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A Day Trip Itinerary for New Ulm Minnesota

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One of my favorite day trips from the Twin Cities is New Ulm Minnesota. At just 1.5 hours SW of the cities, New Ulm has tons of activities to offer anyone, from history buffs to foodies to nature lovers. The town’s strong German heritage is one of the highlights and fulfills a sense of wanderlust especially in a year when we can’t travel far!

Below is an itinerary for a fun day trip that covers many of the town’s highlights. We easily could have stayed overnight to enjoy a second day – we’ll just have to go back!

Note: while Visit New Ulm sponsored the activities in this post, all opinions below are my own.

Morning

Breakfast

Start your day with a fulfilling meal at delicious Sozial. The restaurant is a great spot for social gatherings over amazing food, hence the name Sozial (Social in German!). We enjoyed the California Toast and the Caprese Benedict. Both were great but I have to say the Caprese Benedict is one of the most unique offerings I’ve had for breakfast. You have to try it!

Self guided tour

If you’re up for an active self guided tour, grab your bike and hop on the paved 13 mile trail that circles the town! You can also drive or walk.

  1. Start at German Park and enjoy the fountain, historical signs and new amphitheater. It’s a beautiful park that honors German pioneers of New Ulm.
  2. Next check out the the 102-foot Hermann Monument – known by some as Herman the German. The statute is a symbol of German patriotism from the 1897. Normally you can pay $3 and climb to the top for excellent views of the city but the stairs are closed currently. It’s still worth the visit!
  3. Visit Flandrau State Park and enjoy the hiking trails along the Cottonwood River. If you’re going to visit state parks more than 5x/year, purchase the $35 annual pass instead of paying the $7 daily fee. There’s no fee if you bike in!

Afternoon

Head back to the main center of town to enjoy the 12pm Glockenspiel performance! Everyday at 12pm, 3pm and 5pm, you can watch the famous Glockenspiel showcase 12 animated characters from the town’s history moving to the music.

Lunch

Grab lunch on the beautiful patio at Lola, an American bistro. The espresso menu looked amazing so make sure to order one with your meal! I ordered the iced tea since I don’t drink coffee and it was refreshing. The menu is extensive with lots of great options including the famous pot pie. I loved the Roasted Veggie Dagwood sandwich – the whipped goat cheese was so good! My husband loved the chicken torta and smoothie as well. Make sure to check out the side entrance – it’s a gorgeous mosaic coffee!

Dessert

Just down the street, grab a super premium ice cream from newly opened MN EIS. With unique and traditional ice cream flavors, homemade waffle cones, edible cookie dough and a candy shop, it’s one of the most fun stops in town! We had to try the spaghettieis – a traditional German ice cream treat that looks like spaghetti! Made with vanilla ice cream, strawberry sauce, white chocolate shavings and cookie dough “meatballs”, it was a really fun treat and something you have to try!

Biergarten

An absolute gem and highlight of New Ulm is Schell’s Brewery. Schell’s is the oldest brewery in Minnesota and the second oldest family-owned brewery in America! We are lucky to have this historic brewery in Minnesota and we loved walking the beautiful grounds.

The Biergarten is currently open with excellent social distancing measures in place.  I loved the Sangria beer and my husband enjoyed his Oktoberfest.  We also ordered 1919 Root Beer, freshly brewed on site– at just $1 you have to try it! A soft pretzel completed the experience!

While tours are currently closed, you can walk around the museum and check out the awesome gift shop! I got a great t-shirt that’s really soft and I’ll enjoy wearing for a long time.

Evening

Dinner

Enjoy an early dinner from Turner Hall, which is a very special place in New Ulm that opened in 1856! It has the oldest bar in Minnesota, murals of German, Italian and Swiss castles from the 1800’s and tons of nooks and crannies that have been used for a variety of events over the years. 

While currently closed, you can enjoy take out which I highly recommend as Chef George is very talented! His passion for elevating the German and American culinary fare will delight you as it did us!

Post Dinner Drinks

Head 15 minutes outside of the main town to Morgan Creek Winery. Set on a beautiful farm and the only sustainable underground winery in Minnesota, it’s the perfect place to enjoy a wine tasting or a wood fired pizza! Make a reservation for a Saturday – the only day of the week open in 2020.

Bison Viewing

For a really fun way to end your day, drive 15 minutes further to Minneopa State Park and drive through the bison range. We unfortunately didn’t see any but know others who have! It was fun regardless to pretend we were on safari. After the range, drive ~2 minutes to the waterfall area and hike ~30 minute round trip. The waterfall is absolutely beautiful and worth the visit to the park even if you don’t see bison! The park closes at 8:30pm.

Ready to plan your day trip today?! Comment below with anything I missed!

Looking for a list of the Top things to do in New Ulm? Check it out here!

For more Minnesota day trip ideas, check out this page!

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  1. […] small towns around Minnesota to find the most charming! Stillwater, Red Wing, New Ulm and St. Cloud are some of my favorites from […]



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