Red Wing, Minnesota, an idyllic Mississippi Rivertown, is a mere 25 miles from the Twin Cities’ southern rim. The city itself is close enough to feel like home, yet adequately distanced from Minneapolis and St. Paul to retain its faraway aura. A regional escape to Red Wing evokes warm feelings of another era, as downtown’s historical significance echos off the red brick that enclose Main Street. This picturesque rivertown, mainly historic St. James Hotel, often allures couples in need of an extended break from the city’s busy streets and stressful workplaces. While St. James is revered as one of the state’s most romantic wedding venues, it’s also a culinary and architectural masterpiece set along the banks of the mighty Mississippi.
Historic Downtown Red Wing
Many first-time visitors only know this quiet rivertown as the birthplace of Red Wing Shoes, a 115-year-old boot company that’s ingrained in Main Street’s history. Perhaps the best way to explore historic downtown and its surroundings is via bicycle. Luckily for you, St. James Hotel owns a small fleet of bicycle rentals, starting at just $20. While many of this rivertown’s mainstays, such as Hanisch Bakery, Whimsey’s, and Sheldon Theatre, are within walking distance of the hotel, several key stops may require a bicycle ride. Plus, pedaling through such a notable city provides strong feelings of grandeur. Red Wing Brewery, the Pottery Museum of Red Wing, and Treasure Island Casino also draw crowds of jovial couples.
Natural Rivertown Beauty
This quaint rivertown’s history is resplendently accented by its natural beauty, chiefly the twin hills: Barn Bluff and Sorin’s Bluff (home to Memorial Park). We’re partial to Barn Bluff’s wind-swept big bluestem, steam-plant vistas, and rugged overlook ridges. Nearby Frontenac State Park, just a short drive to the south, also provides ample acreage for outdoor exploration. Some couples venture off to the Cannon Valley Trail to pedal on one of Minnesota’s lengthiest paved bike paths, connecting Red Wing and Cannon Valley. As this 20-mile trail is quite popular, droves of people utilize St. James Hotel’s full-day bike rentals. Red Wing Golf Course, Falconer Vineyards, and the Mississippi River itself (via boat rental) also provide some much-needed outdoor time.
The Finest Hotels in Red Wing
Red Wing’s most upscale lodging experience lies within the St. James Hotel, which was established in 1875 by a small group of businessmen. While the hotel has changed several hands over the past 145 years, it retains its original magnificence, architectural groundwork, and romantic ambiance. Couples nearly swoon at the sight of the Scarlet Kitchen & Bar’s dazzling outdoor patio. The Victorian guest rooms, meanwhile, look and feel much like the late 19th century. Each room is said to have a story tell based on its distinct wainscoting, oriental flooring, patterned wallpaper, and handcrafted woodworks. Prospective guests can check availability, browse elopement packages, and find more rivertown adventures online at St-James-Hotel.com.