Eden Prairie, Minnesota: Population = 62,344 (part of the Twin Cities Metro area with about 3,500,000), elevation = 723 feet, average January low temp = 2.5, Average July high temp = 85, average sunny days = 192, annual snowfall = 41.8”, annual rainfall = 29”, air quality index = 85.1, water quality index = 27, comfort index = 48
Eden Prairie is located just Southwest of Minneapolis. It is an affluent middle class city with a plethora of great amenities. It has been named one of the “Best Places To Live” by Money magazine since 2006, earning Number One in 2010. Why? A lot of that has to do with the big office parks where corporations have their headquarters and thousands of jobs.
Then there is the natural beauty. Eden Prairie has lakes, ponds, and rivers scattered throughout its parks system, with about 170 miles of trails for biking and hiking. The Southern edge of the city occupies a steep bluff overlooking the Minnesota River. There are large tracts of open land with natural prairie and forest.
I understand it is a good city to grow up in. The school system has 6 neighborhood elementary schools, a middle school, a high school, and two technical colleges. The high school is enormous, engulfing about 3,300 students. With so many kids competing for a spot on the sports and academic teams, those teams are always contenders at the state level.
Right next to the High School, you will find the Community Center. To me, it is very interesting how the school did not have the budget for a competition swimming pool or hockey arena, but the Community Center next door had enough for both. I guess the city budget has more than one pocket. And it is a great Community Center. There are multiple pools, classrooms, a workout equipment room, free weights, and many classes.
For the more chronologically enhanced, there is a very nice Senior Center with a woodworking shop, Tai Chi, Zoomba, cribbage, bridge, quilting, field trips, coffee klatches and dinners. It is easy and cheap to participate, well-loved by its many members, and briskly staffed by friendly people.
Trip Advisor has a lot of recommendations as to what to do and where to eat. There is a big enclosed mall and several strip malls, so shopping opportunities abound. In the summer, the amphitheater at Staring Lake Park hosts concerts and theatrical productions. Round Lake has a fun little waterpark for kids of all ages. There are most kinds of restaurants, from glitzy to dive, serving most any ethnic you could want. No breweries, but there are a few nearby.
Eden Prairie was a good city to live in. We miss our dear friends and neighbors. We miss our home and garden. We miss working out at the Community Center and doing Tai Chi at the Senior Center. So why would we leave? Because we can. We are healthy and able enough to live a life on the road for a while. We want to someday settle in one comfortable place, not running back and forth like snowbirds. First we have to find that place. Why not Eden Prairie? Well, there is this one thing…
Next up: Chaumont, NY