On The Road: Wabasha - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

On The Road: Wabasha

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WABASHA, Minn. (KTTC) -- Wabasha, Minn. is known for many things, but one of its biggest claims to fame is being a part of the "Grumpy Old Men" movie. Now, one of the biggest questions that you may have when coming to Wabasha is what is there to do and how many grumpy old men are there?

As far as the grumpy old men go, they are hard to come by, even with an entire winter celebration in honor of those lovable men portrayed by Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau.

Wabasha is a quiet community, nuzzled against the Mississippi River. Being grumpy is a hard task when you could just sit down on a park bench and enjoy the sights, either in the quaint downtown business district or along the river, taking in the majesty of mother nature.

As for the things to do, that question can best be answered by people who are traveling there.

"I like this place because it has lots of good eagles and I really like it," said Rachel, a young visitor from Chatfield.

A trip to Wabasha would not be complete without a stop at the National Eagle Center, where you get to spend some time with some of our flighted friends and learn more about this majestic creature that represents our country.

"We have four bald eagles and one golden eagle that we take care of that people get, literally, a nose-to-beak experience with," explained Scott Mehus, education director at the National Eagle Center. "They get to take photos with him, they get to take part in one of our educational programs to learn more about eagles."

It is as close as anyone can get to our national symbol without seeing one in the wild, and that opportunity can be found in Wabasha, Minn.

"This could be in Washington," Mehus said. "Washington has some eagles, but we have more. There's 200 to 300 that winter right outside our door. We have a nest right across from us here by the bridge that we can watch right from the National Eagle Center here. You can't recreate that in Washington, we have that naturally going on right in our own backyard."

Everything else going on in our own backyard is what draws even more people to the city.

"My family would love this place, and they do," said A.J, another out-of-town visitor enjoying a nice vacation. "You know why? Because it's so nature."

Nature does provide a sense of beauty that man simply cannot replicate, which is why many flock to the waters around Wabasha to fish or to simply enjoy the sights and sounds along the river.

"Just that small town close feeling, and it's beautiful here," said Melinda Lastine, a visitor from Chatfield, "whether you're on the lake or downtown shopping at all the centers."

Beyond the reaches of nature lies a town, full of people and full of heart.

"You wave at people you recognize and even at people you don't, you wave at them because now you know who they are and you learn a little bit more about them," Mehus said.

That certainly goes against the idea that it is a city full of grumpy old men.

"Hard to be grumpy in Wabasha, it is," Mehus said. "It's pretty easy to be happy all the time."

"Maybe Wabasha isn't as grumpy as people think it is, but Wabasha definitely is a spot where people can come to have a great vacation when you're on the road."

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