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Highlights of the Shooting Star Scenic Byway

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Minnesota Monthly

Minnesota Highway 56 has wildflowers, parks, and attractions for a perfect spring trip

It’s time to bust out the bikes and sneakers. Spring is upon us, and our Minnesota wildflowers are blooming. For the best selection, check out the Shooting Star Scenic Byway, a 31-mile stretch just topping the Iowa-Minnesota state line. Catch the blossoms, and experience some other choice stops along the way…

Historical Sites

The Hormel Historic Home, built in 1871, is one of many spots that can take you back in time. Ionic columns adorn its classical revival facade. Nearby, catch a show at the Historic Paramount Theater, which features unique Spanish architecture.

Stroll into the late 1800s in Historic Forestville and tour a museum, general store, and picnic on site. For even more charm, stop at the Spring Valley Methodist Church Museum. Laura Ingalls Wilder, author of Little House on the Prairie, even attended this church. Learn about the history in the museum or just enjoy the architectural beauty.

Museums and Exhibits

The Spam Museum provides a detailed history of this canned meat. It’s in downtown Austin, so it’s easy to stop by while wandering through the local shops. At Sweet Reads Books, there’s a different kind of exhibit—one dedicated to the Berenstain Bears! Relive this children’s classic with the store’s wide array of collectibles.

Apart from Austin, small exhibits and museums cater to niche interests. In Preston, the National Trout Center provides hands-on activities and fishing lessons on site.