If you enjoy traveling, perhaps you like to throw a dart at the map and see where it lands. You might just end up in places like Hutchinson, Minnesota, that give you a wonderful taste of small-town America.
Hutchinson is the largest city in Mcleod County, MN, and the birthplace of notable people like two-time Gold Medal Olympian and WNBA star Lindsay Whalen, NFL quarterback Corey Sauter, and crooner Paulette Carlsen.
Before you embark on your journey to Hutchinson, explore our list of the 15 best things to do in Hutchinson, Minnesota.
Show Table of Contents
- Things to Do in Hutchinson, Minnesota
- 1. The Crow River Winery
- 2. Main Street Antiques
- 3. McLeod County Veterans Memorial Park
- 4. Main Street Sports Bar
- 5. Wheel and Cog Children’s Museum of Hutchinson
- 6. Minnesota Garlic Festival
- 7. Fishing and the South Fork Crow River
- 8. Luce Line State Trail
- 9. Arts and Culture
- 10. Crow River Golf Club and Oakdale Golf Club
- 11. Clay Coyote Gallery and Pottery
- 12. Events and Festivals
- 13. Quaden Productions
- 14. Bobbing Bobber Brewing Company aka 3BC
- 15. Parks and Camping
Things to Do in Hutchinson, Minnesota
1. The Crow River Winery
Whatever your reason may be for stopping in Hutchinson, MN, do yourself a favor and visit the Crow River Winery, one of the top attractions in town. Their cold climate grape vineyard looks strikingly similar to an image from the French countryside minus the ancient castle and chateaux.
Locally famous for its winter wines made from grapes, fruits, and berries, wine connoisseurs can test drive their nose by diving into a glass of Minnesota vino. The location hosts weddings, grape stomps, wine tasting events, private functions for friends and family, and Christmas and New Year’s Gala events.
Located in the middle of the Crow River Watershed, this family-operated winery has been operating since 2004. It incorporates sustainable farming principles among its vines by growing pumpkins and hard-neck garlic to give back to the earth.
Follow Highway 7 east out of town for about 2 miles and discover the plateau where the Minnesota wine region meets the endless prairie.
When visiting the area, find out about the wine club and check out their events calendar. Even if vino isn’t your thing, partake of their family fare in the bistro after a leisurely sojourn among the grapevines. I doubt you’ll be disappointed.
See Related: Best Lakes in Minnesota (Ranked!)
2. Main Street Antiques
Wouldn’t you know it, Main Street Antiques is located right there on Main Street and is impossible to miss. Parking on most occasions is available and plentiful. Even if collecting vintage articles isn’t your thing, this market is worth the experience.
Visiting an antique store isn’t just about buying knick-knacks. It’s about coming face to face with Americana, with advertising paraphernalia in a shoppable time capsule that tells the story of who we are and the progress we made.
Main Street Antiques will not only potentially reintroduce you to your old memories, but you’ll meet welcoming locals that I bet will make you smile.
Once you’re done browsing the aisles, step outside and head toward the bridge where the South Fork Crow River makes a splash and meanders through Hutchinson. Don’t forget to visit the Chief Little Crow statue on the banks of the river.
3. McLeod County Veterans Memorial Park
It’s going to cost you less to pay tribute to the memorabilia and memory of those who gave so generously in the line duty than it was to those who served our country. The park is southeast of where Main Street and Highway 22 intersect. You can practically walk there from anywhere.
The park is host to an open-air museum that brings visitors closer to military history from WWI and WW2. The iconic eagle rising above the Earth statue symbolizes the patriotic power and strength of the American military and its influence worldwide.
Visitors have access to view tanks, military combat vehicles, helicopters, and memorials honoring those who served and still fulfill the call of duty.
Take a stroll along the river and remember everything you have to be grateful for and those who gave and still give so generously in service. It’s the American thing to do.
See Related: Best National Parks in the USA
4. Main Street Sports Bar
While strolling along Hutchinson’s Main Street, why not stop for a pint and a slice at the local food hub, MSSB? Fresh air always fuels the appetite, and Main Street Sports Bar is famous for its pizza, burgers, and beer.
Indulge in a gooey serving of their cheese bread or mouthwatering pig wings, followed by a Hula Pizza topped with Canadian bacon or a juicy Street Heat Burger; MSSB will have your appetite appeased in mere minutes.
While you wait for your meal at this casual restaurant, play a game of pool, hop up on a bar stool and chat with the bartender and bare your soul, or catch up on the latest sports news on their HD Televisions.
Enjoy your meal on the covered patio and watch the world go by if the weather is nice. Oh and, yes, you read that right, pig wings. Pigs can’t fly, but pig wings are made from partially deboned pork shanks and are delicious.
See Related: Best Things to Do in Prior Lake, Minnesota
5. Wheel and Cog Children’s Museum of Hutchinson
Don’t let the name fool you; they don’t put children on display in showcases. Instead, the Wheel and Cog is a non-profit organization that offers an indoor play space for pint-sized locals and visitors.
If you’re traveling with kids, this stop is ideal for letting their creative side come alive and help burn pent-up energy. The center focuses on interactive activities that inspire and educate through play and hands-on learning tools.
Your children will find the museum unforgettable, and last year 20,000 people visited this popular destination inside Hutchinson Mall.
This innovative museum hosts several children’s exhibits throughout the year and has something for everyone.
6. Minnesota Garlic Festival
Yes, bring a pack of gum. Usually held in mid-August, The Annual Garlic Festival is held at the McLeod County Fairgrounds in Hutchinson. Heavily focused on sustainable farming, the Garlic Festival introduces visitors to the many varieties of this superfood.
Garlic makes our food taste better and our bodies healthier. The festival will introduce you to new varieties, new culinary adventures, celebrity chefs, musical entertainment, loads of fun, local artisans, and a good time at the festival.
Did you know you can keep garlic in your kitchen for up to a year? Talk to area producers at the fair and see why so many people are passionate about garlic. It isn’t just to keep vampires away.
7. Fishing and the South Fork Crow River
The South Fork Crow River meanders through Hutchinson. You might want to pack your rod and cast off to enjoy a relaxing morning. Hutchinson is a postcard sample of middle America, and you can get the full experience by taking some time off to fish – even if it’s your first time.
Try your hand at catching fish like northern pike, bigmouth buffalo, channel catfish, green sunfish, and yellow perch. You may also catch black crappie or bluegill.
However, don’t attempt to dangle the worm without a fishing license. Make sure you have all your papers in order before fishing and coming out to fish in Hutchinson.
Regardless of what kind of fish you catch, it will be a worthwhile and scenic experience for all your senses. Make sure you have a license!
See Related: Best Things to Do in St. Croix River
8. Luce Line State Trail
Long ago, three rail lines cursed through Hutchinson and were a lifeline for many people in America. The remnants of the Luce Line still run along the vein of an old railroad line and span 63 miles from Cedar Mills to Plymouth.
The Luce Line Trail is ideal for hikers, bikers, snowmobilers, or horseback riders and takes those adventurers into a tranquil and scenic landscape.
Also known as Luce Line Trail, Luce Line State Trail, or Luce Line Regional Trail, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources maintains this shared-use path. Please note that while the path is paved or prepared with crushed limestone, some parts are still undeveloped, so for those less capable, research the trail from your starting point.
It is also ideal for birdwatchers or cyclists to catch glimpses of their favorite birds. You might spy the Yellow Warbler or the stunning Baltimore Oriole in their natural environment.
The downside to exploring the Luce Line Trail on foot is that once you get among the secluded canopy of trees, you might forget about time and distance. Before you know it, you might have walked for miles and have a bit of a jaunt back. Remember to bring your camera for photo ops.
See Related: Best & Fun Things to Do in Minneapolis, MN
9. Arts and Culture
Hutchinson has a great art vibe and offers great historic walking tours. Contact the HACCT for information on upcoming city tours or their next living history cemetery tour, usually scheduled for September.
If you can plan, why not take in local productions by the Hutchinson Theatre Company which hosts three performances annually?
Believe it or not, supporting local talent in the arts is like contributing to history. Without art, the worldview of life is soulless, and it would be boring as hell if history were all about statistics and facts.
10. Crow River Golf Club and Oakdale Golf Club
Both clubs offer wedding venues or private function opportunities and excellent facilities to make any event shine. The menus are succulent and tempting, and the ambiance and atmosphere, catered by expert staff, are unforgettable.
These clubs are fully equipped and constantly improved; these top-notch clubs offer driving ranges, pro shops, lessons, putting greens, short game facilities, and superb clubhouse restaurants to finish the game.
11. Clay Coyote Gallery and Pottery
It’s no longer surprising that Minnesota is the heARTland of creative people. Sorry, I borrowed that clever play on words from the Clay Coyote website because it describes who they are perfect.
Clay Coyote offers not only exceptionally fine, handmade pottery that is beautiful and practical, but they also foster emerging artists and keep an ancient art form of fire clay alive.
The business is very committed to family and the craft, and if you can, take a course or buy a stunning piece of pottery art.
12. Events and Festivals
If you can plan your visit ahead of time, check out this outstanding Hutchinson, MN Visitors’ Guide in a handy PDF version that lists everything from handy maps to emergency information and lodging details. There is always something happening in Hutchinson for your entertainment.
Each month is full of interesting opportunities to explore the city and meet locals for special events and festivals.
In February, experience the Winter Fest on the fairgrounds, sip hot cider while watching or riding on a dog sled, or be introduced to guests from the University of Minnesota Raptor Center, slip on your skates, and try a game of shinny, or browse local wares.
In July, pack a picnic and join the locals in the park; in September, wash your bare feet in grape juice at the Crow River Winery. Finish all your gift shopping at the Main Street Christmas Market in December. See pages 12-13 in the Visitor Guide for an updated calendar.
See Related: Best Midwest festivals Worth Traveling To
13. Quaden Productions
Never say never. Small cities and towns are often home to some of America’s most talented people. Icons like Dolly, Oprah, Carrie, and Brad call small towns home.
Quaden Productions is no exception for a creative business that has seen a need and explored the artistic integrity behind the camera lens.
Specializing in photography, cinematography, and publication, Quaden is for the visual arts buff. For personalized and hands-on workshops and design creatives, Quaden provides the incentive and the technology to bring a concept to life.
While visiting Hutchinson, why not explore that inner artist and sign up for a seminar or workshop? You might be surprised at your inner talents.
14. Bobbing Bobber Brewing Company aka 3BC
Make no mistake, saying the brewery’s full name while drinking their brews will get you into trouble! It opened in 2018 with a renovated taproom. By experimenting with the recipes on tap, 3BC has become a heart of the community and a tourist stop.
Brewing a light list of craft beers and rotating the selection to please a larger clientele with a penchant for something different, 3BC should be a pit stop on your list.
Choose a refreshing pint from their international menu of cream ales, porters, or lagers, or try something exotic or non-alcoholic. Your taste buds will be delighted.
Conveniently located at the elbow of Main Street and across from the historic Oakland Cemetery, Bobbing Bobber Brewing is hard to miss and a great way to round out your visit to Hutchinson, MN.
15. Parks and Camping
Camping or loading the RV with the family is a great way to see the country and fully appreciate how beautiful life can be beyond city walls. Hutchinson and the surrounding area are great places to pitch a tent or park the RV and relax.
Hutchinson, Minnesota, has 40 parks and several RV campgrounds in the area to explore. These wonderful parks have amenities like Frisbee golf, skiing, flower displays, historical monuments, and places for the family pooch to roam.
Masonic West River Campground is a short drive out of the city limits if you’re into stopping overnight. Lake Marion Regional Park and Piepenburg Regional Park are a couple of hours away.
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- About the Author
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Kyle Kroeger is the Founder and Owner of ViaTravelers.com. He is a seasoned traveler and entrepreneur. Kyle started ViaTravelers.com to help travelers find their next adventure, whether it’s exploring new places or revisiting old favorites.
He’s a converted finance nerd and Excel jockey turned world wonderer (and may try to get lost on purpose). He loves listening to people’s stories from around the world as well as sharing his own experiences traveling the globe. He loves travel so much that he moved from his hometown of Minneapolis to Amsterdam with his small family to travel Europe full-time.