At a Glance: Explore Albert Lea – Fun and Food
Explore Albert Lea offers many family-friendly biking, hiking, and paddling opportunities. In southern Minnesota, at the crossroads of Interstate 35W and I-80, you will also find the annual Rock N’ Roll the Lakes Bicycle Ride here in August. Other options include mountain biking in Big Island State Park, enjoying a picturesque ride around Fountain Lake, or a trip to the State Park on the Blazing Star State Trail. Then, after your ride, take in the art, history, and music the community here has to offer.
In the “Land Between the Lakes,” Albert Lea is nestled between Albert Lea Lake and Fountain Lake and 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 participate in the Blue Zone Health Initiative.
Explore Albert Lea by 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 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. Plans are for the trail to connect to Austin’s city trail system and 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 an excellent birding spot in southern Minnesota, especially during spring and fall migration.
Places to ride
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 runs from Albert Lea Lake to Myre-Big Island State Park.
Bike around Fountain Lake
From Downtown Albert Lea, this map shows the ten and 18-mile route for the annual Rock N’ Roll the Lakes Ride
Area Bike Shops and Clubs
Broadway Bicycle Shop | 114 S. Broadway Ave, Albert Lea, MN 56007 | 507-373-2060
Martin’s Bike Shop |1137 South Broadway Ave., Albert Lea, MN 56007 | 507-377-3704
Where to Play When Not Biking
Albert Lea has a variety of attractions to keep the whole family having while they visit, including:
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
Check out three parks offering challenges for disc golf players in between your bike excursions around Albert Lea.
Rock N’ Roll the Lakes Bike Ride is Saturday 13, 2019 – A fun ride for the entire family,
Bayside Water Show come Join the FUN… Memorial Day to Labor Day at Edgewater Bay in Albert Lea, MN
Where to Eat
Regardless if you are in the mood for a quick snack, a casual meal, or upscale fare after your ride, or outdoor activity, there is a place for you at the table in Albert Lea.
Some of the favorites
Along with the favorite chain restaurants, when 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 excellent 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
Here are many more options. https://www.explorealbertlea.com/life
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.
You will find Wi-Fi access in many coffee shops and restaurants, along with most hotels. The public library is another good option. The library here is at 211 E Clark St., Albert Lea, MN 56007; their phone number is 507-377-4350.
See the Albert Lea Tourism Bureau for more detailed information on your next trip to explore Albert Lea.