Belle Plaine

The judge gave the town its name of Belle Plaine, which is French for Beautiful Prairie.


A scenic rural town along the Minnesota River
Belle Plaine is about 45 miles southwest of Minneapolis along the Minnesota River and surrounded by rolling hills. It has a great, rural, small-town feel and is less than an hour outside of the downtown areas of the Twin Cities. Belle Plaine is about equidistant from the Twin Cities and Mankato, and Highway 169 ensures it remains conveniently well-connected to the surrounding area. The founding of the town in the 1850s was due to Minnesota Territorial Supreme Court Judge Andrew G. Chatfield choosing the site to hold court since it was halfway on his path between Mendota and Traverse des Sioux. The judge gave the town its name of Belle Plaine, which is French for Beautiful Prairie.
Friendly people who want a quiet haven away from the hustle and bustle of the city make up the residents of Belle Plaine. The community is well known for being a bit of a hidden jewel in the Minnesota River Valley. The quality school system and healthcare facilities along with the convenience of urban centers mean people can enjoy the comfort of semi-rural living without ever being too far away from the amenities of the city. It’s a good choice for families as well as retirees who want some peace and quiet.


  • Lovely scenery and access to natural areas
  • The peace and quiet of semi-rural living
  • Urban centers within reach in less than an hour’s drive
  • Friendly neighbors
  • Good schools
  • Gorgeous rolling hills


Belle Plaine attracts the type of person who wants to live in an area where they can enjoy tranquility and fresh air while never being all that far away from the city. It’s a semi-rural area with a friendly suburban ambiance, perfect for laid-back living. There is a cute, historic downtown with a handful of local gathering spots for locals to enjoy as well.


Even with its semi-rural feel, there are still great dining options in Belle Plaine. Johan’s Bar and Grill is a cherished favorite. Located in the heart of the cozy downtown, it’s a terrific spot for a family dinner, date night, watching a big Vikings, Timberwolves, or Twins game, or just a few drinks with friends. Their menu includes everything from burgers to pizza to salads. Mizzy’s Pizza is a family-run establishment that also provides catering. Along with pizza, pasta, and salads, they have crazy good desserts. Andy’s Bar and Grill is another favorite, and Sparetime Tavern is the quintessential unpretentious local bar.
For some extra fun, locals like to head to Borough Bowl and Prairie Grille, which not only have great food but also bowling alleys. The Belle’s Event Center is also a great venue for weddings and other events. 


Belle Plaine’s residents enjoy the many parks in and around town. Among those parks are Prairie Park, Meadow Park, Hickory Park, and Heritage Square. The Minnesota Valley State Recreation Area is north of the community and offers picnic areas, hiking trails, horseback riding trails, and lots of opportunities to see wildlife.
The town’s premier annual event is Barbecue Days, with a themed parade and float contest, a car show, and a fireworks show. It’s the perfect summer event for family fun. The town also hosts an annual Scenic Byway River Run.


The schools in Belle Plaine are run by the Belle Plaine Public School District. Schools in the community include:


Ready to move to Belle Plaine? Get in touch with an agent whose expertise will make your process a smooth one. Chad Haasken is ready to help you today.

Overview for Belle Plaine, MN

7,293 people live in Belle Plaine, where the median age is 37.7 and the average individual income is $36,115. Data provided by the U.S. Census Bureau.


Total Population

37.7 years

Median Age


Population Density Population Density This is the number of people per square mile in a neighborhood.


Average individual Income

Demographics and Employment Data for Belle Plaine, MN

Belle Plaine has 2,644 households, with an average household size of 2.62. Data provided by the U.S. Census Bureau. Here’s what the people living in Belle Plaine do for work — and how long it takes them to get there. Data provided by the U.S. Census Bureau. 7,293 people call Belle Plaine home. The population density is 1,220.09 and the largest age group is Data provided by the U.S. Census Bureau.


Total Population


Population Density Population Density This is the number of people per square mile in a neighborhood.


Median Age

50.76 / 49.24%

Men vs Women

Population by Age Group


0-9 Years


10-17 Years


18-24 Years


25-64 Years


65-74 Years


75+ Years

Education Level

  • Less Than 9th Grade
  • Associate Degree
  • Bachelor Degree

Total Households


Average Household Size


Average individual Income

Households with Children

With Children:

Without Children:

Marital Status


Blue vs White Collar Workers

Blue Collar:

White Collar:

Commute Time

0 to 14 Minutes
15 to 29 Minutes
30 to 59 Minutes
60+ Minutes

Schools in Belle Plaine, MN

All ()
Primary Schools ()
Middle Schools ()
High Schools ()
Mixed Schools ()
The following schools are within or nearby Belle Plaine. The rating and statistics can serve as a starting point to make baseline comparisons on the right schools for your family. Data provided by the U.S. Census Bureau.
School rating
Belle Plaine Junior High
7th - 8th
Chatfield Elementary
PreK - 2nd
No rating available
Belle Plaine Senior High
9th - 12th
3rd - 6th
Our Lady Of The Prairie School
PreK - 6th
No rating available
Belle Plaine Transitions/Work Exper
9th - 12th
No rating available
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