The Locals Recommend…

The Locals Recommend…


We asked, “What would you recommend for people to see/do if they had one day in Big Stone County” and our residents responded with this list. So, utilizing the map above, we will list their recommendations starting in the southern part of Big Stone County and ending at the northern end.

The Refuge Bar, Odessa

I think many of “us locals” enjoyed Chris Teske’s choice of words when he made his recommendation – “The Refuge Bar in Odessa is lovely year round.” – With our fun aside, The Refuge Bar is really enjoyed by many here on the MNbump and is a favorite for returning hunters.

Odessa Jailhouse

Walk through this little piece of Big Stone County history located in the center of town.

Club 7/75 – Steak Cubes & Prime Rib

You’ll find Club 7/75 just outside of Odessa on Highway 7 (66844 State Highway 7, to be exact) Enjoy great food – especially known for their Prime Rib on Wednesday nights and their Steak Cubes!

Wildlife Refuge Auto Tour, just south of Ortonville.

11,586-acre Big Stone Wildlife Refuge with a 5.2-mile auto tour and also hiking trails throughout – a great place to go!

Bike/Walk Path starts in Ortonville & goes to the Wildlife Refuge Auto Tour

The Bike Trail enters the Refuge (noted above). The trail is paved as it leaves Lakeside Park in Ortonville and is a hard-packed natural surface for the last mile once you enter the Refuge property. At the above location, you will again have a great hard surface and 5 miles to ride in the refuge along the auto tour.

Big Stone Lake, starts in Ortonville and goes to the north/northwest for 26 miles!

Swimming, tubing, kayaking… fishing (Sunfish Bluegills, Perch, Walleye, Northerns, Bass) Located at the head of the Minnesota River.

Farmer’s Market, Ortonville – and only on Saturday mornings

In-season, they have an amazing selection of locally grown produce plus more! They set up in Lakeside Park in Ortonville Saturday mornings. Check out their website for the latest information: Big Stone Lake Farmers Market

Artie’s Bait and Tackle, Ortonville

A must stop if you are in the area to do some fishing! Grab some bait & pick up a Big Stone Lake map. Artie’s has the latest fishing & hunting information and a great selection of supplies. Join the 14,996 people (at last check) who follow their Facebook Page and stay in “the know” of everything to do with the outdoors in the area! LINK to Facebook Page

And… as noted in the recommendation, Artie’s Bait and Tackle was voted the best Bait Shop in Minnesota by a WCCO survey!

Let’em Buck, Ortonville

This store is packed full of the latest in women’s & men’s clothing – with boots, shoes, jewelry, and more! They are located up along Highway 75 (700 US Hwy 75, Ortonville) Check out their Facebook Page for the latest peeks at their inventory – LINK Facebook Page You can also buy online on their website: LINK to Website (but I’d highly recommend a visit in person – so much fun!)

OMG Shop (The Ortonville Mercantile)

This shop is an experience! They are a woman’s shopping dream stop (and I’m speaking here as a woman… ha) – with a wide selection of unique finds… women’s clothing, jewelry, shoes, bags, wall art. Check out their Facebook page!

Ortonville Mystery Games

Mystery room options changing all the time. Check out their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/OrtonvilleMysteryGames

Ortonville Downtown Shops

Yes, Ortonville is a great town to stop and enjoy the downtown shops, coffee shops & eateries. Check out the city’s RelaxURhere.com page on their website for more information about this community (and a short video).

Meander & The Red Barn

Becky’s Red Barn

The Red Barn and the Big Stone County Meander recommendation is a one-time per year event and part of the Upper Minnesota Valley Meander Art Crawl that features 40 local artists from Ortonville, Appleton, Madison, Milan, Dawson, Montevideo & Granite Falls. 2022 is already scheduled – check out The Art Craw website LINK

The video above was taken during this year’s Meander. And although The Red Barn is only open to the public during the Meander, you can find Becky’s Red Barn candles and greeting cards to purchase all year downtown Ortonville at Lingonberry’s!

Ally Cat Bowling

Yes, a great place to go bowling – but thought I’d share a photo to remind everyone they also have great food! Check out their Facebook Page!

Berkner Pizza

A great place for pizza, chicken & more! They have an excellent buffet (buffet not served on Mondays) Located in one of Ortonville’s historic buildings. Check out their latest specials on their Facebook Page!

Headwaters Grill & Bar – Burger! – Downtown Ortonville

While they have a great full menu (and drinks of course) – their Burger was the recommendation given — and they are very good!! On the lower level, is the Headwater’s Jailhouse Winery – with a local recommendation to make wine!

Moose Lodge Burger Baskets & Bingo, Ortonville

Definitely a fun stop in Ortonville… recommending top of their list is the Burger Baskets!

Lingonberry’s, Ortonville, for Treats & Coffee

A great place to stop for that specialty coffee – with an amazing selection of treats and noon specials! They have both indoor seating and a nice cozy outdoor patio in the back. Make sure to check out their Facebook Page (hours are Wednesday through Sunday from 7:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.)

2nd Street Cafe and Coffeehouse

Located downtown Ortonville – serving all-day breakfast, a great menu selection, and amazing coffee!  Check out their Facebook LINK

Lakewood Supper club, Ortonville

Opens at 5:00 seven days a week – always! Great food in this log constructed supper club – and other than the winter/cold season, the most amazing outdoor seating for miles around! Just look at that evening view from their patio! You can check out their Facebook Page LINK or check out their website LINK LakewoodSupperClub.com and get info on the Supper club, their rental lodge, and Sioux Historic.

DQ Ice Cream (Ortonville) & Drive through the Refuge

The perfect drive – pick up ice cream in Ortonville and head south on Highway 75 to the Refuge!

Big Stone County Museum, Ortonville

Take a Picture with Paul Bunyan’s Anchor

The Chamber/Museum building is located as you come into Ortonville at the intersection of Highways 12 & 75. Buildings to walk through – with one building hosting an amazing bird display! A great spot to visit while here, on the MNbump!

Ortonville Golf Course

An 18-hole Municipal Golf Course with an amazing view of Big Stone Lake from the course and the clubhouse! Check out their website LINK GolfOrtonville.com

Pickleball, Ortonville

Located at the School’s athletic field (corner of Stephens Avenue & Minnesota Street) We have an amazing group of Pickleball players – who were also the volunteers and drivers that made these courts happen! If you are coming through town, stop for a game — and if there are players there, have a visit and play some doubles. They often times set a day/time and everyone that can make it comes and they draw numbers for partners. Fun group to check in with! They do have a private group on Facebook for connecting LINK Ortonville Pickleball

Neilson Park trails/view, Ortonville

This is a beautiful park in Ortonville on the top of a hill overlooking Big Stone Lake. There are trails that go down along the hill which were created back in the WPA days. A beautiful walk down to Main Street Ortonville.

Drive the Lake Road to Beardsley & stop at Overlook Park
while another recommends a drive completely around Big Stone Lake (which is beautiful also)

Big Stone Lake Overlook loop along Highway 7 between Ortonville & Beardsley

While the recommendation was the drive – I added a few photos from Beardsley (taken just a couple of days ago when I was in town click on them to scroll through larger/full photos). If you are traveling with kids – this is an awesome drive! Ortonville has great eateries & play parks and at the other end of this Lake Road drive, Beardsley has a wonderful park in the center of town along with three very good places to eat just down the road from the park.

Listening Stones Farm Studio, just south of Clinton

Pictured here is in his studio is owner John G. White (photo taken during this year’s Meander). This studio is located just up from the Big Stone Lake State Park. You can find more information on his Facebook Page John G. White Photos

Downtown Diner, Clinton – for lunch!

Great home cookin’ at this restaurant – a small diner on Clinton’s Main Street and right next to the Depot Park if you have kids looking for a fun stop (Clinton also have a large playground a few blocks away at the school)

Headquarter’s Bar, Graceville – Known for awesome Pizza

Too good to delay… started taking our pieces before the picture (oops!)
Graceville, beautifully located on Toqua Lake

AMAZING pizza – this is the consensus for miles around! You cannot go to Graceville and not stop for pizza at Headquarters, can you!??

Graceville Park & enjoy the lake view

Photos were taken from the Graceville City Website. This is a wonderful park on Toqua Lake and next to their golf course. They have beautiful treed RV spots on the lake, ballparks, playground – a perfect stop! For more information on Graceville, check out their City’s website LINK.

Cornfest in Ortonville

Cornfest weekend (always the 3rd weekend in August) is a perfect weekend to plan a trip to the area. Three days of non-stop activities put on by the Big Stone Lake Area Chamber

Campgrounds & Cabin Rentals

Big Stone County has wonderful lodging options – so many along Big Stone Lake!

Check out the complete list here: MNbump Lodging Options!

Hope you enjoy your time in Big Stone County (MNBUMP!)



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