Blake Walsh

15 Best Things to Do in Albert Lea, MN

  • Published 2023/07/30

Nestled in the picturesque Southern Minnesota region, Albert Lea is a charming city buzzing with activity and offers an array of delightful experiences.

With over 18,000 residents recorded at the latest census in 2020, Albert Lea has established itself as a thriving community that offers something for everyone.

The city boasts numerous attractions and activities to suit every taste and preference – from its quaint downtown area teeming with boutique shops and gourmet restaurants to its sprawling network of outdoor parks and recreational areas.

Whether you’re looking to explore historic landmarks or soak up nature’s beauty through hiking trails or water sports, this vibrant city guarantees an unforgettable experience!

So, if you want a unique getaway that offers a bit of everything, here’s the 15 best things to do in Albert Lea, Minnesota:

Explore the Scenic Wonders of Myre-Big Island State Park

Signage of Myre-Big Island State Park

Jonathunder, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

If you’re an outdoor enthusiast or someone who admires nature, then the Myre-Big Island State Park should be on top of your list as it is an ideal spot to indulge in these activities.

Whether you’re a hiker, bicyclist, camper, fisher, boater, or bird watcher, there’s something for everyone in this natural oasis.

With 1,578 acres of pristine parkland, the opportunities for exploration in Myre-Big Island State Park are endless.

There are lots of recreational activities for you to try such as hiking, biking, or kayaking in the lake.

You can also try your hand at the park’s fishing spots where there is an abundance of different species of fishes.

If you’re looking for a more active adventure, you can take yourself on a tour by canoe, kayak, or paddleboard.

Whatever activity you choose to do at this natural oasis is sure to leave you with unforgettable memories that last a lifetime.

Watch Live Performances in Albert Lea Community Theater

The Albert Lea Community Theater on North Broadway Avenue is a cultural and historical landmark that Albert Lea can be proud of.

Established in 1965, the Albert Lea Community Theater was created as a non-profit organization with the mission of providing quality entertainment, education, and enrichment in the performing arts to all ages.

The Albert Lea Community Theater offers a wide variety of productions for all to enjoy.

Each year, dozens of plays, musicals, and special events are put on for the enjoyment of the local community.

From captivating plays and mesmerizing musicals to awe-inspiring special events – they have it all!

Not only can you sit back and enjoy these marvelous performances but if you possess acting skills beyond compare then don’t hesitate in auditioning for different roles yourself.

The joyous atmosphere at Albert Lea Community Theater is contagious- be sure not miss out on experiencing it firsthand alongside your loved ones who will make memories worth cherishing forever.

Go on a Peaceful Walk in Blazing Star State Trail

Embark on a mesmerizing journey through the picturesque landscapes of Minnesota by traversing along the Blazing Star State Trail that stretches all the way from Albert Lea Lake to Myre-Big Island State Park.

Covering six miles from Albert Lea Lake all the way up to Myre-Big Island State Park, it offers visitors an opportunity to immerse themselves in stunning landscapes comprising rolling hills, wetlands and prairies.

Not only can you appreciate awe-inspiring views along this trail but also spot wildlife such as deer, foxes and raccoons that make their home within these lush surroundings.

A great way to spend quality time with friends and family while indulging your passion for outdoor activities like hiking or cycling on a more vigorous bike ride.

Whether you’re seeking relaxation or adrenaline-fueled fun, The Blazing Star State Trail is sure not disappoint!

Let Your Furry Friend Play and Socialize in Brookside Dog Park

Brookside Dog Park is the perfect place to take your furry best friend for a day of fun and relaxation.

Nestled on 501 Richway Drive, Brookside Dog Park is a haven for your beloved furry companion where they can relish in an idyllic day of frolicking and leisure.

This park boasts expansive green spaces that provide ample room for dogs to play games and embark on adventures at their own pace.

To cater to the varying sizes of dogs, there are two separate fenced-in sections – one designed exclusively for small dogs while the other dedicated solely to larger breeds – providing them with enough off-leash freedom to make new pals along the way.

Each section has been immaculately maintained with lush trees casting shade over verdant grassy areas awash with bright sunshine adding just a touch more blissful warmth.

Your pup will have a blast in Brookside Dog Park, and you’ll make new friends that you’ll never forget.

Beat the Heat at Albert Lea Aquatic Center

Grab your swimsuit, grab your friends, and head on to Albert Lea Aquatic Center for a day of fun in the sun.

Albert Lea Aquatic Center is situated on James Avenue and offers plenty of fun activities for you and your friends or family to enjoy.

The aquatic center features a 226-foot slide, zero depth splash pool that has interactive play features, a family bath house, and diving boards.

The Albert Lea Aquatic Center isn’t just about water fun; the facility also offers swimming lessons and special events throughout summer.

Whatever floats your boat, you’ll definitely have a blast at the Albert Lea Aquatic Center.

Experience Premier Golfing at Wedgewood Cove Golf Course

Any day is a perfect day to treat yourself to a day of golfing at the beautiful Wedgewood Cove Golf Course.

Located on Wedgewood Road 9th West Street, this 245-acre, 18-hole public golf course has something for every level of golfer.

From the novice to the veteran, you’re sure to find a spot at Wedgewood Cove to enjoy your game.

They also offer lessons, so if you want to get some tips from the pros, this is the place to do it.

After having fun on the golf course, there’s a bar and restaurant around the area where you can fill your stomach with delicious meals and refreshing drinks.

The picturesque scenery of the golf course is also a perfect place to celebrate your special events such as weddings, birthday parties, and more.

So grab your clubs, head on over to Albert Lea, and start teeing off at Wedgewood Cove!

Relax and Rejuvenate in Sunshine Asian Massage

Sunshine Asian Massage is the perfect destination if you want to relax and unwind after a stressful and tiring day.

With a soothing and tranquil atmosphere, it’s the perfect spot to escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

They use gentle pressure and a combination of Swedish, Shiatsu, and Asian massage techniques to help ease your tension and improve circulation.

With massage treatments, reflexology, and aromatherapy, you’ll be sure to have an experience that is both invigorating and calming.

Whenever you need to take a break, come and visit Sunshine Asian Massage because you deserve it.

Be Dazzled by Amazing Stunts in Bayside Water Ski Show Team

Watching the Bayside Water Ski Show Team perform on Edgewater Drive is a great way to spend the afternoon with your friends and family.

Established in the mid 1970’s, the Bayside Water Ski Show Team is a colorful and talented group of water ski enthusiasts.

The team performs an exciting show, featuring a variety of acts including pyramids, flips and jumps, and a spectacular finale.

And if you’re interested in learning more about water skiing, the team could teach you how to.

The Bayside Water Ski Show Team will certainly put a smile on your face and give you something to talk about for weeks to come.

Step Back in Time in Freeborn County Historical Museum, Library & Village

Exterior of Freeborn County Historical Museum, Library & Village

Myotus, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

If you’re a history buff looking for a fascinating and educational experience around the city, then you should visit the Freeborn County Historical Museum, Library & Village.

The Freeborn County Historical Museum, Library & Village is a unique museum located in Bridge Avenue that offers a glimpse into the rich history of Albert Lea.

The museum boasts a stunning collection of artifacts and exhibits and hosts a variety of events throughout the year.

One of the popular features of the museum is the “Village”, which is a living history exhibit that showcases the agricultural history of the city.

The Freeborn County Historical Museum, Library & Village will take you back in time, so come and visit the museum for a unique educational experience.

Sip, Taste, and Relax in Three Oak Vineyards and Winery

Situated along 225th Street, Three Oaks Vineyards and Winery is a family-owned business that has been producing some of the finest wines since 2013.

Three Oaks Vineyards and Winery has their primary focus on producing quality wines that are enjoyable to drink.

Experience a diverse selection of wines to satisfy your palate, ranging from crisp whites to bold reds and even indulgent rose and sweet mary blends.

The winery has something for every taste bud, making it the ultimate destination for wine lovers.

But the vineyard is not just a place to drink delicious wines, it’s also a place to have fun too.

You can rent the space for your own special event — because nothing says “celebration” like a good bottle of wine.

Have a fun and relaxing moment here in Three Oak Vineyards and Winery and have a grape time!

Take a Leisure Cruise with Pelican Breeze Cruise

A cruise down the waters is a great way to explore the beautiful scenery of Albert Lea and one way to experience that is through the Pelican Breeze Cruise .

The Pelican Breeze Cruise is a 55-foot spacious and comfortable vessel, and can seat up to 55 people onboard.

The tour is an hour and a half long and will take you on a leisurely cruise around the lake.

Enjoy a narrated cruise while catching a glimpse of the wildlife in the lake or munching some tasty snack.

You can also have a private cruise if you want to celebrate a special occasion with your special someone.

With its stunning scenery and amazing wildlife, it’s the perfect way to experience the beauty of Albert Lea and the surrounding area.

Craft Beautiful Pottery at Simply Charming Ceramics

Located on West Main Street, Simply Charming Ceramics is a “paint your own pottery” ceramic studio that offers a unique and creative experience for all ages.

With Simply Charming Ceramics, you can have the opportunity to customize your own pottery masterpiece by selecting from a variety of ceramic pieces and paint colors.

The studio is also equipped with tools and supplies to help bring your vision to life.

You can learn how to use the pottery wheel, explore different techniques and glazing finishes, and make personalized pieces to take home.

It’s a great opportunity to get creative and learn something new.

So if you’re looking for a unique and creative way to spend time with friends and family, head to Simply Charming Ceramic.

Have the Best of Both Worlds in Rock Gym and Brookside Boathouse

Along Brookside Park, Fountain Lake Trail, you’ll find two fantastic activities for your adventurous spirit – Rock Gym and Brookside Boathouse.

In Rock Gym and Brookside Boathouse, you can climb your way to the top or paddle your way down the river.

The Rock Gym has something for everyone and people of all levels; you can climb up the high walls of the gym and work your way up to the difficult ones.

Once you’ve conquered the Rock Gym, you can visit and explore the tranquil river with a kayak or a boat.

The river is filled with trees and wildlife so keep your eyes peeled while floating down the river.

The best part about the Rock Gym and Brookside Boathouse is that you can do both things in one day.

Your inner thrill-seeker will thank you for visiting the Rock Gym and Brookside Boathouse.

Have a Fun Family Day at Freeborn County Fair

If you happen to visit Albert Lea on the last week of July, get ready to laugh, scream, and even pet a pig if you’re lucky in Freeborn County Fair.

For over 138 years, the Freeborn County Fair has been a premier attraction for entertainment for locals and visitors of the city.

The Freeborn County Fair is a six-day fair that features different kinds of attractions such as carnival, antique tractor shows, and so much more.

The little ones will also enjoy the Kiddie Farm Zone where they can have a look at farm animals, try face painting, or participate in fun activities.

If you just want to chill out and enjoy some good music, say no more because Freeborn County Fair also showcases a variety of performances from local artists.

Come and visit the Freeborn County and experience the best six days of your vacation in Albert Lea.

Glide across the Ice at Albert Lea City Arena

Albert Lea City Arena is a bustling hub of activity all year long, offering an impressive array of recreation programs.

Whether you’re looking to hone your ice skating skills with the “Rock on Ice” program or take part in one of the other offerings like “Learn to Skate,” “Adult Open Hockey,” or even just enjoy some casual skating during Public Open Skate, there’s something for everyone at this incredible facility.

But that’s not all – beyond these sponsored activities lies a world of possibility within the arena walls.

From elegant banquets and indoor soccer games to exciting dog shows and more, there are countless opportunities to engage with others and explore new passions.

The City Arena also offers rental options for individuals or groups looking to commemorate special occasions.

You can share meals and good company at potlucks, enjoy outdoor picnics in a lively atmosphere, throw vibrant parties that are sure to be unforgettable, hold productive meetings or engage in exciting lock-ins in Albert Lea City Arena.

So, when you need a cool place to hang-out with friends, head on to Albert Lea City Arena on 701 Lake Chapeu Drive.

Final Thoughts

From its picturesque scenery and friendly locals to its rich cultural heritage and unique attractions, there are countless reasons why a visit to Albert Lea is a must-see adventure.

But don’t just take our word for it – come see for yourself why so many people can’t get enough of Albert Lea!

Whether you’re looking for relaxation or excitement or both, this wonderful town has something for everyone.

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