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Overview

During Winona’s glory days in the 1860s, hundreds of steamboats stopped at its port on the Mississippi each year. A lumber and flour milling center, the city was the main port for shipping grain from southern Minnesota, the greatest wheat producing region in the United States at that time. Today Winona – one of Minnesota’s most charming river towns – revels in its past, but lives very much in the present. That past is reflected in the city’s Historic District, bounded by Third and Second Streets, where more than 100 sites are listed on the National Register of Historic Places (walking tour brochures are available at the Chamber of Commerce). ...

During Winona’s glory days in the 1860s, hundreds of steamboats stopped at its port on the Mississippi each year. A lumber and flour milling center, the city was the main port for shipping grain from southern Minnesota, the greatest wheat producing region in the United States at that time. Today Winona – one of Minnesota’s most charming river towns – revels in its past, but lives very much in the present. That past is reflected in the city’s Historic District, bounded by Third and Second Streets, where more than 100 sites are listed on the National Register of Historic Places (walking tour brochures are available at the Chamber of Commerce). There are other old landmarks, too, including the Pickwick grist mill built from local limestone and timber in 1856-1858, and the Gothic Revival-style Bunnell House on the banks of the Mississippi outside of town. Pride of Winona’s present-day culture, the new Minnesota Marine Art Museum, established in 2007, displays several impressive collections of marine objects, as well as paintings and other artworks with a maritime theme. The community’s cultural life thrives as well with the annual Minnesota Beethoven Festival – now in its third season – the Great River Shakespeare Festival, art galleries and organizations galore plus productions by the music, dance and drama departments of Winona State and St. Mary’s universities.

Connie Emerson
About the Expert

Connie Emerson is the author of more than a dozen books, including The Cheapskate's Guide to Branson, Missouri and Eyewitness Top Ten Travel Guide – Las Vegas.

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Facts at a Glance

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    April through October