Owatonna is located in southern Minnesota. The city is a regional destination and the seat of Steele County. It is a community rich in history as seen in its downtown buildings, city parks and local shop interiors. Owatonna was named after the Dakota name for the Straight River, "Wakpa Owothanna." The Straight River and Maple Creek wind through the city creating scenic landscapes adjacent to downtown.
The unique downtown district was built fromthe late 1800s to the early 1900s. Beautiful brick storefronts line Cedar Avenue, Bridge Street and Broadway Street. National Farmer's Bank, designed by Louis Sullivan in 1907, is listed as a National Historic Landmark for its architectural significance. This was the first of eight 'jewel box' banks Sullivan designed and is considered an example of the Prairie School of Architecture. The bank is a tourist attraction due to the preservation of its ornate detail. The downtown district is listed on the National Register of Historic Places since 2015.
Central Park is located in the midst of downtown, surrounded by shops and the Steele County courthouse. The park includes the original 1893 fountain, a band shell, picnic areas and mature trees. Central Park is a prominent community gathering space, hosting events throughout the year, such as Music in the Park concerts.