The city is named after topographer Albert Miller Lea who surveyed the area with the United States Dragoons in 1835. In 1857, six buildings made up the entire village, and the first public school term began in a small log building. The State Legislature granted the city charter in 1878, and the local government was officially organized. From modest beginnings, Albert Lea grew into a flourishing community.
Today, Albert Lea is home to several interesting sites, including its three main lakes, the Marion Ross Performing Arts Center, and Myre-Big Island State Park. Whatever your reasons for visiting Albert Lea, it's important to find the right hotel that allows you to explore everything the Land Between the Lakes has to offer.
When to Visit Albert Lea, MN
The best time to visit Albert Lea is in the summer from June to August. Average highs hover around 80 degrees all summer long, which is perfect for exploring the area's many outdoor recreations. You'll have plenty of opportunities to go camping, paddling, fishing, boating, biking, golfing, and more. Even during peak summer season, you can still find affordable hotel rates throughout Albert Lea and surrounding areas. Best of all, the Freeborn County Fair opens at the end of July, which is an event you won't want to miss!
Winters in Minnesota are harsh, and average highs rarely get above freezing in Albert Lea. Most visitors stay away from December through February, but if you must travel during the winter, you can score some unbeatable hotel rates. Just be sure to book refundable rooms and flights since the weather can get dicey and you may need to cancel your trip.
Spring and fall can be quite pleasant in Albert Lea, but it all depends on when you visit. The city still experiences freezing temperatures in early March, but temps climb to the upper 60s by mid-May. Fall cools off quickly, with October experiencing average highs around 59 degrees. In general, expect chilly evenings and pack plenty of clothing layers.
Below is a chart of the current pricing seasonality of hotels and motels in Albert Lea, MN:
Albert Lea, MN: Prices by Star Rating Class
Below are 3 charts illustrating avg. price trends by star rating class in Albert Lea, MN. Browse these line graphs to calculate the best time period to stay in Albert Lea for your upcoming travels.
Luxury Hotels in Albert Lea, MN
Prefer a more upscale stay while visiting Albert Lea? Country Inn & Suites by Radisson Albert Lea MN offers unbeatable luxurious on a budget. Enjoy a beautiful indoor pool, a fitness center, a business center, free high-speed internet access, free coffee and cookies in the lobby, and a homey lounge with a fireplace that's perfect for socializing at the end of a long day. Modern guest rooms and suites feature 32-inch flat-screen TVs with extended cable, microwaves, refrigerators, work desks, ironing facilities, and available rollaway beds. Full-size sleeper sofas are also included in every guest suite.
For a more indulgent stay, consider Best Western Holiday Lodge in nearby Clear Lake, Iowa. Located about 40 minutes from Albert Lea via I-35, this accommodation boasts a 24-hour fitness facility, an indoor pool, a hot tub, a free hot breakfast buffet, freshly baked cookies in the lobby, a 24-hour business center, event spaces, and an on-site Bennigan's restaurant. Guest rooms feature flat-screen TVs, ergonomic work areas, irons, ironing boards, coffee makers, microwaves, and miniature refrigerators.
If you prefer to stay closer to Albert Lea, check into Best Western Plus Albert Lea I-90/I-35 Hotel near Riverland Community College. This conveniently located hotel isn't as upscale as some of the options you can find outside of Albert Lea, but it offers an indoor pool, fitness center, free breakfast with waffles, freshly baked cookies in the lobby, and a business center. Each room includes an LCD television, microwave, refrigerator, recliner, and pillowtop bed.
Affordable Hotels in Albert Lea, MN
3 Star Average Prices: $128.22
Finding an affordable hotel in Albert Lea is easy no matter when you visit.
Motel 6 Albert Lea is conveniently located on Main Street near the Freeborn County Historical Society. Guest rooms are clean and modern with wood-effect floors, workspaces, bathrooms with granite countertops and raised wash basins, and 32-inch LCD televisions with gaming connections. Free coffee is available in the lobby, and there are ample parking spaces for cars, buses, trucks, and RVs. Guests can also take advantage of the free Wi-Fi access.
Comfort Inn Albert Lea offers an indoor pool, complimentary breakfast, fitness facilities, a business center, a bar area, and pet-friendly rooms. Guest rooms feature coffee makers, flat-screen TVs, work desks, microwaves, refrigerators, and flat-screen TVs. Best of all, the hotel places you near all nearby attractions, including the Spam Museum, Northbridge Mall, Diamond Jo Casino, and the Story Lady Doll Museum.
If you don't mind staying a little further out, consider a stay at Super 8 by Wyndham Owatonna. Located off Highway 35, this pet-friendly hotel offers a 24-hour reception desk, free breakfast, a meeting room, and free Wi-Fi. Guest rooms include mini refrigerators, microwaves, coffee makers, hairdryers, alarm clocks, work desks, closed-caption TV, and hypoallergenic bedding.
2 Star Average Prices: $89.07
Where are the real discounts in Albert Lea
If you qualify, you can save even more money during your stay in Albert Lea by taking advantage of discounted rooms rates. AAA members, seniors, military families, government employees, and hotel rewards members can all book discounted rooms priced at an average of 15 percent below the regular room rate.
AAA members can save big at AmericInn by Wyndham Albert Lea, which is located near the intersection of Interstates 35 and 90. Amenities include free parking, an indoor pool, hot tub, a complimentary homestyle breakfast, a meeting room, and pet-friendly rooms. Guest rooms are bright and modern with flat-screen high-definition TVs, coffee and tea makers, microwaves, mini-fridges, and hair dryers.
Seniors can enjoy discounted rates at Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites Albert Lea I-35. Located on Main Street, this convenient accommodation features on-site fitness facilities, an indoor pool, and a free breakfast. Rooms boast blackout shades, separate hanging closets, bathroom toiletries, hair dryers, microwaves, refrigerators, coffee makers, work desks, iPod docking stations with clock radios, and flat-screen TVs.
Military families can save on rooms at Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites Northwood, which is located less than 15 miles from Albert Lea's city center. Enjoy a relaxing indoor pool, a free full breakfast buffet, complimentary coffee in the lobby, and a 24-hour fitness center. Guest rooms include irons, ironing boards, work desks, flat-screen TVs, iPod docking stations, and operable windows. Connecting rooms are also available.
Best Value Options in Albert Lea, MN
Albert Lea offers plenty of mid-range hotel options that give you extra perks for the money.
Ramada by Wyndham Albert Lea is situated on Main Street off Highway 65 near Interstates 35 and 90. The property features a versatile meeting and banquet space, business amenities, a complimentary breakfast, free parking, an indoor pool, hot tub, sauna, event planning services, laundry services, and free Wi-Fi internet access. Guest rooms feature dark wood furnishings, wood-effect floors, ergonomic work areas, and flat-screen TVs. There's also an on-site restaurant.
Country Inn & Suites by Radisson Northwood IA is a rural accommodation outside Albert Lea that's worth considering. Take advantage of the hotel's 24-hour fitness center, free Wi-Fi, indoor pool with hot tub, safe-deposit box, freshly baked cookies, and complimentary newspaper. Sizable guest rooms and suites include coffee making facilities, LCD cable TVs, ironing facilities, microwaves, mini-fridges, full-length mirrors, and hairdryers. Suites add an addition TV, dresser, queen-sized sleeper sofa, and separate living area.
Holiday Inn Austin Conference Center in nearby Austin boasts 10,000 square feet of meeting space, a 24-hour fitness center, an indoor pool, a whirlpool, an on-site restaurant, and a delicious breakfast available for an additional surcharge. Guest rooms have been newly renovated with triple-sheeted beds, high-speed Wi-Fi access, separate hanging closets, ironing facilities, blackout shades, mini-fridges, microwaves, and coffee makers. Upgrade to a suite to enjoy a Jacuzzi or separate living area.
Top Attractions in Albert Lea, MN
During your visit to Albert Lea, be sure to experience the region's history at the Freeborn County Historical Museum. The museum and library are open year-round Wednesdays through Saturdays, and the historical village is open from May to September. The village itself features 18 preserved buildings from Albert Lea's past, including an old county school, general store, blacksmith shop, log cabins, mill house, shoe shop, train depot, barbershop, and more.
The best spot for outdoor recreation in Albert Lea is Myre-Big Island State Park, a 1,578-acre savanna and prairie area that protects 8 miles of Albert Lea Lake shoreline. Bring your family camping, canoeing, hiking, or birdwatching. You can even experience spring and fall migrations at the park, so be sure to download the Big Island State Park bird checklist when planning your visit.
Whether you're coming to Albert Lea for recreation or business, you'll quickly discover a city brimming with history and natural beauty. From upscale accommodations to budget-friendly roadside hotels, Albert Lea offers a variety of options to meet your travel needs.