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Byron (Minnesota)

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pristine Byronian landscape

Byron is a beautiful town in southeastern Minnesota. It is famous for its renowned Somerby Golf Club and Oxbow Park and Zollman Zoo.

Understand[edit]

The Great Bear statue in front of the multimillion dollar complex of high schools is made entirely of lawnmower blades. Anthropologists believe this unusual form of construction undoubtedly holds unique symbolic value for locals.

Byron has a long and glorious history stretching way back to around the 1890s, when the tiny railway post was still called Bear Creek (pronounced "crick"). It got this name because a farmer thought he saw a bear once down in a little creek that flows through the outskirts of town. Resident Byronians keep this fascinating tradition alive by painting everything school-related with sweeping murals of majestic black bears and erecting awe-inspiring sculptures to the beast. Tourists should be open-minded, however; this is by no means considered by locals to be idol worship or to weaken their steadfast following of the Christian faith.

Get in[edit]

Byron is conveniently located just outside of Rochester, Minnesota, home of the Mayo Clinic. Rochester has its own international airport. From here, your best bet would be to drive with a car, though you could also rent a cab from Rochester. Byron is the first city west of Rochester on Highway 14. Be careful though, because if you blink, you may miss it.

See[edit][add listing]

There are endless possibilities of things to see in Byron. For example, there is the brand new high school with its enormous bear sculpture made out of lawnmower blades. Furthermore, there is the Oxbow Park and Zollman Zoo, which is about 20 minutes from the city center, but definitely worth the drive. There you can camp, hike, and see native animals including bison or buffalo, and foxes.

Do[edit][add listing]

Byron is home to a number of bars and a bowling alley. Unfortunately, the bowling alley is only sporadically open, based on a complicated mathematical equation dealing with the position of the stars. One can also golf at either of the two golf courses. Undoubtedly the best thing to do during the summer, however, is to go to the local swimming pool, located just outside of Downtown.

The athletic teams of Byron High School are synymous with excellence. Be sure to catch a game if you are in town. Several championships have been won over the last decade (since 2003), but the most memorable sporting event of all time was played in 2001.

In 2001, the Byron Bears Boys' Basketball Team traveled to Rochester for a closed door scrimmage against the prominent John Marshall High School Boys' Basketball team (JM). The home team, JM, featured two 7 foot players that later received D1 scholarships.

Unfortunately no students or fans were in attendance to verify the outcome of the game because they were locked out of the gymnasium. Hundreds of students pounded on the doors in attempt to get in to witness the action, but to no avail. Even the local news channel, KTTC, attempted to get in to film the action, but they were unable to get in until the competition was over.

Only the players know the true outcome, but it is rumored that Byron's Point Guard, Joe Koenig, drained a last second 3 pointer to claim a 1 point victory in this scrimmage even though scoring wasn't actually kept.

Eat[edit][add listing]

Certainly the best place to eat in Byron is the Bears Den. Another favorite is Otto's Bakery, which has delicious donuts and other pasteries. There are also several fast food restaurants located along the scenic Frontage Road. There is an authentic Mexican restaurant called Mexican Tacos Restaurant. I would highly recommend the item "Mexican Tacos."

Drink[edit][add listing]

As previously mentioned, there are a number of entertaining bars. These are also good places to local-watch. Most are equipped with pool tables and even dart boards. Many locals' favorite thing to do is bar-hop down Frontage Road. They start out at The Bears Den (no apostrophe involved). After some hefty eating, the next stop is 3 Ds- a very classy bar. Twenty paces West (as the crow flies) is Frankn Stein Restaurant and Bar (yes, they really do spell it that way). I would highly recommend avoiding this place. Trek a bit further West on the Frontage Road and you will come across The American Legion. At this fine establishment, one pays homage to all the many veterans of this glorious town by drinking an excessive amount of liquor, as the joke goes, to forget you came in the first place.

Sleep[edit][add listing]

Unfortunately at this time there are no four star hotels in Byron, but there are surely some apartments that haven't burnt down that have vacancies.


Stay safe[edit]

Although Byron is a largely listless...er, peaceful metropolis, it does come with its share of dangers. In recent years there has been much ado in the Pulitzer-winning publication The Byron Review about a rough-and-tumble gang setting down roots in Byron. The young gangsters, variously referred to as the Byron Thugs (B. T.) or the Gangster Disciples (G. D.) (all very B. A.), have been reported to spray paint playground equipment with their initials and ride skateboards in public parking lots. Although the specifics of their gang-attire remain unknown, it is probably best if tourists simply avoid all punk-looking 10- to 14-year-olds while vacationing in the area.

Get out[edit]

This is probably most people's favorite part of their excursions to Byron.


Routes through Byron
MankatoOwatonna  W noframe E  RochesterLa Crosse





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