Carver Voted Happiest Large County
Carver County is located west of the Twin Cities in Minnesota. A national study by SmartAsset concluded the county to be the happiest in the country. The study looked at some key factors:
- Unemployment rate
- Poverty rate
- Ratio of income to cost of living
- Marriage rate
- Divorce rate
- Personal bankruptcy rate
- Life expectancy rate
- Physical activity rate
Carver County, according to SmartAsset won Happiest County in 2018 and 2019. Further, in 2017 Carver was ranked in the top 5, so this study was not a one-off. This makes Waconia one of the best places to live in Minnesota!
Some key takeaways from the report show that almost 84% of those 20 years and older get some level of recommended activity. Divorce rates were exceedingly low in comparison, and there is a decent income-to-living wage ratio in the county.
The Surrounding Area
Carver County includes more rural farm towns like Cologne or Norwood Young America and suburban cities like Chanhassen and Chaska. Many of these offer fantastic parks such as the Baylor Regional Park. Some enjoyable activities include:
- Watching curling while eating a Juicy Lucy
- Walking or biking through the Carver County Park Reserve
- Eating and enjoying the show at the Chanhassen Dinner Theater
- Seeing the world’s largest mustache
- Visiting the beautiful Arboretum
- Touring Prince’s Paisley Park
- Boating or fishing on one of Carver’s 35 lakes
- And much more…
Waconia in the Middle
Located near the center of Carver County is Waconia, Minnesota which Crown College property touches. Waconia, originally a resort town during the 1800s is now home to 12,000+ residence. Waconia boasts some bigger city amenities while offering a small-town feel. Waconia has a fun downtown just blocks away from a beautiful large lake. With a modern movie theater, small coffee shops, a diner, and more. And when students need some bigger shops, Waconia also has you covered: Target, Starbucks, Aldi, Mackenthun’s, McDonald’s, Domino’s, Culver’s, Dollar Tree, Walgreens, and more allow students to get whatever they need within a 10-minute drive. Waconia is also the host of the Carver County Fair.
Happiness in the Future
As Waconia continues to expand, so does it’s offerings. In September 2020, Waconia redesigned their main beachfront park. Not only are there increased amenities but there is now infrastructure for one of the biggest additions to Waconia: Coney Island Park. Originally used as a resort island, the buildings have long been abandoned and in disarray. However, as part of the $2.5 million projects, Coney Island has been updated for the public.
Not only has the project completed the initial steps of clearing out the old building pieces and clearing spaces for picnics spots and walking trails. There are future plans to include a ferry shuttle service from Waconia out to Coney Island Park. Plus, there is always the option to rent kayaks and canoes from the Waconia side and paddle the short distance out.
For a full plan of the 34-acre Coney Island, you can see the master plan.
A Wonderful College Experience
When Crown College moved to St. Bonifacius back in 1970, it was a rural area. Today, students have more opportunities than ever to engage with the community and resources to have a wonderful college experience. Not only does Crown have 200+ park-like acres on its campus, but there are also amazing amenities nearby that make the college experience enjoyable beyond the classroom.