It seems as though every major metropolitan area in the United States contains at least one community that, deserved or not, gains the moniker “affluent suburb” or some appellation along the same lines. Well, among the myriad suburbs of Minnesota’s Twin Cities, Minneapolis-St. Paul, the 16th largest in the country, Edina would rank right up at the top of the affluent suburb list.
The city of Edina, MN, however, offers much more than those stereotypical staples of affluence, like wealthy superstar residents, huge homes on huge lots, and exclusive clubs and golf courses. Edina also offers split-level and ranch-style homes, leafy mature trees, and quaint, charming corner markets, coffee shops and restaurants, and so much more.
Initially settled by Irish and Scottish clans in the mid-1800s around the Minnehaha Creek gristmill and some farmland, Edina today lies only 11 miles southwest from downtown Minneapolis, and contains 47,941 residents.
Shopping and Dining
Edina real estate offers some of the finest shopping and dining options in the Twin Cities, the crowned jewel of which is Southdale Center, America’s first fully enclosed, climate-controlled shopping center. Southdale opened for business in 1956. In addition to its 120 stores, including its anchor stores JCPenney, Herberger’s and Macy’s, Southdale offers a 16-screen Megaplex movie theater, and all manner of dining establishments, from Qdoba Mexican Grill and Subway to P.F. Changs and Cheesecake Factory.
Some of the other shopping and dining centers within Edina’s city limits include Yorktown, Centennial Lakes Plaza and the relatively upscale Galleria. One must also visit the city’s fabulous downtown area, located at the intersection of 50th Street and France Avenue, and referred to as 50th & France by locals. This definitive downtown, somewhat of a rarity for a suburban community, is where you’ll discover an eclectic array of non-chain, locally popular shops, boutiques and restaurants, including, but not limited to, the following:
- Edina Shoe Repair
- Arezzo Ristorante
- Pig & Fiddle
- Ladyslipper Boutique
- Grass Fed Cattle Company
- Caribou Coffee
- Edina Grill
- Nani Nalu Beachwear Boutique
It should be noted here that the city is only 7 miles east of that paragon of one-stop shopping: the Mall of America. Home to more than 520 stores with about 11,000 full-time employees, 30,000-plus live plants, and 25 rides and attractions inside the Nickelodeon Universe, the Mall of America plays host to about 40 million visitors each year.
Parks and Recreation
The City of Edina oversees and maintains 40 public parks plus open space parklands, covering more than 1,550 acres, and containing eight miles of scenic pathways and sun-dappled, multi-use trails. Some of the amenities and features these neighborhood parks offer include sports fields, tennis and basketball courts, outdoor ice skating rinks, picnic shelters and playgrounds for the wee little ones.
Edina’s Parks & Recreation Department also has 10 recreational facilities under its operational purview. These include:
- Edina Aquatic Center
- Edina Art Center
- Braemar Arena
- Braemar Golf Courses
- Braemar Golf Dome
- Centennial Lakes Park
- Edinborough Park
- Fred Richards Golf Course
- Arneson Acres Park
- Edina Senior Center
The City also offers a number of youth sports leagues and other recreational opportunities, numerous year-round programs aimed at all ages, and numerous activities developed specifically for people with special needs and physical disabilities.
As it’s grown into a bigger and bigger city, Edina has spawned several unique neighborhoods. These include:
- Indian Hills
- Viking Hills
- Country Club District
- Cahill Village
- Chapel Hill
- South Harriet Park
- Rolling Green
- White Oaks
- Parkwood Knolls
- Braemar Hills
- Dewey Hill
The real estate website, Sperling’s Best Places, tells us that the median cost of a home in Edina is $324,000, with a home appreciation in 2012 of about 1.21 percent.
The headquarters for some of the Twin City’s most successful companies are in Edina, such as Jerry’s Foods, Orange Julius, Nash Finch Company, Regis Corporation, Lund Food Holdings and Dairy Queen. Other major employers include Fairview Southdale Hospital, J.C. Penney Co. and Dow Water Process Solutions.
One other enviable attraction neighboring Minneapolis offers that even some of the nation’s much larger cities can’t is a team for which to cheer in each major professional sports league: the NFL’s Minnesota Vikings, Major League Baseball’s Minnesota Twins, the Minnesota Timberwolves of the NBA, and the National Hockey League’s Minnesota Wild, which plays its home games in Saint Paul.
Schools, Health, Transportation
The residents of Edina have their K-12 public education needs filled by Edina Public Schools There are also private schools in Edina, including Our Lady of Grace, a K-8 Catholic school; St. Peters Lutheran School; and Calvin Christian School.
Edina, like most large suburban communities, has access to several healthcare centers and medical facilities. Fairview Southdale Hospital is located in the city itself. Some of the other hospitals and medical care centers in the area include Park Nicollet Methodist Hospital, Abbott Northwestern Hospital and Children’s Hospitals and Clinics.
Transportation in and around Edina is primarily accomplished through its highways. Edina real estate is readily accessible via State highways 62 and 100. Highway 7 is only 3 miles away and Interstate 394 lies a quick 5-mile commute to the north. For air travel, the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP) is only 11 miles from Edina.