an alternative to the hustle and bustle of the Twin Cities? If so, Duluth offers a breath of fresh air and a strong sense of community.

Hallock

Population: 1,100
Median Home Value: $79,300

As one of the best-kept secrets in Northern Minnesota, Hallock is the epitome of small-town living. Located in Kittson County, this tiny town of about 1,100 is a perfect destination for weekend getaways, world-class outdoor recreation, or setting down your roots. Approximately two-thirds of residents are homeowners, and the public schools serving the area are highly rated.

What makes Hallock so special? For starters, the air is purported to be cleaner and fresher up here. The community is also extremely welcoming and willing to give each other a helping hand. This neighborly attitude has proven to be a major plus for small business owners, including Revelation Ale Works, a local ultra-rural brewing company. Along with a rich history in hockey, the town boasts many activities like cross-country skiing, snowmobiling, bird watching, golfing, and camping. Oh, and housing is unbelievably affordable!

Top public schools serving the Hallock area include Kittson Central Elementary School and Kittson Central High School.

Most famously known as the main filming location for the 1996 movie Fargo, Hallock is a family-friendly town tucked away from the noise and congestion of Minnesota’s big cities. If you’re searching for a peaceful place where everyone looks out for each other, check out the town of Hallock.

Roseau

Population: 2,700
Median Home Value: $124,400

Consistently named one of the best small towns in Minnesota, Roseau sits on the state’s northern border in Roseau County. If you haven’t picked up on it yet, Northern Minnesota is full of amazing little towns, and Roseau continues to help carry the torch. Nearly two-thirds of residents are homeowners, and the public schools serving the area rate above average.

As a welcoming and close-knit community, Roseau was named “The Friendliest Place in America” by Men’s Journal magazine. Minutes from the Canadian border, you’ll find rich history (Native American and Scandinavian homesteaders) and outdoor fun (including hiking, skiing, and snowmobiling). It is also a northern town with deep hockey roots, a point of great pride for locals. Whether you want to raise a family, start a small business, or enjoy a fresh start, this town is a great place to do it.

Top public schools serving Roseau include Roseau Secondary School and Roseau Elementary School.

Just like Duluth and Hallock, the town of Roseau is a great alternative to big urban life. If you’re looking to find quiet, Roseau should be on your list of top places to live in Minnesota.

Southern Minnesota

Eden Prairie

Population: 64,400
Median Home Value: $356,900

As we make our way to Southern Minnesota, our first stop is in Eden Prairie. This city of less than 65,000 is in Hennepin County, just 12 miles southwest of Minneapolis. Filled with trees, parks, hiking trails, and nice neighborhoods, this well-planned community is a favorite among those who move to the North Star State. 73% of residents own their homes, and public schools are highly ranked. 

Having been named as one of the top places to live in America, Eden Prairie continues to attract folks looking for the perfect blend of small-town feel and topnotch urban amenities. There are also about 10,000 acres of parks and open spaces. On the downside, housing prices are higher than the national average; however, you get what you pay for in Eden Prairie.

Top public schools include Minnetonka Senior High School, Eden Prairie Senior High School, Scenic Heights Elementary School, Minnetonka East High School, and Cedar Ridge Elementary School. Top private schools include The International School of Minnesota, Eden Prairie Montessori Learning Center, and Agape Christi Academy. Rasmussen College – Bloomington also serves the Eden Prairie area.

Looking for a great place to work and raise a family? Eden Prairie is a welcoming community close to the Twin Cities, offering a great suburban feel and a prime location for families and young professionals.

Edina

Population: 52,000
Median Home Value: $466,900

Ranked as the #1 choice among the best places to live in Minnesota by HomeSnacks, Edina is a sought-after community located in Hennepin County. Its roots are in milling and farming, but the small city has since become an attractive place to live with acclaimed schools, a booming economy, and great opportunities. 72% of residents are homeowners, and the public schools are exceptional.

As a cozy suburb of Minneapolis, lakes (namely Lake Cornelia) and public parks surround Edina. There has been a lot of development and growth over the last few years, resulting in a nice mix of old and new homes in neighborhoods like Morningside. There’s also Simon Mall, several restaurants and food chains, country clubs, and shops. One downside is that the median home value is the highest on our list.

Top public schools serving the Edina area include Edina Senior High School, Eden Prairie Senior High School, Creek Valley Elementary School, Countryside Elementary School, and Valley View Middle School. Top private schools are Chesterton Academy, Calvin Christian School – Edina, Golden Years Montessori School, Step by Step Montessori Schools of Edina, and St. Peter’s Lutheran School.

If you want to live in a city with a small-town vibe that’s brimming with big-city amenities, the City of Edina is a prime spot that’s close to Minneapolis and St. Paul.

Minneapolis

Population: 422,000
Median Home Value: $267,100

One-half of the famous Twin Cities – St. Paul accounts for the other half – Minneapolis is the largest city in the state and part of the 16th largest metro area in America. Known for strong entrepreneurship and diverse multiculturism, it offers a full array of opportunities and experiences. No wonder millennials love it here – there’s a perfect blend of living, work, and play!

What does The Mini Apple have to offer? Here’s a list: career opportunities (the tech scene is booming), parks & lakes (you may be tempted to buy a boat with the abundance of water activities), shopping (home of Mall of America), bike-friendly atmosphere (including Nice Ride bike-sharing program), big coffee & brewery culture, delicious food (home of the Jucy Lucy cheeseburger), and low home prices (especially compared to other major US cities). On the downside, be prepared for harsh winters here.

  • Top public schools: Yinghua Academy, Southwest Senior High School, Washburn Senior High School, Hale Elementary School, and Burroughs Elementary School. 
  • Top private schools: Minnehaha Academy, DeLaSalle High School, Hope Academy Minneapolis, Cristo Rey Jesuit High School, and Annunciation School. 
  • Top colleges: University of Minnesota – Twin Cities, Herzing University – Minneapolis, Minneapolis College of Art & Design, Augsburg University, and Dunwoody College of Technology.
  • Top neighborhoods: Lynnhurst, Lowry Hill, Linden Hills, Fulton, and Loring Park.

Offering everything you’d expect from a first-rate city, minus the high population and cost of living of a megacity like NYC, Minneapolis is one of the great Midwest metropolises.

Rochester

Population: 115,700
Median Home Value: $226,400

Situated in Olmstead County, south of the Twin Cities, Rochester is currently ranked by Niche as the second-best city to buy a home in the United States (just behind Overland Park, Kansas). People who live in Rochester love it! Nearly 70% of residents own their homes, and public schools are highly rated.

Home to the Mayo Clinic and several colleges (including the University of Minnesota), Rochester offers world-class arts & culture (plus a hip music scene), a booming food scene, pretty downtown, and year-round activities. If you’re looking for job opportunities, the city offers a wide assortment, especially in healthcare. On top of that, Rochester is one of the most pet-friendly cities in the country.

  • Top public schools: Mayo Senior High School, Century Senior High School, Byron Intermediate School, Friedell Middle School, and Washington Elementary School. 
  • Top private schools: Lourdes High School, Schaeffer Academy, Rochester Central Lutheran School, St. John Elementary School, and St. Francis of Assisi Elementary School. 
  • Top colleges: University of Minnesota – Rochester, Rochester Community & Technical College, Crossroads College, Mayo Graduate School, and Mayo Medical School.
  • Safest neighborhoods in Rochester, MN: 40th St. SW / Bamber Valley Road SW, High Forest / Judge, N. Broadway / 65th St. NE, Chester / Marion, Country Club Road SW / 35th Ave. NW, Northern Valley Dr. NE / Northern Heights Dr. NE, 2nd St. SW / 23rd Ave. SW, 55th St. NW / Bandel Rd. NW, Silver Creek Rd. NE / 80th Ave. NE, and Route 14 / 50th Ave. SE.

If you’re weighing alternatives to the Twin Cities, Rochester should be #1 on your list. This fast-growing Southern MN city still offers great affordability coupled with exceptional amenities and opportunities.

St. Paul

Population: 306,700
Median Home Value: $221,300

Last but not least, we have Saint Paul. Along with being the capital of Minnesota and the other half of the Twin Cities, it is the 2nd most populous city in the state. Like its counterpart in Minneapolis, The Saintly City boasts a rich history, diversity, and tons of opportunities. Situated along the east bank of the Mississippi River, St. Paul has transformed from a trading settlement to a thriving Midwest city. 

Home to several Fortune 500 companies, St. Paul is a flourishing commercial hub. There’s also no shortage of nightlife and events for all ages. Here, you can find Summit Avenue – the longest preserved Victorian avenue in the nation. The city also has more shoreline on the Mississippi than any other US metropolis. Want to enjoy some gorgeous nature? There’s incredible wilderness is just north of the city.

  • Top public schools: Nova Classical Academy Upper School, Nova Classical Academy Elementary School, Twin Cities German Immersion School, and Central Senior High School. 
  • Top private schools: St. Paul Academy & Summit School, Cretin-Derham Hall, St. Paul Preparatory School, Saint Agnes School, and Nativity of Our Lord School. 
  • Top colleges: Macalester College, University of St. Thomas – Minnesota, Bethel University – Minnesota, Concordia University – St. Paul, and Hamline University.
  • Top neighborhoods: Macalester-Groveland, St. Anthony Park, Union Park, Summit Hill, and Como.

Though there might be more potholes (and the shadow of its more popular sibling hanging over), Saint Paul is a highly livable city with some great neighborhoods, diverse culture, and a down-home vibe.

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How to Move to Minnesota

8-12 Weeks Before Moving Day

  • Plan ahead: If you want to minimize your stress, give yourself more than enough time to plan and perform your Minnesota move. If possible, a minimum of 8 weeks. Remember, procrastination is not your friend. Be prepared.
  • Book MN movers: Start by comparison shopping (at least 3–5 fully licensed and licensed companies). Hire ASAP for best rates and availability. Great Guys makes it simple & affordable to source top Minnesota moving services. Request free quotes today!
  • Get hold of landlord or realtor: Notify your landlord as soon as you know you’re moving. If you own, contact a realtor to get your house ready for sale or rental. Don’t forget to give a heads up to neighbors, so they aren’t left wondering where you went.
  • Purge & downsize: To save space and money, perform a purging process. This process involves taking inventory of what you have in your household and sorting items into ‘keep’ or ‘discard’ piles (you can also use labels). Start with one room at a time, and repeat the process in every space.
  • Prep little ones: Kids can have a hard time moving. Make an effort to kindly explain the change (either through story or playtime). Try to maintain their routine during the process.
  • Donate, recycle, and sell: Once you’ve finished sorting through everything, you can now sell online, throw a yard sale, donate to charity or thrift shops, and recycle disused items.
  • Tour your new area: If doable, visit your new city or town. Make an adventure out of it. See what the community has to offer: jobs, schools, amenities, events, activities, and so on.

4-6 Weeks Away

  • Start the packing process: Going the DIY route? If so, grab plenty of quality packing supplies. Start by placing heavier items at the bottom of the boxes. Give ample time and effort to ensure your fragile and valuable items are protected. Contact us today for a cheap, efficient packing service!
  • Turn off / on services: Remember to have current utilities (electricity, water, gas, trash, etc.) disconnected. Try to have this scheduled for the day after your move. About a month out, make sure that new services will be up and running by the time you arrive at your new home.
  • Transfer vital records: From school and medical to prescriptions, take the time to transfer transcripts and other important records to your new town or city.
  • Change address: It’s time to update your info. Head to your local post office or go online to USPS.com. Also, remember to change info for online services, box subscriptions, and so on.

2 Weeks Out

  • Service your car: If you’re planning on driving to or out of Minnesota, make sure to have your vehicle properly serviced. This servicing should include an oil change, tire rotation, and air conditioning check.
  • Hire professional cleaners: Want to protect your security deposit or have a great house showing? Arrange for a cleaning crew to come in right after your movers have left.
  • Make repairs: While you’re at it, address any damage that may be present. This maintenance may include touch-ups to drywall, fixtures, flooring, and more. Perform repairs yourself or hire the appropriate contractors.
  • Have a moving sale: Even if you’ve already performed a purging process, there may still be plenty of items you want to let go of. This sale is also a great opportunity to catch up with neighbors.
  • Confirm insurance coverage: Whether you have homeowner’s or renter’s insurance, you’ll want to make sure you’re covered for an unforeseen incident. Also, consult your moving company. What type of insurance coverage do they offer?
  • Plan for pet transport: Got a furry friend that can’t travel with you directly? Schedule special transportation. A private carrier is also a great way to transport prized plants.
  • Keep kids out of harm’s way: Moving day presents many risks, including distraction and open doors: schedule babysitting, playdate or daycare for the little ones (including pets).
  • Celebrate with loved ones: Don’t forget to say your farewells. Plan on hanging out with family and friends. Throw a party, host a group outing, or meet up one-on-one to tell your loved ones goodbye.

One Week to Go

  • Create a first night box: Also called an essentials box, it should contain the items you’ll need for the first 24–48 hours at your new place: meds, snacks, bedding, toiletries, toys, etc.
  • Confirm moving arrangements: Contact your moving company to make sure you agree on arrival time and other details. Exchange phone numbers for easy contact during transit.
  • Double-check travel arrangements: Flying? Confirm flight itinerary and luggage restrictions. Driving? Look over the vehicle (oil, tires, coolant) and go over the driving plan.
  • Get some rest: Instead of staying out late the night before moving day, keep things mellow. Relax, eat well, hydrate, and catch up on some much-needed sleep.

Moving Day

  • Meet with movers: If possible, be there when your moving crew arrives. Your presence will allow for clear communication and the ability to accurately answer any questions they may have.
  • Provide water & snacks: You’re not obligated to do this, but it’s a nice gesture that will be greatly appreciated — offer bottled water and a light snack to start on the right foot.
  • Do a Walkthrough: Once the movers have finished up, tour your old place. Keep an eye out for any damages, messes, or possessions that you may have missed.
  • Enjoy the move: Now that everything is rolling (including the moving truck), take time to savor the moment. Begin your new chapter with a fun adventure to your new home!

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Quality Moving Services from Minnesota Movers

Great Guys Long Distance Movers connects you with top MN moving services at low rates.

Long Distance Moves

Headed to or out of Minnesota? We’ve got you covered. Our network of interstate movers are fully licensed, insured, and experienced to cover all your long-distance moving needs. Enjoy the beginning of your new chapter with the best movers in the Land of 10,000 Lakes.

Intrastate & Local Moves

Whether you’re moving to the Twin Cities or Duluth, you need a company you can trust. Our moving partners know the state of Minnesota like the back of their hands. Enjoy a mellow move that’s easy on your wallet. Contact us today to hire a topnotch local moving company.

International Moves

Relocating to another country? Whether for the military or a new career opportunity, overseas moving involves complicated planning, regulations, and paperwork. To help you successfully navigate it all, we offer our international relocation service for a headache-free experience.

Small Load Moves 

You don’t need to spend big bucks or hire a large moving company. We make it super simple to find small load movers that are both fast and affordable. From one-bedroom apartments to studios and dorms, we can hook you up with a service that will leave you smiling. 

Furniture Shipments

Got bulky or fragile furniture? Consider one of our furniture moving companies. Save your back by leaving the heavy lifting to the professionals. They arrive with the right equipment, experience, and know-how to safely and efficiently disassemble, pack, unload, and reassemble your furniture.

Piano Transport

Moving your piano or organ to a new venue or home? Count on our top-rated piano movers. We take great pride in our piano moving specialists, and for a good reason. Have peace of mind as they carefully transport your instrument to its new location, unharmed and ready to be tuned and enjoyed.

Art Shipping & Transport

Don’t settle. When it comes to handling fine art or valuable collectibles, you should hire specialized movers. Our highly qualified art shippers take every precaution to protect your investment. Utilizing the latest packing and delivery techniques, our pros make it easy to transport your prized collection safely.

Storage

Looking for short-term or long-term storage? Whether you’re relocating, traveling or renovating, our moving partners provide clean and secure storage solutions for any size haul, big or small. You can either purchase this service separately or add to your moving package. 

Last Minute & Short Notice Moves

Great Guys knows how stressful a sudden move can be. That’s why we make it easy, fast, and cheap to source last minute movers in your local area. Whether you’re headed out of town for a new job or just received an eviction notice, you can breathe a sigh of relief that your move is in great hands.

Residential Moves

Moving into a new home? We want to help you experience a smooth transition in Minnesota. From packing to unboxing and storage shipping, our network of reputable movers takes the stress off your shoulders by handling the labor-intensive and time-consuming process of household moving.

Packing Services

No matter the size of your place, packing can be overwhelming. Let us find you some helping hands. From partial packing of prized possessions to a full-packing solution that covers everything, we can find you the right packing service for your needs and budget.

Commercial and Office Moves

Okay, so it’s time to move into a new office or retail space. Who can you trust? We’ve got your back. Our highly skilled commercial moving specialists are ready to take care of your complicated logistics and can even provide a moving coordinator. Focus on your business while everything is executed smoothly.

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