For the most part, Minnesotans are easygoing and welcoming people. Though we have a reputation for being introverted, we are generally friendly to newcomers. That being said, things aren’t always easy for people who choose to move to Minnesota. From extreme weather to behavioral quirks, Minnesota can pose some challenges to those who aren’t ready. If you’re planning on picking up and moving to Minnesota, keep these 11 things in mind before you get here.
1. There's more to Minnesota than the Twin Cities and up north.
In fact, there's a whole lot more. The southeast is dominated by beautiful bluffs crisscrossed with lazy rivers and dotted with quaint small towns. And in the southwest, prairie gives way to rugged quartzite cliffs. The entire state is beautiful and well worth visiting - not just the parts most often photographed.
2. Winter is brutal.
It's true what they say. A Minnesota winter can break even the most prepared newcomer. The short days combined with the blizzards and the weeks of ultra-low temperatures... It's enough to drive anyone out of the state. If you choose to come anyway, come prepared to shiver.
3. Summers have crazy weather, too.
You're prepared for the brutal Minnesota winter, but are you ready for summer? Daytime temperatures can soar past 100 degrees, with dew points inching towards the tropical range. Then, you might have a huge thunderstorm, a tornado, and cooler temperatures for a week before the cycle starts all over. Minnesota summers are beautiful, but if you don't like humidity, this is not the place for you.
4. Be prepared.
If you're going to drive in the winter, you should load your car up with anything you might need. At minimum, you need jumper cables and a shovel. But you might also want to throw in some sand or kitty litter to give your car traction, some snacks in case you get stranded, and a warm blanket. You'll probably be fine, but you want to prepare for the worst.
5. You should get a bike.
If you plan on living in the Twin Cities, you should definitely invest in a nice bike. Minneapolis is consistently named one of the most bike-friendly cities in the United States, with its many trails that crisscross the city. Outside the metro, the state is full of gorgeous paved paths, too. To fully enjoy this beautiful state, we recommend exploring it on two wheels!
6. Minnesota Nice may not be what you think.
On the whole, Minnesotans are genuinely nice. But we do have a reputation for holding back what we really think. That niceness may not be entirely genuine. For this reason, it can be difficult for newcomers to find a foothold among Minnesotans' social groups.
7. There's a perfect lake for everyone.
Whether you love the rocky shores of Lake Superior or prefer a remote lake in the Boundary Waters, there are plenty to go around in Minnesota. To really embrace your new life in the Land of 10,000 Lakes, you should find your favorite. There's something out there for everyone, whether you like fishing, swimming, boating, or just enjoying the view.
8. The Minnesota State Fair is a must.
From the animal buildings to the diverse musicians that play in the bandstands, the people watching to the incredible food, the Minnesota State Fair is a huge part of Minnesota's identity. If you're a newcomer, the Great Minnesota Get-Together is a crash course in what it means to be a Minnesotan. Sample weird new beers, grab a giant bucket of cookies, and navigate the crowds. You will not regret it.
9. Going up north is a way of life.
On any weekend during the summer - especially holiday weekends - Minnesotans take to the road to get up north as quickly as possible. Why? To spend the weekend surrounded the peace and quiet of nature, far from the city. Whether it's a family cabin, a rental, or a tent campsite, Minnesotans love to head up north for a mini vacation as much as we can. It's just a way of life here.
10. No one really knows how to navigate a four-way stop.
Seriously. No matter who arrives there first, there always seems to be confusion about who gets to go. Maybe it's a sign of our politeness, or maybe it's lax driver's training. Whatever the case, don't just assume everything will go smoothly when you arrive at a four-way.
11. The Minnesota goodbye is real.
If you're from a place where it's easy to slip away from a party, the Minnesota goodbye may be a bit of a culture shock. Here, leaving consists of many goodbyes. They start inside, then slowly travel outside to the door, porch, driveway, and car. Along the way, you'll find yourself talking about everything under the sun. When you finally pull away, you'll likely see your friend waving in your rearview mirror. If you really want to fit in, you'll wave back.
Minnesotans, what would you add to the list? Are there any other things people should know before they arrive?
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