25 Best Things to Do in Red Wing, MN

Red Wing, MN
Sam Wagner / shutterstock.com

Red Wing is a beautiful city located on the Mississippi River in Minnesota.

The charming city is quite famous for its historical sites and fascinating attractions that range from an age-old performing arts theater to the biggest boot in the world.

In addition, Red Wing has numerous sites that will cater to lovers of the great outdoors, such as flower valleys, nature parks, and breathtaking vineyards.

Whether you're interested in going on a scenic hike, browsing through art at a beautiful gallery, or taking a walk down memory lane at a historical museum, this city in Minnesota surely has something to offer you.

An ideal destination for every type of traveler, Red Wing is the perfect place for anyone who is looking for some fun and light enjoyment amid the busy world.

Are you interested in finding out what else this city has hiding up its sleeves?

Check out this list of the best things to do in Red Wing, Minnesota:

Hike to the Top of Barn Bluff and Enjoy Scenic Views of Red Wing

Welcome sign of Barn Bluff
melissamn / Shutterstock.com

Barn Bluff is one of the most famous tourist attractions in the city.

The place was named so because it resembles a barn.

It is famous for offering some of the most picturesque news in the entire state of Minnesota.

Located on the banks of the Mississippi River, the bluff is more of a river valley.

Hiking trail at Barn Bluff
melissamn / Shutterstock.com

It is also believed that the place is associated with the prehistoric exploration of the upper Mississippi area.

Barn Bluff is a popular destination for hikers.

The area's elevation is quite steady, making it a challenging route for first-time hikers.

However, the views from the top are breathtaking and will definitely be worth all your efforts.

The view from Barn Bluff
Joe Ferrer / Shutterstock.com

See Historical Motors and Boats at the Red Wing Marine Museum

Exterior view of the Red Wing Marine Museum
McGhiever, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The city of Red Wing in Minnesota is very famous for its museums, and the Red Wing Marine Museum is one of them.

It is located right along the river, making it quite close to the original site of the factory in which original Red Wing motors and boats were made.

The museum basically has exhibitions of various historical motors and boats that were produced in the city.

Along with that, the museum also displays engines, fishing tackle, and other objects that are used in rivers.

The largest river steamboat is also displayed at this museum and is available to visitors for viewing.

The Red Wing Marine Museum gives off a vintage feel with its decoration and is definitely worth checking out.

Learn about the History of Ski Jumping at the American Ski Jumping Museum and Hall of Fame

A famous attraction in the city, the American Ski Jumping Museum and Hall of Fame opened to the public in 2014 and has been thriving ever since.

Red Wing is considered the birthplace of American ski jumping, and this activity was very popular in the city from 1883 to 1950.

The museum has a collection of famous ski jumping equipment, such as skis that were used when the sport was first invented.

There is also a ski jumping simulator that helps show the basic requirements of ski jumping.

A lot of photographs, uniforms, and other items are also on display here.

Watch the Boats Go by on Lake Pepin

Boat in Lake Pepin
Denise Gerdes / Shutterstock.com

Lake Pepin is situated on the border of Minnesota and Wisconsin, separating the two states from each other.

Lake Pepin is the most expansive water section in Mississippi that originated without any human interference.

Ice sailing on Lake Pepin
Randy Runtsch / Shutterstock.com

The display is quite beautiful and offers a lot of temptations.

A lot of bakeries, bars, gift shops, and restaurants are located on the way to the lake.

You can also enjoy watching boats in the lake's far-stretching waters and spend some peaceful time at this place.

People enjoying the waters of Lake Pepin
natmac stock / Shutterstock.com

Take Photos with the World's Largest Boot at the Red Wing Shoe Store and Museum

The Red Wing Shoe Store and Museum is quite a famous attraction among visitors.

It is exquisitely photogenic and attracts children more than any other age group.

This museum houses the largest boot in the world and exhibits a fantastic collection of shoes from old times.

Guests are invited to dress up as shoemakers and recreate the process of making shoes.

You can buy some originally made shoes from the shoe store.

Admire Beautiful Works of Stoneware at the Pottery Museum of Red Wing

Exterior of the Pottery Museum
Myotus, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The city of Redwing in Minnesota is widely known for its clay industry, and the Pottery Museum of Red Wing has the most extensive collection of clay products in the world.

The museum's objective is to preserve and expand the clay industry's beautiful and rich history in Red Wing.

It showcases more than 6,000 clay objects that date back centuries.

These objects include stoneware, dinnerware, folk art, and other crafted items.

Spread over an area of 13,000 square feet, the museum has different types of exhibitions at every corner.

The museum's entire interior depicts the city's legacy and clay industry.

Take in Scenic Views along the Trails at Memorial Park

Memorial Park is a famous spot where you can enjoy beautiful views of surrounding attractions such as Barn Bluff and the Mississippi River.

The park has a number of walking trails, which are ideal for jogging and strolling.

Other trails in the park provide excellent opportunities for mountain biking and hiking.

The same trails are used for skiing and snowshoeing during the winter season.

Along with the trails, the park also has various picnic areas and a Frisbee golf course with nine holes.

Overall, this park is a very good place for casual picnics and spending some time with friends and family.

Enjoy the Many Available Facilities at Colvill Park

Colvill Park is a popular spot among locals and visitors alike.

The park is famous as a place that provides a lot of opportunities for outdoor activities.

It also has picnic spots, a tennis court, and a fully air-conditioned building where different types of events are organized.

In addition, the park has a volleyball court, a shuffleboard court, a universal playground, a horseshoe pit, and a discovery garden.

The park's walking area is not very big and is only one mile long.

Located along the Mississippi River, this scenic park is definitely worth visiting.

Watch an Unforgettable Show at the Sheldon Theatre of Performing Arts

Exterior of Sheldon theatre of Performing arts
McGhiever, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

This famous theater located in the city's downtown area is known to be the "Jewel-Box" of Red Wing.

The Sheldon Theatre of Performing Arts is a one-stop theater that enlightens, entertains, and educates people on various topics through the use of the performing arts.

It is a beautiful work of architecture, with well-maintained arches, unbelievable interiors, decorative paintings, and cultures.

The theater also organizes national-level events for small-town artists and visitors.

You can easily take a tour of the Sheldon Theatre of Performing Arts, which has been standing in the same place for many ages now.

Wine and Dine at Falconer Vineyards & Winery

Falconer Vineyards & Winery is situated in Red Wing's Bluff Valley area.

The vineyard first opened in 2003 and covers approximately 6.5 acres of land.

Apart from being one of Red Wing's most famous wineries, it is also one of the most beautiful and photogenic places in the city.

The winery grows its own grape crops, using local and traditional methods to ensure that the best quality raw material is available for further processes.

In addition to using its own crops, the winery proudly utilizes locally sourced produce.

Falconer Vineyards & Winery also has a wine yard bistro that takes in customers during the summer season.

The bistro is quite famous for its wood-fired pizza and specially crafted wine.

Participate in a Workshop Organized by Red Wing Arts

Exterior of Red Wing Arts
McGhiever, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The oldest organization in Red Wing was formed back in the year 1952 as an arts association.

Red Wing Arts was set up as an educational art program.

It mainly focuses on educating people about the region's art and artists.

In addition, it allows local artists to grow and come together.

The association provides a lot of exposure and promotion to these artists and their work.

Red Wing Arts has also set up a lot of galleries and art shops in order to further its cause.

These shops sell the works produced by local artists and provide them with financial assistance.

The association has also been organizing a lot of events related to the arts in order to create awareness and increase participation in the community.

Snap Pictures of the Beautiful Flowers at Sargent's Nursery

Sargent's Nursery is a place that has taken on its shoulders the responsibility of beautifying the city of Red Wing.

Set up in the year 1928, the plant nursery has a beautifully maintained property that attracts new and old customers alike.

It is privately owned by a family, and its collection is different from others in the city.

All the plants grown here are different, and some indigenous varieties are also available.

The atmosphere around the plant nursery is quite pleasant and personalized.

Guests are also allowed to browse through its gardens and greenhouse facilities.

Along with exploring the plant nursery, you can shop and enjoy the small yet magnificent plant store.

You can also ask questions about the plants from the staff members.

The plant nursery's staff is very friendly and helpful and will help you select the best plants as per your needs.

With its great collection and quality, Sargent's Nursery is definitely one of the places that you cannot miss when visiting Red Wing.

Treat Yourself to Delicious Gluten-Free Desserts at Vintage Kitchen

Vintage Kitchen is a famous restaurant in Red Wing that is known for serving fresh food made entirely from locally produced ingredients.

The kitchen serves mouth-watering pastries, coffee, and fresh snacks.

It also offers gluten-free food for people who are gluten intolerant.

The place is quite known for its baked goods, which include cupcakes, cookies, coffee cakes, cinnamon rolls, cookies, and their gluten-free variants.

They also have spicy roasted nuts with caramel corn, which is also quite famous among the locals.

On your visit to Vintage Kitchen, you can eat and purchase freshly made products that are sourced straight from local farms.

The kitchen is also a famous spot for community gatherings, making a stop at this place a very socially enriching and convenient experience for all visitors.

Have Craft Beer and Bar Chow at Kelly's Tap House Bar and Grill

Kelly's Tap House Bar and Grill has been presented with the title of Restaurant of the Year by Red Wing's Chamber of Commerce on more than one occasion.

This tap house bar and grill offers the best quality food on all days of the week.

Along with serving the best food and handcrafted wines, the bar also has some of the most magnificent views from its top.

This place is open late after midnight and allows you to enjoy stunning night views of the city.

The bar is also known for having the largest taps in Red Wing.

Its collection of drinks is vast and unbelievable.

It serves locally crafted and world-famous drinks all in one place.

From its food menu to the bar menu, Kelly's Tap House Bar and Grill is definitely a place you'll want to check out.

Spend a Lovely Day Outdoors at Bay Point Park

View of the Bay Point Park
Abigail.furchner, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Aside from being a terrific place to take in Red Wing's bustling city life, Bay Point Park is also a great place to go on an adventure.

It's a beautiful park with plenty of opportunities to engage in fun outdoor activities and enjoy natural splendor.

The park is located along the Mississippi River in downtown St. Paul, near the Red Wing Hotel.

It's easy to go about Bay Point Park's outdoor facilities.

Picnic spots are extensive and well-maintained, and there is a boat launch for accessing the river.

The park serves as a venue for a variety of civic festivals.

Visiting Bay Point Park is a terrific way to meet new people.

A shelter in the park may be leased for special occasions.

It's a fantastic place to take a break and relax amid beautiful scenery, thanks to its strategic placement.

Discover Red Wing's Past at Goodhue County Historical Society

Minnesota's first county historical society is located in Red Wing, the state's largest city.

The Goodhue County Historical Society is a fascinating museum available to the public.

It's a terrific location to learn about the city's history and the surrounding area.

Anyone interested in discovering more about Red Wing's unique history and seeing some of the city's most popular attractions should stop by.

As early as 1869, the Goodhue County Historical Society began collecting images and various historical artifacts from around the area.

Historical artifacts and records are kept in the society's study library.

Goodhue County's unique and adventurous tales were brought to life by the museum's collection of rich and remarkable historical relics.

Peek into War History the Aliveo Military Museum

Exterior of Aliveo Military Museum
Myotus, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Aliveo Military Museum is a must-see museum in Red Wing that will delight history buffs.

It's a museum with many exhibits that display artifacts, depict history, and tell tales.

This fascinating attraction houses a wide array of military items from the Revolutionary era, along with artifacts from the Persian Gulf conflicts, the Korean War, and the Cold War.

Visitors may also view memorabilia from World Wars I and II.

Moreover, the museum showcases artifacts such as firearms, clothing, and photographs from the Spanish-American War, the American Civil War, and the American Revolutionary War.

The Aliveo Military Museum celebrates those who served the nation by saving, restoring, and presenting military items.

Explore the Historic Boat House Village

Enjoy Mississippi River views from Red Wing's historic Boat House Village.

Visitors may explore the area's historic homes, boutiques, and art galleries.

It's possible to find fun activities for individuals of all ages in Red Wing while visiting the Boat House Village.

Visitors can take a leisurely bike ride along the village's coastline, sail with a Harbor Master, or hire a boat to paddle along a river in the city.

There is a sense of going back when you are in this stunning community.

Avoid missing out on one of Minnesota's most unusual attractions!

Browse through Various Sculptures at Anderson Center at Tower View's Sculpture Garden

Who says you can't admire art while staying outdoors?

Anderson Center at Tower View's Sculpture Garden helps you get the most out of your art excursion without missing out on Red Wing's natural vistas.

Developed in 1996, this open-air gallery sits on a 15-acre property.

It is one of the biggest parks of its kind in Minnesota with its massive collection of sculptures by both national and international artists.

It features over 30 sculptures currently, including the works of the likes of Zoran Mojsilov and Charles Biederman.

From wood and steel to bronze and tile, expect a variety of mediums with the sculptures erected.

You can get to Anderson Center at Tower View's Sculpture Garden on Tower View Drive.

Enjoy the Sights and Sounds at Levee Park

Stunning view of the Levee Park
Linda McKusick / Shutterstock.com

Get to the heart of Red Wing with a drop by one of its picturesque city parks, Levee Park.

This passive park overlooks the Mississippi River and is a landing area for riverboats traveling to the city.

Aside from boats docking in its marina, the park also offers historical monuments and walking trails.

This makes for a fun historical exploration of Red Wing's past and progress.

And the park's just within walking distance of the city's downtown area too!

Lounge around the benches and feel all your worries melt away at this sitting park.

Levee Park is accessible via Bush Street.

Have an affinity for golf?

Never miss a visit to Mississippi National Golf Links.

This public golf course boasts a 36-hole layout perfect for first-time golfers and expert players.

Opened in 1986, it was originally an 18-hole course that had two 9-hole additions in 1990 and 1991.

With its blend of natural vistas and rolling fairways, Mississippi National Golf Links is easily a hit among residents and tourists alike.

It's also open as an event venue for weddings, parties, and other large-scale events.

Get going to Golf Links Drive to reach the entrance of this golf facility.

Admire the Scenery Along Your Route on the Cannon Valley Trail

A bike parked along the Cannon Valley Trail
Felipe A Castro / Shutterstock.com

Is hiking your passion?

Then, the Cannon Valley Trail might just be the spot for you.

This majestic trail connects the cities of Red Wing, Cannon Falls, and Welch.

It runs along the old route of the Chicago Great Western Railroad line.

It spans just about less than 20 miles and features diverse habitats.

So, keep your eyes peeled for scenic cliffs, wetland environments, and river vistas while on your route.

While an ideal hiking area, the Cannon Valley Trail welcomes skateboarders, cyclists, and cross-country skiers, too.

In Red Wing, this trail has many access points, including one on Cannon Bottom Road and one on Old West Main Street.

Check Out the Juried Art at the Red Wing Arts Fall Festival

At the Red Wing Arts Fall Festival, the art adventure never stops.

This annual family-friendly event celebrates fall in spectacular colors.

And it does so in a fun-filled two-day program!

Over 100 artists come by to render their talents in a variety of mediums, including ceramics, glass, photography, and many more!

True to its family-friendly nature, there's an area for children and live entertainment enjoyed by everyone of all ages.

Red Wing Arts Fall Festival takes place every October in the downtown area of Red Wing.

Final Thoughts

Red Wing is one of Minnesota's best-kept secrets, and it provides something for everyone: a fun and unforgettable vacation.

This is the place to go when seeking a new city to visit and somewhere to tour and see beautiful scenery.

Spotted a mistake, have some feedback, or just want to chat with our editorial team? Click here to get in touch.
Find out more about Travel Lens and read our editorial guidelines here.