Great River bluffs state park. Photo by Todd Buchanan.
The riverside city of Winona, Minnesota was historically a major industrial hub. Once a significant player in the production of wheat and lumber and home to one of the country’s largest ports, Winona’s history is steeped in a connection to the outdoors that persists today. But this industrial focus has largely given way to an emphasis on the arts, turning Winona into a cultural haven without the big-city chaos. Its abundance of preserved architecture, impressive art collections, and thriving theater and music scene imbue Winona with an arts community unusual for one of its size. If you’re planning a trip to the southeastern city, make this your one-stop guide:
- No idea where to start? Find inspiration from our Winona itinerary, listing all the best places to visit, dine, and shop.
- Winona is located approximately two hours south of the Twin Cities. For the most breathtaking sites, drive along Great River Road Highway 61 and stop by one of many scenic outlooks along the way.
- The Minnesota Marine Art Museum’s collection spans decades and includes works by many of the great painters in history. Learn how MMAM plans to shape their collection during its tenth anniversary year.
- Every summer, the Great River Shakespeare Festival pays tribute to the Bard by staging several of his classic plays.
- This restaurant guide highlights Winona restaurant Signatures, known for its fresh, locally grown meals and ingredients.
- Can’t find the perfect girls’ weekend destination? Look no further than Winona B&B Village House, which offers customizable travel packages.
- The Mid West Music Fest hits Winona every April, featuring sets from a number of local and regional artists such as Jeremy Messersmith, Charlie Parr, and Bad Bad Hats.
- We also checked out the annual Frozen River Film Festival, which showcases documentary films, speakers, musicians, and more that cover a wide range of topics.
- MnMo Editor Rachel Hutton and MPR host John Birge discussed where to visit and eat in Winona, touching on places like the historic Winona National Bank and Bloedow’s Bakery.
- Winona has a number of park and trails, including those for hiking and cycling, as well as a designated disc golf course. Kings Bluff trail in the Great River Bluffs State Park is among the most impressive in Minnesota.
- The annual Minnesota Beethoven Festival draws big-name musicians like Yo-Yo Ma and Joshua Bell to honor the classical master alongside local performers.
Check out visitwinona.com for more information.