Nestled into the bluffs of the Mississippi River lies a town everyone in the area needs to visit, Red Wing. Known for its beautiful river settings, this town is the perfect place for a parents’ night away, family trip, or ladies weekend. At just under an hour from Rochester, this is even a good place to have an adventurous play date with a mom friend and her kids. I have extended family members that have lived in Rochester since before I can remember; as a teenager, we went to Red Wing for tea and shopping. As a mom, wife, and self-proclaimed Minnesota explorer, I have discovered Red Wing has much more to offer.
Here is a shortlist of things to do while you visit:
- Hiking. He Mni Can – Barn Bluff Hike is one of the most highly recommended hikes in the area for its outstanding views of the Mississippi and the area.
- Boating. Bring your own or rent a pontoon at the Red Wing Marina and float along the Mississippi.
- Fish. Kids love fishing; trying to hook a worm with a little one around is a sight to behold.
- Buy some pottery. Red Wing is famous for its pottery. My husband and I have been going there for day trips since we were married, and we own a few beautiful pieces that we love to display in our home.
- Go antiquing. There are many antique shops in the downtown area, as well as other cute boutique-style shops.
- Enjoy a meal. You can pack a picnic and sit right by the river and eat. Another option is dining at one of the many local restaurants. We enjoy the Veranda (located in The Historic St. James Hotel), because of its delicious menu and beautiful views.
- Biking. Drive to Cannon Falls and bike on the Cannon Valley Trail all the way to Red Wing. It’s just over 19 miles, the perfect length for good exercise. I would recommend parking a car in Red Wing if you can, especially if you are biking with children. A wheel pass is required, so check with local merchants.
- Trains. If your kids love trains as much as I do, you can watch many trains come in and out of Red Wing daily. You can also visit the Visitor’s Center, located in the Red Wing Depot. Watch your children closely, as this is a well-traveled train line, and trains come or go multiple times a day.
- Kayak. Go for an outdoor adventure with your spouse! Enjoy the wildlife of the Mississippi as you paddle along the river.
- Stay the night. From the historic St. James Hotel to a number of local Bed & Breakfasts, Red Wing has many options for a romantic night away.