Moving to Bloomington

Welcome to the first step of your next adventure - relocating to the vibrant city of Bloomington, MN. This bustling hub isn't just a hotspot for business and career opportunities; it's a culturally diverse and electrifying community that promises a wealth of experiences. Amidst its stunning parks, world-class dining, and thrilling entertainment options, you will find a place to call home. And guess what? This comprehensive guide intends to make your transition smooth sailing. From finding a perfect neighborhood to settling in, we've got you covered. So, Bloomington newbies, your exciting journey begins here!

Moving to Bloomington, MN landscape image

What to Know Before Moving to Bloomington

1. A Perfect Blend of City and Suburbia

If you're looking for a place that flawlessly mixes the vibrancy of city life with the tranquility of suburban living, Bloomington should definitely be on your list. Located just south of Minneapolis, this city not only boasts its own collection of fantastic amenities but also offers easy access to the attractions of the Twin Cities. Fancy a quick art gallery tour or a baseball game in the city? No problem, Minneapolis is just a short drive away. Prefer peaceful walks and bird-watching? Bloomington's numerous parks have got you covered.

2. Shopping Extravaganza

Attention shoppers, Bloomington is home to the nation's largest shopping complex - The Mall of America. That's right, you'll have over 500 stores to choose from, entertainment options aplenty (including an indoor theme park), plus a myriad of dining establishments. Imagine having this shopping wonderland right in your neighborhood. But remember, it's so huge, you might need to leave breadcrumbs to find your way back!

3. Exceptional Education

For those with little ones, or perhaps planning for some, Bloomington's education system is worth noting. The city's public schools consistently outperform national averages, and there's also a great selection of private and charter schools. Plus, for higher education, the University of Minnesota is just a short commute away. So rest assured, your kids' edification is taken care of in Bloomington.

4. Unbeatable Outdoor Adventures

Planning to move to Bloomington and fancy yourself an outdoor enthusiast? Well, you're in luck. Nestled between the Minnesota River and the Normandale Lake, Bloomington offers ample opportunity for hiking, biking, fishing, and even skiing in winter. Not to mention the Hyland Hills Ski Area and the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge which make for perfect weekend adventures.

5. The Mystery of the Mounds

Here's something you likely didn't know. Bloomington is a place of ancient history and mystery. It's home to several Native American burial mounds dating back thousands of years. These hauntingly beautiful relics of the past are scattered around the city but are mostly centred in Mounds Park. Always tread respectfully though. It is a place of significant cultural importance and a timeless testament to early Minnesotan history.

6. A Foodie's Paradise

Experience international cuisine without even needing your passport. From classic American comfort food to hot tamales and sushi - there's more to Bloomington's food scene than meets the eye. Each year, the city hosts the 'Taste of Bloomington' event, a celebration of local restaurants and breweries. Moreover, many eateries here source their ingredients locally, so you'll get to savour food that's both global and local.

In a nutshell, moving to Bloomington, Minnesota gets you the opportunity to enjoy the best of city life without the typical city hustle, puts you in reach of possibly all the retail therapy you'll ever need, provides excellent schools for your children, takes you on outdoor exhilarating journeys, takes you back in time to an ancient era, and serves your palate a world tour. We reckon it's worth the moving trucks!

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Pros and Cons of Living in Bloomington

Pros of Living in Bloomington

Outstanding Recreational Opportunities

Bloomington is home to a vast network of recreational facilities for hiking, biking, and other outdoor activities. With more than 90 miles of trails, it's easy to stay fit and healthy in the great outdoors. The city also hosts a wide range of community events throughout the year, like summer concerts and food festivals, adding to the vibrant and dynamic feel of Bloomington.

Strong Economy

With a healthy mix of industries, Bloomington boosts a well-rounded and stable economy. From retail giants like Mall of America to tech-based companies, the city offers a range of job opportunities. Its robust economy ensures residents enjoy a high standard of living and opportunities for upward mobility.

High-quality Education System

Bloomington boasts an exceptional education system, with its public school system consistently ranking among the best in the state. In addition to strong public schools, there are a variety of quality private schools. The city's dedication to education makes it an attractive place for families with children.

Great Public Servies

From well-maintained parks to efficient public transportation, Bloomington excels in delivering high-quality public services. The city has numerous parks and well-equipped community centers that enhance the quality of life for residents. Moreover, buses and light rail make commuting around the city a breeze.

Safe and Secure Community

With a low crime rate, Bloomington is considered a safe and secure place to live. The city's police and first responders are known for their quick and effective response, promoting a safe living environment. This adds to the comfort of calling Bloomington home.

Cons of Living in Bloomington

High Cost of Living

Compared to other Midwest cities, Bloomington has a higher cost of living. Everything from housing to groceries and healthcare tends to be more expensive. While wages are also relatively high, the cost of living may be a significant consideration for those considering moving to Bloomington.

Heavy Traffic

Due to its ongoing growth and popularity as a tourism spot, traffic congestion can be an issue in Bloomington. Busy roadways can be frustrating, especially during peak hours. Residents often need to plan extra travel time to beat the traffic.

Winter Weather

Minnesota winters can be harsh, and Bloomington is no exception. Snowstorms can occur as late as April or May and winter temperatures can dip below zero. While residents usually adapt, those not accustomed to such conditions may find the winters quite challenging.

Limited Housing Options

Despite its growth, Bloomington still somewhat lacks diversity in housing options. Many of the homes are older, suburban-style properties. For those seeking loft-style apartments or modern townhomes, options may be more limited.

Crowds Due to Tourism

Being home to the Mall of America, Bloomington attracts a large number of tourists throughout the year. While this is great for the local economy, it can sometimes result in crowded public spaces and longer waits at restaurants and other venues.

Modern day picture of Bloomington, MN highlighting pros and cons of living in Bloomington, MN

Is Bloomington a Good Place to Live?

Bloomington, MN is a great place to live because of its thriving economy, rich cultural scene, and access to excellent educational institutions. It's the gateway to outdoor adventure, with plenty of parks and hiking trails, yet it also provides the convenience of city living with its numerous shopping and dining options. In addition, Bloomington is home to the world-renowned Mall of America, making it a fun and exciting place to live and explore.

What Is Bloomington Famous For?

Mall of America

Perhaps the most famous attraction in Bloomington is the Mall of America. Famed for its size, it has over 500 shops, 50 restaurants, a Nickelodeon Universe amusement park, and even an underwater adventure. Shoppers and thrill-seekers alike can lose themselves in this mammoth monument to consumer culture.

The Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge

For those who prefer nature over shopping, Bloomington hosts the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge. Visitors can marvel at fields, forests, and wetlands, teeming with diverse wildlife from deer to bald eagles. Its trails are terrific for hiking, birdwatching, or simply enjoying the tranquility of untouched wilderness.

The Normandale Japanese Garden

One of Bloomington's hidden gems is the Normandale Japanese Garden, a serene, meticulously maintained slice of Japan in Minnesota. Complete with water features, bridges, and a tea house, it's a calming oasis perfect for reflective walks, photography, or just escaping from the urban hustle.

The Water Park of America

A beacon of aquatic fun in the city of Bloomington is the Water Park of America. An indoor water park where everyone can enjoy water slides, wave pools, and lazy rivers, irrespective of the weather outside. Just remember to bring your swimsuit and a plentiful supply of energy!

Capital building of Bloomington, MN in artistic rendering

Overview of Tax Rates

Property Tax

As of 2023, the property tax rate in Bloomington, MN averages about 1.17%, which is marginally below the national median property tax rate. Compared to other states, this rate positions Minnesota in the top 30% nationwide for property taxes.

Sales Tax

Bloomington, MN has a combined city and state sales tax rate of 7.525% as of 2023. This is fairly on par with the average combined sales tax rate across the United States. Notably, it is lower than neighboring states such as Wisconsin, which has rates as high as 5.6% before local surtaxes.

Income Tax

For 2023, the state of Minnesota's income tax rates range from 5.35% to 9.85%, placing it among the top five highest taxed states in the US for income. However, Bloomington does not have an additional local income tax on top of the state rates.

Housing Market

Bloomington, MN presents a unique housing market with a diverse mix of options for both buyers and renters. House prices display a median of $290K which is above the national average, indicative of the area's desirability and high standard of living. The rental market is competitive, with average rents for a one-bedroom apartment at about $1,163 - slightly under the national median. With a strong local economy, great school systems, and strategic location, Bloomington's real estate market attracts attention nationwide. However, as it compares favorably to other high-demand cities, both buyers and renters can consider it an affordable haven.

Cost of Living

The cost of living in Bloomington, MN is somewhat higher than the national average, but reasonable when compared to other major urban centers in the United States. The slightly higher costs are primarily related to housing, which is offset by the availability of well-paying jobs and a robust economy. Essential expenses such as food, utilities, and transportation are on par or slightly lower than other similar-sized cities nationwide. Overall, Bloomington, MN offers a balanced cost of living, providing value for money through its quality lifestyle, plentiful amenities, and economic opportunities.

Weather & Natural Disasters

Bloomington, MN, experiences a humid continental climate characterized by warm, wet summers and harsh, cold winters. Average summer temperatures reach around 83degF, perfect for exploring the numerous parks across the city. However, winters can be unforgiving with temperature lows around 7degF and heavy snowfall, which can make commuting challenging. The city receives about 32 inches of rain annually, with May being the wettest month. Bloomington is relatively safe from severe natural disasters. However, it experiences occasional thunderstorms during summer. A higher probability for tornadoes exists, particularly during spring and early summer, though incidences are generally infrequent and of lower intensity compared to Tornado Alley in the south-central U.S. Also, winter storms can sometimes escalate into blizzards, disrupting daily activities.

Typical weather in Bloomington, MN

Economy & Job Market

* Healthcare and Social Assistance

* Retail Trade

* Manufacturing

* Finance and Insurance

* Educational Services

Bloomington, Minnesota, often lovingly referred to as a 'Purple Rain' powerhouse, is rising from its roots and flourishing in a variety of sectors. Tucked away amidst nature's bounty, the city was historically known as agriculture-focused, with dairy farming being one of the major occupations. Fast forward to today, and the economy has diversified like a color wheel in an art studio with healthcare, retail trade, manufacturing, finance and insurance, and education services painting the canvas of the job market. Major employers like the healthcare giant HealthPartners, the retail behemoth Mall of America, and the education group Bloomington Public Schools, play centre stage. Plus, let's not forget; it's home to the caveat of comfort, the national headquarters of Sleep Number Corporation!

If you're planning on migrating to this mini-Minnesota marvel, it's essential to know that the city is welcoming job seekers with open arms! The employment rate here darts around the national average, with the unemployment rate usually being lower than the national average - sounds like a good bet, doesn't it? In fact, job growth over the next decade is predicted to be around 33.5%, which is higher than the US average of 33.5%. So, which areas should you keep an eye on? Picture a treasure map, and X marks the spot in healthcare, retail, finance and manufacturing industries. And hey, remember, if ever you feel too stressed with the job hunting, take a break and enjoy a walk in the beautiful Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge; who knows, you might even stumble upon some job inspiration there!

Traffic and Transportation

Bloomington, MN is a bustling city that has smoothly running veins of transportation. Kiss goodbye to long, dreary commute times! With an average journey clocking in at a sweet 22 minutes, Bloomington serves up a breezy ride to your 9 to 5. For those who prefer leaving the driving to someone else, the METRO Transit is at your service! This public transportation champ offers both bus and light rail options, turning any commute into a chill, scenic tour. If you have your eyes set on a farther horizon, touch the sky from the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, conveniently nestled in Bloomington itself. Whether you're a jet-setter or a daily commuter, Bloomington, MN helps you keep your travel game strong and your stress levels low. Join us for a fun, fast, and friendly transit journey.

What is the traffic like in Bloomington, MN?

Best Neighborhoods in Bloomington

1. Bloomington Central

If you're moving to Bloomington and are looking for a vibrant, urban vibe, then Bloomington Central is the neighborhood for you. With the city's downtown at its heart, Bloomington Central offers a myriad of trendy restaurants, hip bars, shopping districts, and office buildings. Residents enjoy easy access to public transit, making commuting a breeze. You can also get your daily fix of art and culture at one of the many theaters or galleries in the area. The nightlife here is buzzing, making this neighborhood a great place for young, energetic new residents.

2. South Loop

The South Loop neighborhood is best known for being home to the Mall of America, the largest shopping mall in the United States! But South Loop has much more to offer than just retail therapy. The Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge is also within walking distance, providing a fantastic getaway for nature lovers. The flats in this area are contemporary and fashionable, and while the neighborhood buzzes with visitors during the daytime, residents relish the calm, peaceful evenings, making this neighborhood a balance of city life and nature's tranquility.

3. Normandale Lake District

The Normandale Lake District may well be the most scenic neighborhood in Bloomington. Highlighted by the beautiful Normandale Lake Park, and the Hyland Lake Park Reserve, this neighborhood is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts. There are several spots for fishing, picnicking, and boating. Not to mention the jogging, biking, or hiking trails that meander through the lush green spaces. The community also prides itself on its excellent schools, making it a great place for families.

4. Penn American District

If you're looking for a diverse, inclusive community with a bustling retail sector and exciting recreational options, Penn American District needs to be on your list. This neighborhood is praised for its array of eateries, where you can find a range of cuisines from all around the globe. The neighborhood is also known for its active, health-conscious lifestyle, with several yoga studios, gyms, and wellness centers within the district.

5. West Bloomington

The West Bloomington neighborhood is where laid-back suburban life meets urban convenience. It's a fantastic place for families thanks to the great schools and the safe, friendly vibe. One of the best things about West Bloomington is the abundance of parks and playgrounds for the little ones to enjoy. For those who love golf, there's the prestigious Hyland Greens Golf and Learning Center. Shops and restaurants are also plentiful in this well-rounded neighborhood, offering an alluring mix of convenience and comfort.

In conclusion, Bloomington is a city that offers a neighborhood for every preference. Whether you want a bustling urban vibe or a relaxing suburban atmosphere, you'll find what you're looking for in Bloomington. So, pack your bags and start the adventure in your perfect neighborhood!

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Things to Do


Bloomington, Minnesota is so much more than one of the country's prime retail destinations. With its vibrant community, beautiful nature spots, and dynamic attractions, there's always something new to explore in this beloved city. Whether you're a newcomer or a long-time resident, this list of the top seven things to do in Bloomington, MN may just uncover a few hidden gems you have yet to discover.

1. Indulge in Retail Therapy at Mall of America

As home to the largest shopping center in the United States, a trip to the Mall of America is a must. This retail paradise offers more than 500 stores, along with a variety of unique attractions, like the SEA LIFE Minnesota Aquarium and the Nickelodeon Universe theme park.

2. Unleash Your Inner Naturalist at the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge

This sprawling urban oasis spans over 14,000 acres and offers an array of activities for nature lovers. You can hike through lush trails, spot various wildlife, or even join birdwatching tours. The refuge's educational center is also worth a visit for some hands-on ecological experiences.

3. Explore the Old Town Hall

This site may not be too known to many, but indeed, it's worth the detour. The Old Town Hall, built in 1892, is Bloomington's oldest remaining building and offers a trip down memory lane. With its fascinating historical exhibits and vintage architecture, it is a must-visit for history buffs.

4. Dine Out at the Local Farmer's Market

For a taste of the local living, head to the Bloomington Farmer's Market. Choose and enjoy fresh and organic produce, homemade goodies, and artisanal crafts. Community meets cuisine here, making it an ideal spot to mix, mingle, and have a bite or two.

5. Take a Stroll at Normandale Japanese Garden

A serene and somewhat hidden gem in the city is the Normandale Community College Japanese Garden. This elegantly designed garden offers a tranquil space for leisurely strolls, meditation, or simply appreciating the beauty of meticulously manicured plants and flowers.

6. Party at the Minnesota Renaissance Festival

Okay, this isn't technically in Bloomington (it's in adjacent Shakopee), but the Minnesota Renaissance Festival is one of the largest and oldest Renaissance-themed fairs in the U.S. Experience a time long past full of knights, queens, and jesters, complete with live performances, craft demonstrations, and loads of merriment.

7. Play WhirlyBall

Ready for something out of the ordinary? Try WhirlyBall - a kooky yet hilarious hybrid of basketball, hockey, lacrosse, and bumper cars. Located in nearby Edina, it's a short drive from Bloomington and a great place for some action-packed fun.

From colossal shopping malls and tranquil nature reserves to historical landmarks and local cultural experiences, Bloomington indeed has a lot to offer! So, whether you've been living in this city for a while or just unpacked your suitcases, make sure to add these spots and activities to your to-do list. Unearth the city's wonders and enjoy the vibrant vibe of Bloomington, Minnesota!

' Things to do in Bloomington, MN?

Find Movers for Your Bloomington Relocation

Now that you're well versed with the wonderful city of Bloomington, it's time to take the next step in your relocation journey. Trust your move to the experienced professionals within the Great Guys Moving network. They're committed to providing quality service and affordable pricing, so you can focus on settling into your new home. All of the movers in their network are licensed and insured, ensuring your move is worry-free. So, why wait? Take the stress out of your Bloomington move by requesting a free quote from Great Guys Moving today.

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