Nearest big city: Minneapolis
Chanhassen is home to Paisley Park, which was Prince’s home and studio in life and in death serves as a venue-slash-museum dedicated to the late musician. (Paisley Park is currently hosting an exhibition of 300 pairs of his custom shoes.) But Chanhassen offers more than a chance to laugh in the purple rain.
Residents enjoy a small-town atmosphere with big-city proximity. Minneapolis is about 20 miles away. Nature lovers are a 10-minute drive from the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum; auto fans are able to admire classic cars and elaborate man caves at Chanhassen AutoPlex. The city is well-off, with a median home sale price of $458,184 in early 2021, and growing: Life Time Fitness founder Bahram Akradi is backing the construction of a multi-use, pedestrian-friendly development center there with apartments, retail, office, hotel and green space.
Chanhassen particularly prides itself on its leadership. Three of its five council members — including the mayor — are women, as are 50% of the city's department heads. Given Chanhassen’s tight-knit community, you may just run into them at events like Feb Fest, which has an annual ice fishing competition with prizes that range from gift cards to clam shovels and pop-up fishing shelters. — Julia Glum