At a Glance: Exploring Albert Lea – Fun and Food
The home of Rock N’ Roll the Lakes Bike Ride, at the crossroads of Interstate 35W and I-80, Albert Lea, in southern Minnesota offers many family-friendly biking opportunities. Select from the picturesque ride around Fountain Lake, a ride out to the State Park on the Blazing Star State Trail or tour countryside of Freeborn county. Then after your ride take in the art, history, and music the community here has to offer.
Known as the “Land Between the Lakes,” Albert Lea is nestled between Albert Lea Lake and Fountain Lake. Geographically located at the crossroads of Interstate I-90 and Interstate 35W in southern Minnesota, this charming community is about 90 miles south of the Twin Cities. Both the city and the lake were named in honor of Albert Miller Lea by Joseph N. Nicollet. Nicollet explored and mapped streams and lakes in this county in 1835.
Today when exploring Albert Lea, you will find a relaxing setting to bike with family and friends while enjoying some of southern Minnesota’s hospitality.
Albert Lea was one of the first cities to take part in the Blue Zone Health Initiative.
Where to Bike
Along with the paved trail running out to Myre-Big Island State Park, many recreational trails will allow cyclists and walkers to enjoy the area. In addition, there are many bike friendly streets and rural roads to explore the countryside. If you are interested in exploring Albert Lea’s nature-based sides, one of the best ways is by taking the Blazing Star State Trail. The trail is currently paved from Albert Lea Lake to Big Island State Park, a distance of approximately six miles and it connects to Albert Lea’s city trail system. Future plans are for the trail to connect to Austin’s city trail system, as well as the Shooting Star State Trail. When completed, the Blazing Star State Trail will be approximately 20 miles long and connect Albert Lea to Austin via Big Island State Park.
Trail users will enjoy views of rural landscapes along the entire trail. Big Island State Park has the opportunity to experience a diversity of natural environments including wetlands, oak savanna, big woods and prairie. The park is considered an excellent birding spot in southern Minnesota, especially during spring and fall migration.
Area Bike Shops and Clubs
Martin’s Bike Shop |1137 South Broadway Ave., Albert Lea, MN 56007 | 507-377-3704
Poole’s Bike Shop | 402 Main Ct., Albert Lea, MN 56007 | 507-373-8595
Where to Play When Not Biking
Albert Lea has a variety of attractions to keep the whole family having while they visit including:
Myre-Big Island State Park
This park has something for everyone with hike/bike trails around wet lowland marshes and through patches of oak savanna and grasslands
19499 780th Ave.
507-668-7060 Website https://www.dnr.state.mn.us/state_parks/park.html?id=spk00175#homepage
Blazing Star State Trail
The Blazing Star State Trail is paved and currently runs from Albert Lea Lake, in town, to Myre-Big Island State Park
Bike around Fountain Lake
From Downtown Albert Lea this map shows the 10 and 18-mile route for the annual Rock N’ Roll the Lakes Ride
Freeborn History Museum
Where time travel is possible, and our past inspires the future, discover your pioneer spirit with many exhibits
1031 Bridge Ave.
507-373-8003 Website https://www.freeborncountyhistory.org/
Marion Ross Performing Arts Center
Named after a star of the “Happy Days” TV show the center is in the historic downtown district and a great place to spend an evening while visiting
147 N. Broadway
507-377-4371 Website http://actonbroadway.com/concertsevents/
Albert Lea Civic Music
Albert Lea High School Auditorium
2000 Tiger Lane
Albert Lea Farmers Market
Open on Wednesdays, stop by and check out all the local produce and treat from the area
Broadway Ave. And Fountain St.
Albert Lea Art Center
After your ride, the center offers programs, classes, Art on Broadway and more
101 S. Broadway Ave.
507-373-5665 Website http://www.thealbertleaartcenter.org/home.html
Freeborn County Arts Initiative
Encouraging exploration of new ideas, art forms, and self-expression through the arts, the Gallery is in the Historic Downtown District
224 S Broadway Ave. Studio 3
507-721-1285 Website https://www.fcai.us/
Albert Lea Aquatic Center
This family-friendly center is a great way to cool off after your ride
321 James Ave.
507-377-4370 Website http://cityofalbertlea.org/departments/parks-and-recreation/aquatic-center/
Albert Lea Audubon Society
This local chapter offers information, classes and field trips centered around an increased interest in ecology and nature study around ornithology
Albert Lea Disc Golf Courses
In between your bike excursions around Albert Lea check out three parks offering challenges for disc golf players
Rock N’ Roll the Lakes Bike Ride July 13, 2019 – A fun ride for the entire family, choose between three routes.
Bayside Water Show | June through August every Thursday night at 7 p.m. with a special 4th of July and Labor Day show
Where to Eat
Where to Eat [box in at bottom]
Whether you’re in the mood for a quick snack, a casual meal or upscale fare after your ride there is a place for you at the table in Albert Lea
Along with the favorite chain restaurants, when out exploring Albert Lea you’ll find that it has some local restaurants that will give you a one of a kind experience.
Crescendo Exquisite – Offers great food and fine wines | Menu | 118 S. Broadway Ave., Albert Lea, MN 56007 | 507-377-2425
Elbow Room – Offers burgers | Menu | 310 E. 8th St., Albert Lea, MN 56007 | 507-373-1836
Trumble’s – Offers classic hometown feel with all your favorites | Menu | 1811 E. Main St., Albert Lea, MN 56007 | 507-373-2638
Grandma’s Kitchen – Offers a great family feel with favorites foods for all ages | Menu | 115 E. Clark St., Albert Lea, MN 56007 | 507-552-1599
Where to Sleep
Where to Stay [box in at bottom]
With many lodging properties to choose from, the area around Albert Lea provides visitors with their preferred lodging setting from trusted hotel brands. B & B’s and lodges.
Along with most hotels, many coffee shops and restaurants have Wi-Fi availability. The public library is another good option. The library here is located at 211 E Clark St., Albert Lea, MN 56007 with their phone number being 507-377-4350.
See the Albert Lea Tourism Bureau for more detailed information on your next trip to exploring Albert Lea.