The city of Austin, MN is rich in history and culture. If you want to see the home of SPAM or get the opportunity to enjoy nature at its best, visit Austin. Along with a visit to the Historical Hormel Home, be sure to check out all the extra goodies that Austin has to offer. This town is smaller, with a population of around 25,000, so you’ll surely feel at home during your visit. Certain attractions may be temporarily closed or require advance reservations. Hours/availability may have changed.
1.Jay C. Hormel Nature Center
© Jay C. Hormel Nature Center
The Jay C. Hormel Nature Center began in 1927 as an estate. When the city of Austin acquired it, they eventually added acreage to bring it the Nature Center up to 520 acres of a wildlife refuge. Today’s guests can hike the trails, which are open even when the center is closed. Birds of prey that were once abandoned or hurt now call the Nature Center home. All summer, educational and adventure classes are available for children from birth through age 18. Family sessions are also available each summer to get everyone in the family educated about conservation, water treatment, wildlife, and the surrounding environment.
1304 21st Street NE, Austin, MN 55912, Phone: 507-437-7519
2.Spam Museum, Austin, Minnesota
© Spam Museum
As part of popular culture, spam has become a food that can be turned into almost anything. The spam museum was once part of the Hormel Foods First Century Museum. However, in 2001, the Spam museum opened in a larger facility to include exhibits, a theater, and a gift shop. Today’s guests can check out the museum for free, and 30-minute tours are held every hour. Current exhibits in the museum include a “How many Spam Cans Tall Are You,” the history of spam advertising, Spam for the troops, and spam recipes from around the world.
101 3rd Avenue NE, Auston, MN 55912, Phone: 507-437-5100
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3.St. Augustine’s Catholic Church, Austin, Minnesota
© Hannes Mallaun/stock.adobe.com
St. Augustine’s Catholic Church is in a parish with St. Edwards Catholic Church. This is often done to provide a sense of community and financial stability through all the churches. Today, visitors can join the parish with near-daily masses or Saturday reconciliation. St. Augustine has recently undergone a restoration and the gifting of a marvelous Mother Mary and baby Jesus statue. Its placement is perfect for those followers who wish to pray and give thanks in the nave. Along with masses, there is a strong Parish life that ministers to the poor, the homebound, and the hospitalized.
405 4th Street NW, Austin, MN 55912, Phone: 507-437-4537
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4.Paramount Theatre, Austin, Minnesota
© Jacob Lund/stock.adobe.com
The historic Paramount Theater was the first place in Austin to show movies. Eventually, new management took over and turned this building into a night club for teens, the disco age, and comedians. After some renovation, today’s visitors can take in a show or concert. There are 620 stadium-style seats, a concession stand, and a lobby. Movies are still shown on a screen, but instead of first-run shows, classics (like Jaws, The Neverending Story, and The Lion King) are shown. Along with tours of the historic building, this can make for a magical movie night for the family.
125 4th Avenue NE, Austin, MN 55912, Phone: 507-343-0934
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5.Mower County Historical Society, Austin, MN
© Mower County Historical Society
For those who want some background on a historical town like Austin should seek out the Mower County Historical Society. The history of the Historical Society is as rich and humble as the history it covers. Back in 1947, the building was erected to honor those farmers and workers who pioneered the area. Today, the society has expanded with several buildings, and tours are available for a small fee. Visitors can research the history through photos, documents, newspapers, and other recorded papers, or check out the buildings and mine that make up the life-size replicas of past eras, including a church room, a schoolhouse room, and a garage full of old buggies and sleighs.
1303 6th Avenue, Austin, MN 55912, Phone: 507-437-6082
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6.Sweet Reads Books, Austin, Minnesota
© Sweet Reads Books
Directly across from the Spam Museum, visitors to the Austin area will find Sweet Reads Books, the new (and used) bookstore. While this lovely storefront houses tons of books to check out, it’s the experience of the place that will stick with you. Check out the 30-foot train inside the store, or the other genre treats around the store. When you want a pick-me-up, be sure to check out the old fashioned candy display or frozen treats. The store is home to some beautiful objects available for purchase that are often literary-themed, and local authors often stop by for a reading.
407 N Main Street, Austin, MN 55912, Phone: 507-396-8660
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7.Kenny’s Oak Grill, Austin, Minnesota
© Kenny’s Oak Grill
When you’re ready to get your grub on, be sure to check out Kenny’s Oak Grill. This restaurant serves home-style diner food, just the way you want it after a long day of adventuring. This 50-year old diner serves up breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Don’t be surprised to find plenty of regulars gossiping around with a cup of coffee, as this place has a loyal customer base and is nearly always full. No matter what you’re hungry for, you’re sure to find it here with new creations always on the menu. They even serve fried fish for breakfast – talk about Minnesota life!
307 Oakland Avenue W, Austin, MN 55912, Phone: 507-437-4135
7 Best Things to Do in Austin, Minnesota
- Jay C. Hormel Nature Center, Photo: Jay C. Hormel Nature Center
- Spam Museum, Austin, Minnesota, Photo: Spam Museum
- St. Augustine’s Catholic Church, Austin, Minnesota, Photo: Hannes Mallaun/stock.adobe.com
- Paramount Theatre, Austin, Minnesota, Photo: Jacob Lund/stock.adobe.com
- Mower County Historical Society, Austin, MN, Photo: Mower County Historical Society
- Sweet Reads Books, Austin, Minnesota, Photo: Sweet Reads Books
- Kenny’s Oak Grill, Austin, Minnesota, Photo: Kenny’s Oak Grill
- Cover Photo: City of Austin, Minnesota
Venue Spotlight: Hormel Historic Home
The Hormel Historic Home and Carriage Hall Event Center provides a one-of-a-kind event space for wedding ceremonies, receptions, rehearsal dinners, bridal showers, and just about any other kind of event. Constructed in the year 1871, the history and home of the George A. and Lillian Hormel Family is preserved in the Hormel Historic Home. In addition to providing venue for events, the goal of the historic house is to maintain the building, as well as to honor the family legacy of community service, education, music and the arts, and hospitality.
The historic Hormel Home, built in the year 1871, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The former house of George Hormel, who was the founder of Hormel Foods, was built in the Greek Revival style, featuring Quesal light fixtures, honeycomb design ceiling, and stained glass windows. The Peace Garden on the property is unique in this region and features old-fashioned flowers that people would expect to find in the garden of their grandparents. The house is a historic gem, offering a truly one-of-a-kind and memorable experience for couples, as well as their guests.
The Hormel Historic Home features the 1871 House Museum, the Peace Garden, and the Carriage Hall Event Center. This event venue isn’t like any other in the area. Charming elegance abounds at every turn, making the house a perfect wedding venue for just about any wedding ceremony or reception. Whether the event is inside the historic house, outside in the Peace Garden, or inside the Carriage Hall Event Center, the wedding is sure to be everything the bride and groom dreamed. The professional staff at the Hormel Historic Home work with couples at each step of the planning process to transform their unique style into a memorable and amazing wedding experience.
Amenities and Facilities
The Hormel Historic Home is able to accommodate wedding of up to 250 guests. The Banquet Hall is great for wedding receptions. The Banquet Hall can accommodate up to 250 guests, or can be divided into three smaller rooms, with each able to seat up to fifty or sixty guests. The Peace Garden is perfect for outdoor wedding ceremonies and cocktail hours. This event space is recommended for use from June until September. Color in the garden peaks during July, making the garden space with a water feature and gazebo even more beautiful. The Hormel Historic Home features an Atrium, Library, Dining Room, and Living Room that can accommodate groups for sit-down events, as well as more open house style events within a beautiful historic setting.
The venue offers flexible options for catering, allowing wedding couples to choose whichever catering service they would like for their wedding reception. Options for alcohol during wedding receptions range from a fully hosted bar, budget/partially hosted bar, to a cash bar. Wedding packages at the Historic Hormel Home include event planning, set up, clean up, tables, chairs, linens, flatware, china, barware, and glassware. Suites are also provided for the bride and groom and the rest of the bridal party to get ready.
The Hormel Historic Home is located at 208 4th Avenue NW in Austin, is wheelchair accessible, and offers on-site parking.
208 4th Avenue NW, Austin, MN 55075, Phone: 507-433-4243
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