Top 7 Reasons to Live in Orono Minnesota

Orono, Minnesota is a commanding presence on the north Shore of Lake Minnetonka.  Named after a city in Maine by settlers who emigrated from there, the city is 24 square miles in area, boasting 8 square miles of that area in water.  Population based on the 2010 census is 7,437, median home value as of January 2015 is 633,800 according to Zillow.

Orono is a friendly and warm community with small town charm yet convenient access to downtown Minneapolis. WIth a nationally recognized school system and great access to recreation, it's a great place to live and raise children. Here are 7 reasons I think Orono is an outstanding city! 

1.  Easy Access to the Big City from Orono

Want to attend the symphony, watch a play, visit a museum, or plan a special evening of dining in Minneapolis? Hop on the expressway, head east and in 16 miles you can be in the heart of downtown. If you work in the Metro easy access to 394 east and west or 494 north and south makes for a good commute. If you prefer public transportation to downtown, a Metro Transit bus service runs every 28 minutes. .

2. Local Shopping and Restaurants

Orono is 6 miles from Minnetonka and Wayzata and a plethora of options in shopping and dining. Wayzata has a thriving retail center featuring dozens of high quality shops offering fashions, art, and antiques.Ridgedale Center in Minnetonka gives your family endless options in fashion for yourself and for your home in a mall setting.  Need groceries?  There is a Lunds on Wayzata Boulevard, a Trader Joe’s in nearby Minnetonka.

3. Orono Parks and Recreation Shine

When it comes to 4 season recreation, Orono really shines! With its superb location on Lake Minnetonka and in the Three Rivers Park District, options include trails, lakes, beaches, nature reserves and sanctuaries, parks and golf courses.

If walking, hiking, bicycling, horseback riding, snowmobiling or cross country skiing is your thing, the limestone 63 mile Luce Line State Trail will fill your needs while the Dakota Rail Trail is 13 paved mile, mostly flat trail which offers spectacular lake views and is perfect for walking, hiking, rollerblading, or walking the family pooch.  The Lake Independence Regional Trail is 15.87 miles of 10 ft. wide paved trail where you can walk, jog, inline skate or bicycle while enjoying the natural charm which abounds.

Wolfsfeld Woods is a Nature Conservancy and protected forest of a variety of mature hardwood tree species covering gently rolling hills.  Visit in late spring and experience the woodland bursting with colorful blooms.  Bring your camera or your easel and paints!

As you wander the walking trails of Wood-Rill you will climb the steep hills of the St. Croix Moraine under a canopy of red and white oak, basswood, sugar maple and butternut trees which are 120 to 400 years old.  Travel downward into an area of wetlands including ponds, meadows, a lake, and swamps.  With the beautiful colors of spring and summer wildflowers, the brilliant display in fall, or the quiet serene beauty of snow and ice in winter, this is an area to enjoy for all seasons.

Big Island Park is 56 acres on the east end of Lake Minnetonka, open to the public as a Nature Preserve with 75% of the acreage protected by a Conservation Easement.  This is a passive recreation area where visitors have access to a treasure trove of the indigenous plant, animal and bird species while meandering informal hiking trails.Baker Park Reserve, part of the Three Rivers Park District, consists of 27,000 acres of land hugging the shores of Lake Independence and offers activities from golfing to cross-country skiing to camping.  Baker Campground open from April 25 to October 19 offers over 200 campsites from basic to campground cabins to suit your camping style and preference.  And for hardy, adventurous individuals, winter camp options are also available! For the golfing enthusiast, the 210 acre Baker National Golf Course boasts practice areas, a driving range a 9-hole Evergreen Executive Course, and a nationally recognized 18-hole Championship Course.Noerenberg Memorial Gardens situated on the shores of Crystal Bay on Lake Minnetonka is a widely acclaimed formal garden. Among the abundant species of perennials, trees and shrubs, it features a vast collection of day lilies and Northern Lights Azaleas as well as ornamental shade trees.  The garden is open for tours and also available for weddings.

4. Orono is safe

Orono is well managed and offers a variety of community services including its own Police Force. This attributes to an average crime rate lower than both the state of Minnesota and the National Average.  Everyone loves to feel safe!

5. Quality Schools and Educational Options

Schools rank high on the list when determining where you want to buy your next home. Orono High School ranked #5 in the state for 2014 according to US News and World Report. Orono Public School Performance Rating ranked #14 in Minnesota according to USA.com. Your children will receive a quality education from Elementary Grades through High School. Students from Orono are given the opportunities to excel both in acedemics and the arts due to a curriculim which strives to develope the talents of all students. Orono kids compete and due extremely well in state and national competitions. The Orono School website is a great source of information.

6. Orono is About Community

Do you like to take an active part in your community and meet your neighbors?  Several options are available in the Orono area.  Check out the Orono Lions Club or the Orono Rotary. If your interests includes history of the waterways you might enjoy membership in Steamboat Minnehaha.  Want to make some friends?  The West Area Newcomers Group would love to hear from you!

7. Here, There and Everywhere in Orono

Did I mention The Gillespie Senior Center in Mound or The South Shore Center in Shorewood?  For those with artistic inclinations take advantage of classes exhibits and events at the Minnetonka Art Center.  Golf enthusiasts take note of the nearby Wayzata and Woodhill Country clubs.  In or around Orono you will find something of interest for all the family!  Orono Minnesota – with its pastoral location on the lake and natural beauty can be a truly enchanting experience.

Sound intriguing?  Start your search for a home in Orono now!

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