10 Best Things to Do in Red Wing, Minnesota

Red Wing

Red Wing Has a Lot of Charm

Red Wing, Minnesota is about one hour Southeast of downtown Minneapolis. Known for its beautiful bluffs, historic sites, and world-famous boots, it’s a great spot for a day trip. It’s an especially beautiful place in the fall when the bluffs along the Mississippi River are bursting with vibrant reds, yellows, and oranges.

There is so much history and pride in Red Wing. You’ll notice the red-colored wing logo used all around town. The Red Wing Shoe Company was founded here in 1905 and is still going strong! Keep reading for the ten best things to do in Red Wing!

things to do in red wing minnesota
things to do in red wing minnesota
things to do in red wing minnesota

1. Hike the Barn Bluff Trail

The Barn Bluff hike is an absolute must-see when visiting Red Wing. There’s free parking along the street and it’s usually pretty easy to find a spot. The hike itself takes 45-60 minutes if you’d like to see both lookout points with plenty of time to stop and take phots. It’s a very steep incline on the way up so be prepared for a workout.  But once you’re there, it is well worth it!

things to do in red wing minnesota

2. Walk Around the Riverfront Park

Walk around Levee Park, which runs adjacent to the Mississippi River. Grab a coffee or take out and have a picnic. There is a large grassy area with park benches. It’s a small park so if you just want to walk through it, it will probably take you about five minutes. The Red Wing Train Station is next to the park, and when we walked by there was a free art gallery on display inside.

Things to do in Red Wing Minnesota

3. Visit the Red Wing Pottery Museum

Red Wing has a historic clay industry, so be sure to check out the Pottery Museum. Some of the pottery dates back to the 1800s. There are more than 6,000 vintage pieces of stoneware, art pottery, dinnerware, and folk art. Admission to the museum is free, and it’s quite interesting!

Red Wing
Red Wing
Red Wing
Red Wing

4. Enjoy the Cute Shops on Main Street

There are a lot of adorable shops in town, but note that many of them don’t open until noon on Sundays, and some are closed all day on Sundays. The Duluth Trading Co. is one of my favorite shops in Red Wing. They have awesome outdoor gear, flannel shirts and hiking boots. You’ll also want to visit the Uffda Shop for authentic Scandinavian products like decorative platters, jewelry and table clothes.

Red Wing
Red Wing

5. Sleep or Eat at the St. James Hotel

If you’re staying in Red Wing for a few days, treat yourself and stay in this historic and beautiful hotel in the heart of town. The St. James Hotel, which opened in 1875, has a bunch of shops and restaurants inside. There is also a rooftop bar overlooking the Mississippi River, which you can visit even if you aren’t staying at the hotel.

Red Wing
Red Wing

6. Eat Sweet Treats at Hanisch Bakery

If you’re looking for something sugary and sweet, you’ll definitely want to visit the Hanisch Bakery for freshly baked goods. They are closed on Sundays, so be sure to plan your visit on a day when they’re open. They’re known for mouthwatering donuts, cookies, and coffee!

things to do in red wing minnesota
things to do in red wing minnesota

7. Grab a Beer at the Brewery

If you’re getting thirsty, stop by the Red Wing Brewery. It’s a great little spot on the outskirts of town. The beer selection is varied and delicious. I really like the Barn Bluff Brown and Work Boot Red. They also serve pizzas and calzones, which are very popular in Red Wing!

Red Wing
Red Wing

8. Sip Wine at Falconer Vineyard

If you prefer wine over beer, check out Falconer Vineyards. They offer wine and cider and have a great outdoor seating area overlooking the vineyards. They also sell wood-fired pizza, so you can grab lunch and stay for a while. When you’re finished, walk around the vineyards and enjoy the gardens.

Red Wing

9. Enjoy the Many Restaurants

If you’re looking for additional places to eat and drink, you’ll find Staghead, Red Savoy’s Pizza, Mandy’s Coffee, and several Mexican restaurants. During a visit to Red Wing with my mom we went to Liberty’s Restaurant and Lounge and shared a pizza. It was huge and really cheesy.

Red Wing
Red Wing

10. Check Out the Red Wing Shoe Company

Visit the Red Wing Shoe Company flagship store and museum to snap a photo with the world’s largest boot, which is a size 638 ½ D (US)! It was built with the same style and process as their original boot, which they identify as classic style number 877. Head upstairs to the museum and learn about the history of the company and how it’s grown over the years. Then finish up with some shopping on the main level.

things to do in red wing minnesota

Red Wing is a Perfect Fall Day Trip

From hiking the bluffs during the peak fall color season to museums, breweries, and bakeries, Red Wing is a great town for a day trip. There are also so many restaurants and shops and great spots to enjoy the Mississippi River. Each time I visit Red Wing, I discover something new.

Looking for more inspiration? Check out my post on Things to Do in Winona and 48 Hours in Minnesota’s Bluff County.

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