27 Best & Fun Things to Do in Winona (MN)

Looking for the best and most fun things to do in Winona, MN?

Winona is a natural oasis in Winona County, southeast of Minnesota State, United States.

According to the 2022 census, the city has an estimated population of 26,772 people.

Named in honor of Winona, a famous first daughter of Chief Wabasha, Winona city is tagged as a family-friendly town with many recreational opportunities.

Winona, the county seat of Winona County, is home to an extensive collection of fun parks, scenic vistas, historic sites, nature preserves, and many more.

Make sure you visit places like Great River Bluffs State Park, Island City Brewing Company, John A. Latsch State Park, Acoustic Cafe, Alexander Mansion Bed and Breakfast, Winona County Historical Society, and more.

Are you planning a trip to Winona soon? Here are the top things to do in Winona, MN.

Things to Do in Winona, MN

1. Garvin Heights

Garvin Heights
Credits: KJK_MN / Shutterstock
Garvin Heights

Are you ready to go out for some fun? Add a visit to Garvin Heights to your list of fun things to do in Winona, MN.

Garvin Heights is located right on a towering escarpment up high in the sky, widely surrounded by stunning natural amenities.

This tower is encompassed by gorgeous oak savanna with a lush green environment and a revived goat prairie offering picturesque views of Lake Pepsin and Mount Trempealeau.

On a very bright day, you can see more than thirty miles of Winona and Mississippi River Valley from here.

There is an adequately maintained, spiraling trail that goes up the lookout to a staircase and then ends at a dirty curved path along the cliff’s edge.

You may also decide to hike, bike, or drive up the cliff to get to the overlook for one and a half miles.

Address: Garvin Heights Rd, Winona, MN 55987, United States

2. Minnesota Marine Art Museum

Minnesota Marine Art Museum
Credits: McGhiever [CC BY-SA 4.0], Wikimedia Commons
Minnesota Marine Art Museum
The Minnesota Marine Art Museum concentrates on researching humans’ special and current relationship with water.

These non-profit educational and art museum analyses are done using significant and innovative visual arts collections and presentations.

The Museum’s original collection features a large number of gathered traditional marine paintings and an enormous collection of folk artworks made by Leo & Marilyn Smith.

The Minnesota Marine Art Museum has accumulated numerous artworks over the years, including several works from European and American Idols such as O’Keeffe, Turner, Van Gogh, Renoir, Cassatt, Monet, and Picasso.

 Address: 800 Riverview Drive, Winona, MN 55987, United States

3. Lake Park

Lake Park
Credits: Tsuguliev / Shutterstock

Lake Park is a beautiful park owned and operated by the city of Winona, which encloses the stunning and peaceful Lake Winona.

One feature that attracts many people is the five-mile blacktop trail that stretches through the southern side of the city and encircles the lake.

This scenic trail offers remarkable views of Lake Park, including the communities and cliffs surrounding it.

You can take a quiet walk through the path or go on a biking and in-line skating adventure with your family and friends.

The Park features a beautiful beach with a boat pier, a skating rink open during winter, Veteran’s Memorial Park, a Frisbee golf course, a gorgeous rose garden, a band shell, and several picnic areas with a gazebo.

Lake Park also features playgrounds containing an extensive collection of play equipment which excites children and keeps them occupied.

Lake Winona is open for canoeing, kayaking, and stand-up paddle boarding. Visiting Winona’s Lake Park is one of the fun things to do in Winona, MN.

Address: W Lake Street, Winona, MN 55987, United States

4. Garvin Heights Vineyard

Garvin Heights Vineyard
Credits: Alefat / Shutterstock

For wine lovers looking for a good place to enjoy tasty wines, add a visit to Garvin Heights Vineyard to your list of best things to do in Winona, MN.

The location’s vineyard encompasses four acres with a winery of almost 1, 4000-square-foot and a wine production cellar of the same size.

The Vineyard produces over twenty varieties of wines from more than twenty different kinds of grapefruits.

There is a tasting room in a pastoral style with a large outdoor porch that overlooks the vineyard and the beautiful wooded area.

Garvin Heights Vineyard offers tasting, where guests are allowed to pick from a collection of current wines.

The winery also consists of a production area and an event center of 2, 250-square feet, which are available for rentals.

Address: 2255 Garvin Heights Road, Winona, MN 55987, United States

5. Sugar Loaf Bluff

Sugar Loaf Bluff
Credits: Randy Runtsch / Shutterstock
Sugar Loaf Bluff

Suppose you have never heard of Sugar Loaf; here is your chance to check it out, so add a visit to Sugar Loaf to your list of top things to do in Winona, MN.

Sugar Loaf, a soaring cliff unusually covered by a rock pinnacle just along the Mississippi River, is proclaimed the most distinctive location in the city.

The cliff was formed in the late 19th century by quarrying and went across the State Highway 43 and U.S. Highway 61 junction. The attraction was also added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1990.

Sugar Loaf, with its rock pinnacle, extends for almost 585 feet over Lake Winona.

Sugar Loaf, which features mind-blowing hiking trails and remarkable vistas of the city, river valley, and lake, is open to visitors.

Address: Corner of Highway 61 and Highway 43, Winona, MN 55987, United States

6. Winona County Historical Society

Winona County Historical Society
Credits: Myotus [CC BY-SA 4.0], Wikimedia Commons
Winona County Historical Society
Winona County Historical Society was established in 1935 to help collect and preserve the undying history of Winona.

So if you want to learn new facts about the city, visiting Winona County Historical Society is one of the top things to do in Winona, MN.

The Society carries out these tasks through three museums: the Winona County History Center, the Historic Bunnell House, and the Rural Heritage Museum.

The Winona County Historical Society is the central Museum and home to the Laird Lucas Library & Archives and intriguing exhibits.

The Historic Bunnell House, a Rural Gothic Architectural style house constructed for Willard Bunnell in the late 1940s, offers visitors an insight into the lifestyle of the people during the Victorian age and the early days at the Ancient Bunnell House.

You’re allowed to tour the home with guides who educate you about the various activities carried out during the Pioneer and Victorian eras.

The Rural Heritage Museum comprising a log house, log barn, and the Gainey-McCarthy schoolhouse, showcases exhibits about the county’s rural life.

Address: 160 Johnson Street, Winona, MN 55987, United States

7. John A. Latsch State Park

John A. Latsch State Park
Credits: Joe Passe / Flickr
John A. Latsch State Park

John A. Latsch State Park spreads for closely one thousand seven hundred acres and is located along the Mississippi River.

The State Park consists of three bluffs that soar up to 500 feet above the river, including Mount faith, Mount Hope, and Mount Charity.

The only noted route which leads to the Park is the Riverview Trailhead, consisting of 592 steps made of wood that stretches for half a mile and ends at Mount Charity.

John A. Latsch State Park offers visitors beautiful views of the Mississippi River and other surrounding oak forests, floodplain forests, and bluffs.

Address: U.S. Highway 61, Minnesota City, MN 55987, United States

8. Latsch Island-Aghaming Park

Latsch Island-Aghaming Park
Credits: Kaspars Grinvalds / Shutterstock

Latsch Island is another must-visit attraction for every outdoor or nature lover in Winona, located not too far from downtown Winona.

The attraction features an unusual collection of floating homes, the marina of the city, and Aghaming Park of 1,950 acres.

The Park, which is open to the entire public, is considered one of the outstanding conserved floodplain forests,

Put on your pants and hiking shoes, and prepare for an incredible hiking experience through Aghaming Park.

Latsch Island is also a place where you can while away your time either sunbathing or paddling as a way to explore the shores of the Island.

Address: Latsch Island, Winona, MN 55987, United States

9. Island City Brewing Company

Island City Brewing Company
Credits: Valentyn Volkov / Shutterstock

Island City Brewing Company is located in the downtown district of Winona, just adjacent to Levee Park.

The Company is housed in a building of 5,000 square-foot which was formerly used as a train station. The Brewery is divided into two equal parts; one part serves as the taproom while a 15- barrel brew house is the other.

The Brewery’s interior is graced with its initial red brick, which portrays a rustic décor, restoring its old-fashioned charms.

Island City Brewing Company features a well-organized tap room with couches, tables, bar seating in a traditional style, and lounge chairs.

The Brewery offers eight selected beers for tastings, including High forest, Docksider, cellar bear, and more.

Address: 65 East Front Street, Winona, MN 55987, United States

10. Pickwick Mill

Pickwick Mill
Credits: Maarten Daams / Shutterstock
Pickwick Mill

The Winona Pickwick Mill was constructed from 1856 to 1858 by Thomas Grant and Wilson Davis.

This historic gristmill is nestled on the Big Trout Creek’s banks. It is recognized as one of the oldest grist mills in the southeastern side of Minnesota.

The Pickwick Mill is a six-story structure and the first Mississippi Mill used for commercial purposes featuring a timber frame constructed from limestone quarried locally.

When you visit, you will find most of the ancient machinery used back in the days but in good condition and still usable.

The Mill is currently operated as a museum promoting its history by showcasing exhibits. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1970.

Address: 24813 County Rd 7, Winona, MN 55987, United States

11. U.S. Highway 61

U.S. Highway 61, popularly known as Blues Highway, is a beautiful highway traveling through the country’s center.

This highway stretches for 1,400 miles from the southern part of New Orleans into the vibrant Twin Cities before heading to the renowned Great Lakes and then the border of Canada.

In the past, this route has served other purposes not only as a road but as a gateway path for black Americans leaving the southern rural areas to settle in the new cities such as Chicago, St. Louis, and Memphis.

U.S. Highway 61 played an essential role in the history of the blues as numerous famous blues singers resided along the neighborhoods on its border.

Most singers wrote songs about going through the route, including Bob Dylan, Artie White, Willie Dixon, and more.

12. Basilica of St. Stanislaus Kostka

Basilica of St. Stanislaus Kostka
Credits: McGhiever [CC BY-SA 4.0], Wikimedia Commons
Basilica of St. Stanislaus Kostka
Basilica of St. Stanislaus Kostka, known as the oldest Catholic Church in the city of Winona, houses the Catholic Parish of St. John Nepomucene.

The Church was designed from 1893 to 1894 and was built in 1895, although the congregation began way back in 1871.

The Church, built in a polish-Cathedral style with an incredible golden dome, was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The Basilica of St. Stanislaus Kostka is characterized by a large marble alter, marble pillars, and stained glass windows.

Over the years, the Church has been refurbished countless times due to numerous disastrous events. Still, its structure remains a sight to behold.

Address: 625 E. 4th Street, Winona, MN 55987, United States

13. Polish Cultural Institute and Museum

Polish Cultural Institute and Museum
Credits: Jonathunder / Public Domain
Polish Cultural Institute and Museum

Polish Cultural Institute and Museum are located in a three-story historic structure built in 1890, dedicated to preserving the history of Winona Kashubian polish.

This Museum, which is right on the first floor, showcases an extensive collection of exhibits explaining the way of life of Polish immigrants in the city and other close-by communities.

The Cultural Institute features two close-by buildings, the Annex and the Schultz House-a historic structure.

Polish Cultural Institute and Museum consist of a lovely gift shop where you can buy books, music, attire, and other artifacts sourced from Poland.

There is an event hall consisting of a 165-foot-long mural describing the lives of Polish immigrants and their contributions to Winona.

Address: 102 Liberty Street, Winona, MN 55987, United States

14. Blue Heron Coffee House

Blue Heron Coffee House
Credits: Bojan Pesic / Shutterstock

Having a cup of delightful coffee in the morning is undoubtedly the best way to start your day, so add a visit to Blue Heron Coffee House to your checklist of best things to do in Winona, MN.

Blue Heron Coffee House is the best place to enjoy a delicious cup of coffee with a lovely contemporary interior with elegant brick designs.

The coffee shop features large menu chalkboards, handcrafted wooden chairs & tables, and well-tiled floors with blue walls.

There is a breakfast bar consisting of high bar stools and a reading section with comfortable chairs and massive bookshelves.

Blue Heron Coffee House is known for using seasonal, locally grown ingredients to prepare all meals offered.

The carefully crafted menu is regularly changed, offering sandwiches, salads, soups, and other breakfast meals.

Address: 162 W 2nd Sreet, Winona, MN 55987, United States

15. Great River Bluffs State Park

Great River Bluffs State Park
Credits: Camille Hyytinen / Shutterstock
Great River Bluffs State Park

Great River Bluffs State Park consists of a beautiful bluff offering views of the amazing Mississippi River Valley.

The Park features a hardwood forest with ancient fields, pine plantations, and prairies of side-hill. The Park is open to everyone, both locals and visitors.

There is an assortment of rarely seen collective varieties of wildlife and plants, making it an excellent place for nature enthusiasts.

Great River Bluffs State Park is a favorite destination for camping, bird watching, hiking, snowshoeing, and cross-country skiing during the winter season.

Address: 43605 Kipp Dr., Winona, MN 55987, United States

Planning a road trip in Minnesota? explore this list of things to do in Alexandria and things to do in Grand Marias for a memorable Minnesota road trip.

16. Alexander Mansion Bed and Breakfast

 Alexander Mansion Bed & Breakfast
Credits: Alexander Mansion Bed & Breakfast / Facebook
Alexander Mansion Bed & Breakfast

Alexander Mansion Bed and Breakfast is housed in an 1886 mansion that offers guests a comfortable environment.

They offer all shades of luxury and high hospitality qualities with an adequate supply of the essential amenities needed.

Every room features a fireplace, timeless antiques, private bathrooms, a soft bed, a table, sofas, a gorgeous sitting area, alarm clocks, flat screen television, radios, hairdryers, ironing boards, and more.

There is a spacious terrace, a free shuttle that transports guests from the marina to the train station, stunning gardens, and a lounge.

Guests also get to enjoy a complimentary gourmet breakfast served every morning, as fresh and tasty as it can be.

Address: 274 E Broadway St, Winona, MN 55987, United States

17. Winona Visitor’s Center

If you can’t find your way around and you need some guidance, add a visit to Winona Visitor’s Center to your list of top things to do in Winona, MN.

The Winona Visitor’s Center is housed in a charming brick building nestled at the base of Gravin Heights Park.

This center offers visitors essential information about the city of Winona, notifying them about every detail they should know concerning the people.

The center is operated by knowledgeable and professional, amiable staff who are always ready to answer questions.

The Winona Visitor’s Center provides numerous brochures and maps which serve as guides to help visitors locate every attraction or business within the city.

There is a gift shop offering Winona and Minnesota souvenirs or gifts which serve as a remembrance of the time you spent here.

Address: 924 Huff Street, Winona, MN 55987, United States

18. Bub’s Brewing Co. Eatery & Saloon

Bub’s Brewing Co. Eatery & Saloon
Credits: somchaij / Shutterstock

There isn’t anything better than having a chilled bottle of beer with your friends on a cool evening.

Bub’s Brewing Co. Eatery & Saloon is housed in an ancient building built in the 19th century. It was named after the second established brewery company in Winona County, Peter Bub Brewery, in 1862.

The Brewery is focused on carrying on the legacies of its predecessors by offering patrons the best services.

They serve an enormous list of branded bottled and draft beers, crafted beers, and wines; some of their own brewed beers include Bub’s forest ale, Bub’s Amber Red, and Bub’s Golden.

Bub’s Brewing Co. Eatery & Saloon offers a menu featuring chicken sandwiches, burgers, wraps, sandwiches, steak & shrimp combo, and more.

Address: 64 E 4th Street, Winona, MN 55987, United States

19. Winona County Courthouse

Winona County Courthouse
Credits: Awinek0 / Shutterstock
Winona County Courthouse

Winona County Courthouse was built in 1889, and in 1970 it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

One best thing to do in Winona is to make a quick stop by the Winona County Courthouse, a place with lots of significance in architecture, art, and government.

The courthouse was designed by a famous architect, Charles G. Mayberry, in a Richardsonian Romanesque style with inspiration from the Victorian age.

Winona County Courthouse showcases its style of design through carvings, sandstone buffs, twin towers, and brownstone trim.

Beautiful French stained glass windows are on the exterior with copper flashings, tile fireplaces, red-oak woodwork, towering ceilings of 16-foot, and more.

Address: 171 W 3rd Street, Winona, MN 55987, United States

20. Blooming Grounds Coffee House

Blooming Grounds Coffee House
Credits: Yulia Grigoryeva / Shutterstock

Blooming Grounds Coffee House, located in the middle of downtown Winona, is the best place for breakfast, lunch, and dinner meals.

Blooming Grounds Coffee House showcases a contemporary decor style with open brick, teak wood furniture, hard wooden floors, and relaxing chairs.

The inviting and welcoming atmosphere attracts many families offering services that cater to the needs of all the guests.

Blooming Grounds Coffee House offers an extensive list of flavorful beverages, including freshly pressed drinks, teas, smoothies, wines, and beers.

You’re offered an impressive lunch and dinner menu featuring homemade soup, Panini, fresh salads, wraps, pizzas, and breakfast meals like quiches, bagels, muffins, scones, and more.

This outstanding location is open every day of the week,

Address: 50 E 3rd Street, Winona, MN 55987, United States

21. Westgate Bowl

Westgate Bowl
Credits: AS photostudio / Shutterstock

Are you looking for a family fun center to hang out with your family and friends? Add a visit to Westgate Bowl to your list of fun things to do in Winona, MN.

Westgate Bowl, established in 1961, is the number one location for bowling in the city, where you and your team can bowl to your satisfaction.

The fun center has sixteen bowling lanes, including those with party lights and fantastic music.

There are dancing lights and fog machines, all assuring the young and old an unforgettable experience.

Westgate Bowl is also a venue for special events, offering different party packages for birthday parties, sports shows, and more.

Wellington’s Pub and Grill is within the facility, serving detectable American fares, including juicy burgers, smoke ribs, and more.

Address: 1429 West Service Drive, Winona, MN 55987, United States

22. The Watkins Heritage Museum and Store

If you’re looking for a store that offers unique items, add a visit to the Watkins Heritage Museum and Store to your list of things to do in Winona.

The Watkins Heritage Museum and Store has existed since 1868 and has become a reputable landmark in the city.

The store offers everything from vintage items, photographs, and several other historical artifacts relating to the Company’s history of more than 150 years.

Address: 150 Liberty St, Winona, MN 55987, United States

23. Bloedow Bakery

Bloedow Bakery
Credits: Jerry Huddleston / Flickr
Bloedow Bakery

Bloedow Bakery is an iconic donut shop housed in a white brick structure.

Bloedow Bakery was originally founded in 1924 by Ernest Bloedow and his wife, Mary. The Bakery was passed down as an inheritance before being sold in 2004 to Hugh and Mary Polus.

The current owner has served as a baker in the Company ever since he was just fifteen years old, and they still adopt the recipes used right from the beginning of the Bakery.

The Bakery offers an impressive menu featuring homemade loaves, pastries, donuts, rye bread, and many others.

Make sure you try out their Bavarian cream-filled donuts, sprinkled cookies, maple-bacon long johns, and glazed donuts.

Address: 451 East Broadway, Winona, MN 55987, United States

24. Acoustic Cafe

Acoustic Cafe
Credits: rjacobsatcix / Flickr
Acoustic Cafe

Acoustic Cafe is a family-friendly cafeteria in Winona. It officially opened its doors in 1993 and has continuously served the people.

The restaurant is found in a lovely red-brick structure offering visitors a welcoming and warm atmosphere to relax.

It is elegantly decorated with large glass windows from the floor to ceilings and dramatic lights, which creates a laid-back feeling at night.

The moment you walk into the building, you will be amazed by the restaurant’s charms with its walls decorated with gorgeous artworks and well-layered wooden floors.

Acoustic Cafe serves the best hot hoagies, roasted coffee, soups, espresso, salads, cookies, wheat bread, homemade muffins, and more.

Address; 77 Lafayette, Winona, MN 55987, United States

25. Prairie Island Campground

Prairie Island Campground
Credits: Junjira Limcharoen / Shutterstock

Prairie Island Campground is a popular camping location in the city for many tourists and locals seeking an adventure.

It is usually open from April to October; make sure you don’t miss out on the fun.

Just pack all the necessary materials you will need, including tents, sleeping bags, and your picnic cooler for snacks, drinks, and more.

Prairie Island Campground also offers several hands-on activities such as yoga classes plus outdoor excursions for children.

Address: 1120 Prairie Island Rd n, Winona, MN 55987, United States

26. Garvin Heights City Park

Garvin Heights City Park
Credits: KJK_MN / Shutterstock
Garvin Heights City Park

Garvin Heights Park has a breathtaking stone overlook with an amazing view of the Mississippi Valley encircling Winona. 

If you follow the marked trail to the summit, it won’t be long before you get there. The route twists its way to the top, approximately a mile away. 

After climbing the numerous steps, you can follow the dirt part along the cliff’s edge. 

On a bright and clear day, the Mississippi River Valley extends over 30 miles in front of visitors. 

Gorgeous, green grasslands with stately oak trees encircle the bluff, giving it a suitable spot to bask in the beauty of nature. 

After your hike, you can enjoy a picnic on the lawn and fill up your energy. Hiking at Garvin Height City Park is one of the fun things to do in Winona. 

Address:200 Garvin Heights Rd, Winona, MN 55987, United States

27. Lake Lodge Recreation Center

Lake Lodge Recreation Center
Credits: phototravelua / Shutterstock

Among the fun things to do in Winona is to engage in different exciting activities at Lake Lodge Recreation Center. 

Whether it is canoeing, paddle boarding, kayaking, long boarding, tandem biking, log rolling, or taking in the gorgeous view, Lake Lodge guarantees an unforgettable experience. 

Winter activities at Lake Lodge Recreation Center include snowshoeing and ice skating. 

Lake Lodge Recreation center is an outdoor park ideal for families with kids to enjoy a picnic and unwind. 

You can also rent various outdoor equipment, including snowshoes, ice skates, stand-up paddleboards, discs for disc golfing, canoes, kayaks, bicycles, and longboards. 

You can rent items for a daily fee or register for a membership, enabling you to use these items for free. 

Children under four are free to use the items, but they still have to register. The center also has a soccer field, tennis courts, and softball fields. 

Address: 113 Lake Park Dr, Winona, MN 55987, United States

Explore more cities in Minnesota, check out our list of things to do in Mankato and things to do in Red Wing for a fun time

Plan Your Trip to Winona

Winona is a beautiful city that offers you an opportunity to enjoy the earth’s beauty more than any other city in the state.

Make sure you explore the city with your friends and family. Come along with your cameras to capture the beautiful attractions and moments.

Have a fun trip!