Erin Murtaugh: Favorite things about Albert Lea in summer

Published 9:51 am Thursday, June 9, 2016

Erin Murtaugh is a a nursing student at Rasmussen College in Mankato. She can be reached at

With the first day of summer approaching, I was thinking about what makes Albert Lea so great in the summertime. So, I came up with a list of my top five favorite things about summer in Albert Lea.


1. Fountain Lake

As gross as it is right now, Fountain Lake is a staple for Albert Lea. The city is based around this big, cool shaped lake. Not only is the city geographically based around it, but it is also recreationally a centerpoint for this town. On any given weekend in the summer, the lake is filled with boats and jet skis. People who don’t go out on the lake on a boat or jetski could be found walking the lake, spending time at Edgewater or hanging out at the beach. At night, the lake shore is lined with people fishing. I can’t wait to see how lake life changes once the dredging project is done. Albert Lea truly is the land between the lakes.


2. Waterskiing

When I was 6 years old, I learned to waterski. My dad had joined the Bayside Water Ski Show Team the year before, and I decided I wanted to try it, too. Ever since, I’ve been in love with the sport. Due to some conflicts, I wasn’t able to ski the past three years, but I’m back this year and as excited as ever to be on the water.


3. Downtown

Since the downtown remodel, there’s just something cool about being downtown. There’s a historic feeling to the downtown area because of the buildings, but the nice sidewalks, benches, flowers and fixtures make it seem modern. Whenever I go downtown to get a coffee, lunch, or to get my hair done at Expressions, I can’t help but smile at what a cool downtown area we have. Being able to enjoy it while it is warm out makes it just that much more special.


4. Trails

One of my favorite things to do in the summer is bike and rollerblade. Albert Lea is the perfect place to do both. The Blazing Star Trail makes for a good long distance bike blade ride and is nice and peaceful. The lake has sidewalk almost all the way around it, also making it ideal to bike or blade.


5. Wind Down Wednesday

I attended my very first Wind Down Wednesday two years ago to take photos for Albert Lea magazine. Last year, I had my own booth as a vendor with my art during the August event. One reason I really enjoy the event is because it reminds me of Art in the Park, an event that was held at Katherine Island when I was younger. I love seeing local artists, musicians and food vendors come together to make such a cool event. The even greater thing is when there are lots of people that show up for it. The first one is next Wednesday, and I highly recommend going.

It gets to be pretty easy to overlook the beauty in this town, but I’m glad I live where I do, especially in the summertime. Albert Lea is a great city that’s blossoming with things to do outdoors.