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Southern Minnesota is a region roughly south and west of the Twin Cities region of Minnesota.


Map of Southern Minnesota

Its regions includes Big Stone, Blue Earth, Brown, Chippewa, Cottonwood, Dodge, Faribault, Fillmore, Freeborn, Goodhue, Houston, Jackson, Kandiyohi, Lac qui Parle, Le Sueur, Lincoln, Lyon, McLeod, Martin, Meeker, Mower, Murray, Nicollet, Nobles, Olmsted, Pipestone, Redwood, Renville, Rice, Rock, Sibley, Steele, Swift, Wabasha, Waseca, Watonwan, Winona, and Yellow Medicine counties.



Other destinations




Get in



From the West => I-90 or highway 212 from South Dakota

From the East => I-90, Highway 14 or state highways in Wisconsin

From the North => I-35

From the South => I-35

Get around


The overwhelming majority of people in southern Minnesota commute via personal automobile.

Interstate 90 runs east-west 15 miles north of the Iowa border, from Sioux Falls, SD, to Worthington, Jackson, Fairmont, Albert Lea, Austin, Rochester, and into La Crosse, Wisconsin.

Running diagonally from Worthington to the Twin Cities metro area is highway 169, which is 4 lane in many areas.

The region is quite flat, and has many lightly-traveled paved roads that provide wonderful cycling opportunities.

In the winter, ample snowfall allows for the use of snowmobiles, on both groomed trails and in snow-packed ditches. In winters with heavy snowfall and below-freezing temperatures, snow accumulation can become deep enough for traveling across open fields and through wooded areas.

If you find yourself on top of water, odds are you are in a boat. With many gorgeous, unpretentious lake available, many southern MN residents possess watercraft, from jet skis and wave runners to large fishing boats and pontoons.


  • Austin: SPAM museum!
  • Albert Lea: 2 large lakes in the middle of the town! Beautiful camping opportunities abound!
  • Fairmont: The land of many lakes, there is ample fishing and water sport fun to be had.
  • Mankato: Minnesota State University - Mankato has many attractions and events. This university town has a quaint downtown and a better-than average drinking scene (and cheap too!)
  • Owatonna: National Farmer's Bank - This is considered the most beautiful of banks designed by Louis Sullivan and is a National Historic Landmark.
  • Lake Shetek: A 4000+ acre lake in Murray county, consisting of the many islands, bays, coves, and parks. The nearest small town in Currie. Slayton is located 10 miles to the south, and Marshall is a quick 20 minutes north.
  • Luverne: Visit Blue Mounds State Park, where the buffalo were run off the straight cliffs. An interesting array of flora exists here that cannot be found anywhere else in Minnesota. It's a wonderful place to watch a sunset!
  • Winona: This old river town, with cute B&Bs, a lively downtown, a mid-sized university (Winona State), and close proximity to La Crosse, WI, has much to offer. For the adventurous type, there are many mountain-bike trails in the river bluffs, endless canoeing and kayaking opportunities, fishing galore, winter ice skating, x-country skiing, cycling, etc.








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This region travel guide to Southern Minnesota is an outline and may need more content. It has a template, but there is not enough information present. If there are Cities and Other destinations listed, they may not all be at usable status or there may not be a valid regional structure and a "Get in" section describing all of the typical ways to get here. Please plunge forward and help it grow!