May 19 2011

11 Things: New Ulm, Minnesota

Sometimes when you visit a place so often for run-of-the-mill things like grocery shopping and medical appointments, you miss its true beauty and the reasons that other people come to visit the area.  There’s something about driving along the “river bottom” road in spring, however, after a long dreary winter, that reminds me how beautiful it is to drive on a scenic byway regularly.  As summer approaches and I look for things to do with the kids close to home, I again realize that there’s plenty to see and do in New Ulm.

11 Things in New Ulm, Minnesota

(List created by my kids)

  1. Set aside your fear of heights and climb up Hermann Monument (aka Hermann the German).  The views of the valley are beautiful from the top.
  2. Stop by the Glockenspiel for an animated concert at noon, 3, or 5 p.m.
  3. Drive a few miles out of town along the scenic byway to the Harkin Store to see what shopping was like in the days before supercenters.
  4. Visit the Wanda Gag house and explore the nooks and crannies of the home of this artful family.
  5. Learn about area history at the Brown County history museum, which is in the beautiful old post office building.
  6. Revisit Minnesota’s music heritage at the Minnesota Music Hall of Fame.  It’s not all about polka music, though you might be treated to a mini concertina concert if you ask nicely.
  7. Tour Schell’s Brewery and sample the beers or the 1919 root beer at the end.  Or just stroll through the gardens or museum.
  8. Play a round of mini golf at Putting Green and learn something about the environment.
  9. Take a walking tour of the downtown area historic markers that describe the history of the buildings in the historic district.
  10. Let the kids play in the “castle park” or meander through the formal gardens in German Park.
  11. Hike in the woods or enjoy the sand-bottom pool at Flandrau State Park.

If that’s not enough to do, take some time to have a burger at the Lamplighter Bar & Grill, a steak at George’s Fine Steaks, some good Mexican food at Plaza Garibaldi, or creme brulee at Lola’s Larkspur Market.  Shop in some of the unique shops like Lambrecht’s or sample the fudge at the Country Loft.  All of New Ulm’s parks are well-kept, so if you have young children, pick one and let them play for a while, or ride the paved bicycle trail from one end of town to the other.

Whether for an afternoon, a day trip, or a weekend getaway, New Ulm is a family-friendly Minnesota destination.

The “11 Things” series is designed to give tips for traveling families to destinations well-known or off the beaten path.  Learn how to share 11 Things about your favorite destination, or read other 11 Things posts.

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5 comments so far

5 Comments to “11 Things: New Ulm, Minnesota”

  1. All My Monkeys on 19 May 2011 at 10:09 pm

    Do you live in NU? We used to live in Sleepy Eye and spent a LOT of time at the laundromat in NU. :D Now we live in the other direction, just south of katoland. I really like NU though. THough I haven’t done all the things on that list. Maybe that will be a good outing for us this summer. And cheap! :D

    But for a grown-up adventure, I really love Morgan Creek. So beautiful there. And any reason to drive up/down 68 is good enough for me.

  2. Lisa Meyers McClintick on 22 May 2011 at 9:31 pm

    I agree! New Ulm is an awesome family getaway. You are lucky to live down there. We’ve camped at nearby Fort Ridgely (my father-in-law grew up there while his dad was a park superintendent). We’d love to camp at Flandreau, too, and enjoy the swimming hole. Lola’s chocolate-dipped peanut butter cookies are great, and we caught the sweetest family band there one night. Two little girls played right along with their parents.

  3. Apartment rio de janeiro on 23 May 2011 at 4:50 am

    “Great tour, museum, grounds and tasting room” in new Ulm Minnesota”

  4. Petra on 24 May 2011 at 4:37 am

    Great list, thanks. We must go there soon with my family.


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