Are you looking for a little taste of Germany but not wanting to travel too far? Look no further than New Ulm, MN. Located 90 miles southwest of Minneapolis, New Ulm MN offers a little taste of Germany with it’s food, shops and gatherings like Oktoberfest. New Ulm is nestled along the beautiful Minnesota River Valley Scenic Byway, making it a perfect road trip stop or destination. Whether you are looking for a romantic getaway, weekend out with friends or family adventure, save this post for a taste of Germany in New Ulm, MN.

Looking for other fun towns to explore in Minnesota? Check out our list of the Most Charming Towns to Visit in Minnesota.

Looking for the perfect Minnesota Road Trip? Check out this List of Scenic Byway Drives in Minnesota and our 4 Day Itinerary to North Shore MN.

Looking for Romantic Getaway ideas in Minnesota? Save this itinerary for Chisago Lakes!

Frequently Asked Questions

What nationality is New Ulm MN?

New Ulm MN is known for it’s German heritage and its abundance of historical sites dating back to the Dakota War of 1862.

What is there to do in New Ulm?

New Ulm is a charming and unique town with a little bit of everything for everyone. Read on to plan your itinerary!

What’s a fun fact about New Ulm MN?

New Ulm was founded in 1854 and became a haven for German-American immigrants.

Best Things to Do in New Ulm MN

1. Explore the Downtown Shops

You will find a variety of specialty shops and unique boutiques throughout New Ulm MN. Some of our favorite shops are Bailey Creek Boutique, Inspired, Gallery 512 Boutique and Domier’s German Store. We especially loved the Christmas Haus, which features items important from Norway and Germany. You can find clothing, (they have the COOLEST raincoats!), treats, trinkets (for kids too) and unique German clocks. For more shops, check out the New Ulm Chamber of Commerce list.

Check out Stillwater, MN for a unique downtown shopping experience along the St. Croix River!

2. Visit the August Schell Brewing Company

Take a tour of the unique historical August Schell Brewing Company grounds and view behind the scenes, the Schell Mansion dating back to 1860 and the gorgeous mansion grounds. Besides enjoying the beautiful garden, you will also enjoy two friendly peacocks who roam free throughout the brewery. Of course, you can check out the Starkeller Taproom and even try their golf simulator.

3. Best View of New Ulm- Hermann the German

If you are looking to get an aerial view of New Ulm, pay a visit to Hermann the German monument. This 102 ft. statue includes a spiral staircase visitors can climb to get a panoramic view of New Ulm and the Minnesota River Valley. Visitors must pay $3 to enter and children 5 and under are free.

4. Explore More Historical Sites

New Ulm MN is rich in it’s preservation of historical sites. If you pay a visit to German Park, you can find the historical monument for German-Bohemian monuments that tells the story of their journey to New Ulm. You can also find the Veteran’s Memorial in this same park.

Second, you can visit the Kiesling House downtown, the only wood framed house that survived the 1862 Dakota Conflict. Also downtown is the old Glockenspiel, a 45 foot, free standing, musical clock that has been an iconic marker of New Ulm.

Third, you can visit the Queene Anne style house, known as the Wanda Gag House and listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Wanda was a famous water color painter and printmaker born in raised in New Ulm. Eventually, she’d move to New York and share her art there. Tours are Saturday and Sunday and admission is $5 per person.

Fourth, take the drive along the Minnesota River to visit the preserved site of the Harkin Store. This 1870s general store used to be part of a small town known as West Newton. It was forced to close with most of its inventory on the shelves- which are preserved to this day. Visiting this place was like stepping into a time capsule.

5. Swim and Hike at Flandrau State Park

Flandrau State Park is nestled along the Cottonwood River and features a sand bottom swimming pond, full playground, picnic areas by the river and trails. The landscape consists of floodplain forests, oak forest and grassland areas along the bluffs. They have 8 miles of hiking trails and plenty of camping options such as drive in, pull through, electric, RV, Walk in and cabin sites equipped with bathrooms and showers.

Looking for other state parks to visit and hike? Read about these Hiking Gems in Minnesota! If you need hiking tips, check out our Day Trip Guide for Your Best Hike Yet!

6. Enjoy a Taste of Germany

Make sure to try some German cuisine by having a dinner at Kaiserhoff German Restaraunt or Turner Hall. If you have a sweet tooth, visit the Backerei and Coffee Shop for some unique pastry treats. We enjoyed the strudels and variety of donuts they offer.

7. Stop for Breakfast or Lunch at Lola

We enjoyed our time at the unique Lola American Bistro. The people there was so friendly and the food was incredible. They are known for their signature Drunk Apple Cinnamon French Toast but have many breakfast options like biscuit sandwhiches, Mexican skillet hash and more. They also have a delicious lunch menu including vegetarian options and a kids menu. If you are a coffee lover, I reccommend trying the Lola or Miel.

If you are short on time, Sippet & Bagels is also a delicious drive thru only option with a breakfast menu, smoothies, lemonades and coffee options. You can also stop in for a book and a cup of coffee at Bookshelves and Coffeecups! This places was such a hidden gem and they have games set up along with a piano for guests to play.

Save this list of our favorite Coffee Shops in Minnesota!

8. Wine and Dine and…Yoga?

For all my fellow wine lovers, Morgan Creek Winery offers an extrodinary experiences along the upper basin of the Minnesota River. I suggest you try the Morning Toast, which is a Saturday morning brunch featuring Morgan Myst Mimosas. This also includes a morning yoga flow, with the point being to slow down and take in the moment.

Along with wine tasting, you can order a pizzette made in their wood fired open- pizza and wine make the perfect pair! If you are not a wine person, you can always joing for a Neopolitan Margarita.

I highly enocurage you to make a reservation before visiting.

Save the dates for Oktoberfest
Oktobefest photo credit to New Ulm Chamber of Commerce Facebook. Save the dates

BONUS: Oktoberfest

Mark your calendars for October 6-7 and 13-14 for the best Oktoberfest experience in the country! Festivities are hosted by Best Western Plus, Morgan’s Vineyards, Historic Downtown and Schell’s Brewery. You can take part in the German-American parade, try German cusine from the food vendors, enjoy live music and food competitions!

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  • Taken in the gardens of Schell Brewery

    Road Trip Adventure to New Ulm, MN

  • Taken in the gardens of Schell Brewery

    Road Trip Adventure to New Ulm, MN

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