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LEARNING CORNER

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Overview

Owatonna is a wonderful host. From serving as the grounds of the Steele Country Free Fair to welcoming the hordes of tourists that enter its streets through the city’s main arterial routes. Owatonna is Southern Minnesota’s heart and heartbeat, branched by sports events, annual festivals, unique shopping areas, and a variety of restaurants that keep the cultural scene pumping. Get your fill of daily exercise with Owatonna’s snowmobile, cross country, and hiking trails, or find refuge in one of its 20 parks.

Tourist Attractions

Begin your heart pumping adventure with a sampling of the town’s origins. In the middle of Mineral Springs Park is the statue of Princess Owatonna, who according to legend was healed by the spring’s waters. A few blocks away is a building listed on the National Register of Historic Buildings. The Wells Fargo Bank has also been feature on a United States postage stamp. The beautiful Romanesque-style building of the Owatonna Arts Center has beautiful exteriors, but inside you’ll see even more dazzling galleries and performing arts halls. Near the Steele County Fairgrounds is the Village of Yesteryear, which features a caboose and eleven buildings that date back as early as 1850. Owatonna is also home to the Russell Stover Candies shop. Tourists can try delicious hand-dipped ice cream or build their favorite Russel Stover chocolate boxes. Book your Owatonna Hotels with Reservations.com.

Things to Do

Visit Interstate 35 and look for Cabela’s, the World’s Foremost Outfitter. It is by far the Midwest’ largest fishing, hunting, and outdoor gear store. On its second floor is a 150-seat restaurant that overlooks the whole store. Join the guided tours or scout for your own gear. Participate in dry floor and ice related events of the Four Seasons Centre and sharpen your skating skills. If there are kids traveling, head to the Rad Zoo Reptile and Amphibian Discovery Zoo along Country Road to see some of the Midwest’s desert creatures. The zoo is home to more than a hundred animals, while the Everglades Encounter allows guests to safely interact with the creatures. Owatonna is a mecca for tourists who enjoy nature and outdoor recreation. The beautiful springs and crisp autumns provide inspiring backdrops for picnics and nature hikes.

Fast Facts

  • Owatonna is home to every single plump Bushel Boy Tomato.
  • The lead singer of Owl City is an Owatonna native.
  • The interstate 35 of Steele Country is Minnesota’s oldest section of interstate, and also serves as the ost commonly traveled.
  • Owatonna’s Steele County Free Fair is Minnesota’s largest free country fair.

Best Museums

The State School Museum is the region’s only State Orphanage Museum, located on the grounds of a former orphanage. Exhibits, plaques, and historical photos depict the history of the orphanage from 1886 to 1945. Entrance is offered for free. The National Farmers’ Bank is one of America’s premier pieces of Prairie School Architectre. There are nouveau baroque designs, stained glass windows, and gold leaf arches that can be seen. The Steele County History Center has educational programming, displays, and rotating exhibits for guests.

 

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