Careers: Living in the Twin Cities

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The Twin Cities area is a great place to live and work

With four unique seasons, Minnesota offers a wide range of climates and activities to enjoy. If you enjoy the outdoors, Minnesota has an endless variety of year-round adventures ready at a moment’s notice. All within reach of Minneapolis and St. Paul, a bustling metropolitan area, populated by neighborly residents diverse in age and ethnicity. Known as one of the most biking and walking-accessible areas in the country, Minneapolis and St. Paul and its surrounding suburbs have biking and walking paths that stretch around lakes, along the Mississippi and everywhere in-between. The Twin-Cities are also rich in culture. From the rooftop patios in uptown Minneapolis, to the historic Fitzgerald Theatre in downtown St. Paul, there are countless restaurants, storefronts, coffee shops and museums to explore. Twin-Cities residents truly thrive on the culture and camaraderie that come with city life. 

Arts and Entertainment

The Twin Cities have 57 different museums of all types.  This includes the most popular museum in the Upper Midwest--the Science Museum of Minnesota.  The Science Museum of Minnesota is just as educational as it is fascinating with a focus on technology, physical science and natural history.  The museum boasts an Omnitheater, Dinosaurs and Fossils Gallery, Human Body Gallery, and Mississippi River Gallery among many other impressive exhibits.  The Cities also host The Walker Art Center, one of the "big five" museums for modern art.  The Walker is considered by Newsweek to be "possibly America's best contemporary art museum."  For the history buffs, Minneapolis Institute of Arts has displays ranging from Egyptian artifacts to Chinese ceramics, and the Twin Cities is home to the only nonprofit museum in North America dedicated to 19th and 20th century Russian artifacts.  

Outdoors and Environment

While most of the sports complexes in the Twin Cities are indoor facilities, the Twin Cities provide some of the most beautiful and unique environments for outdoor sports and activities of all kinds.  Being the "Land of 10,000 Lakes", there are endless varieties of waters for fishing, boating and swimming, or simply just admiring.  On the shore, there are countless miles of walking and biking trails.  In recent years, Minneapolis and St. Paul have become devoted in their efforts to provide cyclists with an unparalleled biker-friendly city.  The amount of dedicated cycling on-street lanes and off-street paths have both been doubled, and when paired with the countless miles of off-road trails, the Twin Cities have become possibly the greatest biking destination in the country.  

The biking doesn't stop when the snow hits the sidewalks, nor does fishing stop once the lakes freeze over.  Ice fishing and pond hockey take over the lakes, while the thousands of miles for hiking and biking become perfect havens for snowshoeing, snowmobiling and cross country skiing.  The state also houses the largest and highest destinations in the Midwest for downhill skiing and snowboarding, with several areas near the metro.    

Golfers will be happy to know that several courses are inside a 30 minute drive from downtown.  Among the several options are Interlachen Country Club and Hazeltine National Golf Club.  Hazeltine has an especially impressive resume for a course only opening in 1962.  It has been the site of two PGA Championships, two U.S. Opens, two Women's U.S. Opens, several Amateur and collegiate tournaments, and the course will host the Ryder Cup in 2016.  

Minnesotan's connection to the outdoors has inspired a deep sense of environmentalism.  Because of this, Minnesota has instituted state programs like Project Green Fleet, Minnesota Environmental Initiative and Clean Air Minnesota that have provided residents with some of the cleanest air in the nation, and allowed Minneapolis-St. Paul to be considered the seventh least wasteful city in America. 

Performing Arts

The Twin Cities host an incredible assortment of performing groups and spaces alike.  With more than 75 working theater companies, 20 dance companies, 2 professional orchestras, and more than 30 performing spaces, it is no wonder that more than two million visitors every year attend one of the Twin Cities' historic performing stages.  Among some of the more popular stages are The Orpheum, The State Theatre, The Pantages Theatre, and the Guthrie Theatre--one of two stages in the metro area to win a Regional Tony Award.   

Another Tony Award winning performance space, The Children's Theatre Company, specializes in plays based on classic children's literature and is revered for their outstanding performances.  

The Ordway Theatre in St. Paul is home to several travelling Broadway shows and Tony Award winning performers.  The Minnesota Opera and the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra also utilize this space for their performances.  The other orchestra in the Twin Cities, The Minnesota Orchestra, has been playing for over 100 years and has been considered "the greatest orchestra in the world" by New Yorker Magazine.  

The region has also acquired a great reputation for its music, dance and comedy scenes.  The Brave New Workshop, the oldest improvisational and sketch comedy theater in the nation, is well known for helping the careers of many great comedic talents.  In the Workshop's 50 years, names such as Louie Anderson, Penn Jillette, Al Franken, Pat Proft and Peter Tolan have all once been theater members.

The music scene is vibrant and diverse.  Street performers play around the city, while the legendary First Ave. club has been known to produce some of the most widely known and appreciated musical acts.  Performers such as Prince and Bob Dylan got their start to in the cities, performing at many downtown venues or around the University of Minnesota campus.  

The Twin Cities are also known as a great dance hub--ranked in the top 5 national dance centers.  The Cowles Center for Dance and Performing Arts is home to 20 leading dance and performing arts groups.  The Minneapolis-based James Sewell Ballet's own Sally Rousse was named as City Pages' 2009 "Artist of the Year", and the company is widely renowned for their wonderful productions and work within the city.  

Shopping and Dining

With thousands of options to choose from, the Minneapolis-St. Paul area has a restaurant perfectly suited for any occasion or preferred style of cuisine.  From a quick burger or hot dog down the street, to formal evenings with celebrated French chefs, the metro area has enough options to never experience the same thing twice.    

The Twin Cities also host an incredible variety of shops and stores.  Only 15 minutes from downtown, the Mall of America alone has over 520 stores, 50 restaurants and even an indoor amusement park--complete with roller coasters and a log chute.  From the Mall of America, the Hiawatha light rail system can take you to the Nicollet mall if you'd like to have more of an upscale shopping and dinning experience.  Located in the heart and cultural hub of Minneapolis, many iconic buildings line the pedestrian and transit "mall".  


Between the Twins, Vikings, Minnesota United FC, Timberwolves and the Wild, every major men's professional sport is represented in Minnesota. The Twins, winners of the World Series in 1987 and 1991, play their home games in the new Target Field. The field is an outdoor stadium in the middle of downtown Minneapolis that was ranked as the best professional sports facility in 2010, and is also considered "the greenest ballpark in America," utilizing a rainwater recycling system and over 30 percent recycled materials in its construction. These considerations have earned the stadium a LEED Silver certification.

Being the "State of Hockey," St. Paul erected the Xcel Energy Center in 2000 to be the home rink for the Minnesota Wild. The center won ESPN's 'Best Overall Sports Venue in the U.S.' in 2004, and has the NHL's record for most consecutive sold-out games.

Minnesota women's professional sports are also widely represented. The Minnesota Lynx won the 2011 WNBA Championship, while there are also large followings for the Minnesota Lightning, a USL W-League team; the Minnesota Vixen, an Independent Football League team and the Whitecaps, for the National Women's Hockey League.

The University of Minnesota Gophers have a Division I team in every major sport, while four other state universities also have Division I hockey teams.