Calm down, professor! I’m about to tell you!
A lot of these blog posts are actually motivated by me trying to answer the question “why?” about a particular suburb or area of town. I live in Minneapolis and while I spend time in the suburbs looking at homes for clients or visiting a venue or store, I try to take a bit of a closer look when I do these so I can really understand the character of the different communities around the metro areas.
It’s a Bedroom community – Apple Valley is residential with the exception of the shopping centers serving it along 150th & Cedar & parts of Galaxie. If you want to live near your company’s HQ, this is probably not the place. There isn’t really any nightlife or a a wide selection of non-family style entertainment options. But that’s great if what you are looking for is a quiet community that serves your everyday needs and you don’t mind taking a short drive when the urge strikes to do something else.
It’s only about 25 minutes into Minneapolis and less than 20 to the airport.
How do residents keep themselves occupied?
The Minnesota Zoo is located in Apple Valley. The zoo is great because they actually do more than educate & entertain children, the zoo holds a concert series that has some pretty big headliners and attracts people out of the city down to Apple Valley for some fun as well.
Apple Valley has easy access to Lebanon Hills Regional Park which is the largest park in the Dakota County system. They have really well marked trails that are various distances to get out and get a hike. We’ve been there and had a great time spotting different animals and types of caterpillars. If you’re an equestrian and want a place to ride – there are a lot of trails for you here as well!
The park also has a campground if you want to get a taste of roughing it without driving very far and a beach at Schulze lake.
Galaxie Library is really a gem – big and beautiful and looks to have been newly renovated.
Apple Valley goes for that small time community vibe by having celebrations a couple of times a year to bring everyone together – Freedom Days in summer with the pre-requisite parade and fireworks, but the one that sounds more interesting (and needed) happens in February when everyone in Minnesota has about had it with being cold or in the house – they have what they call “Midwinter Fest”. It’s sad that February is MID-Winter, but who am I to argue? Midwinter Fest has horse drawn wagons, ice skating and ice hockey, bonfires and smores, and indoor activities like pickleball and volleyball tournaments.
About 52,000 people call Apple Valley “home”, and 79% of them are home owners. The median income in Apple Valley is $87,164, and the median single family home price is above the twin cities median at $331,000. However, I thought it was really noteworthy how many townhouses, twinhouses, and condos were in Apple Valley – really great housing diversity. Condos have a median price of $122,000 and Townhomes are at $218,500. Another thing that struck me was that there were a lot of homes that looked to be single-level living and that isn’t the easiest thing to find in the Twin Cities area, so if that is a requirement for a comfortable lifestyle for you, you may want to consider Apple Valley.
And last, but not least, if you have kids and you’re evaluating schools, Apple Valley is ranked an A+ on niche.com. The high schools are really large, but there is a lot of diversity in educational choices for elementary – they have 4 schools that really stood out for specialized programs. They have a School of Environmental Studies, Cedar Park Elementary STEM School, Diamond Path Elementary School of International Studies and Echo Park School of Leadership, Engineering and Technology.
This week I spent some time in Apple Valley and found a couple of neighborhoods that need to be highlighted! Stay tuned for those.