Hastings is a city in Dakota and Washington counties, in the U.S. state of Minnesota, near the confluence of the Mississippi, Vermillion, and St. Croix Rivers. Its population was 22,172 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat of Dakota County, which contains most of it as well as a small part extending into Washington County along the north bank of the Mississippi River. It is named for the first elected governor of the state of Minnesota, Henry Hastings Sibley.
The advantages of Hastings's location that led to its original growth are that it is well-drained, provides a good riverboat port, and is close to a hydropower resource at the falls of the Vermillion River. Other sites closer to the river confluence are either too swampy (Dakota County) or too hilly (Washington County and Pierce County, Wisconsin).
U.S. Highway 61 and Minnesota State Highways 55 and 316 are three of the main routes in Hastings.
The area around Hastings was first settled by a military detachment sent from Fort Snelling to guard a blocked shipment of supplies in the winter of 1820. A Lieutenant William G. Oliver camped in an area that would come to be known as Oliver's Grove, and in 1833 a trading post was opened there. After the Treaty of Mendota of 1851 opened the area for white settlement, Oliver's Grove was surveyed and incorporated as a city in 1857, a year before Minnesota's admission to the union.