Founded by German settlers, the center of this town boasts a glockenspiel with 37 bells and animated figures that move as the hours chime. At noon, 3 pm and 5 pm each day, panels in the clock slide open to reveal mechanical figures that re-create scenes from the city's history. True to its roots, New Ulm also has a brewery (the August Schell Brewing Co. is open for tours) that's more than 100 years old, a sausage shop, stores selling German imports, and an annual Oktoberfest.
Drive west another 50 mi/80 km and you'll come upon Walnut Grove, the site of the Laura Ingalls Wilder Museum, dedicated to the author of Little House on the Prairie and other tales of prairie life in the 1800s. New Ulm is 75 mi/120 km southwest of Minneapolis and St. Paul.
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