Apple Valley is a city in northwestern Dakota County in the State of Minnesota, and a suburb of the Twin Cities. As of the 2010 census, the city's population was 49,084, making it the 18th most populous city in Minnesota. In 2013, Money Magazine named Apple Valley the 17th best place to live in the United States, up from 20th in 2010, 24th in 2008 and 28th in 2007.
The area that became Apple Valley was first established in 1958 as Lebanon Township, and remained a farming community for nearly a century. In the mid-1950s, residential developments started replacing farmland. Orrin Thompson, a real estate developer, was responsible for the city's early development. He contracted a company to determine where the next growth in the Twin Cities would be. It was one-half of a mile from County Road 42 and Cedar Avenue. Thompson bought the first houses and streets from the Brobacks, who built the city's first four houses. The firm that selected this area was in Apple Valley, California, so Thompson took that name for the development. An alternate explanation for the name change exists, however.