Chanhassen, Apple Valley & Savage Ranked 'Best Places to Live'
Several Twin Cities suburbs made Money Magazine’s 2013 list of the best small towns to live in. Apple Valley MN, Chanhassen MN and Savage MN were ranked in the top 50 of the most highly rated communities national.
Chanhassen jumped from 10th place in 2011 to fourth this year. Apple Valley ended up at 17 and Savage jumped to 21, all the way from 51st in 2011.
Money Magazine’s list covers cities with populations between 10,000 and 50,000. It takes into account of such factors as local incomes, crime rates and schools, as well as amenities such as Savage’s new sports dome and walkable downtown.
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Top 50 rank: 4
Chanhassen was affected by Minnesota's woes during the downturn, but the town is bouncing back and taking fresh steps to improve. The area school district recently provided $700,000 in grants for classroom tech projects and is now rolling out Wi-Fi on all school buses. The town also beefed up commuter options.
The housing market, which took a big hit, is surging back. Jobs have remained strong, and nearby Minneapolis offers big-name employers like Target and the Mayo Clinic.
One perk of Twin Cities-area living is access to the great outdoors. Chanhassen MN's highlights include 34 parks, 90 miles of trails, and the 1,137-acre Minnesota Landscape Arboretum. When below-zero wind chills set in, there's February Festival with ice-fishing contests, sledding, and cookouts.
Apple Valley, MN
Top 50 rank: 17
If you don't mind cold winters, there's plenty to recommend this family-friendly Twin Cities suburb. There's a wide range of affordable homes in Apple Valley MN: The median sale price is around $200,000.
Cars are still the de facto transport here, but the city recently added a $112 million rapid-transit bus system that connects the downtown to area attractions like the Mall of America. Apple Valley is also home to the Minnesota Zoo and 53 parks.
Top 50 rank: 21
Located southwest of Minneapolis, Savage is a commuter town. Many residents travel to jobs in the Twin Cities, about 20 minutes away. However, a couple of large manufacturing companies have moved to the area recently, creating more local jobs.
Savage invested nearly $5 million to create a new indoors sports center that allows families to stay active during Minnesota's snowy months. The town also has a quaint, walkable downtown.
These aren't the only cities to have ranked well in similar lists. Read more about great Twin Cities places to live.