Good place to live
Please don't listen to the negative reviews for Minot. I've been a resident here for 10 years now, and have lived in the state since 1996. Growing up in Bottineau, ND, Minot was the closest "big city" for us and was often a travel destination for shopping, dining, movies, and so on.
As a resident of Minot, I've enjoyed this changing town over the years. We have seen explosive growth here since the oil boom, and there are many great places to dine and spend time than when I first arrived. Examples of these include 10 North Main restaurant, Little Blue Elephant Thai restaurant, Sweet and Flour Patisserie, ND Asia, Five Guys, Longhorn Steakhouse, JL Beers, Buffalo Wild Wings, etc. While most of these are chain places, there's no shortage of locations to eat in town! We also have some great parks like the Scandinavian Heritage Park, Oak Park, Roosevelt Park and Zoo, and most of these are pet friendly. We have a few bike trails around town, the YMCA and multiple gyms, nearby lakes and beaches for fishing and recreation.
Our downtown features a lot of quaint and growing local businesses, a thriving art and music scene, and quite a few hosted events like the Holiday Train and Wine Walks. Annual concert events at the ND State Fair center and smaller venues like Rock the Leaves promote local and worldwide musical acts and bring a lot of money and tourists in to the city during the summer months.
The mall and surrounding shopping centers feature big name stores like Target, JC Penney, Kmart, Walmart, Kohls, Hobby Lobby, Petco, Gordmans, Menards, Home Depot, Home of Economy, and so on. We also have our share of great downtown local businesses which are too plentiful to name.
We have a quality university in town with Minot State University, that has been around for over 100 years. The campus has a student population that is active in the community. Several business students also run a modern coffee shop that is adjacent to the school. MSU has various sports teams that play on a NCAA division 2 level. Additionally, Minot hosts the Minotauros hockey team that plays at the Maysa arena in town.
The only gripes I can think of for Minot would be a higher than average cost of living due to the rapidly increasing population (most of which moved here for the oil boom and has money to waste). Groceries are also above average in price, and our city sales tax is 8% or so, and there is talk of raising it more to assist with construction projects and other developments. Minot was also hit by a major flood in 2011 that ravaged a lot of homes in the valley area of town. Many "zombie homes" as they're called are still standing and have yet to be demolished or revitalized. The flood and oil boom also have led to some increased crime in the area that's not readily publicized by the local news affiliates, though I would say we are still much lower than average when it comes to crime. Minot remains a safe place for families to plant roots and grow.
Kyle | Minot, ND