Nestled in the heart of the scenic Minnesota River Valley, New Ulm fits the bill if you're looking for a location for a business meeting or conference that's a bit off the beaten path, yet culturally rich in German history. New Ulm is located 90 miles southwest of the Twin Cities on Highways 14 and 15.
The Kaiserhoff and other New Ulm restaurants serve up authentic German cuisine, while festive polka music plays in specialty stores like Guten Tag Haus and Domeier's German Store. The town boasts The Bohemian and Deutsche Strasse bed and breakfasts, and its 45-foot-tall glockenspiel is one of the world's few freestanding carillon clock towers. The bells chime the time of day in Westminster style. Also, annual festivals like Oktoberfest, Fasching and Bavarian Blast feature German cooking, polka bands and the town's Concord Singers belting out favorite German folk songs. (For a complete list of festivals and dates, go to http://www.newulm.com and search the "Event Calendar.")
>> The Holiday Inn New Ulm-which features 126 guest rooms, all with free high-speed Internet access-has full meeting facilities, full banquet capabilities and experienced meeting planners. The hotel's German Rivers Conference Center, which breaks out into six meeting rooms, offers just the right setting for everything from small meetings to large conferences.
>> The Rhein River Arts Center housed in the historic and restored downtown Grand Hotel is great for groups of up to 40. It is adjacent to the Three Sisters Tea Room, which provides catering.
>> For a taste of history, guests can tour the John Lind House, a Victorian home that was restored to its 1887 origins. John Lind, Minnesota's 14th governor, built the house when he and his family lived in New Ulm, and it was often the center of the community's cultural activities. The house is available to rent for meetings and events.
>> Visitors can order specialty beers from New Ulm's very own August Schell Brewing Co., the nation's second-oldest brewery, where the Schell family has been brewing beer on the outskirts of town since 1860. Meeting attendees can tour the Brewery and Museum of Brewing and explore its unique gift shop. Schell's is well-known for producing some specialty German beers like Pilsner. The brewery, housed in its original brick buildings, is a popular tourist stop, as are its gardens and deer park on the brewery grounds.
Population: About 13,000
Nearest airport: New Ulm Municipal Airport (ULM); Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport is about two hours away by car.
Conventions centers/Large event spaces:
For more information:
New Ulm CVB // 888.463.9856
This article has been re-edited for the Web. Article originally by Liz Wolf.