is a city located in northwestern Dakota County in the U.S. state of Minnesota, and a suburb of the Twin Cities. It was incorporated in 1969, and was known before then as Lebanon Township. As of the 2000 census, the city population was 45,527, making it the 15th most populous city in Minnesota. Apple Valley is home to the Minnesota Zoo, a nationally-famous zoological garden which houses hundreds of animals from several distinct climatological zones. In 2008, Money Magazine named Apple Valley the 24th best place to live up from 28th in 2007.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 17.7 square miles (45.9 km²). 17.3 square miles (44.9 km²) of its land and 0.4 square miles (1.0 km²) of it (2.14%) is water. The city's geography is rolling, elevation from the lowest to the highest points in the city vary by a hundred feet or more. The downtown area and its adjacent residential district (which formed the original core of the city when it was incorporated) are located in a shallow valley, lending the city (in part) its name.
Interstate Highway 35E, Minnesota Highway 77 - Cedar Avenue, and County Road 42 are three of the main routes in the city.