Only one state has a set of twins - twin cities that is. Minnesota is home to the twin cities of St. Paul and Minneapolis, 600 annual festivals and 500 golf courses. Plus, only in Minnesota can you visit the Museum of Questionable Medical Devices, located within the Science Museum of Minnesota. The collection features several crazy devices including a prostate gland warmer, nose straightener and a machine to determine your personality.
Minnesota also has plenty of activities for the water sports fanatic. The annual Aquatennial festival in Minneapolis, which began in 1940, celebrates the state’s love affair with lakes and rivers, including the Mississippi. Minnesota is also home to the famous Mall of America, a gargantuan 4.87-million-square-foot complex with an indoor amusement park and more than 520 shops. Located in Bloomington, MN, it boasts a wedding chapel, eight acres of skylights, a 1.2 million gallon walk-through aquarium and 40 million annual visitors. Even with no sales tax on apparel in Minnesota, the Mall generates almost $2 billion in economic impact for the state each year.
If you're looking for real estate property near Betsy, Tacy or Tib's homes in fictitious Deep Valley, MN, you may want to focus your search in Mankato, MN, instead, as that is where Maud Hart Lovelace, author of the 10 books in the beloved Betsy-Tacy series, grew up. Nestled in the Emerald Green Valley in south central Minnesota, Mankato is also the “big city” that the characters from Little House on the Prairie visit for supplies.
Looking for an actual big city in today’s context? Minneapolis is only eight miles from its sister city St. Paul, and together the combined metro area has more than 3.4 million residents, making it the 16th largest in the country. In early 2016, the median home value in Minneapolis was $234,397, while in St. Paul, it was $201,282. Statewide, the median home value was $206,552 – roughly $23,000 higher than the U.S. national average of $183,000.
With a population of over 5.4 million, Minnesota ranks 21st in the U.S. Whites make up 84% of the population, blacks account for 5% and Asians and Hispanics both come in around 4% each. Ethnically, Germans represent over a quarter of the population at 26%, while Norwegians comprise 10%. The median annual household income of Minnesota in early 2016 was $59,836, placing it in the top 10 wealthiest states in the U.S.
Accordingly, Minnesota also ranks highly when it comes to education. At 92%, the state has the second highest rate of high school graduation in the country, while 32% of residents also hold a bachelor’s degree (10th in the nation). Thanks in part to these factors, Minnesota’s poverty rate is lower than the national average, with 11% of Minnesotans living below the poverty line compared to 14% nationwide.
The 12th largest state by land area, Minnesota is bordered by Lake Superior and Wisconsin to the east, North and South Dakota to the west, Canada to the north and Iowa to the south. Nicknamed the “Land of 10,000 Lakes,” Minnesota actually has close to 12,000 lakes as well as seven major waterfalls. According to legend, the footprints of Paul Bunyan and his big blue ox Babe created the lakes. Hundreds of statues of Bunyan and Babe can be found throughout Minnesota.
Minnesota experiences all four seasons to an extreme. Spring brings lush, green leaves to the trees while autumn turns them brilliant shades of ripe red, bright yellow and vibrant orange. Summers can get fairly hot with 70 to 90 degree temperatures, depending on whether you are in the northern or southern region, and the winters are often bitterly cold, with below-freezing temperatures reaching as low as -60 degrees in some areas. Minneapolis has an annual low temperature of 37.2 degrees and an average annual snowfall of 55 inches.