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Day Trip Adventure around Red Wing Minnesota

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Red Wing Minnesota is located one-hour southeast of the Twin Cities and is a gem town for a day or weekend trip!

Named after one of the Dakota Sioux chiefs, the city reflects both native American history and the European settlers who arrived in the mid 1800’s and began farming most notably for wheat.  The railway and steamboats still run through the city and you can see the historic architecture in the buildings downtown.    

You can tell why natives and immigrants alike were drawn to this area.  Today you can hike, enjoy the river, shop and dine – Red Wing has a lot to offer. Below is a suggested one day itinerary but you could easily stretch this out to make a weekend getaway!

Table of Contents


Start your day with donuts or pastries from the famous Hanisch Bakery and a coffee/tea from Mandy’s across the street.  You can take them to-go and stroll along the boat garage area and the historic railway station along the river.

Continue your walk back around the town and check out shops that catch your eye.  The most famous of all has to be Red Wing Shoes where you can take your picture with the world’s biggest boot! Right now, only 15 people are allowed in the store so you can maintain social distancing.

Don’t forget to take your picture with the Red Wing mural located right next to the back-alley entrance of Red Wing shoes!


If you’re hungry from all the walking and shopping, grab lunch from a café in town.  We didn’t get a chance to try it but Stockholm Pie’s Pie Plate Cafe & Coffee is on my list for next time!

After lunch, drive up to Memorial Park for great views of the town, river and bluffs.  You can also hike up it, but I’d suggest saving your energy for the next hike 🙂

Drive to Barn Bluff trail head to hike for the best views in town.  People park along the side of the road at the start of the trail head – there’s not an official parking lot. Hike up to the West side for views of the city, river and bridge to Wisconsin.  Then, hike to the East side for my favorite view along the river heading south! In total, we spent about 75 minutes hiking and taking pictures.


At this point, you’re probably hungry again.  We brought a change of clothes so we could enjoy a nicer evening on the patio at the new Scarlet Kitchen & Bar at the historic St. James Hotel.   Depending on your table, you may have a view of the river and historical train station.  We had a train come through as we were just sitting down which was fun.  We had to move inside before our food came because of a torrential downpour and thunderstorm and the staff was so amazing and helpful. Can’t recommend this restaurant enough!

After dinner, we tried to visit Falconer Vineyard but it closed early due to the weather.  It looked to have amazing views and we’ll definitely be back to try again!

If you are looking to turn this into a weekend getaway, I’d suggest staying at the St. James Hotel.  We walked through the hotel to get to the restaurant and it was so quaint and charming. The rooms have recently been renovated and they have good social distancing practices in place – we saw plexi-glass between the concierge and people checking in. Plus it’s very centrally located!

Did I miss any spots you’ve been in Red Wing? Comment below!

For more Minnesota adventures, check these posts out!

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  1. Michelle Engel on August 11, 2020 at 15:36

    Red Wing Confectionery is our favorite post-Barn Bluff-hike place to stop for a treat. They make some fantastic bark onsite (think dark-chocolate espresso, or graham-toffee-sea salt, or even chili pepper.)

    • Planet with Sara on August 11, 2020 at 15:47

      We walked past the cute storefront and will definitely stop in next time! I love the idea of it being a post-hike treat. Those all sound delicious!

  2. Jen on August 11, 2020 at 20:30

    You need to venture outside of Red Wing next time you are there and go to The Bleu Dog Cafe for brunch. Off the beaten path with Local product, scratch made, great vibe. Best food around hands down.

    • Planet with Sara on August 11, 2020 at 22:13

      That sounds amazing! I just saved it for our next visit. Thanks for the tip!!

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