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.
There is so much history and pride in Red Wing. You’ll notice the red-colored wing logo used all around town. It’s a super charming riverfront town and I’ve now been lucky enough to visit Red Wing several times over the years. Keep reading for ideas on how to plan your fall visit!
Hike the Barn Bluff Trail
The Barn Bluff hike is an absolute must-see. The bluff overlooks the Mississippi River and is considered sacred by the Dakota people.
There’s free parking along the street and it was easy to find a spot. The hike itself took us just over an hour. We saw both lookout points and took a longer path back because it was so pretty. The most direct route would likely take 30-45 minutes.
It’s very steep and it was a workout to get to the top. But once you’re there, it is well worth it! A little more than 25 percent of the leaves had changed colors, so the red and yellow bursts of color looked incredible.
Have a Picnic and 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.
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!
Walk Through the St. James Hotel
If you’re staying in Red Wing for a few days, treat yourself and stay in this historic and beautiful building 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.
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, like the Hanisch Bakery.
The Duluth Trading Co. is also in downtown Red Wing, and I love everything there. It’s a very outdoorsy store with great hiking, kayaking, and fishing clothing and gear. And you’ll definitely want to visit the Uffda Shop for authentic Scandanavian products.
Get Your Sweet Tooth Fix 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. Sadly they were closed when we visited on a Sunday, but they’re known for mouthwatering donuts, cookies, and coffee!
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 was varied and delicious. They also serve pizzas and calzones, which are very popular in Red Wing!
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.
Looking for More Food Options?
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 another visit, we landed at Liberty’s Restaurant and Lounge and shared a pizza. It was huge and really cheesy.
Red Wing is a Perfect Fall Day Trip
From hiking the bluffs during the peak fall color weeks to museums, breweries, and bakeries, Red Wing is an adorable town for a fall visit. 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 fall ideas? Check out my post on hiking the bluffs of Winona and see more incredible autumn colors.