White Bear Lake is on the northeast corner of the Twin Cities metro area and about 20 minutes from downtown St. Paul.
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White Bear Lake—the lake, not the city—was immortalized by Mark Twain in “Life on the Mississippi” (written in 1883). The lake covers nearly 2,500 acres and measures 83 feet at its deepest point.
White Bear Lake, the city, sits on the northwest shore of the lake and has a notorious history, if you believe local legend. Gangsters Ma Barker, Pretty Boy Floyd, and Alvin “Creepy” Karpis supposedly hid out in the area.
In addition to the notorious, the city has attracted hikers, bikers, swimmers and boaters with its 19 parks and beaches as well as the Rotary Nature Preserve.
All that green space has contributed to an air quality index—measured in the number of days ranked as “good”— of 84 percent.
Test scores in White Bear Lake’s schools were 11 percent higher than the state average in reading and 17.1 percent higher in math in 2011, according to Money Magazine.
The median age is 39.2.
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