Attractions & Things to Do in Red Wing, MN

Red Wing, Minnesota is an unforgettable destination along the Mississippi River. The city combines history, natural beauty, and small-town charm to create a nationally acclaimed tourism area. Discover our stunning autumn colors, breathtaking bluffs, historic sites, and outstanding cultural activities. Come and find out why downtown Red Wing is a crown jewel of Lake Pepin and Southern Minnesota.

Are you curious to learn more about Red Wing? Don’t forget to download our Travel Guide that can help you plan your next visit with even more suggestions for things to do in Red Wing, MN!

Immerse Yourself in Red Wing’s History

In the 1850s, Red Wing began as a small settlement along the banks of the Mississippi River. Industry flourished, and the St. James Hotel became a hub of Red Wing as soon as we opened our doors in 1875. Red Wing’s heritage is displayed in museum exhibits, historic sites, and authentic buildings. Today, you’ll glimpse outstanding 19th-century architecture around every corner. Explore the historic streets by taking a walking tour through downtown Red Wing.

Short Story: Be on the lookout for plaques on many of the historic buildings. They explain the building’s significance and architectural features.

Get Inspired by the Arts

Red Wing is an art lover’s dream. The area's world-class entertainment and culture started in 1861 with the development of the Red Wing pottery industry. See a delightful show at the Sheldon Theatre, stroll through the galleries at Red Wing Arts, or buy yourself a piece of handcrafted art at Featherstone Pottery. The arts and culture scene in Red Wing is diverse, unique, and thoroughly charming.

Short Story: The Sheldon Theatre was built in 1904, and it is one of the oldest operating theaters in Minnesota.

Embark on an Outdoor Adventure

Few places offer so many opportunities to explore nature than Red Wing, MN. The city sits on the sharpest navigable bend of the Mississippi River, providing beautiful views of the water and surrounding bluffs. Frontenac State Park is an excellent spot for eagle watching, observing wildlife, and hiking. The area also offers pristine golf courses, cross-country skiing trails, and mountain biking paths for your enjoyment. Of course, the Mississippi River and Lake Pepin provide myriad recreational opportunities, from fishing to boating to swimming. If you are looking for things to do in the great outdoors of Red Wing, Minnesota check out our favorite attractions below. 

Short Story: Frontenac State Park is one of the best places in the country to watch birds migrating in the spring and fall. More than 260 bird species have been seen there.

The Best Shopping in Town

With three shopping districts at your fingertips, there’s something for everyone to love. The historic pottery district is home to the Pottery Place mall and the Pottery Museum of Red Wing. Here you’ll also discover many unique shops and restaurants. The west edge of town features Red Wing Stoneware, the Red Wing mall, and numerous chain stores. Downtown Red Wing is home to more than a dozen specialty shops and fine restaurants. It’s also the birthplace of the famous Red Wing Shoes, which has become a destination for thousands.

Short Story: Downtown Red Wing features the World’s Largest Boot, original Norman Rockwell drawings, a huge outlet center, and the most comprehensive selection of Red Wing Shoes products anywhere.

Dine at our Favorite Restaurants

Casual to gourmet. Coffee to craft cocktails. Red Wing has it all. Treat yourself to a romantic dinner, indulgent dessert, or a locally roasted coffee at one of the St. James Hotel’s four on-site cafes and restaurants. Red Wing is a hub of unique dining experiences. Where will your culinary adventure begin?

Short Story: Enjoy excellent views of the Mississippi and a globally inspired menu when you dine at The Veranda in the St. James Hotel.

Restaurants, Bars, and Cafes