You will find the Twin Cities to be a friendly area and there is lots to do. People who do best here are the ones who embrace winter (and what it has to offer) rather than hole up in a cave. The go to dinner, concerts, ski, sled, attend feastivals, etc regardless of a little cold and snow outside.
You will find Mpls has more sunny days than the PacNW, but it does lack the mountains and ocean. Suggest you live near Mpls or St.Paul if you are used to Portland. The suburbs here are more “suburban” than Hillsboro or Tigard.
Thanks for answering! I’m curious what you mean by “more suburban”… I’ve only ever known either small towns or Portland’s ‘suburbs’ so I don’t quite know what you refer to.
I usually do okay with snow and cold, especially when the city is set up to deal with it (which Portland is not). It’s probably the heat I’m more afraid of ;)
I hate the heat too. I grew up in Anchorage and I prefer Pacific Northwest temperatures (where 85F is HOT, not the 100 plus you can get here on occasion). The good news is the extreme heat is usually only a week or two and they invented AC years ago, thank goodness.
Some of the suburbs here are what you are used to in the Portland area. They were small towns originally that the big city has grown around. Others were corn fields and horse pasture a few decades ago and have sprung up with mass housing, mega malls and parks with plastic playsets. They don’t have the history of a small town and sometimes they all look alike. If you like small towns then you might really like living outside of the city a little, but it would be hard to know which area is right for you. You might want to rent a place for six months and spend some time exploring a bunch of different locations to find what apeals to you.