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Your guide to Red Wing
All About Red Wing
Located on the upper Mississippi River, Red Wing, Minnesota, is known for its Victorian architecture and red-brick storefronts, securing its place on the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s list of distinctive destinations. Red Wing is a factory town that produces shoes and boots, pottery, and automobile motors. Downtown you’ll find antique shops, clothing boutiques, an arts center, a theater, and several music venues.
The Red Wing Bridge connects the town to Wisconsin, and Minneapolis is just over an hour away if you’re looking to combine the small community feel in Red Wing with the convenience of a large metropolitan area. Named for a 19th-century Dakota Sioux chief, Red Wing is also home to 35 parks, which means you’re never too far from somewhere to stretch your legs. Colorful flower baskets line the streets and hiking trails lead through the bluffs of the Upper Mississippi River.
The best time to stay in a vacation rental in Red Wing
The best time to book a Red Wing vacation rental is between May and September, when the region experiences its warmest weather. The hottest months are July and August, when days are bright and sunny and visitor numbers are at their peak. In fall, temperatures drop a bit, making this the perfect time to get out on the hiking trails to admire the changing leaves.
The Red Wing Arts Fall Festival takes place over a weekend in mid-October, when more than 100 artists showcase their work alongside food vendors and all-day concerts. If you’re visiting from December through February, be prepared for temperatures to dip below freezing and stay there. This is the snowy season, when it’s essential to have warm layers and a good pair of boots. Temperatures begin to rise in spring, when blooming flowers line the city streets.
Top things to do in Red Wing
Frontenac State Park
Spanning 2,300 acres, Frontenac State Park is located on the Mississippi River and is home to rock bluffs, prairies, hardwood forests, and floodplain forests. It’s popular with birders as more than 260 avian species call the park home, from warblers and hawks to waterfowl. You’ll also find 13 miles of hiking trails with paths catering to all skill levels. Along the way, you may spot deer, red foxes, beavers, and wild turkeys.
Pottery Museum of Red Wing
Dedicated to preserving Red Wing’s decades-long pottery industry, this museum houses more than 6,000 pieces of vintage, artisan-crafted clay dinnerware, stoneware, folk art, and art pottery, one of the biggest collections of its kind in the world. You can learn about the history of the industry in Red Wing through collections of photographs and memorabilia, some of which date from the late 19th century, and you may even get to have a go on a potter’s wheel.
Cannon Valley Trail
Around 30 minutes southwest of town, the Cannon Valley Trail runs along a former railroad line. This is a scenic spot to hop on a bike or lace up your hiking boots and take in nearly 20 miles of wetlands, forests, and cliffs. The paved trail is accessible for wheelchairs, strollers, and even skateboards.