Mankato offers many opportunities and adventures. Let Visit Mankato help you plan just the right visit for you. You can start your planning using these great itineraries for ideas and inspiration. Use them as a general overview and starting point or follow them step by step. The timing of each itinerary depends on your own pace and interests.
3-Day Weekend Guide
Discover the Byway
Trip worth writing about
Lil Miss Foodie
Picnic Food Adventures
Bike it – Your Guide to Biking and Hiking in Greater Mankato
Mankato is a welcoming, bike-friendly city. You’ll find some of the best trails in the state and scenic roadways with wide shoulders and little to moderate traffic. Our trail system offers a spectacular view of areas that may not always be explored, especially if you stick to the roads. You can follow trails along streams and cross upland and wetland areas, where you can see all kinds of wildlife. You never know what is around the next bend. Make sure to check out our Biking and Hiking guide for suggested biking loops created by local riders who are biking enthusiasts just like you.
Download the Biking and Hiking Guide PDF. Go>
Greater Mankato On the Move Mobile Tours – Take it at your own pace
Enhance your experience of the CityArt Walking Sculpture Tour and the Poetry Walk and Ride with the use of OnCell Audio Tours. Just look for the QR codes on plaques and signs along the various tours. There are also phone numbers you can call to hear the tours. You can use your cell phone, smartphone or tablet to listen to information about each specific portion of the tour. Look for the Mankato On the Move Audio Tour logo.
Greater Mankato On The Move Mobile Tour. Go>
Step Back in time with Betsy-Tacy – Discover Deep Valley
Sitting quietly on top of Center Street Hill in Mankato you’ll find the childhood home of Maud Hart Lovelace, beloved author of the Betsy-Tacy series of children’s books. As you visit the many significant Betsy-Tacy sites on this tour, try to erase the view of modern advances and imagine a simpler time of the early 1900s when horses and buggies filled the streets. According to Maud Hart Lovelace, many of the characters in her books are based on real people. Their homes are located throughout the neighborhood. The Discover Deep Valley brochure lets you take a walking tour of the most significant landmarks mentioned in the Betsy-Tacy books. The Betsy-Tacy houses are open for tours as well. Please contact the Betsy-Tacy Society for that schedule: betsy-tacysociety.org or 507.345.9777.
Download the Betsy-Tacy Walking Tour PDF. Go>
A River Runs Through It – Bent River Outfitter Guided Tours
Bent River is an outdoor adventure outfitter located in Old Town Mankato (360° virtual tour) , specializing in guided trips throughout the Blue Earth County river valley. It also rents kayaks, canoes, snowshoes and stand-up paddle boards (SUP). Join tour guides on a prescheduled event or set up your own personalized tour. Make sure to ask them about Big Moe and Triple Falls. This is a tour of Mankato you cannot get unless you are floating down one of our beautiful rivers.
Find out more about Bent River Outfitter. Go>
Immerse Yourself in an Outdoor Art Gallery – CityArt Walking Sculpture Tour
See and enjoy art out in the open at CityArt Walking Sculpture Tour. In this annual, year-long tour, you’ll find thirty-four sculptures by artists from around the world in mediums ranging from painted steel to marble throughout City Center Mankato. Take a self-guided sculpture walk by downloading the CityArt audio tour from the CityArt website, cityartmankato.com or from the QR code located on each sculpture nameplate. Tour maps/brochures and Kids Scavenger Hunt maps are located in the voting boxes along the tour or also on the website.
Honor Mankato’s Veterans – Veterans Memorial Tour
Hikers and bikers can honor the service of all veterans any day of the year by visiting the Greater Mankato area’s 14 memorial sites on the Trail for Heroes. This 12-mile scenic route winds through the two historic city centers and beautiful natural landscapes as it leads visitors to monuments that commemorate the sacrifices of veterans from the 1800s to the present day. The route uses public roads and trails that are easily accessible on foot and bike, and parking is available at most locations if you prefer to reach the sites by vehicle. Amenities along the way include parks with varieties of recreational opportunities and businesses with shopping, dining and other services.
Download the Veterans Memorial Tour PDF. Go>
Take Time to Heal from a Troubled Past – The U.S.-Dakota Conflict of 1862 Self-Guided Tour
It has been more than 150 years since the U.S.-Dakota Conflict. At least 450 white settlers and soldiers lost their lives along with many unrecorded Dakota casualties and forced removals. In the present day we try to understand the events leading up to the conflict along with the grim outcome – the simultaneous hanging of 38 Dakota on December 26, 1862. It was the largest mass execution in US History. The U.S.–Dakota Conflict also was the largest attack on settlers in the history of the U.S. This Self-Guided tour brings you to 33 sites of the U.S.-Dakota Conflict. Each site offers a brief description of its significance.
Download the U.S.-Dakota Conflict of 1862 Self Guided Tour PDF. Go>
Historic Farm Sites -Guided and Self-guided Tours
You only have to drive 20 minutes east of Mankato to step back in time 200 years! Farmamerica offers self-guided walking tours of its historic sites through a free mobile app, or call ahead for a tour guide expert who will help you explore how families survived the 1850s and discover how technology helped make farm life easier in the 1930s. The ¾-mile paved walking path leads to a sod-roof home, blacksmith shop, schoolhouse, and 1930s farm site complete with farm animals and big red barn. Go>
A Tour of Visual and Poetic Beauty – Poetry Walk and Ride
Enjoy Mankato’s public art project – the Poetry Walk and Ride. The Poetry Walk and Ride will take you through several beautiful parks and along recreational trails in search of 34 poems by local poets. You can read the poems or listen to the poems read by the authors in an audio tour format.
Insights into Mankato’s History – City Center History Walking Tour
The History Tours includes historical sites in Mankato. The tour offers photos and brief descriptions of each site and a detailed map to help you find your way through Mankato’s fascinating history.