Why Mankato?Visit Mankato
Escape from the everyday in Mankato. In Minnesota, only Mankato offers enriching cultural encounters such as headliner concerts, theatre, music, visual arts and lively entertainment in combination with our vibrant City Center, extensive cycling trails and historic river valley. While you’re here you’ll also find just the right combination of small town feel and thriving regional center. Mankato is a hub for arts, entertainment, shopping and nightlife. And, it’s all so close. Just a short 75 miles from Minneapolis, Mankato is an easily accessible Minnesota destination of choice.
Our Top “Why Mankato” Picks
Visit Mankato staff have years of hospitality experience and really KNOW the destination from insider tips to local hangouts, where to find the perfect romantic view or an only in Mankato find. Check out our must-sees, must-eats and must-dos while in Mankato.
“My favorite thing to do is visit Sibley Park with my kids. There is so much to do there with the playgrounds, petting zoo, trails and river.” – Anna Thill
“My favorite thing to do is walk, run or bike alongside the Minnesota River on the Red Jacket Trail. The trail offers miles of scenery, river crossings, picnic areas and parking at various fragments of the trail.” – Danielle Duffey
“When it’s time for me to kick back I like to take in a MoonDogs baseball game on their deck with a beer and a brat.” – Chris Willaert
“As a music lover I appreciate a great concert! There is no shortage of live music options in Mankato, especially at the Verizon Center and at Riverfront Park.” – Joelle Baumann
“I have been attending the Kiwanis Holiday Lights since its inception in 2012. Even when I lived three and a half hours away, a trip to Mankato for the display was a must-stop holiday tradition. The Kiwanis Holiday Lights are simply awe-inspiring!” – Katie Adelman
“I love the water! On beautiful sunny days, I can be found swimming at Hiniker Pond, kayaking down one of Mankato’s rivers or just watching the water flow at Riverfront Park.” – Crystal Olson
“I really enjoy visiting Minneopa Falls. The scenery is beautiful and a great afternoon can be spent having a picnic or hiking through the falls area. It’s one of the first places I took my boys when they were little when we moved back to Mankato,” – Carrie Kijenski
Top 10 Must-Sees
- CityArt Walking Sculpture Tour
- Sibley Park
- Minneopa Falls
- Minnesota State University, Mankato Theatre
- The natural wonders along the Blue Earth River
- Red Jacket Trail
- Mount Kato
- Minnesota State Mankato Hockey
- Mankato MoonDogs Game
- Tour or tasting at a local winery or brewery
Explore Mankato. Go>
Top 10 Mankato Menu Picks
- Pub 500 Sloppy Jo – They are extra sloppy.
- Dino’s New York Style Pizzeria Pizza – Voted best pizza in town.
- Number 4 Bloody Mary – It’s so good breakfast comes free with it.
- Olives Schwarma – There is a reason you can now buy their sauce and the reason is because it’s amazing.
- Dam Store Pie – This dam pie is award-winning. Once you try it, you’ll know why.
- Wagon Wheel Breakfast – Have breakfast with the locals at a great price.
- Tokyo Sushi & Hibachi – Must try the Mankato Roll.
- Tavern on the Avenue Super Fries – They may not be able to fly, but they are delicious.
- Tandem Bagels – Hot, fresh, homemade bagels never tasted so good.
- Mom & Pops Ice Cream – 32 mouth-watering flavors to choose from. Try them all. We won’t judge.
Eat in Mankato. Go>
Top Annual Events
- Mankato Marathon – October
- Mahkato Annual Traditional Wacipi Honoring the 38 Dakota – September
- Mankato River Ramble – October
- Songs on the Lawn – June
- Alive After 5 – August
- Red Hot Boom – July
- Ribfest – August
- Kiwanis Holiday Lights – November-December
- Riverfront Park Concert Series – May-September
Events in Mankato. Go>