It’s no secret we’re big fans of the big Twin Cities.
It’s why we started a website dedicated to all the awesome things to do around Minneapolis and St. Paul in the first place!
But that doesn’t mean the fun has to stop at the end of the cities’ borders. The Twin Cities are packed with many great suburbs, and they aren’t your typical ‘burbs, either! These are charming towns filled with their own character.
So whether you’re living in Minneapolis already and just looking to settle down somewhere quieter, or you’re coming to the Metro from halfway around the country and need a local’s opinion, here are our picks for the best Minneapolis and St. Paul suburbs.
Map of Our Favorite Twin Cities Suburbs
- Claim to Fame: The most charming Main Street you’ll find west of the Mississippi
- Perks: An arts center and a brewery that makes only limited edition craft brews
- Move here if: you want a small town vibe that’s located close to everything
- Don’t leave without: a sweet treat from Amy’s Cupcake Shoppe
Hopkins provides the quintessential midwestern small town experience with all the best amenities of city life. Stroll down Main Street where you’ll find lots of fun local restaurants and businesses, including antique stores that are great for treasure hunting. The local arts center hosts theatre and live shows, and there’s no shortage of free parking. Lots of new and remodeled apartment complexes and a short commute to downtown Minneapolis make this an awesome place for young professionals to live.
2. St. Louis Park
- Claim to Fame: The city hosts Twin Cities Film Fest every fall, where movie buffs enjoy the latest in cinematic art and may be treated to a celebrity sighting
- Perks: The shortest average commute time of any suburb, and the new Green Line expansion will make commuting to Minneapolis and St. Paul even faster
- Move here if: you either want to live in a swanky condo or do your own DIY updates to revive a 1960s bungalow
- Don’t leave without: grabbing takeout from A Wok in the Park
St. Louis Park is a first-ring Minneapolis suburb with so much to do, you may forget that you’re even in a suburb. Breweries and distilleries make this a favorite cocktail destination, but there’s also tons of great restaurants and shopping. If you’re looking for a new home for you and your pup, you’ll love that St. Louis Park offers not one but two off-leash dog parks that are open year-round.
- Claim to Fame: The “Birthplace of Minnesota,” the city of Stillwater is actually older than the city of Minneapolis
- Perks: Great local food and shopping, and as close as you can get to Wisconsin while still being in the superior state
- Move here if: your idea of a perfect date is a long run or bike ride followed by a drink on a patio
- Don’t leave without: taking a selfie with the historic Stillwater lift bridge, one of just a handful of operational lift bridges in the U.S.
Stillwater is located east of St. Paul along the scenic St. Croix River, and has a rich history as a riverboat town that’s now grown into one of the most popular suburban destinations in Minnesota. The bustling Main Street experience is perfect for a girl’s weekend, romantic staycation, or a day trip. Treat yourself to a relaxing salt cave spa experience, kick back with a drink from one of many breweries or wineries, or enjoy the outdoors by biking from Stillwater to downtown St. Paul on the beautiful Gateway Trail.
4. White Bear Lake
- Claim to Fame: a mention by Mark Twain in his memoir “Life on the Mississippi”
- Perks: Scenic lakes and a downtown area where you can spend all day exploring
- Move here if: you want the best of year-round lake life, from boating to ice fishing, in your backyard
- Don’t leave without: enjoying the annual Manitou Days festival, with a parade, entertainment, fine art, and of course food!
North of St. Paul, you’ll find White Bear Lake, which was historically a railroad resort destination. The tourism spirit of White Bear Lake continues today, where you’ll find lots of opportunities for shopping, dining, and enjoying all the recreational activities you can dream of on the surrounding lakes. White Bear Lake has a more laid-back vibe than other lake-centric suburbs, which makes it a better option for those who want to get away from all the hustle and bustle of city life. White Bear Lake also boasts a robust school system and parks system, which makes it a great suburb for families with kids.
- Claim to Fame: the gateway to Lake Minnetonka, with boat docks, beaches, and lakeside dining
- Perks: Lots of trendy places to shop and dine out
- Move here if: you’re into a lakeside-luxury yacht club type of lifestyle
- Don’t leave without: a run or bike ride along the scenic Dakota Rail Regional Trail, which offers amazing views of multiple lakes along its 28 paved miles.
Wayzata is a beautiful suburb located along the shores of Lake Minnetonka, one of the most popular lakes in the state. Despite being a small suburb, Wayzata is popular with both local and out of state tourists, so you won’t get bored here! The cost of living is much higher than other suburbs due to the proximity to beautiful Lake Minnetonka and the high demand for the local public school district, which is consistently rated as one of the top in the state.
- Claim to Fame: Home of Best Buy headquarters
- Perks: A surprising array of outdoor activities, from ice skating to a nature preserve
- Move here if: you’re a frequent traveler, since you’ll be super close to the airport and major interstates
- Don’t leave without: Hitting up karaoke at Sandy’s Tavern, a hidden gem burger joint
Just south of Minneapolis is Richfield, a suburb whose post World War II boom left no shortage of adorable mid century houses. Richfield itself is somewhat unremarkable, but its proximity to MSP International Airport, the Mall of America, and the rest of urban Minneapolis make it feel like a low-key extension of the city rather than a suburb. Most Richfield neighborhoods have minimal traffic but are close to major highways to make commuting a breeze.
- Claim to Fame: Home to Paisley Park, currently a museum of the former home and recording studio of musical genius Prince
- Perks: A great trail system and high performing school district
- Move here if: you want peace and quiet and a clear view of the nighttime sky
- Don’t leave without: Catching a dinner and a show at the Chanhassen Dinner Theatre, with some of the best musical theatre performances in the Midwest
Chanhassen doesn’t disappoint as one of the most family-friendly suburbs. The local park system has over 70 miles of trails that you can enjoy year round, and the school system is one of the best in the state. While the distance from Minneapolis is further than most suburbs, Chanhassen makes up for it with a low crime rate and lots of open spaces. If it was good enough for Prince, it’s good enough for all of us!
- Claim to Fame: home of the first indoor shopping mall in the United States, Southdale Center
- Perks: tons of shopping and an excellent school system
- Move here if: you don’t care that your friends will judge you for living in Edina
- Don’t leave without: a stroll through the Galleria, where you won’t be able to resist browsing through luxury stores including Tiffany & Co., Louis Vuitton, and Peloton
Edina is a top suburb, even though everyone loves to hate on Edina. Edina real estate is among the most expensive in the state, so you’ll pay a pretty penny to live here. But most residents absolutely love living in Edina because of the urban feel with all the comforts of suburban life, especially multiple golf courses. It’s just a few minutes from downtown Minneapolis, but you’ll find plenty of dining, arts, and entertainment opportunities without ever leaving the city.