St. Peter is known for its tranquil neighborhoods on the weekdays and its rowdy streets on the weekends. The city itself has almost everything a student would need: groceries (conventional grocery store and a food cooperative), coffee shops, liquor stores, hair salons, Chinese and pizza joints, and a few bars. While some who come from larger cities may find this boring and rural, most Gustavus students are satisfied with the drive to Mankato being 15 minutes and the Twin Cities 90 minutes. Some students like this small-town feeling because it encourages more kids to stay on campus and partake in the on-campus activities sponsored by the student-led Campus Activities Board. This group of students creates and manages sporting, entertainment, and music events throughout the year. Because of this incredible group of students devoted to providing events on campus, there is almost always something to do with friends on Friday and Saturday nights–and almost always free.
Gustavus's relations with the city are generally healthy. The police do patrol in marked and unmarked vehicles, and weekend parties are busted, with kids receiving citations, but most residents and students view each other in a positive light. The local transportation system is good at getting you from point A to B (the bus taxi system) with a cost of $1 per ride, but it doesn't run all the time and it's limited to the city of St. Peter. Conveniently, though, it runs for free on Friday and Saturday nights, shuttling Gustavus students to and from the bars in an effort to deter drunk driving. If you have friends at St. Olaf or Carleton, they're only an hour away and the University of Minnesota an hour and a half.