Neighborhood Tours · Uncategorized

Plymouth MN: one of Niche.com’s best suburbs in Minnesota

Plymouth is another big, popular suburb that lies directly west of the city of Minneapolis.

Who lives here? Download my neighborhood report and find out! It’s full of all kinds of information about the people and housing in Plymouth!

Why do people choose Plymouth MN when looking at Minneapolis suburbs? A lot of reasons! I have my usual suspects that I like to highlight when I do area snapshots and Plymouth scores highly on just about everything.

One thing I’ve started really taking note of lately is the differences between the east and west sides of the city. The western suburbs seem to me to be more established and solidly residential and with that comes a lot of the things that I think make neighborhoods nice to live in. Of course, this is not hard and fast, the eastern side of the city has established neighborhoods as well, but it also has a lot of new construction, which means homes that are built on former farm land, not many mature trees, and infrastructure still being built around it.

Parks

For quality of life, I think having a lot of green space and parks are important. Being packed into neighborhoods without having these spaces to enjoy the outdoors and time with family and friends makes an area less appealing to me.

Plymouth has some great options for green space. Because Plymouth is located out in what I think of as the “lakes area” of the metro – near Lake Minnetonka and the smaller lakes around it – the terrain is more rolling and seems to have more mature trees.

Plymouth has used that to their advantage with 1,855 acres of park land, including 174 miles of trails. Part of the trail system that goes through Plymouth is called the Luce Line Trail which is a 63 mile long converted railway to use for walking, bicycling, cross country skiing, and snow mobiling. Some sections have parallel trails for use by horseback riders as well. There are 12 parking lots along the trail for easy access. Check out the web site to see more info on this trail and get a map of entry points.

Another massive undertaking is the Northwest Greenway – they are currently on the 5th addition to this and per the Plymouth Parks and Rec web site have added something that sounds super fun and a great way to get kids outdoors, a Challenge Course!

“The Northwest Greenway Challenge Course, a new park amenity for ages 13 and older, offers unique activity challenges involving netting, climbing, balancing and agility on a variety of structures. The Challenge Course is located on the east side of Peony Lane, south of 54th Ave. N. — view on Google Maps.”

Plymouth also has three public beaches, three dog parks, seven ice rinks maintained by parks & rec. that are open from December to February, as well as the Ice Center which has 3 pro-sized ice sheets that are used for open skating, adult hockey leagues and home hockey games for Wayzata High School & Providence Academy.

Housing

Plymouth housing prices are above the Twin Cities median prices (most suburbs are). Plymouth does have a variety of housing, from townhomes & small single-level homes, to what I think of as a “typical” suburban neighborhoods and on up to very large single family homes. My video has content showing what each of these look like, but I’ll add the median home price graphs here for pricing over the past 3 years.

Median price over all
Townhomes in Plymouth vs the Twin Cities metro
Single Family Homes in Plymouth

Schools

If you are considering Plymouth it may be because of the great reputation of the schools there. One thing to know is that children attend school in one of three school districts (Wayzata, Osseo & Robbinsdale schools) depending on where they live in Plymouth. It’s important to do your own research and know which schools will meet the needs of your children. Some of the schools are considered to be among the best in the state and others don’t rank that high. Your agent can include or exclude homes based on the school districts that you prefer or want to eliminate.

Shopping

I like to cook, and most people like to eat. 😉 Everyone has a different budget and a different place that they feel great shopping in. I did a video on the most common grocery stores that you will see in the Twin Cities, so you can check that out if you want to get more of a feel for what is around here. I don’t think MN has the best reputation for having a wide variety of foods available (Nordic people seemed to like things relatively bland?) but things are changing. Most stores have more “obscure” seasonings and ingredients now, but there are also specialty groceries that are around and personally – I love to go into them and pick out somethings to try. You can see from the map below that Plymouth has no lack of options and you shouldn’t have to drive more than a couple of miles to get ingredients to get dinner on the table, I was geeked up when I saw Indian Bazaar, Kadai Foods and the Russian Market. Little treats like this make me really happy. My mouth likes spices and variety.

You’ll also notice Target on here- we have more Target stores per capita than any other state. I made that up. But it’s probably true since the HQ is here. There are several shopping centers with the usual big box stores and smaller shops and restaurants. If you’re looking for a mall, the closest one will be Ridgedale Center Mall – right off 394 just on the eastern side of 494. That’s also where you’ll likely find the closest Whole Foods, if that’s your thing.

Library

photo HCLIB.ORG

I love my public libraries! Plymouth library does not disappoint! It is fairly new, the current building was completed in 2010. It’s a bright, clean, open space with meeting rooms and a great children’s area. I’ve been up there for library sponsored talks and they do a great job bringing in content and programming that people may be interested in. The Plymouth Library is one branch of the 41 library Hennepin County library system. Because Hennepin County uses a main library / branch system everything you want is not necessarily at the branch closest to your home, but chances are that they have it and you can get it sent to your local branch fairly quickly.

Commute

OK – last bit. Many of us are working from home, but a lot of people still commute to their job. In Plymouth that means getting in your personal car and driving there. 75% of residents commute 30 minutes or less to their job, and if you look at the map up top you can see why – Plymouth has easy access to the major highways that crisscross the metro, so no matter where you need to be it’s likely about 30 minutes max to get there.

Uncategorized

Moving to Minneapolis?

Little joke for you – How do you get a Minnesotan to apologize? Step on their foot! ha ha! OPE!

We moved to MPLS several years ago for my husband’s job and before that happened I had given Minnesota approximately ZERO thought and had no idea what to expect.  We came from Chicago and even though it’s also an upper-midwestern city, something about MINNESOTA seemed like a whole different animal – a COLD animal that lives in the middle of “fly-over” country.  Well, I was pleasantly surprised and today I’m going to share a little about why. And, yes, it gets cold, but honestly, I love having 4 really distinct and wonderful seasons to fully enjoy and it seems that Minnesotans feel the same.

Minneapolis and the Twin Cities metro area are pretty big! There are about 3.4Million people living here.  It’s not Podunk.

All of those people support a pretty thriving economy with low unemployment, the HQ of many large companies like Target, Best Buy, United Healthcare, 3M, Cargill etc… and thriving mid and small sized businesses as well.

While the Twin Cities aren’t on the same scale as Chicago, we enjoy a lot of the same benefits – an international airport, fine dining – if you’re a foodie you’ll be glad to know that we have James Beard award winning restaurants. If you’re a beer lover – there are 56 breweries here.

There are Lots of theaters from smaller local theater companies to larger venues that host traveling companies and Broadway productions.

There are 55 museums in the Twin Cities! The Walker hosts contemporary art, the Minneapolis Institute of Art has art spanning 5,000 years and 6 continents and it’s FREE! Some other highlights that we enjoyed a lot when my kid was younger were the Children’s Theater (located inside the MIA), the Children’s Museum and the most amazing hands on museum – the Science Museum of Minnesota, that one shouldn’t be missed!

Bicycling is HUGE in the Twin Cities – year ’round!- and there are 4,000 miles of bike trails in the metro area – from designated lanes on city streets, converted rail lines like the Midtown Greenway and Luce Line Trails, and the 40 miles of paved bike/ walk paths called the Grand Rounds that wind around the many lakes residing within the city of Minneapolis.

Speaking of the lakes (and parks!) the Minneapolis Park District wins strings of awards every year and are an integral part of living here.  Most people live within 10 minutes of a park, and have access to community centers, park programming, tennis and pickleball courts, wading pools, beaches and restaurants.  If you visit Lake Harriet or Bde Mka Ska you can rent sail boats, kayaks, or paddle boards and have a great day on the lake while taking in the skyline.

If you are a sports fan – we have you covered! We have professional football, baseball, men’s and women’s basketball, soccer and hockey teams. No matter what the season, there is no reason not watch your favorite sport.  And if that’s not enough we are neck deep in college sports as well!

There are 34 colleges and universities in the TC area, including the main campus’ of the University of Minnesota – of the best public research universities in the US. The U has many famous alum – including Bob Dylan, Chief Justice Warren Burger and if that’s not enough to convince you – Ric Flair! Minneapolis has a very educated population – 70% of all adults have at least some college education!

Ric Flair – Photo Credit WWE.com

Minneapolitans and Minnesotans are “outsiders” all year long – winter doesn’t keep anyone inside.  From the Art Shanties on Lake Harriet, to Holidazzle and Winter Carnival, and the Luminary Loppet – people here don’t let winter stand in the way of having a good time.  Of course, summer is outside all the time either at the lakes and parks or festivals like block parties, the Aquatennial, Minnesota Fringe Fest, or get something fried on a stick at the Minnesota State Fair.

The Housing market in Minneapolis is currently very “hot”, the average home price is nearly $280,000 in the Twin Cities, but that varies drastically by neighborhood.  If you like being in the heart of the city there are a lot of brand new buildings or repurposed industrial buildings and flour mills downtown on Mississippi River for condo living in the middle of everything.

As you move outward to the north – there are more affordable neighborhoods, and Northeast is somewhat hip and artsy.  To the south and west of downtown are well established neighborhoods with large gracious homes and as you move further south you gradually get into fairly solidly single family neighborhoods, with a lot of home built in the early & mid 20th century. 

Rentals in MPLS are generally between $1400 and $2500/mo.  St. Paul is less expensive for rentals and homes than Minneapolis as a general rule.

The first is that there is great access to good healthcare in the Twin Cities – from the University of Minnesota Medical center, to Abbott Northwestern, to the renowned Mayo Clinic to our south in Rochester MN.

If you love shopping – you’ll be happy to know that MN does not tax clothing purchases, so you can go to the Mall of America and shop yourself silly without paying a dime to the government. There is also no tax on groceries in MN – not the case everywhere, so it’s nice to not have regressive taxes.

If you have questions about any aspect of life in the TC or have a topic you’d be interested in seeing a video on, I’d love to hear from you!