Fairmont is located in southern Minnesota along the I90 corridor. Fairmont is known as the city of 5 lakes. Water channels connect all the lakes, except for one–Amber Lake. Believe me when I say, there is no shortage of water fun!
If you are looking for a place to get away from all the world’s craziness or just want to spend fun time with your family or kids or yourself, Fairmont will meet all of those needs. As you will see, Fairmont has a lot to offer. It truly is a hidden gem. Come and find out for yourself as I outline the 10 Best Things to do in Fairmont.
I selected specific things to do and places to see that are unique to Fairmont. The eating establishments I chose to highlight are all local.
Okay, let’s get started!
1) Water fun!
With 5 lakes, finding a fishing spot is no problem. Grab your fishing pole and either launch your boat or fish from the shore. It doesn’t matter–fish are everywhere.
Need some fresh bait, a fishing license, or other fishing accessories? Check out Sommer Outdoors (1547 Albion Ave, Fairmont), located 1/2 block from a boat launch at Gomsrud Park.
Bring your Boat or Rent a Pontoon or Jet Ski
With five lakes, there is no shortage of boating areas. If you don’t have a boat, you don’t have to miss the fun. Rent a pontoon or jet ski at Hall Lake Cabins (2410 Albion Ave, Fairmont).
Also, ask a local about the sandbar on Hall Lake.
Outdoor Aquatic Park
Fairmont’s Aquatic Park (1400 S. Prairie Ave, Fairmont) is fun for all ages, young and old.
Rent a Kayak
Don’t want to rent a boat or jet ski? How about renting a Kayak at Gomsrud Park (260 W. Lair Road, Fairmont). The kayaks are located on the north side of the park. Rentals are available at Sommer Outdoors (1547 Albion Ave.). Available from Memorial Day-Labor Day.
2) Outdoor fun
Outdoor Mini Golf
Located near the Fairmont Aquatic Park (1400 S. Prairie Ave) you will find an outdoor 18-hole mini-golf course. Putters and balls can be checked out for FREE at either the Aquatic Park, Graffiti Corner, or the Martin County Library.
Fairmont Dog Park – Where people and dogs can enjoy each other! Located at 1450 S. Prairie Ave. (near Aquatic Park).
Fairmont has many walking and biking trails. Here are a few of my favorites:
Walk path near Heritage Acres. Take the walking path on the west side of Sisseton Lake. Once the pavement stops, you can turn back or continue walking around the lake using the streets and sidewalks.
Cedar Creek Park – Another great walk. Follow the trail where you will circle back to the beginning.
Walk Trail on Margaret Street. Start at the Winnebago Sports Complex and head east. The trail will take you to hotels/McDonald/Speedway near the I90 and Highway 15 interchange.
3) The arts
Fairmont Opera House
Built in 1901, the historic Fairmont Opera House (45 Downtown Plaza, Fairmont) is home to a variety of art forms. This historic theater is being used for local and professional plays, live music and arts performances, local events, and private receptions and gatherings. Please check their schedule, as the Fairmont Opera House is busy with many performances. And the best part, the opera house is an intimate setting and you don’t have to pay for parking. Small town perks!
Red Rock Center for the Arts
The Red Rock Center (222 E. Blue Earth Ave, Fairmont) was built in 1898. Originally owned by the First Church of Church Scientists. The building changed hands many times in the past. Now a center for arts education, visual and performing arts. Check their current schedule for upcoming performances.
Martin County Library
4) Historical Sites
Martin County Veterans Memorial
A newly built Veterans Memorial (507 Winnebago Ave, Fairmont) honoring past veterans.
Martin County’s Veterans Memorial Site displays an actual Bell Cobra-Rotary Wing Attack Helicopter, AH-1-66-F-15327. U.S. Army records show this very helicopter is internationally famous for serving the US Army in both Vietnam and Laos from 1968 to 1971. Many Veterans remember how the Cobras saved their lives when they were outnumbered by the enemy.
The park is new and is in the process of development. Start at the memorial (with names inscribed) and then head down the path to the Cobra helicopter. Highly recommended!
Heritage Acres (507 Lake Ave, Fairmont) is an interpretive farm. A wonderful place to see agriculture from the past. A fun and interactive early 20th-century farmstead with events and exhibits.
Martin County Historical Society
The Martin County Historical Society (304 E. Blue Earth Ave, Fairmont) goal is to preserve and share Martin County’s rich history.
The Hobo Camp is located between George Lake and Sisseton Lake. Take a walk along the Hobo trail and put yourself back in time, imaging what life was like as a train-hopping hobo.
Lincoln Park Livingston Log Cabin
The cabin was erected in the 1864-66 time period on North Silver Lake. It was built and originally occupied by Mr. & Mrs. W. L. Livingston who came to this area as pioneers shortly after the end of the Civil War. The Livingston Log House, aka “Livingston Cabin,” was believed to be Martin County’s longest continually inhabited log house up to the time of its initial preservation.
The Orville P. and Sarah Chubb House (209 Lake Ave, Fairmont) is a historic house in Fairmont, Minnesota, United States. Built in 1867, the Chubb House is the oldest residence standing in Fairmont, and the only surviving house known to have been built with brick from Fairmont’s first brickyard.
5) Fun places to eat and drink
The Ranch Family Restaurant
The Ranch Family Restaurant (1330 N. State St, Fairmont) A family restaurant and home to the Michael Garman 3-D cityscape display located in the lobby. Please allow some time to look at the meticulous detail of the sculptured cityscape. It is one of a kind. You will be amazed at the detail. The Ranch is also known for its wonderful breakfasts.
Graffiti Corner (1500 S. State St, Fairmont) offers coffee, a fun food menu along with a frozen yogurt bar. It is situated in a very relaxed environment with an outdoor patio. A great place to eat, have a cup of coffee or enjoy a FroYo treat.
You may wonder where the name “Graffiti Corner” came from. There was an old shed that was traditionally used for graffiti by the local high school students. When they tore it down, Graffiti Corner was built. The perfect name I would say.
Great place to meet with friends for good conversation. Or a place to read or work.
The Channel Inn (330 W. Lair Rd, Fairmont) has the best hamburgers in town! Outdoor eating is available during the summer months. Boat piers are available. Summer music on weekends. A really fun place to spend your summer evenings.
The Marina Lodge
The Marina Lodge (501 Lake Ave, Fairmont) has outdoor eating available. Piers are available for boats. Summer music on weekends.
Bean Town Grill
Bean Town Grill (1400 N. State St, Fairmont) is probably the most upscale eating available in Fairmont. Are you wondering where the name Bean Town originates? It’s to commemorate and acknowledge the soybeans grown locally. So, no, they don’t serve soybeans, but they do serve delicious food.
Jakes Pizza (211 Downtown Plaza, Fairmont) is a staple in Fairmont. People who have lived here in the past remember Jakes Pizza as THE pizza place. As they return to Fairmont to visit, many remember Jakes from their youth and it is always a “must stop.” Good pizzas and great memories.
Tami’s on the Ave
Tami’s on the Ave (2710 Albion Ave, Fairmont) is a bar and grill. Weather permitting, outdoor seating is available.
Fairmont Brewing Company
Fairmont Brewing Company (414 Downtown Plaza) is Fairmont’s newest addition. Locally sourced is important. Hops are grown locally.
A map of all 29 city parks with a description of each. I would like to highlight a couple of the parks:
Gomsrud Park (260 West Lair Ave) has adaptive playground equipment and has the most playground equipment of the parks.
When everyone is done playing for the day, head on over to the Dairy Freeze (1506 Albion Ave, Fairmont) for a cool ice cream treat. It’s only a couple blocks away and is a local favorite or if you are hungry, walk over to the Channel Inn!
Lincoln Park (located on North North Ave – near the north end of Fairmont) is the prettiest park. Plenty of flowers, benches, and swings. Perfect place to unwind, meditate, or sit back and enjoy the gifts nature. Home to the Livingston Cabin.
St. Pauls’s Lutheran School park (211 Budd Street, Fairmont) – not officially a park but is a great place to take young kids because the play area is fenced in. Allows mom and dad (or grandma and grandpa) to relax a bit not having to worry the kids will run to where they should not be.
7) Fun activities to see and do!
Downtown Fairmont (Downtown Plaza) is worth exploring. A little art, a little history, unique and fun shopping and restaurants. Jake’s Pizza, El Agave, Edie’s Restuarant and an authentic Mexican food truck are just a few of the places to satisfy your hunger.
Hog Wild Pig Statues
Going Hog Wild Pig Statues. There are 36 with the hopes to expand that to 100. Businesses sponsor the pigs with local artists designing the pig statues. Why pigs? Because Fairmont is located in Martin County, the largest hog-producing county in Minnesota. In fact, the county also ranks nationally. Think “lots of bacon!”
Jeff Kott Soccer Field
Do you have the urge to play soccer? Check out the soccer fields (1801 S. Prairie Ave, Fairmont)
Are you a fan of disc frisbee or do you want to learn? Fairmont is home to the largest Disc Frisbee Golf in the state. Located at Cedar Creek Park (3400 Cedar Park Rd, Fairmont)
I know we would all love to skateboard, right? Well, maybe not everyone, but for those that do–you are in luck! A skateboard park is located next to the Martin County Humane Society (522 E.Margaret St, Fairmont).
Interlaken Golf Club
For the golf enthusiasts. Fairmont has a golf course within city limits. Interlaken Golf Club (277 Amber Lake Rd, Fairmont).
9) Local foods
Can you smell a fresh cup of coffee? Fairmont is the home to Loxley Coffee (428 E. Blue Earth Ave, Fairmont). The Bread Box is known to sell some of its products at Loxley’s and the Farmer’s Market.
The Bread Box
The Bread Box (1244 Albion Ave, Fairmont). Bread items available at Loxley Coffee and at Fairmont’s Farmers Market. They are not a brick-and-mortar business as of yet.
Who doesn’t love a farmer’s market? You never know what you will find. Fairmont Farmer’s Market (5 Lakes Shopping Center) is no exception. Check the schedule for times and days.
Martin County Magic Seasoning
A seasoning named after our county. Highly recommend Martin County Magic Seasoning on pork as well as other foods (I heard it’s good on tator tots). Visit any of the local grocery stores and find the seasoning near the meat displays. If not, it can be ordered.
Whole Grain Milling
Whole Grain Milling grows and processes organic grains direct from the farm. They make tortilla chips and baking flour. Their products can be found in local grocery stores.
Imagine local homemade jams. Well, you don’t have to imagine. They are available locally. Simply Homemade. Don’t wait any longer – find them at local establishments or order them online.
Fairmont Butcher Block and Welcome Meats
Local meat lockers. Each has its specialty meats. Welcome Meats (515 Bidwell St, Welcome) has 35 different varieties of brats. You will surely find one (or two or three or four . . . ) that you will like. Fairmont Butcher Block (917 Winnebago Ave, Fairmont) has a variety of meats available.
Center Creek Orchard
Center Creek Orchard (663 254th Ave, Fairmont) is a fun place to visit during the fall. Along with a wonderful array of apples and apple foods, there are many fun activities for kids. And I am not exaggerating. They will love visiting the orchard.
10) Places to Stay
The Marina Lodge cabin rental is one of the nicest places to rent. It is located next to the Marina Lodge restaurant and Sisseton Lake.
Hall Lake Cabins
Hall Lake Cabins is a place to stay lakeside.
You will also find an array of hotels right off of I90 and Highway 15.
As you can see, there is so much to see, do and eat in Fairmont. MN. Plan to stay a day (or two). You will find it hard to run out of things to do for all ages in Fairmont. You will not be disappointed. Practice a little self-care and enjoy a sliver of small-town living.