Owatonna offers over 550 lodging rooms, a variety of restaurants, unique shopping areas, annual festivals, sports events and activities for everyone. Visitors can tour the city or visit the many attractions. Enjoy our 20 parks, hiking trails, golf, tennis, public beach, cross country and snowmobile trails. Tour groups are welcome. For a free Visitor's Guide with lodging and tourist information and a schedule of events, contact the Owatonna Chamber of Commerce and Tourism at 320 Hoffman Drive, Owatonna, MN 55060; 1-800-423-6466 or 507-451-7970.
Owatonna is located at the crossroads of Highways U.S. 14, U.S. 218 and Interstate 35. At this location, according to the legend, Chief Wabena heard of the curing waters called minnewaucan. His daughter, Princess Owatonna, was very frail so he moved his tribe to the site of the natural springs. Princess Owatonna drank from the springs daily and she recovered her health. Today, her statue stands in Mineral Springs Park overlooking the bubbling water. Weary travelers, parents and children often stop to drink from the fountains.
The Wells Fargo Bank, formerly the National Farmers Bank is located at 101 North Cedar. The building's construction started in 1906 was completed in 1908 by architect Louis Sullivan. The building highlights are the gold leaf arches, huge stained glass windows, terra cotta tiles, murals by Oskar Gross and the massive 2 1/4 ton light fixtures. The building is on the National Register of Historic Buildings and was featured on a United States postage stamp in 1981 as one of four unique architectural buildings. For more information, or to book a group visit, please contact the Owatonna Chamber of Commerce and Tourism at 800-423-6466.
The Owatonna Arts Center is located at 435 Garden View Lane in the West Hills Complex. This beautiful Romanesque style building was built in 1886 and was part of the the Minnesota State Public School Orphanage for many years. The Arts Center hosts numerous local, regional, and national artists in the main gallery and performing arts hall. The changing exhibits create an interest for everyone, and the Christmas display is a highlight of the holiday season. Open Tuesday-Friday, noon till 5:00 pm; Sat & Sun 1:00 pm - 5:00 pm; Closed holidays and Mondays. Free admission. 507-451-0533.
The Steele County History Center and Village of Yesteryear are located near the Steele County Fairgrounds. The fully acessible Steele County History Center (SCHC) features rotating exhibits, displays, and educational programming relative to Steele County and Minnesota history. The Village of Yesteryear setting features 13 building s and a caboose from Steele County dating back to the 1850s. The buildings, furnished according to the time they were built, are connected by a boardwalk. The SCHC hours are Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday 10 am till 4 pm; Thursday 10 am unitl 8 pm; and Saturday 10 am until 3 pm. Closed Sunday and Monday. The Village is open Tues-Sun from 1:00 - 5:00 p.m. from May 1st to September 30th. Guided tours are available calling 507-451-1420.
Minnesota's only State Orphanage Museum is located at 540 West Hills Circle. The story is told through history photos, plaques, and an exhibit of items from the orphanage time of 1886 through 1945. In front of the main building stands a memorial to the "State School Kids". On the west edge of West Hills is the Children's Cemetery, where each is remembered with a wooden cross bearing their name. Museum hours are 8-5:00, M-F (front door of Main bldg.) and 1-5:00 weekends (through the Art Center entrance SW corner of bldg.) Guided tours with full presentation are available for groups with advance reservation. Call 1-800-423-6466 to make reservations. Admission prices to the museum: Individual Touring - free; Group Tours - $7.00/person. You may also visit Cottage 11 on the West Hills Camus, a restoration of an original cottage from the orphanage era, and learn the story of the boys who lived there. Cottage 11 is open with seasonal hours.
Become a volunteer at the State Orphanage Museum: Poster
Cabela's, the World's Foremost Outfitter is located in northwest Owatonna, just of I-35 at exit #45. This 150,000 square foot mega-store is the largest fishing, hunting and outdoor gear store in the Midwest. The store also offers an educational center and other features that celebrate the outdoors and the men and women who enjoy it. Visit the Northwoods' Cache, on the second floor. It's a 150 seat restaurant overlooking the entire store - what a view! The store is open Monday through Saturday 8:00 am - 9:00 pm and Sunday 10:00 am - 6:00 pm. Closed on Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas. Guided tours are available.
Come and experience Minnesota’s premier reptile destination for a fun family adventure at the Reptile and Amphibian Discovery (RAD) Zoo. Located off I-35 at 3297 County Road 45, you can marvel at the amazing creatures of the reptile and amphibian world including snakes, turtles, lizards, crocodilians, and amphibians. Gaze upon “Big Al” the monster 12-foot-long alligator. Zoo hours are Monday thru Friday 10 am till 5 pm; Saturday 9:00 am till 6 pm, and Sunday noon till 5:00 pm. Call 1-888-4-RADZOO (888-472-3966) for group reservations.
The Four Seasons Centre, located on the Steele County Fairgrounds, was built in 1972 for use by all residents of Steele County. An expansion of the facility was completed in the spring of 2000, providing users with expanded opportunities for ice related activities and dry floor events. The multi-purpose complex consists of two connected buildings with 30,000 and 20,000 square feet of floor space that also serve as ice rinks. A hospitality area, usable also as a meeting space, overlooks both exhibit floors. An additional meeting room is available for your convenience.
For more information, call (507) 444-4300.
Owatonna Attractions Map Courtesy of Owatonna Area Chamber of Commerce and Tourism