Houston County, Minn.
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Houston County, Minn., is home to a number of hardworking and creative towns nestled in the beautiful bluffs and valleys of the driftless area. Each community has unique histories, businesses, organizations, and amenities to offer visitors and residents alike. Together they sustain a vibrant, thriving corner of the state.
The City of Brownsville is located on the eastern side of the county, along the Mississippi River, with a population of 500. In late October every year, tens of thousands of tundra swans migrate to the Brownsville area of the Mississippi River, and the river affords great birdwatching year-round, including bald eagles.
Every July, the Brownsville Lions Club hosts Brownsville Days festival.
Centrally located, and the county seat, Caledonia has a population of about 3,000. Annual festivals include fall and winter hot air balloon rallies and Founder’s Day in June. Caledonia is also the location of the Houston County Fairgrounds, as well as the Houston County Historical Society.
Eitzen is in the extreme south end of Houston County near the Iowa border, and has a population of about 230. Every year, the Eitzen Lions Club hosts an enormous Family Fun Fest on the Fourth of July, bringing thousands of people to tiny Eitzen.
Hokah is between Caledonia and La Crescent, on Highway 44/76, and has a population of 550. Situated right on the Root River and the Historic Bluff Country Scenic Byway (Highway 16), Hokah’s crown jewel is the beautiful Como Falls.
Houston has a population of about 1,000, and is situated along the Root River and Historic Bluff Country Scenic Byway (Highway 16). Houston’s Nature Center and Natural Playground marks the trailhead for the Root River State Trail. Houston is also home to the International Owl Center.
Houston’s annual celebrations include the International Owl Festival held at the beginning of March, and the summer fest, the Houston Hoedown Days.
La Crescent is the largest community in Houston County, with a population of about 5,000. It is directly across the Mississippi River from La Crosse, Wisconsin.
La Crescent is known for its long history of apple orchards and apple stands, and celebrates its designation as the “Apple Capital of Minnesota” with the annual Applefest every fall.
Spring Grove is a community of around 1,300, and is located in the southwest end of Houston County.
A tight-knit community with strong Norwegian heritage, Spring Grove’s annual city celebrations include Syttende Mai and Uffda Fest. Spring Grove is home to such organizations and businesses as the Giants of the Earth Heritage Center and Spring Grove Soda Pop.