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Minnesota’s Cutest Small Town (And Why It’s Worth Visiting)

Minnesota. The very name conjures up images of a freezing cold place, with trees shedding their leaves and terrain resembling parts of Nebraska or Kansas due to its flatness. Of course, some of this information is correct. But some are just banal generalizations that are frankly unwarranted attempts to paint the state with a broad brush. Of course, Minnesota is stunning. Perhaps even more so when the cold season is at its peak and the trees are covered in frosty snow. The perfect silver lining in a cloud. And while parts of Minnesota may have that overhyped pancake look, the Land of 10,000 Lakes still offers plenty of topography. Besides, beauty is all about mountains, hills and ridges?


Aside from beautiful forests and parks, Minnesota offers several charming little towns that are so adorable and alluring. In this group is the small town of Winona, Minnesota’s cutest little town to visit.

That makes Winona one of the cutest cities in Minnesota

For starters, Winona is largely a college town, combining small-town charm with just the right amount of big-city convenience. This comes without the hustle and bustle of big cities and the disturbing cacophony they are known for. And then the scenery. Winona is a city on the river, a backdrop that dresses the city with scenes and views not found anywhere else in the state. The stained glass windows of the churches and banks of Winona; a sparkling lake beautifully lined with trails for hiking and biking; and of course the effervescent splendor and splendor of America’s second longest river – all of which help make Winona a stunning blend of old and new and the cutest small town in this Midwestern state. In fact, Winona is sometimes referred to as the “Stained Glass Capital of the United States.”

And with its predominantly young population, evidently due to the presence of a number of universities and colleges, Winona will be anything but boring. Its population size gives it a vibrant vibe that makes it throb with youthful energy, a spirit of adventure, and a palpable free spirit. Additionally, a Winona visitor will be delighted to discover an incredible range of fun activities that seem to make Winona excel. This is especially true of nature, although it doesn’t really stop there. This, of course, brings us to what to enjoy in Minnesota’s cutest small town.

Related: Is St. Paul Minnesota Worth Visiting? let’s find out

What you will enjoy in Winona, Minnesota’s charming small town

There are countless things to do in this college town with a rural setting. For an outdoorsy person, Winona has several enjoyable options on the menu. One of Winona Town’s most endearing features is Lake Winona. This is a popular spot for water sports such as canoeing, kayaking and paddling. Surrounding this beautiful lake is Winona City Park, which includes a beautiful sandy beach, a rose garden (with a gazebo), and a number of picnic areas. This park also has lush playgrounds perfect for kids, an ice rink making it a winter wonderland, and a golf course. There are also fields for soccer and softball, while Winona’s Lake Park offers five miles of hiking and biking trails for hiking enthusiasts.

Away from the lake and park, the Mississippi offers additional opportunities for swimming, kayaking, and canoeing. Around the river are scenic cliffs that are amazing to look at and admire, although they are also wonderful places to hike. These include Sugar Loaf, perhaps Winona’s most recognizable landmark, and Brady’s Bluff. Not to mention Garvin Heights, a stunning and elevated spot from which to enjoy panoramic views of the city of Winona and the expanse of the Mississippi River below. Winona is also a fantastic shopping destination, alongside lots of art and arts festivals. Still, the description of Winona is never complete without a mention of its music scene, which is teeming with live music, especially on weekends.

Related: These beautiful cities are worth visiting in the Minnesota chill

Are you visiting Winona? Here’s what you should know

Also known as the island city, Winona is located in southeastern Minnesota on the banks of the mighty Mississippi River. It is 50 miles east of Rochester and about 135 miles southeast of Minneapolis-St. Paul metropolitan area. This cute little town is nestled between towering cliffs that rise up to 500 feet in height and the Mississippi River Valley. Those who wish to drive will be pleased to know that US Highway 61 runs directly through Winona.

The best time to go to Winona depends on one’s activities and interests. It’s important to note that Winona can be cold, especially in winter when the average high temperature dips between 30.8°F and 24.9°F. In the end, whatever the weather or season, Winona’s breathtaking beauty is so vast that nothing can suppress it.

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