Apple Valley, a relatively-modern suburban community at the southern edge of Minnesota's Twin Cities region, is far enough from the city to have plenty of open space to host parkland, a golf course and the state's expansive zoological gardens while remaining close enough to allow easy access to Minneapolis and its big-city amenities.
Apple Valley (population 49,084 as of the 2010 census) is an outer suburb located on the southern edge of the Twin Cities, south of Minneapolis-St. Paul's international airport and the Mall of America. The city was named for Apple Valley, California by developers who started building in then-rural Lebanon Township in 1969. The state of Minnesota constructed the 485-acre zoo in 1978.
- Interstate Highway 35E is the main road into Apple Valley from St. Paul; 35W forks at Burnsville to reach Minneapolis.
- Highway 77 from Minneapolis-St. Paul airport becomes Cedar Avenue (County Road 23) in the northern part of Apple Valley.
- County Road 42 runs east into Apple Valley from the Interstate highways.
- 1 Minnesota Zoo, 13000 Zoo Boulevard, ☏ , toll-free: . 9AM-4PM daily except Thanksgiving/Christmas, 9AM-6PM in high season. This nationally-recognised zoo, established by the state in 1978 as the primary local attraction and "wildest place in the Twin Cities", includes 2500 animals on 485 acres. Themed walking trails range from one to two miles in length. Exhibits are divided by climate, not species, into six themed areas including a Tropics Trail (animals from rain forests and tropical habitats), a Northern Trail (large animals from the world's cold climates, such as musk ox) and a Minnesota Trail (Minnesota native animals including black bears, wolves, wolverines and a beaver pond). There are monkeys, penguins and an aquarium. Extra charge applies for IMAX and the Conservation Carousel ride. Restaurant, souvenir shop, live music venue on-site. 24-hour information line: +1 952 431-9500. $18, $12 students/seniors, parking $7/car.
- 1 Lebanon Hills Regional Park, 860 Cliff Rd, Eagan, ☏ . Forests, grasslands, marshes and wetlands. Largest park in Dakota County. Hiking and mountain biking. Canoeing, kayaking, swimming, camping and horseback riding in summer; skiing, snowshoeing, ice skating and ice fishing in winter.
- 2 Valleywood Golf Course, 4851 McAndrews Rd., ☏ . sunrise-sunset daily, seasonal. 18 holes on 190 acres, banquet space, full scale bar, restaurant and outdoor patio, Valleywood Grill (+1 952 953-2335), pro shop (+1 952 953-2323), lessons.
- Apple Valley Freedom Days. July 4th. One of the area's biggest parades, includes local marching bands and a fireworks display.
- Apple Valley Winter Carnival. February. Ice skating, contests and children's events.
- 1 Apple Valley Square, 15125 Cedar Ave S, ☏ . 8AM–11PM.
- 1 Bogart's Place, 14917 Garrett Ave, ☏ . Main Street grill, tavern, event space.
- 2 Egg Roll King, 15100 Cedar Ave Ste 203 (Southport Centre), ☏ , fax: . 11AM-5:30PM daily, closed Mon. Chinese fast food, delivery within 5 mile radius.
- 3 Panino Brothers, 15322 Galaxie Ave, ☏ . 11AM–2AM. Sandwiches, draft beer.
- 1 AmericInn, 15000 Glazier Ave., ☏ . Indoor pool, sauna, wi-fi, parking. Hot breakfast included. $110-145.
|Routes through Apple Valley|
|Saint Paul ← Eagan ←||N S||→ Burnsville → merges onto → Des Moines|
|Minneapolis ← Eagan ←||N S||→ END|