15 Best Things to Do in Stearns County, MN

Stearns County, MN
Ken Wolter / shutterstock.com

Stearns County got its name from Charles Thomas Stearns, an American politician.

However, it was originally named for Isaac Ingalls Stevens, an American military officer and politician who served as governor of the Territory of Washington.

It's known to be a gateway for those who want to explore unique commercial establishments and tourism areas in the state because of its excellent location.

This county offers a variety of attractions—from historical sites to preserves, zoos, parks, and recreational areas.

Here are the 15 best things to do in Stearns County, Minnesota:

Relive the Past at Stearns History Museum in St. Cloud

Exterior view of Stearns History Museum in St. Cloud
McGhiever, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The best place to know more about Stearns County is its museum, which holds artifacts and information about its history.

The Stearns History Museum is Central Minnesota's top location for learning about local and global history.

The Stearns County Historical Society was founded in 1936 by a group of locals, and this is how Stearns History Museum began.

Picnic area at Stearns History Museum in St. Cloud
Myotus, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Construction on the current facility began in 1982; today, the museum remains in the same location in St. Cloud but with updated facilities.

Roam around the museum and check out the numerous historical relics and county-related artifacts that will surely transport you decades back.

If you're a history buff, you must add Stearns History Museum to your must-visit list when you explore the county.

Catch Fish at Big Watab Lake

Dubbed "The Land of 10,000 Lakes, " many fishing enthusiasts flock to Stearns County.

Big Watab Lake in Saint Joseph is one of the destinations where you can go fishing.

The lake is home to Black Bullhead, Largemouth Bass, and other fishes.

It spans 245 acres and has a maximum depth of 123 feet.

It's also an ideal location for leisure and relaxation with your family and loved ones.

Boating, kayaking, canoeing, swimming, and taking in the scenery are popular pastimes at the lake.

Many houses here have private docks, but don't worry because the northernmost point of the water has a public access point.

Test Your Hunting Skills at Gold Meadows Hunting Preserve

See whether you'd make an excellent hunter and test your skills at Gold Meadows Hunting Preserve in Richmond.

Hunters of all skill levels can enjoy the adrenaline rush of hunting the wily pheasant at the preserve.

You can select the number of birds you wish to purchase for your hunt here.

Gold Meadows is a fantastic location for multigenerational family activities, birthday or bachelor parties, corporate team-building exercises, and more.

Another excellent place to keep your bird dog sharp is Gold Meadows.

Don’t have a hunting dog?

No need to worry; Gold Meadows Hunting Preserve also offers dogs and a hunting guide.

Go Horseback Riding at Woodland Hills Equestrian Center

Want to try horseback riding?

The Woodland Hills Equestrian Center in Holdingford is the best place to do it.

The Woodland Hills Equestrian Center's owner, James Froelich, works hard to provide a welcoming environment for interested families who want to try horseback riding.

They have a place for everyone here, regardless of your level of experience with horses.

Lessons for both children and adults are available.

If you own a horse, they can train your equine too!

Woodland Hills Equestrian Center has a heated indoor arena, an outdoor arena, two round pens, and miles of groomed trails.

Harvest Apples at Hidden Cove Orchard

Sunflower at Hidden Cove Orchard
Schultz Photography / Shutterstock.com

The Hidden Cove Orchard is more than just a secret place to buy apples.

This spot gives you front-row seats to amazing nature views and an extraordinary experience.

You can stroll through the numerous apple trees, each boasting lovely hues, blooming flowers, and delectable red, green, and yellow apples, thanks to their orchard layout, which resembles a park-like environment.

Plants at Hidden Cove Orchard
Schultz Photography / Shutterstock.com

Soak in the sights, scents, and even sounds.

Hidden Cove Orchard offers a variety of apples and is a family-friendly place for events.

Feast Your Eyes on the World’s Largest Crow Statue

As you drive on the highway outside of Belgrade, the largest crow statue in the world will take you by surprise.

The majestic 18-feet tall crow statue is perched on a long, 31-foot wood branch on top of a tall 25-foot pedestal, making the whole sculpture's total height a whopping 43 feet.

Since Belgrade's citizens are dedicated parents and monogamous mates, the crow was chosen as the city emblem.

You'll be mesmerized and intrigued by the eerie, pagan-like atmosphere it brings to the entire area.

The park where the statue is located is also covered in flags representing each state, neighborhood association, and nation of the area's earliest settlers.

When planning your vacation in Stearns County, this statue is a must-see.

Strike a pose and take snaps of the largest crow statue!

Make a Splash at Bug-Bee Hive Resort

Go for a thrilling and memorable water adventure at the Bug-Bee Hive Resort in Paynesville.

Indulge in luxury in Bug-Bee Hive Resort, set on picturesque bee-utiful Lake Koronis in Central Minnesota.

This spot is perfect for families who want a great time splashing around the water!

Their villas, swimming beach area, and water trampoline will keep your whole family happy and entertained.

There’s a Busy Bee kid's play area where your kids can splash around in the waters and have a blast.

There’s also an indoor pool and weekly events during the summertime that you can join!

Engage in an Action-Packed Match at Crossfire Paintball & Airsoft

Want to experience your favorite Xbox games in real life?

Try the Crossfire Paintball & Airsoft in Clearwater.

Play real-life thrilling games with your buddies at Minnesota's oldest and best airsoft field.

Crossfire Paintball & Airsoft has 50 acres of trees.

Five different fields offer different types of games to suit your needs and preferences.

The establishment also has the largest closed outdoor battlefield in the state.

Crossfire Paintball & Airsoft provides crossfire gear and instructs you on the dos and don’ts of the game.

Reload your equipment, find the perfect hiding spot as you shoot, and try to win your matches here!

Compete with Your Friends over Good Drinks at Great River Bowl & Partners Pub

See who knocks down the most pins among your friends and loved ones at Great River Bowl and Partners Pub in Sartell.

The restaurant dates back to 1979 and has expanded since then, transforming from a 16-lane establishment with a snack stall to a facility with a 32-lane contemporary bowling alley.

Even though the structure can accommodate 940 people, they always make an effort to get to know each of their visitors on a personal level.

Get ready to achieve numerous strikes while bonding with your loved ones over great food and drinks at Great River Bowl and Partners Pub!

Try New Sports at Mississippi River County Park

Want to play disc golf and try archery in the same place?

Mississippi River County Park has you covered!

Along 1.3 miles of the Mississippi River, the park spans 230 acres.

Forestry covers one-third of the park, providing picturesque views.

The big shelter in the park is close to an 18-hole disc golf course.

Throughout the summer, this course is kept for the benefit of disc golfers.

Additionally, there is an archery range where you can practice your archery skills.

The park also has natural surface trails, a picnic area, a play area, cross-country skiing trails, a campsite, and more.

Enter a Beautiful Oasis at Munsinger Clemens Gardens

Fountain at Munsinger Clemens Gardens
Randy Runtsch / Shutterstock.com

Step into a stunning paradise filled with breathtaking flowering plants and vibrant butterflies at Munsinger Clemens Gardens!

Based on Riverside Drive, this gorgeous spot in St. Cloud offers an unforgettable and extraordinary botanical journey.

You can explore two gardens here: the Munsinger Gardens and the Clemens Gardens.

These gardens feature various plants that will transport you to a paradise filled with vibrant colors and refreshing aromas.

Colorful flowers at Munsinger Clemens Gardens
Sara Koivisto / Shutterstock.com

Take an afternoon stroll around the gardens and soak in all the natural beauty of the greenery around you.

Explore the rose garden and see all the beautiful plants in bloom!

When it gets too hot, you can rest under the towering pine trees and cool off under its shade.

Make sure to have your camera with you since you'll want to take numerous photos of all the sights!

Stone stairs at Munsinger Clemens Gardens
Akerri / Shutterstock.com

Relax at Ruegemer's Island View Resort, Inc.

Ruegemer's Island View Resort, Inc. is a great place to stay in Minnesota if you want to surround yourself with the beauty and tranquility of nature.

Ruegemer's is a family-owned and operated resort on the lovely Sauk River Horseshoe Chain of Lakes in Richmond, founded in 1929.

It has 14 lakes and more than 3,000 acres of fishable land.

Some of the top fishing lakes in Central Minnesota are said to be among the lakes you can find here.

Whether you want to reconnect with nature or catch some fish, Ruegemer's Island View Resort, Inc. is a must-visit.

Play Games at Skatin' Place

Skatin' Place in St. Cloud offers a wide range of activities.

Your family can play laser tag, roller skating, and arcade games.

They feature a snack bar where you may indulge in delicious snacks and beverages.

The StateFair Mini Donuts and Blue Raspberry ICEE at Skatin' Place's snack bar are popular, along with their handcrafted and made-to-order pizzas.

You can also spend a fun-filled evening with your family at the roller-skating rink.

Jump High at AirMaxx Trampoline Park & Warrior Course

More than just a trampoline park, AirMaxx Trampoline Park & Warrior Course is an adventure!

Trampolines, a Ninja Warrior course, an indoor playground, and virtual reality are all featured in the indoor park's over 10,000 square feet of space.

There's also a sizable trampoline court for jumping, a dodgeball area, and a foam pit to bounce into.

Jumping on a trampoline is a pleasant activity for people of all ages and a good workout.

Additionally, AirMaxx has a "Mini Maxxers" court where children under five can jump safely with their parents.

The interactive projector games created by EyeClick for our BEAM are also available to visitors.

The family's multi-award-winning BEAM gaming system transforms any real place into an online playground!

AirMaxx Trampoline Park & Warrior Course is located in St. Cloud.

Dine at RJ's American Grill

In St. Cloud, there is an urban restaurant called RJ's American Grill.

The restaurant boasts a spacious bar and meticulous attention to detail.

They are passionate about delivering a fresh perspective on their culinary and beverage choices.

RJ offers intriguing, modern, and traditional hand-crafted cocktails, a hand-picked collection of wines, and a seasonal variety of draught beers.

Stop by RJ's American Grill to have a delicious and satisfying meal with the whole family!

Final Thoughts

Stearns County, Minnesota, is a great place to visit for its extraordinary and exciting attractions,

From fishing and skating to trampoline jumping, there's something for everyone in the family to enjoy.

Go on a fun-filled vacation by trying these 15 best things to do in Stearns County, Minnesota!

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