Although it’s not the largest of the southern Twin Cities suburbs, Apple Valley offers plenty to both residents and visitors alike. From an expansive public park system, to excellent dining, shopping and entertainment options, there are more than a few ways to enjoy your time in this great city. Let’s take a look at some of the things to do and see in the suburb of Apple Valley, MN – here we go!
About Apple Valley
Even though it’s a crucial piece of the Southern Twin Cities Metro system today, Apple Valley first started as a small farming community made up of Lebanon and Union Townships in the 1850s. The history of Apple Valley is also tightly wound with that of its neighboring suburbs, Burnsville and Eagan. Unlike its neighbors, however, the town remained fairly small throughout the first century of its existence – growing in population by only about 300 from 1881 to 1960. But things would change in the Space Race era, when developers built a series of residential neighborhoods throughout the city. One of those developers, Orrin Thompson, named several plots of his land, Apple Valley — and the name stuck. Throughout the rest of the 20th century, the city expanded, officially adding a fire department, police station, school, mayor and council chamber. As of today, Apple Valley is much larger than its founding years, with a population of approximately 55,000 residents who enjoy a tight-knit community, great education system, attractive neighborhoods, access to suburban/urban amenities and much, much more.
Things to Do in Apple Valley
Whether you live in Apple Valley or are just visiting, there are plenty of parks, restaurants, shops, and entertainment venues to explore – just look at some of the following recommendations:
Parks in Apple Valley
- For baseball, soccer, tennis and other sports, head to the facilities at Johnny Cake Ridge Park West. The park also includes a skate park and playground for the little ones.
- Apple Grove Park is a great place to walk the dog, relax under the shade of a tree or run around the playground.
- Valley Lake Park has something for everyone – go swimming at the public beach, enjoy a long walk or fire up a barbecue and host a picnic.
Restaurants & Bars Areas in Apple Valley
- Grab a beer and enjoy the big game at the laid-back Crooked Pint Ale House, serving up an extensive list of libations and pub food.
- At Satay 2 Go, there’s no need to fuss, just enjoy their food – specialties include red-bean buns, Japanese pizza, rice noodles and satay.
- For a classic breakfast with all your favorites, visit Valley Diner, where you’ll find comfort food in a traditional diner atmosphere.
- Head to Celts Craft House for a cool mix of upscale pub fare, a Sunday breakfast buffet, tap beers and hand-crafted cocktails.
Shopping & Entertainment in Apple Valley
- The massive, Apple Valley Square shopping complex has everything you need – Target, Mainstream Boutique, Wal-Mart and Savers, as well as several restaurants including Buffalo Wild Wings, Chick-Fil-A and IHOP.
- One of Apple Valley’s most popular attractions is the Minnesota Zoo, a 485-acre preserve exhibiting animals from around the world, from Russian grizzly bears to wolverines, red pandas and butterflies.
- Beat the heat at Apple Valley Aquatic Center, a large outdoor water park with a lazy river, pool and slides plus a snack bar and sunbathing area.
- If you’re looking for something out of the blue, why not try flying a plane? Team with Inflight Pilot Training and spend one hour on a Discovery Flight, where you get the chance to take the control stick under direction of a professional, soaring above the Minneapolis suburbs thousands of feet above.
Get in touch with Inflight Pilot Training to find out more about our Discovery Flights. Our team of certified flight instructors can put you on the correct path toward obtaining a pilot certification. Whether you’re interested in a Discovery Flight or are ready to sign up for formal lessons, we’re here to help. Experience what it’s like to become a pilot – all it takes is a quick call or note to our team to get started. For additional information on Inflight training programs, contact us today or call (952) 698-3000.