Visiting New Ulm, MN – A Travel Story

New Ulm Travel ReviewVisiting New Ulm, MN A Travel Story

One of my favorite parts of traveling is visiting small towns that offer something special. New Ulm, MN is definitely one of those towns. Steeped in history, the town with a strong German influence is situated in the beautiful Minnesota River Valley. It’s amazing how much history there is to discover and how many fun things there are to do in a town with a population of under 15,000!

Schell Brewery Tour New Ulm

We headed to New Ulm for a late June weekend visit and filled our days with lots of fun and great food. One of the highlights of our trip was a visit to Schell’s Brewery, the oldest Brewery in Minneosta and the second oldest family-owned brewery in America. The grounds of Schell’s Brewery are beautiful on the banks of the Cottonwood River. Visiting the brewery is also a bargain! Tours are only $3 and include a beer tasting session at the end. (1919 Root Beer, which is brewed by Schell’s, is available for those who want to skip the beer.)

Schells Beer Taps

New Ulm is home to lots and lots of festivals throughout the year. The weekend we visited was Auto Fest, a fact that elated my husband. Over 300 vehicles were on display –  everything from old classics to modern custom vehicles. Auto Fest was also conveniently located right next door to our hotel, the Best Western Plus, New Ulm.


We also spent plenty of time eating in New Ulm. Lunch at Turner Hall, home to the oldest bar and oldest gym in the state of Minnesota, was delicious. While dining we also had a chance to check out the hand-painted murals of Switzerland, Italy and Germany that adorn the walls while hearing about the history of Turner Hall and The Turners from our friendly hostess.

Turner Hall New Ulm

For a fun night out and more great food we visited Grand Kabaret with dinner from the adjacent Pepperboy. We enjoyed listening to a local acoustic duo from nearby Mankato while eating a delicious pizza from a wood fired oven. As a dessert junkie, I went nuts for the s’mores dessert, also made in that wood fired oven – a plate of melty chocolate covered with toasty marshmallows served with graham crackers for dipping. So good!

Grand Kabaret Pepperboy

Just outside of town, a fascinating place to visit is Harkin Store. It is the only building remaining from the once vibrant town of West Newton. When the newly built railroad bypassed the town it was forced to close. Much of its unsold inventory remained on its shelves where you can still see it today. Stepping inside feels like stepping back in time.

Harkin Store New Ulm

Doing some more exploring back in downtown New Ulm, we checked out the unique Glockenspiel, shopped at Guten Tag Haus and picked up some treats from the Backerei & Coffee Shop. But we couldn’t leave New Ulm without visiting the Hermann Monument. The statue, erected in the late 1800s, depicts  Hermann the Cherusci, the ancient hero who liberated Germany from Roman rule in ancient times. We climbed the staircase allllll the way up to the base of the statue for an amazing view of New Ulm and the river valley.


We spent only a weekend in New Ulm, but could have easily stayed a week or more. We’re already planning a return trip for Oktoberfest!

About Chrysa

Chrysa is the founder and owner of, a site dedicated to living a fabulous life on a frugal budget. Her approach is that by spending less on the boring everyday stuff, you can have more money to splurge on the things you REALLY want, whether it’s travel, fashion, electronics – you name it! Chrysa is married, has a 9-year old nephew she dotes on, as well as three lovable cats and a big sweetie of a German Shepherd.


  1. What a fun trip! Those old cars are the coolest!

  2. Robin Rue (@massholemommy) says:

    SOunds like such a fun place to visit. Glad you had fun!

  3. That looks like such a fun place to visit. There are SO many different things to see.

  4. looks like a fun time. You found so many fun things to do

  5. Catherine S says:

    This looks like a cool place to visit. I would love to go to the brewery and I would have to try that S’mores dessert.

  6. I would never guess that an area in Minnesota has German influence. How super cool and the beer is my kind of added bonus!

  7. What an awesome trip! I should really check this place out. That pizza looks amazing by the way!

  8. I visited MN about 2 years ago and it was just beautiful. The countryside was really gorgeous.

  9. What a neat town to visit! Also, that pizza looks so good!!

  10. I think my husband and I need to visit that brewery too. Sounds like a neat place to visit.

  11. This looks like a great place to visit. There is so much going on and so much to see.

  12. Debbie Denny says:

    That is an amazing trip. My hubby would go there (he doesnt travel much). Just beautiful.

  13. This looks like a fun place to visit. The food looked tasty!

  14. I would love to visit Minnesota. I hope to take some road trips next summer.

  15. How fun! I have been home for a few weeks straight, and I’m itching to go do something new. This looks like a great place to visit.

  16. Ann Bacciaglia says:

    This looks like an amazing place to go and explore. Out of the two cars the blue one is my favorite.

  17. I love small towns as long as they are “city” and have a bit of a downtown area and things to do. Not a fan if small town means rural and they have nothing – not even their own post office. My mom lives in a town with 1 gas station, 1 bank and 1 counter for post office stuff.

  18. We have a lot of small towns like that where I live. I used to travel as a teen to some of the places but as an adult none o my friends are interested. So I can’t wait to take my kids on the road.

  19. Looks like you had a blast! Perfect for a quick weekend away!

  20. What beautiful pictures! Looks like a lot of fun, I would love to travel more!

  21. Small towns are really cool. They are always filled with little treasures. This looks like a nice one to visit. I can’t say I’ve been to Minnesota yet.

  22. New Ulm looks like a really cool place to visit. I have never been to a brewery before but if we were there I am sure that my hubby wouldn’t pass up that part of the trip, lol.

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