Local Area

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Local Area


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4 College Junior

Local Area: Saint Peter is a pleasant place to live. The local coffee shop is very popular. There is a grocery store and food co-op very close to campus.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Freshman

Local Area: Only a grocery store in town. It would be helpful to have a Target/Walmart type of store.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Junior

Local Area: St. Peter is very quaint and scenic, but if you are looking for city life this is not the place to go.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Freshman

Local Area: St. Peter is a nice little town. Pretty safe. Quaint.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Sophomore

Local Area: Very few things to do off campus, but there is a small city about 20 minutes away that provides some entertainment

1 person found this useful Report

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Student Author OverviewWhat's this?

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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.

Facts & Statistics

Fun Local Trivia
  1. St. Peter could have been the state capital of Minnesota, had it not been for Joe Rolette. In 1857, he stole the legislation and prevented the governor from signing it into effect. Today there is now a park in the space once intended for the capitol building.
  2. When the town was hit with a devastating F5 tornado in 1998, most of the campus was completely destroyed. Even though the Christ Chapel suffered extensive damage, the eternal candle never went out.
Notable Natives
  • Horace Austin - sixth governor of Minnesota
  • Willis Arnold Gorman - second governor of the Minnesota territory
  • John Albert Johnson - 16th governor of Minnesota
  • Andrew Ryan McGill - 10th governor of Minnesota
  • Henry Adoniram Swift - third governor of Minnesota
Local Slang
  • Duck, Duck, Gray Duck : You know that childhood game known as "Duck, Duck, Goose"? It's "Duck, Duck, Gray Duck" in these parts.
  • Hair Binder: Hair tie
  • Pop: What Minnesotans call soda
Points of Interest
  • E. St. Julien Cox House
  • Linnaeus Arboretum
  • Seven-Mile Creek Park
  • Treaty Site History Center
Shopping Centers
  • Madison East Center
  • Mankato Heights Plaza
  • Mankato Historic Old Town District
Movie Theaters
Carmike Stadium Cinema 6
220 Stadium Road
(507) 625-3456
Movie Theaters
Cinemark Movies 8
1850 Adams St.
(507) 625-1929
Movie Theaters
St. Peter Cinema 5
621 S. Minnesota Ave.
St. Peter
(507) 931-5921
Major Sports Teams
  • Minnesota Timberwolves: NBA
  • Minnesota Twins: MLB
  • Minnesota Vikings: NFL
  • Minnesota Wild: NHL
Distances to Nearest Major Cities
  • Mankato, Minn.: : 10 minutes
  • Minneapolis-St. Paul: : 1 hour
Did You Know?
Every fall, the city hosts the Rock Bend Folk Festival, which is a weekend-long event that draws in crowds of people with the wide variety of food, vendors, and of course, music.

Student Polls

Rate the local atmosphere on the following topics    Based on 46 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 47 responses

  • 0% City living at its finest. There's always something fun and interesting going on.
  • 26% Vibrant college town. There's no big city, but there are plenty of things to do off campus.
  • 62% Small town with plenty of charm.
  • 6% In or near a big city, but there's not much to do off campus.
  • 6% Painfully remote.

What is the proximity to other universities? Is there much interaction?    Based on 46 responses

  • 35% There are nearby schools that students often interact with.
  • 52% There are nearby schools, but students do NOT interact much.
  • 13% There aren't any nearby schools.

Can you see yourself living here after graduation?    Based on 46 responses

  • 15% Totally.
  • 52% Maybe, if I could find a good job.
  • 33% No way.



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