Did you know the St. Cloud region averages about 48 inches of snow a year, less than the state average but double the national average of 28 inches. That's one thing you may want to know before making the decision to move to St. Cloud, Minnesota.Did you know the St. Cloud region averages about 48 inches of snow a year, less than the state average but double the national average of 28 inches. That's one thing you may want to know before making the decision to move to St. Cloud, Minnesota.Local Guide

7 Things to Know Before Moving to St Cloud Minnesota

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Though the Minneapolis-St. Paul area gets much of the attention when discussing larger Minnesota cities, there’s plenty of other great communities in the Gopher State.

One of these is St. Cloud, a community located in the center of the state, near the Mississippi and the Sauk rivers, as well as a convergence of several major highways. St. Cloud is nicknamed the Granite City because of the abundant amounts of stone and stone quarries, many that are still in use.

The area, which includes the city and surrounding communities, is now considered its own metro community, the fifth largest one in the greater Minnesota area.

St. Cloud offers plenty of appeal for recreation fans, with plenty of hikes and waterways to explore, including a chain of small islands in the rivers. For those considering a move or even on their way to this part of the state, there’s a lot to know.

  1. There will be weather. Longtime Minnesotans will tell you that the winters used to be stronger and colder, but they still can be pretty bad if you’re not used to them. Things start to cool down in October, sometimes to 0 degrees F by December. The region also averages about 48 inches of snow a year, less than the state average but double the national average of 28 inches. At other end, summers are warm and humid. So, if you’re coming from a place with more stable temperate weather, you might be surprised with the hot and cold extremes here.
  2. It’s not so bad here. In 2018, a report in USA Today dinged the St. Cloud area for being “the state’s worst place to live” based on a handful of factors such as violent crime rates and population losses in the last decade. Statisticians, economists, and local business leaders immediately jumped on the findings of this study, saying the conclusions were academically unsound. They said the stated crime figures only looked at the city of St. Cloud itself, not the surrounding suburbs. Likewise, while there have been some population shifts, most have been mostly within the region. It also said the whole study was suspect, including that it treated St. Paul and Minneapolis as separate entities. (Legally they are but they are closely connected in population.) Although city leaders continue to counter the message, and the area has received other positive honors since then, such as a top STEM city and an ag-friendly community, the negative attention still shows up in search results.
  3. Rental friendly. Some of the awards the community has received include “Most Affordable Rental Apartments” in the state from RENTCafe, and best budget friendly city in Minnesota for renters from LendEDU. Though mortgages and rentals have been increasing everywhere, communities that are known for less expensive rent agreements are appealing. As of mid-September the price of a one bedroom apartment is between $960 and $980 a month. In comparison, rents are nearly double in busier communities such as Seattle or New York.
  4. Environmental focus. Though Minnesota is proud of a lot of its traditions, places like St. Cloud are looking toward the future, including making a more sustainable community. The town’s mayor, Dave Kleis, recently announced plans for the whole city to be carbon-neutral by 2038. This effort combines a civic push for more community service as well as attention to being more sustainable. Mayor Kleis is encouraging each department to find ways to use less resources and invest in different power sources, and has invited the community to do its part, whether it’s taking part in community clean-ups or looking for more fuel-friendly cars. This direct attention to future conservation efforts could be interesting for newcomers also interested in sustainable solutions.
  5. Nature, year-round. Beyond the abundant outdoor recreation opportunities, there are other ways to get out and enjoy the local climate, and learn something in the process. This includes the Munsinger and Clemens Gardens, a 21-acre location that includes a variety of local flora as well as a carefully managed rose garden with more than 1,100 types, plus other shrubs and trees. It’s peaceful and soothing, and it even hosts live music here at different Fridays throughout the year. The Quarry Park and Nature Preserve is also enjoyable to walk through and includes lots of trees plus a picnic area. You can also scuba dive and cross-country ski.
  6. Opportunities to learn. Go Huskies! St. Cloud State University offers degree programs for undergraduate and graduates, plus online and community programs. The 100-acre campus offers plenty of courses and other even campus events. It’s considered the third largest university in the state. Among other honors, the school has an award-winning sports broadcasting program as well as a nationally ranked wrestling team. The school has been educating local students since 1869 and continues to be an important part of the community. This includes putting on a variety of performances and sporting events. The publicity
  7. A diverse population. The whole state of Minnesota has a laid-back and welcoming vibe for all races, genders, sexual and gender orientations, and others seeking a welcoming community. Lots of people from St. Cloud gather together to celebrate Pride each September. The area’s LGBTQ community offers a family-friendly festive gathering and reasons to celebrate.

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