Minneapolis VA Health Care System
Living in the Twin Cities
The Minneapolis-St. Paul “Twin Cities” metropolitan area is consistently rated as one of the best places to live and raise a family. The nearly three million residents comprise a multi-cultural community that enjoys a high quality of life, superb medical care, beautiful natural surroundings, and a rich array of cultural and recreational opportunities. Best known for our extensive system of parks, biking trails and lakes, the variety show A Prairie Home Companion, and the Mall of America, the area offers something for everyone.
Minnesota is a leader in education and the Twin Cities serve as the state’s educational center. The University of Minnesota, with campuses in Minneapolis and St. Paul, is one of the top 20 universities in the country. The area also has over 15 colleges and universities, as well as a number of specialty trade programs and vocational/industrial institutes. Elementary and secondary education options include public schools with traditional, magnet, or language immersion programs, charter schools, and private schools. Summer programs for children-toddlers through teens- are numerous and allow children to explore camping, music, foreign languages, arts, and sports.
The Twin Cities metropolitan area is the cultural center of the upper Midwest. Notable museums include the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Walker Art Center, Minnesota Science Museum, Minnesota Children’s Museum, and the University of Minnesota’s Weisman Art Museum. History buffs will want to visit the Minnesota History Center, Museum of Questionable Medical Devices, Mill City Museum and the many interpretive sites operated by the Minnesota Historical Society. Those who favor opera, ballet, theater, chamber music, orchestra, jazz, or comedy can enjoy performances by both local and visiting companies year round. The Guthrie Theater, Minnesota Orchestra, and St. Paul Chamber Orchestra have international reputations. The diverse cultures in the area share their food and traditions through festivals, fairs, performances, and ethnic restaurants.
Sporting events and recreational activities are plentiful in the area. The Twin Cities are home to major-league sports teams: the Twins (baseball); the Vikings (football); the Timberwolves (basketball); and the Wild (hockey) and a number of minor league sports teams. The rivers and lakes, green parks and water parks, playgrounds and recreational facilities provide access to a wide selection of sports such as fishing, biking, boating, hiking, downhill and cross-country skiing, skating, swimming, field sports, and walking. The Minnesota Zoo and the Como Zoo, the Bell Museum of Natural History, the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, and the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge provide excellent opportunities to observe and learn about nature and our environment. Shoppers will find stores and malls galore ranging from quaint antique shops and specialty boutiques to nationally recognized stores and outlet malls. Nearby Bloomington, just minutes from the Medical Center, is home to the nation’s largest shopping center, the Mall of America. Both Minneapolis and St. Paul have vibrant downtowns that are easily accessible by car, bus and soon light rail.
Housing and Transportation
Housing options at various price ranges are readily available within commuting distance of the Medical Center. The Twin Cities are easily reached from anywhere in the world. The metropolitan area is served by the Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport, seven public airports, and the Amtrak passenger railroad. Travel in and around the Twin Cities is facilitated by Metro Transit, an accessible and efficient mass transit system with an extensive bus network and light rail line.