Lush, emerald-green hills wrap around a bend in the Minnesota River, where it meets the Blue Earth River. Dotted with crystal-clear lakes, beautiful parks, and a few golf courses, Mankato is a stunning city. Toss in gorgeous, historical architecture that punctuates the skyline and it is no wonder Mankato is recognized as one of the most livable cities in the country.
Mankato is the county seat of Blue Earth County, and it is home to several colleges and universities, including Minnesota State University-Mankato, Bethany Lutheran College, and South Central College-North Mankato Campus.
Taking full advantage of its spectacular natural setting, Mankato is famous for impressive hiking trails and parks. Minneopa State Park shows off its magnificent waterfalls with a trail that winds around the falls and leads down a limestone stairway to an impressive gorge. A year-round campground, picnic areas, scenic overlooks, and the historic Seppman Windmill make this one-of-a-kind park a must-see. The Seppman Windmill is all that remains of the town of Minneopa. Settled in the 1870s, the town was soon wiped out by a swarm of grasshoppers that obliterated crops every summer for five years. The windmill was built by one of those hardy residents, Louis Seppman, who used the windmill to power his flour mill. The windmill was struck by lightning on several occasions, eventually causing all of the arms to break off.
Mankato was settled in 1852, just three years after Minnesota became a US territory. The Blue Earth County Courthouse, an ornate Italianate-style building, was completed in 1886 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Renesselaer D. Hubbard House, also on the National Register of Historic Places, was built in 1871 and currently serves as a museum.