Historic places include: Historic Cedarhurst Mansion, Schilling Archeological District, Atkinson Cemetery, Cottage Grove Town Hall, Old People's Home of the Northwest Cemetery, Grey Cloud Lime Kiln, Historic John P. Furber House, Historic Dr. Arthur H. Steen House, Historic First Congregational Church (Accacia Lodge No. 51), Historic William W. Furber House, Cottage Grove Cemetery, Historic Harry Roberts House, Lamar Avenue Larch Trees, and Hope Glen Farm. The "founding father" of Cottage Grove was James Sullivan Norris. Norris was a New Englander who settled in Afton in 1839.
Cottage Grove's public buildings include the Library, City Hall, Ice Arena, Fire Station, and Public Works building.
Cottage Grove includes one of the two remaining drive-in theaters in operation in the Twin Cities area, the Cottage View Drive-In. It is located near the Innovation Road exit of Highway 61.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 37.9 square miles (98.2 km²), of which, 34.0 square miles (88.0 km²) of it is land and 3.9 square miles (10.2 km²) of it (10.39%) is water.
There were 9,932 households out of which 49.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 72.9% were married couples living together, 8.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 14.8% were non-families. 11.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 2.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.07 and the average family size was 3.32.
In the city the population was spread out with 32.7% under the age of 18, 7.4% from 18 to 24, 34.4% from 25 to 44, 20.7% from 45 to 64, and 4.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 32 years. For every 100 females there were 99.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 98.0 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $65,825, and the median income for a family was $68,935. Males had a median income of $45,567 versus $31,232 for females. The per capita income for the city was $23,348. About 1.8% of families and 2.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 3.5% of those under age 18 and 2.6% of those age 65 or over.
Seann William Scott was born in Cottage Grove.
Former NBA player Sam Jacobson grew up in Cottage Grove.