At a Glance: Exploring Albert Lea – Fun and Food
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:
Aquatic Center | 321 James Ave., Albert Lea, MN 56007 | 507-373-3328
Farmers Market| North Broadway Parking Lot from May-Oct., Wed. 4 p.m.-6 p.m. and Sat. 9 a.m.-12 p.m.
Albert Lea Art Center | 224 S. Broadway Ave., Albert Lea, MN 56007 | 507-373-5665 | Tues.-Fri. 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
Holiday Lanes – A fun family bowling place with XTREME bowling some nights | 522 Prospect Ave., Albert Lea, MN 56007| 507-373-7276
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
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
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.