Apple Valley and Rosemount's neighbors, Eagan and Lakeville, are ranked 14th and 19th, respectively, on Money Magazine's annual Best Places to Live list for 2012, which ranks the best small cities in the United States.
They're two of five Minnesota cities making the top-100 list, joining Eden Prairie, which is third; Woodbury, 11th; and Maple Grove, 22nd. Last year a different crop of five were selected: Chanhassen, Arden Hills, Lino Lakes, Savage and Shoreview.
Go back another year to 2010, and Apple Valley was 20th on the list. Here's what was written about the city then:
Originally a farming community, Apple Valley officially became a city less than 40 years ago.
But don't make the mistake of thinking that the city's age means a lack of amenities. The is right here, for example. Getting to the famed Mall of America is a quick drive -- it's a mere 10 miles away.
This is still a suburb, though: Most working residents commute to nearby Minneapolis.
The 2012 list is in the magazine’s September issue. It was posted on the CNNMoney.com website Monday morning.
Here is what Money says about Eagan this year:
"Just a 20-minute commute from Minneapolis and St. Paul, Eagan is often seen as a bedroom community. But there are a lot of people who commute to Eagan too, to work for large firms like Thomson Reuters, Blue Cross Blue Shield, and Coca-Cola. That's helped keep the unemployment rate here well below the national average. Granted, Minnesota winters are brutal, but Eagan residents make up for it during the summer, spending time in the hundreds of lakes and parks that dot the city, as well as at , Minnesota's largest outdoor water park."
Here is what Money says about Lakeville this year:
"Kids have it good in Lakeville, a city just 26 miles from Minneapolis. All 14 of Lakeville's public schools beat the state averages; summertime brings swimming, boating, and fishing at Marion and Orchard lakes as well as hiking along the Genesee Valley Greenway. Lakeville's downtown is small but there are several shopping and restaurant destinations within driving distance, like the Burnsville Center shopping mall, just five miles north of the city.”
Carmel, IN is at the top of this year’s top small cities list and is followed in the top five by McKinney, TX; Eden Prairie; Newton, MA; and Redmond, WA.
Click here to read more about this year’s rankings.