Things to do in Austin

The Elam House, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, is located in Austin, Minnesota, Home of the world famous Hormel Foods Corporation.

  • SPAM Museum - The Museum has moved to downtown Austin and re-opened on April 22, 2016!   The new address is 101 3rd Ave. NE.   Guests are encouraged to Tour the world famous SPAM Museum.   The SPAM Museum features audios, videos and displays depicting the rich 121 year history of the Hormel Foods Corporation.  The self-guided museum tour is free, interactive, educational and fun for all ages.
  • Hormel Historic Home - In addition to the SPAM Museum, tour the Hormel Historic Home which will open a window into the life of the George A. Hormel family.   The 1871 home is where Hormel lived with his wife and son when he founded Hormel Foods, Inc.  Now restored to early 1900s decor, the 14-room home is open for self-guided tours.
  • J.C. Hormel Nature Center - Cross Country Ski or enjoy the wildlife at the J. C. Hormel Nature Center.   This is a 507 acre center which features hardwoods, restored prairie, ponds, pine forests and Dobbins Creek.   Ten miles of hiking and cross country ski trials, as well as a one-third mile paved trail.   There is also a three story observation tower, canoe rentals and cross country ski rentals available for use on site.
  • Shooting Star Bike Trail - Go for a bike ride on the Shooting Star Bike Trail.
  • Belle Paddle Boat – Go for a boat ride on East Side Lake on the ‘Belle’ paddle boat.
  • Historic Paramount Theatre - Take in a movie or a play at the Historic Paramount Theatre.   The Paramount Theatre is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, originally opened September 14, 1929 and was designed for stage theatre and first run movies.   It is just one of a few Atmospheric Theatres remaining in Minnesota.  The Theatre was designed to represent being in the courtyard of a quaint Spanish village with twinkling stars and rolling clouds overhead.
  • Sola Fide Observatory – Enjoy star gazing at the Sola Fide Observatory.   This observatory is located on three acres of land, donated to Austin by a local doctor in 1991.   Inside the 12 foot ash dome is a 10-inch refractor telescope with a five-inch refractor mounted on the top.  The facility is open to the public when volunteers are available to show visitors constellations and other celestial bodies.
  • Ice Skating – Go ice skating on our backyard rink or at Riverside or Packer arena.
  • 3rd annual Austin Artworks Festival - 3rd week in August at the former Austin Utilities Plant in downtown Austin.    Admission is free and it will feature over 100 artists, musicians and authors – all with Austin connections.    For further information go to
  • Beaver Lake Estates - enjoy a day at the beach on Beaver Lake.   Beaver Lake is a 30 minute drive north of Austin just off I-35 near Ellendale.    A great recreational lake.    Launch your boat and go for a ski, wake board, fish, whatever you enjoy on the water.    If you fall in love with the lake, there are 6 one acre wooded lots for sale as well.   For further information, go to
  • Austin Convention and Visitors Bureau - Contact Nancy Schnable for a list of additional things to do while in Austin or go to their website at

Feel free to take a walk, bike or roller blade in our quiet residential neighborhood.   If you bring a canoe, you could launch it nearby (about a block away) and paddle down turtle creek.

These are just a few of the attractions/activities that Austin has to offer.   However, the main attraction for our guests, of course, is staying at the Elam Guest House!   Lounge in the guest living room and take in a video on Frank Lloyd Wright.   Or just read a book or a magazine while having a cup of tea or coffee by the fireplace.   Cook your own meal in our fully equipped kitchen or dine out at one of Austin’s fine restaurants.   Don’t forget that we provide a tour of the entire house in addition to the guest area as part of your stay.   We hope you will enjoy looking at every nook and cranny of our beautiful home.


Local Attractions




Spam Museum
Spam Jam – First week in July
Hormel Historic Home
JC Hormel Nature Center w/ Cross-County skiing in the wintertime
Mower County Fair – 2nd week in August
Mower County Historical Society
Shooting Star Bike Trail
Historic Paramount Theater
SPAMtown Belle boat ride on East Side Lake
Sola Fide Observatory (1.5 miles south of Austin)
Disc Golf at Todd Park
Austin Bruins Jr. A Tier II, Hockey Team

Diamond Jo Casino – Northwood, Iowa

Chateau Raceway
Meadow Greens Golf Course
Riverside Arena and Packer Arena

Book your room today and stay at a Frank Lloyd Wright Home!

The Elam House has all the amenities you will need for your stay.

View photos of The Elam House through our photo album

Learn about The Elam House, Architect Frank Lloyd Wright and its Owners