Owatonna, Minn., is a thriving community of 24,000 people, boasting one of the strongest economies in Minnesota. Located just 38 miles from Rochester, Minn., and 60 miles south of Minneapolis/St. Paul, Owatonna is home to more than 40 industrial businesses.
Schools: First-rate public and private school systems, plus the Pillsbury Baptist Bible College and Minnesota Riverland Technical College, offer post-secondary and higher education programs.
Recreation: One of the city's most popular recreation areas is Kaplan's Woods Parkway, which offers 225 acres for hiking, biking, jogging, picnicking and cross-country skiing. Within the scenic Parkway, Lake Kohlmier offers swimming, sailing, fishing and canoeing.
Excellent golfing is available at public and private courses, several of which are staffed by full-time golf instructors. For tennis enthusiasts both outdoor and indoor facilities provide opportunities for year-long participation.
Cultural Attractions: Because many residents love music and the arts, the Owatonna Arts Center displays the work of many local and national artists. A unique sculpture garden attracts visitors, as does the Little Theater of Owatonna, which puts on several dramatic, comic or musical productions each year.
Shopping: Cabela's Outfitters, a popular shopping and tourist destination, attracts nearly 4 million visitors to Owatonna each year. Medford Outlet Mall is located just 10 minutes north of Owatonna on Interstate 35. And, of course, the Mall of America -- the largest mall in North America featuring every major retail store -- is just 45 minutes north of Owatonna in Bloomington, Minnesota.
Downtown Owatonna features many independent shop owners who will provide you with "great finds" for gifts, crafts, flowers, framing and antiques. Clothing stores in the area feature unique designs and exquisite fabrics at very reasonable prices. Before you leave, you must sample some of Owatonna's internationally famous hand-rolled chocolates. After all that shopping, you'll want to sink into one of the chairs at a local coffee shop, sip a flavored coffee and try some homemade soup or a cinnamon roll. Owatonna shops are famous for their one-of-a-kind merchandise, good taste and charm.