Macalester’s campus was once on the edge of a cornfield. Over the last 140 years, the neighborhood has become one of the most desirable in the Twin Cities. Two notable streets, Summit Avenue and Grand Avenue, provide additional history and charm. Summit Avenue boasts the longest avenue of Victorian architecture in the nation. The tree-lined boulevard is a favorite pathway to the Mississippi River, about a mile from campus, and a quick way to everything in downtown St. Paul. Grand Avenue is home to an abundance of restaurants and shops. Many faculty and staff live on the winding streets adjacent to campus, and professors invite groups of students over for dinner, discussions, movies, picnics, and class in their backyards.

Students explore the community using public transit, on foot and by bike. Minneapolis and St. Paul are known as two of the best biking cities, and numerous bike paths such as the Capital City Bikeway in downtown St. Paul and the Midtown Greenway take students past lakes, parks, and both metro centers.

The winding, tree-lined streets of Macalester's immediate neighborhood have earned it the nickname "Tangletown," and it is one of St. Paul's most popular neighborhoods.

Stretching for four miles through the neighborhood and meandering from the campus to the Mississippi River, Summit Avenue was named one of 10 "great streets" nationally by the American Planning Association in 2008. The boulevard is a favorite for walkers, joggers, and cross-country skiers.

  • 1

    Number of miles from campus to the Mississippi River.

  • 10

    Number of miles from campus to either downtown.

  • 6

    Number of coffee shops within walking distance.

  • 28

    Number of restaurants around campus, from pizza to mediterranean to Afghan.