Golden Valley, MN

Golden Valley, located in the western suburbs of Minneapolis, has a population of more than 20,000. The city is known for being home to multiple Fortune 500 Companies, including General Mills and Honeywell. It also happens to be home to Gigi’s Cupcakes, which serves some of the BEST cupcakes we’ve ever tried, as well as having some of the most active community centers we’ve ever visited. Read on for much more about this lovely city!

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Theodore Wirth Park is a 795-acre recreation area that offers year round activities for the entire family. Golf courses in the summer turn into slopes for cross-country skiing when the temperatures drop. At the same time, you’ll find several scenic hiking trails, which are popular during the winter. The park also serves as the starting point for the City of Lakes Loppet Ski Festival, a fun event held annually at the end of January. Theodore Wirth definitely has a lot to offer everyone throughout the year!


After skiing, if you feel like warming up next to a cozy fire or having a nice strong drink (we mean coffee, of course), you can do so at the Golden Valley Golf and Country Club, which just celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2014. With luxe amenities and a very welcoming staff, the club serves as a great place for members to take their family after a round of golf in the summer or to warm up after hiking during the winter. Located on a hill overlooking the city, the GVGCC stands out for it’s elegance and stately grace – that explains why it’s an award-winning venue for social events and weddings!

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Golden Valley doesn’t only take care of its human residents – they also make plenty of time to look after our furry, four-legged friends! The Animal Humane Society, located right next to Theodore Wirth Park, is a place with double “do-good” benefits. Not only is it a place where you can adopt your future pet (and save an animal that’s oftentimes injured or orphaned), but the Society also provides many great services to the surrounding community. For example, they have a well-known Outreach program that offers summer camps for young children and teens who love animals, as well as various community service projects. If you’re interested, feel free to read about more ways to help animals here.


Now back to Golden Valley’s human population. The city has many active community centers, such as the Davis Community Center and Brookview Community Center, which houses GV’s Park & Recreation department (no word on whether the staff gets into as many shenanigans as the Pawnee team from the beloved TV show). The center also offers activities for residents of all ages, including exercise classes, and it’s associated with the Brookview Golf Course located right outside of its doors.

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If your kids still have energy after spending time at the community center, feel free to head to the 3rd Lair Skatepark and Skateshop. Behind its well-decorated but unassuming front door, the Skatepark hides hours of safe family fun. You might ask yourself, “What? Skateboarding in the middle of winter?” If so, you’ll be glad to know it’s an indoor skatepark (which also welcomes BMX riders). So even though it might be cold outside, your kids can still skate/ride to their heart’s content without (your) fear of (them) getting frostbite.

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The fun at 3rd Lair doesn’t stop with the skateboard park; it also serves as a skateboard shop, a favorite hangout among locals. Both the park and shop are owned by Mark Rodriguez, a St. Paul native, who opened 3rd Lair twelve years ago. According to Mark, 3rd Lair is an integral part of the Golden Valley community, participating in youth programs and remaining active with local charities. Mark also happens to be the proud owner of the most photogenic cat we’ve ever seen, Big Al (check out his adorable cameos in the photos above!).


You’ve now seen much of what Golden Valley has to provide as far as family fun activities go. But of course we couldn’t leave out one of our most favorite things: food, food, food! A great spot to find casual eateries as well as upscale dining options is the Golden Valley Commons Shopping Center. If a tasty lunch is what you’re craving, you have a great variety of choices. From Noodles & Company to Subway, there’s something to suit every palate. Or if you’re hankering for some ethnic flavor, then Panchero’s Mexican Grill is the place for you. Planning a romantic date night (Valentine’s Day is on its way, after all)? Then check out Doolittle’s Woodfire Grill, known for its warm, relaxing atmosphere – perfect for cuddling up to your loved ones!


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Speaking of great Valentine’s treats, you should definitely visit Gigi’s Cupcakes, now a world-famous business! Based out of Nashville, Tennessee, Gigi’s serves as a great place to give in to your sweet tooth. During our visit, we were lucky enough to talk to one of the sweetest (yes, pun intended) people you’ll ever meet – resident cupcake artist, Amanda (aka Amanda “The Decorator”). She said they pride themselves on how their goods are baked fresh daily and they never sell day-old goods; instead owners Jamie and Aaron Clayborn take them to the local hospital for patients, nurses, and doctors to enjoy! We had a great time at Gigi’s and the cupcakes were sensational – we highly recommend them. We particularly enjoyed the chocolate chip cookie dough cupcake (phew, that was a tongue-twister, see the picture above). Take a trip to Gigi’s and Tweet us to let us know which treat is your favorite!


As a real estate brokerage, we of course couldn’t help noticing all the great looking houses and other living facilities during our time in Golden Valley. The community truly embraces all ages and backgrounds! The single-family homes are perfect for growing families, while the townhomes and apartments are better suited for young professionals. Take a look at a sampling of the living options that Golden Valley has to offer:

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We really loved this log cabin – how about you? Feel free to tell us in the comments.


For people who like to go jogging or take scenic walks through parks, now is your time to rejoice! GV has many parks, including Wesley Park and Brookview Park. While the parks vary in size, all are great for family strolls, or even for your morning run. Feel free to visit the Golden Valley Community website for a map of all the city’s parks.


Did you know that Golden Valley holds more jobs than people per capita? Well, no surprise. Golden Valley is home to the World Headquarters of General Mills, and companies such as Allianz Insurance, Tennant Company, Honeywell, Kare 11 TV Station, and Room & Board. These companies provide many employment opportunities in the area.

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Well dear reader, this is where we end our post. We highly encourage you to visit Golden Valley and keep it in mind if you’re searching for a new home. If you’re familiar with the area, tell us what is your favorite local spot? Have you visited any of the places we mentioned?

                Neighborhood Resources

Neighborhood Schools

Faith Communities

Good Shepherd Catholic School

Calvary Lutheran Church

King of Grace Lutheran School

Unity Christ Church

Breck School

Speak the Word Church International

Perpich Center of Arts Education

Valley Community Presbyterian Church  

Noble Elementary

Valley-Peace Lutheran Church

Education Service Center

King of Grace Lutheran Church

Meadowbrook Elementary

Oak Grove Church



Stockman Park  

Doolittle’s Woodfire and Grill
Gearty Park

Nong’s Thai Cuisine  

Glenview Terrace Park

Good Day Cafe
Mary Hills Nature Area

Rasa Sayang Restaurant

Rice Lake Nature Area

Teresa’s Mexican Restaurant
Briarwood Nature Area

Taste of India

Sandburg Ball Fields

Mort’s Delicatessen
Isaacson Park

Cooper Irish Pub

Wildwood Park

Red Lobster
Pennsylvania Woods Nature

St Petersburg Restaurant & Vodka Bar

Medley Park

JJ’s Clubhouse Sports Bar & Grill

Golden Ridge Nature Area

Leann Chin

Wesley Park

Sushi X