9 Best Places and Things To Do in Owatonna, Minnesota

Owatonna, Minnesota is a charming city located in Steele County, known for its rich history, beautiful architecture, and a variety of attractions. Whether you’re a history enthusiast, a nature lover, or simply looking for a relaxing getaway, Owatonna offers a range of experiences for visitors to enjoy. Here are some of the best places to visit and things to do in Owatonna.

1. Steele County Historical Society


Image source: https://visitowatonna.org/visit-owatonna/steele-county-history-center/

Start your journey by exploring the Steele County Historical Society. The history museum showcases the region’s past through fascinating exhibits, artifacts, and interactive displays. Learn about Owatonna’s early settlement, its agricultural heritage, and the renowned architect Louis Sullivan, who designed several buildings in the city.

2. Mineral Springs Park


Image source: https://www.owatonna.gov/facilities/facility/details/Mineral-Springs-Park-21

A picturesque and tranquil setting, Mineral Springs Park is perfect for a leisurely stroll or a family picnic. The park features beautifully landscaped gardens, a duck pond, walking trails, and even a natural mineral spring. It’s an ideal spot to relax and enjoy the outdoors.

3. Owatonna Arts Center

Image source: https://www.oacarts.org/

Art enthusiasts will appreciate a visit to the Owatonna Arts Center. This vibrant cultural hub hosts rotating art exhibitions, workshops, concerts, and performances throughout the year. Explore the galleries showcasing works by local and regional artists or attend one of the many events held at this creative space.

4. RAD Zoo

Image source: https://www.tripadvisor.in/Attraction_Review-g43409-d2650330-Reviews-RAD_Zoo_Reptile_Amphibian_Discovery_Zoo-Owatonna_Minnesota.html

Animal lovers should make their way to the Reptile and Amphibian Discovery (RAD) Zoo. This unique attraction showcases a wide variety of reptiles, amphibians, and invertebrates from around the world. Get up close to creatures like snakes, turtles, lizards, and even tarantulas while learning about their habitats and conservation efforts.

5. State School Orphanage Museum

Image source: https://www.tripadvisor.in/Attraction_Review-g43409-d123086-Reviews-State_School_Orphanage_Museum-Owatonna_Minnesota.html

Delve into the history of the Minnesota State School Orphanage at this museum housed in the original administration building. Discover the stories of the children who lived there and gain insight into the institution’s impact on the community. The museum offers guided tours and exhibits that provide a glimpse into the past.

6. Kaplan’s Woods Parkway


Image source: https://www.owatonna.gov/facilities/facility/details/Kaplans-Woods-Parkway-13

Nature enthusiasts will enjoy exploring Kaplan’s Woods Parkway, a scenic nature preserve on the outskirts of Owatonna. With over 225 acres of woodlands, prairies, and wetlands, this park offers hiking trails, birdwatching opportunities, and a peaceful escape into nature.

7. River Springs Water Park


Image source: https://www.owatonna.gov/facilities/facility/details/River-Springs-Water-Park-28

Cool off on a hot summer day at River Springs Water Park, a family-friendly water park with thrilling water slides, a lazy river, and a splash pad for the little ones. Take a dip in the pools, enjoy the water attractions, or relax under the sun in the spacious picnic areas.

8. Rice Lake State Park


Image source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rice_Lake_State_Park

Rice Lake State Park is known for its picturesque natural surroundings and offers a variety of recreational activities. The park encompasses approximately 840 acres and features Rice Lake, which is a shallow, 1,500-acre lake known for its abundant wildlife and fishing opportunities.

9. Lake Kohlmier


Image source: https://www.owatonna.gov/674/Lake-Kohlmier

Lake Kohlmier is known for its excellent fishing opportunities. The lake is home to a variety of fish species, including bass, crappie, sunfish, and northern pike. Anglers can fish from the shore, use a boat, or utilize the fishing pier located at the lake. Lake Kohlmier allows boating, including motorized boats, kayaks, canoes, and paddleboards. The lake has a boat ramp for convenient access to the water. Boaters can explore the lake, enjoy water sports, or simply cruise around and take in the scenery.

Whether you’re interested in history, nature, art, or simply enjoying the small-town charm, Owatonna, Minnesota, has something for everyone. Explore its attractions, immerse yourself in its history, and embrace the warm hospitality of this.