One of the first things outsiders think when the city of Otsego is mentioned is, "What kind of a name is that?" After all, traditionally, the strangest town names are reserved for Wisconsin, not Minnesota. But Otsego marks a rare exception to that rule. The term "Otsego" is believed to refer to a meeting place. This is an apt description for the city, especially as, in recent years, it has enjoyed a change in status from middle-of-nowhere town to outer-ring suburb.
Although it is dotted with small farms, Otsego is largely a residential city. Most of its residents commute to Minneapolis and Saint Paul, opting to escape from the craziness of the city in the peaceful haven of Otsego during weekends and holidays. Locals enjoy truly amazing scenery, made possible in part by the proximity of both the Crow and Mississippi Rivers. There's plenty of space to spread out in Otsego, making it an appealing town for those intent enjoying the peace and quiet of rural life without giving up standard suburban conveniences.
Moving to Otsego
Otsego is unique in that it has managed to preserve a bit of an agricultural feel while also picking up on the commercial opportunities of nearby Elk River and Albertville. It's a great place to live if you're hoping to find housing for rent near the Twin Cities without dealing with the noise and crowded atmosphere of the inner-ring suburbs.
Before moving to this area, you're going to want to prepare yourself for the requests of your future landlord. Oftentimes, property owners will require copies of your ID, letters of reference, a solid credit score and that all-important security deposit. Don't show up to a viewing totally empty handed -- someone might come prepared and snatch your new home out from under your nose!
Otsego is home to a wide array of neighborhoods, with continued expansion taking place as the city continues to claim its place among the long line of outer-ring Twin Cities suburbs. There are many types of housing setups available, from serviced apartments to rental homes and everything in between. As you explore the possibility of living in rental properties in Otsego, you'll find that there is at least one neighborhood that meets all your requirements.
Mississippi Pines: Named for the nearby Mississippi River, Mississippi Pines is a gorgeous neighborhood that boasts plenty of natural scenery. It's full of natural beauty, as the name suggests, although the area is home to more broadleaf trees than actual pines. Still, the Mississippi portion of the name is clearly accurate, with several homes actually overlooking the river.
Parrish Avenue: Extending through most of the eastern portion of Otsego, Parrish Avenue splits the city's upper peninsula in half before crossing over the Mississippi River and into the nearby town of Elk River. This area is home to several of Otsego's most beloved eateries, including the Boondox Grill and Sarpino's Pizza.
Crow River: The Crow River meanders along Otsego's southeastern region before emptying into the Mighty Mississippi. The Crow River area is largely residential, although there is also some agricultural land near Quilley Avenue. Despite its proximity to Highway 101, the area is relatively quiet and thus perfect for anyone eager to escape the suburban hustle and bustle without actually leaving the suburbs.
Jason Avenue: Interstate 94 crosses the boxy southwestern corner of Otsego, leaving a small neighborhood that is largely cut off from the rest of the city. The homes on Jason Avenue are not only isolated from the rest of Otsego; they are also somewhat isolated from one another, spaced out far more than their counterparts in the remainder of the city.
Labeaux Avenue: The southern segment of Labeaux Avenue is home to one of Otsego's most significant residential neighborhoods. Most of the places for rent here are located along the intersection of Labeaux Avenue and 70th Street NE. The biggest attraction in this neighborhood is the lovely Sunray Farm's Park, which serves as a top recreational destination during the spring and summer months.
Living in Otsego
Otsego differs from most Minnesota cities in that it is bordered on not one, but two sides by the Mississippi River. Although the Mississippi is too vast to offer much in terms of recreation, it does provide residents with an excellent view. Other forms of water recreation, however, are abundant in Otsego. Several small lakes are scattered throughout the city (duh, it's Minnesota, of course there's a lake or two around), offering plenty of opportunities for fishing and swimming in the summer and ice fishing in the winter. Additionally, the Crow River is a great place for kayaking, although recreational enthusiasts are advised to jump out long before the Mississippi approaches.
Otsego is a relatively mellow city, so, if you're hoping to find massive shopping malls or an exciting nightlife scene, you'd be best off looking elsewhere. However, if you enjoy relaxing at a beautiful park, this city is perfect for you. One of the most popular recreational sites in the area is the Otsego Lake County Park, which is found right on the Mississippi River. The park offers plenty of open space, along with sand volleyball and a peaceful gazebo. It's perfect for summer recreation, although winter visitors also enjoy the opportunity to leave their cramped quarters and take advantage of the fresh air.