Northfield : Minnesota


What it's Like to Retire in Northfield

Northfield Minnesota, located in the southeastern part of the state, is a lovely college town that boasts not one, but 2 thriving private colleges. Carleton College and St. Olaf are both located here and their student populations give a decidedly youthful feel to the town. Hence their motto - "Two colleges, one town". Northfield's population grew 14% in the past 8 years.

Northfield has a first class small downtown square, Bridge Square on the Cannon River. The square and the lovely downtown is prosperous and unusually nice for Minnesota small towns. Main Street is lined with specialty shops.

A big part of the lore of Northfield is the attempted robbery of the First National Bank of Northfield by Jesse James and his Gang in 1876. The event is commemorated every year with a festival (photo of the bank courtesy of Wikipedia and Elkman). Photo of Carelton Chapel courtesy of Wikipedia and Carleton College.


Where to Retire in Northfield and Home Prices

The senior citizen market is growing as so many retirees recognize the charms of Northfield. The Village on the Cannon, Millstream Commons, and new construction at the Northfield Retirement Center complex. A residential and commercial project is being built along the river on the north edge of downtown. reports the median home value to be $265,000, in early 2019.  Development emanating from St. Paul and Minneapolis has increased property values in Northfield.


What is special about Northfield

Carleton College Cowling Arboretum. Living in a college town with 2 great colleges. Jesse James connection. An unusually pretty downtown. Great stock of 19th/early 20th century homes. The commercial, cultural, and professional sports attractions of Minneapolis and St. Paul are less than 35 miles away.

What is not special about Northfield

Minnesota winters.

Who will like retirement in Northfield

Northfield attracts baby boomers and other retirees who want to live in a prosperous college town. Obviously alumni of St. Olaf and Carleton College are attracted here.

Local economy is driven by

The 2 colleges and the town's proximity to Minneapolis drive the local economy.

Climate and Physical Environment

Located on the Cannon River in southeastern Minnesota. St. Paul and Minneapolis are only about 35 miles away.

Restaurants & Cultural Scene

Carleton and St. Olaf have many cultural events that enliven Northfield's cultural scene. The Northfield Arts Guild Theater provides an annual season of plays and musicals. Carleton College has three production companies. St. Olaf College's theater department presents five theatrical productions per year. The St. Olaf Christmas Festival attracts thousands of visitors. The Bridge Chamber Music Festival is held in June. Galleries include the Northfield Arts Guild Gallery, St. Olaf College and Carleton College galleries.



The crime rate in Northfield is about half the national average.


Medical facilities

 Northfield City Hospital



Minneapolis/St. Paul International is less than 30 miles away.

Valuable Links

Wikipedia on Northfield
Northfield City-Data
More community reviews at Topretirements Web site
Northfield Convention and Visitors Guide

What people are saying about Northfield

Cold but nice college town
If the cold doesnt bother you and you really want that college town living experience, put on your snowshoes and come up to Northfield
Posted by madman on February 04, 2009

Leave a Comment

To comment you must be a registered member of

Login Here


Create Your Free Membership Account

Suggest a community we want to know about your top retirement spots
Please note that all contributions to Topretirements may be edited, altered, or removed by other contributors. If you don't want your writing to be edited mercilessly, then don't submit it here. By submitting content and/or photographs here you agree to give the rights to use them in any manner without cost or attribution.You are also promising us that you wrote this yourself, or copied it from a public domain or similar free resource (see Project:Copyrights for details). DO NOT SUBMIT COPYRIGHTED WORK WITHOUT PERMISSION!

Copyright © 2006-2020 All Rights Reserved.