Living in Mankato: 5 Reasons Mankato Is a Great Place to Live

Reasons to Love Living in MankatoOften named one of the best small cities in America, the city of Mankato should be near the top of your list of potential places to live in Minnesota. This city of about 54,000 residents offers small-town charm and a laid-back lifestyle while also being convenient to the big-city amenities of the Minneapolis-Saint Paul area and the city of Rochester, each about 1.5 hours away. Mankato is known for its open natural spaces, including parks, trails, and riverfront along the Minnesota River. It has a notably strong economy and an extensive education system, a Minnesota State University campus, several picturesque neighborhoods with unique historical character, and no shortage of things to do in all four seasons. Mankato also has a robust selection of locally owned restaurants, bars, breweries, and even a few hometown sports options. Interested in learning more about this incredible city? Here are several reasons residents love living in Mankato, Minnesota.

Mankato's Many Neighborhoods

One of the things Mankato is well-known for is having several distinct neighborhoods. Each has its unique personality and looks, and they're all named after the main public park within its boundaries. Three neighborhoods comprise the city's core, known as City Center Mankato: Lincoln Park, Washington Park, and Sibley Park. Lincoln Park has a mix of 19th- and 20th-century building styles, with Colonial Revival, Gothic Revival, Queen Anne, and Craftsman all common among home architecture. This area is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, along with nearly 250 individual buildings. At the center of Mankato, Washington Park has more of a post-industrial vibe, as it was once the city's railroad hub. Sibley Park, sitting right along the Minnesota River, is known for its Midcentury modern homes and colorful history. This neighborhood has been home to a zoo, impeccably landscaped gardens, a horse racing track, and an ice skating rink at different periods. It's still a community hub today, hosting many events throughout the year. Outside City Center Mankato, there are over two dozen other neighborhoods. Highlights include Riverfront Park, which has an excellent selection of waterfront homes; The Prairie; Blue Earth Park; and Five Corners, adjacent to downtown.

Activities for Every Season

Anyone who loves to be outside experiencing Mother Nature in the different seasons will be at home in Mankato. The city also has plenty of indoor activities, so even on rainy days, there's no shortage of things to do here. Mount Kato is a home away from home for skiers, snowboarders, tubers, and other winter sports enthusiasts. The mountain is right outside town, so you can easily get up there for a powder day, even without much planning. For a different type of outdoor playground, head to Minneopa State Park. There's a picturesque waterfall, a bison herd, native prairie grasslands, and more. If you want to get active while enjoying fresh air, choose from more than 60 parks and 50 miles of trails in the Mankato area. You can also catch a concert at the Vetter Stone Amphitheater, watch a Mankato Moondogs baseball game, or explore historic Old Town. Mankato has a handful of wineries and breweries to enjoy local drinks, a couple of museums, a downtown art center, a Division 1 hockey arena, and lots more to explore on cold or rainy days. There's always something going on in this city, with events happening all year and something new to experience on every corner.

Mankato's Prime Location

Where is Mankato, MN? Buying a home in a new city is all about location. Luckily, Mankato easily checks off this box. To begin, Mankato is ideally situated within Minnesota. Both Rochester and the Twin Cities are about 90 minutes away by car. Mankato is well-connected via two major highways, the 14 and 169, easily connecting residents to anywhere within the state. Those who prefer public transportation or don't have access to their own vehicle can also take advantage of affordable bus service to either city, with several daily departures. Getting around Mankato itself is also reasonably seamless, thanks to a driver-friendly city layout and the Mankato Transit System. The large Minneapolis-Saint Paul Airport is 75 miles away, about 1.25 hours, with several dozen daily domestic and international flights. While Mankato does have a regional airport, it doesn't offer passenger flights. However, those flying with Sun Country Airlines can take a shuttle from MSP International to Mankato airport.

Mankato's Strong Economy

Mankato's economy and job market are strong. Whether you're looking for a traditional employment role or want to start your own business, there are plenty of work opportunities. Some of the biggest industries in Mankato include:
  • Healthcare
  • Manufacturing
  • Agriculture
  • Technology
  • Retail
  • Service industry
One of the largest employers in the city includes Taylor Corporation, one of the country's largest print providers and communications companies. Mayo Clinic is another large employer, which provides most of the healthcare in the Mankato area, and so is Minnesota State University, with its Mankato campus. The relatively small size of Mankato and the surrounding area offer many economic and social benefits of a large city, without the disadvantages like higher taxes and a higher cost of living overall. The Mankato Economic Development Department works hard to create a great work environment for employees and business owners that will continue to grow and expand.

Many Educational Opportunities

Mankato's educational opportunities support its strong economy. The Mankato Area Public School District serves around 8,500 kindergarten through 12th-grade students, operating 11 elementary schools, three middle schools, five high schools, and a few specialized early learning and adult education facilities. Mankato's public school system also partners with five higher education institutions to help create a bridge for students from grade school to college or trade schools. Minnesota State University's Mankato campus provides opportunities for those pursuing higher education. More than 14,000 students are working towards degrees and certificates here, both on campus and online. Students also receive great support through various services and partnerships to help them find jobs after graduation. The campus employs more than 1,600 people, playing a significant role in the local community.

Mankato: A True Gem in Minnesota

With a strong economy, varied employment industries, an excellent central location, beautiful open outdoor spaces, and several distinct and well-established individual communities, Mankato brings a ton to the table for residents. Whether you live in a contemporary townhome in the city center or a waterfront property overlooking the river, this city has something for everyone. #hw-pillar-cta-bottom-mankato#


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