If you move to Cottage Grove, MN, you’re going to end up in the house. That’s because the quiet country town is made up nearly completely of single family homes and farms. There are a few apartments in the area, but it’s difficult to find an open one. Not all properties are for sale in Cottage Grove – you can also rent, since there are rentals in the city, they’re just not that easy to find. The vacancy rate in the area is less than 3 percent, so you might have to really search to find the best place. But the annual residential turnover is 14 percent so some people do come and go every year.
Cottage Grove is a small neighborhood in itself, since it’s really just a small suburb of two bigger cities. However, no matter where you end up living in Cottage Grove, it’s all pretty similar (which makes sense for suburbia).
People say that the cost of living is pretty low in Cottage Grove, especially compared to the nearby big cities. However, with that comes a pretty low quality of life – that is, that Cottage Grove proper is pretty boring and relatively sleepy. The community here tends to be older, and there is no thriving arts scene or nightlife.
Luckily, if you’re stuck in Cottage Grove, it’s not too hard to get out. The Canadian Pacific Railway passes through the town if you’re looking to go a long ways. If you just want to get in to Minneapolis or St. Paul, there is express service to the downtowns of both cities. There is a popular shared ride minibus system that also gets people to more exciting places. Residents say, though, if you live there, to have a car. Most shops, restaurants and businesses are not walkable and you’ll need an easy means of transport to get there.
While Cottage Grove has some drawbacks, it also does have some benefits, which make it at least a tolerable place to live. The city has the most waterfront of the Mississippi of any city in the state, making the views beautiful and the outdoor scenery inspiring. It also is home to annual Strawberry Fest, which is a regional favorite every year. The fest is held at the city’s Kingston Park each June, and residents come to see a parade, hear live music, eat from local food vendors, and compete in contests like a strawberry pie eating contest and a top chef contest. The city also has some of its own entertainment that sticks around all year – like a slew of old mansions and cemeteries that can be toured, as well as one of the only two remaining drive in theaters in the entire Twin Cities area. .