This article is supported by the Southern Minnesota Tourism Association.
A road trip through southern Minnesota wouldn’t be complete without a stop for a selfie at these six larger-than-life attractions. From wildlife encounters to museums that highlight Minnesota’s most-loved brands, these sites will make your southern Minnesota vacation one you won’t forget.
1. Hermann the German in New Ulm
Start your southern Minnesota road trip in New Ulm to see Hermann the German. The 102-foot monument depicts Hermann the Cheruscan, the ancient hero whose army liberated Germany from Roman rule in 9 A.D. Hermann keeps watch atop a hill overlooking the charming German town of New Ulm. Climb the staircase to the top for stunning views, or enjoy a picnic of schnitzel and ‘kraut in Hermann Heights Park for an authentic German experience.
2. Bison herd at Minneopa State Park in Mankato
Make your way through the Minnesota River Valley to Minneopa State Park, just outside of Mankato, for a peek at one of only two bison herds in Minnesota. You can drive through the enclosed 330 acres of the park for a chance to see the herd, which includes several new calves. Get out of the car and stretch your legs for a short half-mile hike along the trail to see Minneopa Falls. The Falls tumble over an 8-foot ledge nearly 40 feet down into the Minnesota River. Take the trail down a set of stairs into the gorge and work your way back up for scenic views of the park.
3. Green Giant in Blue Earth
Head down the road to Blue Earth, where the Jolly Green Giant greets travelers from Interstate 90. Standing tall at 55-and-a-half feet tall with 6-foot-long feet, the Green Giant towers over the new Giant Welcome Center and Museum. Stop in for a hot cup of coffee and see all the giant memorabilia inside the Giant Museum.
4. SPAM Museum in Austin
>Head east from Blue Earth to see Spammy at Austin’s own SPAM Museum. Spammy is a giant can of SPAM that visitors can take a selfie with inside the free SPAM Museum. Full of interactive exhibits, the SPAM Museum tells the iconic story behind the SPAM brand. Try a free sample during your visit, then purchase one of the 15 different varieties of SPAM in the museum gift shop.
5. World’s Largest Boot in Red Wing
Keep going on your southern Minnesota road trip to Red Wing; it’s where you’ll find the world’s largest boot! Home of the Red Wing Shoe Company and Museum, “the boot” is a whopping size 638 ½ and stands over 20 feet tall! Enjoy the hands-on exhibits and virtual factory tour at the museum and pick up your own pair to take home.
6. National Eagle Center in Wabasha
>Descend down the river for a stop at the National Eagle Center in Wabasha. The banks of the Mississippi River are home to hundreds of bald eagles year-round, and the Eagle Center lets visitors experience these wondrous creatures up-close. From meeting the live eagles inside the center to the viewing decks along the river, the Eagle Center experience is remarkable. Learn more about the raptors through interactive exhibits, like walking into a life-size replica of a bald eagle’s nest!
Discover more adventures in southern Minnesota at ExploreSouthernMinnesota.com.