Litchfield is a city of about 6,600 people (2018) in Southern Minnesota. Litchfield is among the largest of a series of "whistle stop" towns built along a railroad extending west from Minneapolis in the 19th century. U.S. Route 12 follows the rail route, which is still active.
Litchfield is the county seat of Meeker County, Minnesota. It is one of the few small towns in Minnesota to never have stopped growing throughout its existence along with Mora and Pine City.
Take U.S. Route 12 west from the Twin Cities a little over an hour.
- Bikes by Bob, ☏ . Tu-F 6:30AM-4PM, Sa 8AM-1PM. A bicycle store and coffee shop. Biking around the city is very doable with many denoted bike routes. Does not do bike rentals, however.
- Brightwood Beach Cottage. An octagonal building that was once the sight of a resort on the southern shore of Lake Ripley.
- Meeker County Courthouse - The County's most recent courthouse building, completed in 1974, which is a flat-topped, white stucco building with windows in two deep-cut, horizontal bands. Glass aprons the ground level, slanting diagonally into the plane of the building. Natural light is also a feature of the other three levels, which open unto a central atrium beneath a large segmented-glass skylight. Its cost in the mid-1970s: a little more than $1 million.
- Trinity Episcopal Church - Enjoy the Carpenter Gothic Style architecture attributed to the noted New York architect Richard Upjohn.
- 1 Grand Army of the Republic Hall, 370 N. Marshall St..
- Ness Monument - Buried in one grave under the Ness Monument are the remains of the first five victims of the U.S.-Dakota War. Their names are Robinson Jones, Viranus Webster, Howard Baker, Ann (Baker) Jones, and Clara D. Wilson. The violent act of four young Sioux who were starving because of broken treaties and thieving traders sparked a war that killed hundreds of people on both sides.
- Litchfield Carnegie Library - One of the 65 public libraries built in Minnesota with funds from philanthropist Andrew Carnegie and the Carnegie Corporation.
- Anderson Gardens Public Arboretum. Parking is limited to along Hwy 22. Named for the site’s developer, A.J. Anderson, a Civil War veteran and former hardware and implement dealer in Litchfield, the gardens are dedicated to quiet reflection and contemplation with plantings, shrub and tree markers for identification of species.
- Starlite Drive-In 5, 29264 MN-22, ☏ . No-frills, classic outdoor drive-up theater showing first-run, double features on weekends.
- Meeker County Historical Society - within the Grand Army of the Republic (G.A.R.) building. Learn how Land O'Lakes got its start, or why the G.A.R. building was built here to begin with.
- Dragon Hockey. They are fire on ice. The "LDC" or Litchfield/Dassel-Cokato Dragons are the area's fiercest hockey program. Check them out at Litchfield Civic Arena seasonally or in March at the Xcel Energy Center, if they've proven themselves worthy of a State berth.
- The Litchfield Opera House - Gorgeous building that has hosted traveling theater troupes, stage plays, musicals, lectures, readings, revivals, local musical performances, among other varied gatherings.
- Central Park - The town square, surrounded by historical landmarks, at the center of it all.
- Commercial Historic District - Yes, the entire downtown area along Sibley is on the National Register of Historic Places. Worth buying: Hollywood Theater movie passes and a bucket of popcorn.
- Muddy Cow, 915 US-12, ☏ . Bar & grill featuring a menu of locally-sourced burgers, sandwiches and pub grub, plus sports on TV.
- Sonora's Mexican Restaurant, 637 US-12, ☏ . M-Th 11AM-9PM, F Sa 11AM-10PM. The owners hail from Sonora, Mexico and bring a bit of their state to Minnesota in the form of Mexican cuisine.
- Kicker's Bar, 61620 US-12. W-Su 11AM-2AM.
- AmericInn by Wyndham, 1525 E US-12, ☏ .
- The Marshall Estate and B&B, 611 N Marshall Ave., ☏ .
- Knights Inn, 1017 E Frontage Rd., ☏ .
- Litchfield Public Library, 216 N Marshall Ave., ☏ . M-Th 10AM-8PM, F Sa 10AM-5PM. Children's programs, adult learning, public internet access, digital media, book signings and meetings space.
|Routes through Litchfield|
|Aberdeen ← Willmar ←||W E||→ Darwin → Minneapolis|