Are you thinking about living in the central Minnesota area but aren’t sure what to expect? In this episode of Brainerd Redefined, I’m going to give you the good, the bad, and the ugly of central Minnesota living. We’ll examine the pros and cons so you can decide if this beautiful area is right for you.
The Pros of Living In Central Minnesota
One of the questions my team and I receive daily are what are the benefits of living in central Minnesota. Before we get to some of the not-so-great things about life here, let’s look at the pros of central Minnesota living.
The first pro is obviously lake life. The Brainerd Lakes area has some of the best lakes in the entire United States, whether it’s Gull Lake, the Whitefish chain, Pelican, or Mille Lacs. There are so many different types of lakes to choose from that you could spend the whole summer just going from lake to lake.
One of the main differences between the lakes is that some are recreational while others are great for fishing. So if you’re going for the best walleye fishing in the state of Minnesota, you’re probably going to want to hit Mille Lacs Lake. If you’re looking for a great day in the water on jet skis or water skis and want to hit some restaurants after, you’re probably going to want to hit Gull Lake.
Minnesota is the land of 10,000 lakes, and Brainerd is the lake headquarters of the state of Minnesota. While my team and I haven’t counted all the lakes in the Brainerd Lakes area, we have well over 100. You’ll never be short of an opportunity to get out on the water.
Golfing On The Green
Another thing people really love about central Minnesota and the Brainerd Lakes area is golf—which is something most people won’t expect. We have some of the best golf courses in the entire state of Minnesota. Whether it’s The Classic, The Legacy, or The Preserve, these world-class golf courses will challenge your ability and your patience.
It’s also not just the Brainerd Lakes area that has great golf; the central Minnesota area does as a whole. There are some great golf courses in Breezy Point, Fort Ripley, and Staples. If people are looking at living in the Brainerd Lakes area, many times they love to live on a golf course. That way, they can go golfing right out their back door.
The third pro of living in central Minnesota is the fabulous restaurants. If you’re looking for a great steak, some walleye, or a delicious hamburger, we’ve got everything. The one thing people love about the Brainerd Lakes area in central Minnesota is that you don’t see a lot of franchise restaurants. Rather, you see independent owners that are working the business.
Everyone calls Minnesota nice because everybody is so friendly. You can get down-home cooking while also experiencing a wide variety of tastes. That’s why many of us just love going out to eat.
Cost Of Living
The fourth pro of living in central Minnesota is the cost of living. It’s super affordable to live here. Housing is cheaper, fuel costs are cheaper, and going out to eat is cheaper. People love the fact that it isn’t expensive to enjoy life in our area. Lastly, even though it’s super affordable, central Minnesota is not overly crowded—which people love.
The Cons Of Living In Central Minnesota
There’s a lot that’s great about living in central Minnesota—but there are some cons. Let’s talk about some of the things that aren’t so great so you know exactly what to expect when you arrive here.
The first con of living here is that during the summer months, traffic can be a little bit challenging on Friday afternoon. While it’s not like downtown Minneapolis, it is something you’re going to have to get used to.
We call summer tourist season, and many people from the Twin Cities come up on Friday afternoon after a long work week. During this time, many of the locals will actually go to North Long or some of the smaller lakes to enjoy the water. Tourists, on the other hand, love to go to the big lakes such as Gull Lake or the Whitefish chain.
Most tourists love going on the Whitefish chain and Gull Lake because there are a ton of bars and restaurants there. There are also sandbars where people love to party at. It’s their way to get out of the rat race of the Twin Cities, come up here, and blow off some steam.
The second con is the severe cold weather during the winter months. Sometimes we’ll see temperatures as low as 40 or 50 degrees below—with the windchill. I remember I had a friend from Baton Rouge I came up with, and it was 75 below with the windchill. He was wondering if all the animals froze to death; true story!
So if you’re coming from California or down south and you haven’t experienced those below negative temperatures, you might be opening yourself up to a rude awakening.
Shopping And Bugs
If you’re really into shopping, the Brainerd Lakes Area sometimes lacks in that category. We don’t have the big malls or the big department stores like you’ll see at the Mall of America. To give you an idea of one of our regional shopping centers, Crossroads is in St. Cloud—which s about 60 miles south of the Brainerd Lakes area.
If you’re not from central Minnesota, another con is that you’re going to have to get used to the bugs. There are a ton of mosquitoes, and sometimes they can be overbearing—especially late at night by the campfire.
Enjoy Central Minnesota Living
I hope this video helped you understand some of the pros and cons of living in central Minnesota. If you have any more questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me or my team and we’d be happy to help you.
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