Local Atmosphere

Saint Paul, MN
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3 College Freshman

Local Atmosphere: Macalester is located a short bus trip away from the Mall of America...

4 College Freshman

Local Atmosphere: If you get yourself off campus and on the bus, St Paul and Minneapolis are easy to get to. It just takes the extra motivation to get out of the dorm and off campus, and I think a lot of students don't take advantage of those opportunities as much as they may think they will when they first come to Mac.

5 College Freshman

Local Atmosphere: While we are located in the middle of a metropolitan area, the Macalester-Groveland neighborhood is more residential, yet well-populated. The community and students mesh well together, and it's a nice area to live.

5 College Freshman

Local Atmosphere: There are so many opportunities with in St. Paul and Minneapolis. The campus is less than a mile walk from the Mississippi river, both downtown areas have great museums, and the Mall of America is a light rail ride away.

5 College Junior

Local Atmosphere: It is the Twin Cities! What more do you need? Metrodome, excel and target center, first avenue, all the suburbs, the Mall of America, the three rivers, etc. etc. The local attitude toward students is very welcoming.


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Student Author OverviewWhat's This?

Tatiana Craine
Eden Prairie, MN
English with emphasis on Creative Writing
View all previous student authors

Dorm life for students at Macalester can provide some of the best views of the surrounding neighborhood and campus. On one side, residents can admire the famed, historic Summit Avenue, often named by local publications as one of the best streets in the Metro area. Also convenient for dorm residents and those living in close proximity to campus are the wide variety of shops, restaurants, grocery stores, and coffee shops littering Grand Avenue within walking distance from campus. Students soon realize that all of these businesses close to campus have become packed—and ultimately pseudo-appropriated—as quintessential Mac hangout spots. Farther north and south on Snelling Avenue, students can also find an assortment of vintage boutiques, bars, and diners that are still frequented by plenty of Mac students, but far less so than the ones on Grand Avenue.

However convenient the “Macalester Bubble” may seem with all of its entertainment, studying, and munchie-satiating value, there’s a whole world outside of the Mac-Groveland community that offers amazing sights and experiences for those adventurous enough to explore. Though it might not appear so at first, the Twin Cities area has so much to offer in terms of internationalism, culture, and entertainment—all you have to do is step out of the bubble and find it.

Facts & Statistics

Fun Local Trivia
  1. The Walker Art Center in Minneapolis was cited as one of the 10 most visited art museums in the country, and the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden located right outside the museum is the largest urban sculpture garden in the country.
  2. Minneapolis was named the "Funnest U.S. City" in a Money magazine feature by game maker, Cranium, Inc. Minnesotans weren't surprised when they read some of the reasons for the high ranking, among them being the large number of theaters in Minneapolis. In fact, Minneapolis ranks second only to New York City in the total number of live theater seats per capita, the number of theaters in the area, and the number of symphony concerts per year. The Twin Cities are also home to numerous outdoor parks, and Minneapolis has more golfers per capita than any other city in the country. In addition, with over 10,000 lakes in the state, Minnesota has 90,000 miles of shoreline-more than California, Florida, and Hawaii combined.
  3. The Mall of America is the largest shopping and entertainment complex in the country. The Mall covers 4.2 million square feet and holds more than 400 stores inside. Moreover, avid shoppers will be happy to hear that, in the spirit of convenience, there is no sales tax on clothing in Minnesota.
  4. Masking and scotch tape, Cream of Wheat cereal, Wheaties cereal, Bisquick pancake mix, Aveda beauty products, Green Giant vegetables, and HMOs were all invented in Minnesota.
  5. Minnesotans love entertainment! Thirty-nine major motion pictures have been filmed or produced in Minnesota since 1990, including Mighty Ducks and Mighty Ducks II, Fargo, Grumpy Old Men, Grumpier Old Men, and Feeling Minnesota. In addition, the climate-controlled Metrodome is the only facility in the country to host a Super Bowl, a World Series, and a NCAA Final Four Basketball Championship.
Notable Natives
  • Bob Dylan - singer/songwriter
  • F. Scott Fitzgerald - author "The Great Gatsby"
  • Joel and Ethan Coen - filmmakers "No Country for Old Men," "Fargo," many others
  • Josh Hartnett - actor
  • Prince - rock musician
Points of Interest
  • “Eat Street” on Nicollet
  • Chain of Lakes
  • Dinkytown
  • Guthrie Theater
  • Minneapolis Sculpture Garden
  • Science Museum of Minnesota
  • Wabasha Street Caves
  • Walker Art Center
Shopping Centers
  • Calhoun Square
  • Mall of America
  • Nicollet Mall
  • Roseville Mall
Movie Theaters
AMC Rosedale 14
850 Rosedale Center
(888) 262-4386
Movie Theaters
Mann Grandview 2 Theatre
1830 Grand Ave.
St. Paul
(651) 698-3344
Movie Theaters
Riverview Theater
3800 42nd Ave. S
(612) 729-7369
Movie Theaters
Science Museum of MN
120 W. Kellogg Blvd.
St. Paul
(651) 221-9444
Major Sports Teams
  • Minnesota Timberwolves: NBA
  • Minnesota Twins: MLB
  • Minnesota Vikings: NFL
  • Minnesota Wild: NHL
Distances to Nearest Major Cities
Minneapolis: : 15 minutes

Student Polls

Rate the local atmosphere on the following topics    Based on 22 responses

Very poor
  • Cost of living
  • Dining
  • Friendliness of locals toward students
  • Museums/cultural attractions
  • Nightlife
  • Parking
  • Parks and recreation
  • Professional sports
  • Safety
  • Scenery
  • Shopping
  • Transportation

What is the local atmosphere like at your school?    Based on 23 responses

  • 0% Painfully remote.
  • 26% In or near a big city, but there's not much to do off campus.
  • 0% Small town with plenty of charm.
  • 0% Vibrant college town. There's no big city, but there are plenty of things to do off campus.
  • 74% City living at its finest. There's always something fun and interesting going on.

What is the proximity to other universities? Is there much interaction?    Based on 23 responses

  • 4% There aren't any nearby schools.
  • 48% There are nearby schools, but students do NOT interact much.
  • 48% There are nearby schools that students often interact with.

Can you see yourself living here after graduation?    Based on 22 responses

  • 5% No way.
  • 55% Maybe, if I could find a good job.
  • 41% Totally.


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