Enjoy Spring Break Closer To Home This Year.
A warm tropical destination may not be in the cards this year, but that doesn’t mean you can’t take a vacation at ALL! Head just 50 miles south of the cities and find many unique attractions waiting to be unveiled. Consider staying closer to home and (re)discover Owatonna like a first-timer.
If you’ve lived here your entire life try exploring as if you’ve never been here before. Come reveal some hidden gems that you’ve been driving by without ever actually exploring. Now’s the time to get out and be a tourist in your own town!
PS – It isn’t Owatonna that is boring, it’s YOU 😉
Stroll through the historic downtown districts specialty shops, salons, jewelry, shoe, and clothing boutiques. Grab lunch at one of Owatonna’s local dining options listed on the downtown map. Don’t forget dessert! The Historic Walking Tour Guide Brochure is available at the Owatonna Area Chamber of Commerce & Tourism and at various downtown businesses. More info on Historic Downtown here.
A Piece of hisotry
Approximately 10,635 orphaned, abandoned or abused children were sent to Owatonna between 1886 and 1945 to live at the Minnesota State Public School for Dependent and Neglected Children, located on what is now called the West Hills Campus. The historic campus is now home to the Owatonna Arts Center, the Little Theatre of Owatonna, City offices and the only known Orphanage Museum in the nation. The museum was founded by a former “State-Schooler” to remember the children who lived there. Explore the Museum, historic Cottage 11, the Children’s Cemetery, and an audio tour to get a glimpse of what life was like for the children who called the State School their home. Whether you schedule a guided group tour or choose a self-guided visit, you will find unforgettable history awaiting you.
VINTAGE MURAL ON DISPLAY
The Steele County Historical Society preserves Steele County’s past, shares our county’s stories and connects people with history in meaningful ways, for today and for tomorrow. Because history matters! We’re part of Minnesota’s rich history. Established in 1949 to preserve the history of Steele County, we have grown to become one of the largest and most prestigious historical societies in the state. The SCHS plays an important role in historic preservation, education and tourism; and provide the public with educational award-winning programs, exhibitions and events.
Come check out the beautiful mural that was recently moved to the SCHC from the iconic Jerry’s Supper Club Downtonwn!
Shop ’til you drop
From large stores to small boutiques, Owatonna has shopping opportunities for everyone. Spend the day shopping in the Historic Downtown District for unique finds. For options ranging from Eddie Bauer to the Carters, head over to Ultra Outlets of Medford, and then check out the outdoor gear options at Cabela’s. You’ll find unique items at Country Goods and Uncle Tom’s Antique Mall, and beautiful flowers at our local nurseries. You never know what you might find!
Savor the flavor
Hungry? Owatonna has plenty of restaurants to choose from to quench your appetite. Try local flavors like bagel sandwiches at Old Town Bagels, paninis from Foremost Brewery, waffles from Central Park Coffee, and hand-made pupusas from Pupuseria La Paz. You will find a long list of pizzerias in town, along with many Mexican restaurants and some of the best sushi in Souther Minnesota. The possibilities really are endless!