8 Great Things To Do in Winona


The historic island city of Winona began as a logging town because of its natural resources and the Mississippi River. Traders, farmers and immigrants gathered here and the city grew. Today, Winona is home to three colleges and is more than just a bustling college town, but a beautiful area for visitors.

From outdoor recreation to festivals, shopping, eating and museums, Winona has so many things to do! So, we narrowed our list down to eight of our favorite things to do in Winona.

  1. Drive the Great River Road National Scenic Byway. Minnesota State Highway 61 is surrounded by scenic beauty at every turn and runs right through Winona. It’s not much longer to take than the interstate is from the cities, and during Fall it’s filled with vibrant colors.
  2. Play disc golf. Winona has two free 18-hole courses. The Woods, located in the bluffs at Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota, and The Willows, located on the flat grounds near East Lake. Winona also has a shorter course, with only nine holes, located at West Lake.
  3. Cross-country ski. Winona is home to groomed trails prized by cross-country skiers from all around the Midwest. Whitewater State Park and Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota are have some wonderfully groomed trails for skiing. Mother nature typically keeps snow on the ground, but snow makers help to keep these wonderful trails covered.
  4. Go hunting. With a hunting permit, you can track the abundant wildlife on public hunting land, or access premium hunting grounds through a guide service. Briggs Outdoors, LLC is a lodge and outdoor adventure farm that is best known for its record whitetail trophy bucks and beautiful rich landscape.
  5. Visit the Minnesota Marine Art Museum. Home to paintings by Van Gogh, Matisse, Picasso, Renoir and scores of other artists, all art at this museum depicts a scene with navigable waterways. With activities for both kids and adults, the Minnesota Marine Art Museum is one of the most unique and dynamic art museums around.
  6. Listen to live music. Winona’s music venues often serve food and drinks to enjoy, and have a calendar full of performances and events. Ed’s No-Name Bar and The Acoustic Café are two popular venues in downtown Winona for live performances.

  7. Visit during Steamboat Days. Winona’s week-long celebration includes a parade, classic car show, carnival, boat races, music and fireworks. Be sure to book a stay early this year; Winona’s Steamboat Days are June 11-15 this year.
  8. Visit the National Eagle Center. Located just up Minnesota State Highway 61, in Wabasha, the National Eagle Center allows visitors to see bald eagles up close and learn more about our national bird. Be sure to bring your camera for some great photos.


Did we miss anything? Be sure to share it in the comments below.