WINONA, Minn — Hop in the car, grab the camera, and get ready to see one of the most scenic places in Minnesota. During mid-September through October, Winona is the place to be for seeing some of the most beautiful fall colors in the state.
The scenic drive along the Mississippi River on Highway 61 brings you next to the beautiful Lake Pepin, which is the birthplace of waterskiing, through Wabasha and finally right into the historic streets of downtown Winona. The downtown shopping district has quaint shops for those who love antiquing, cute little boutiques and gift shops or finding a nice spot for a hot cup of coffee.
The locals say for any new visitor, your first stop has to be at Bloedow's Bakery, Winona’s hometown bakery since 1924, known for their mouthwatering donuts.
After you indulge in Bloedow's sweet treats, burn off the calories by checking out all of the incredible sites throughout the entire town. The Sugar Loaf, which has been a staple of Winona since the late 1800's, is the town's most iconic distinguishing feature. Take a hike to the Garvin Heights Overlook to get a panoramic view of the entire city. Or if you don't feel like walking around, you can drive through the streets and look at the beautiful historic architecture and churches.
The best hidden gem sits right along the shore of the Mississippi River and that is the Minnesota Marine Art Museum. Here they feature local artists but also the original art of Picasso, Van Gogh, Renoir, Matisse and Monet.
You don't have to travel to Paris to get delicious pastries and priceless art.
Here are our 11 things to do and see in the Winona area: