Wednesday, November 2, 2011


(does not include Lake Superior, Minneapolis or St. Paul)

Sights & Sites
Pine to Prairie Birding Trail –; Minnesota’s 1st birding trail; 45 sites spanning 223 mile corridor from pine to prairie in northwestern state; situated at 3 major ecosystems’ juncture (tall grass prairie, boreal forests & aspen parkland).

Sights & Sites
Blue Earth County Historical Society, History Center & Museum – 424 Warren Street; 507-345-5566;; includes R.D. Hubbard House.

Sights & Sites
LeDuc Historic Estate – 1629 Vermillion Street; 651-437-7055;; Mary LeDuc selected designs from Cottage Residences, seminal volume 1st published in 1842 by noted architectural writer and landscape architect Andrew Jackson Downing, whose work dominated New York’s Hudson River Valley; following Downing’s stylistic guidelines, LeDucs produced stunningly landscaped architectural gem in young river town on Minnesota prairie; house survives virtually unaltered from its appearance when completed in 1865-66; in 1970, listed on National Register of Historic Places.
Vermillion Falls – 26th Street (downtown, just off Vermillion Street (also known as US 61)); urban waterfall and apparently once working waterfall; large factory located right next to falls in Vermillion Falls Park; short walk from parking area to falls overlook; paved walking/biking trail follows river in both directions; follow trail downstream to find places where people climb down into gorge; no maintained trails in gorge and going is bit tricky in places.

International Falls
Rainy Lake Houseboats – 2031 County Road 102; 218-286-5391;; houseboat rentals for Voyageurs National Park.
Voyagaire Houseboats – 7576 Gold Coast Road; 218-993-2266;; houseboat rentals for Voyageurs National Park.
Sights & Sites
Voyageurs National Park – 360 Minnesota Highway 11; 218-283-6600;; home to 30 lakes & 1K islands; some say scenery as beautiful as Alaska; way to do it is house-boating, best mid-May through September; best lakes to boat are Kabetogama, Namakan, Rainy & Sand Point; will see bears swimming, island to island, during day and hear wolves howl at night.

Sights & Sites
Wilder Museum – 330 8th Street; 507-859-2358;

Bakeries, Coffee, Ice Cream, Juice & Tea
Blue Heron Coffeehouse – 162 West 2nd Street; 507-452-7020;
Alexander Mansion Historic B&B – 274 6th Street; 507-474-4224;; Queen Anne extravaganza with ties to J.R. Watkins’ family; marble bathrooms and great breakfasts.
Village House – 72 College Road; 507-454-4322;; homey.
Jefferson Pub & Grill – 58 Center Street; 507-452-2718;; on levee; notable for burgers and brandy old-fashioneds.
Lakeview Drive Inn – 610 East Sarnia Street; 507-454-3723;; Winona’s oldest eating spot; since 1938, serving guests in their cars or at umbrella-ed table; home-made root beer.
Signatures – 22852 County Road 17; 507-454-3767;; nestled on golf course, hidden among firs; named after owners’ eclectic collection of signed items.
Self-Guided Walking Tour App – 160 Johnson Street (at Winona County History Center); 507-454-2723; or; entitled, “Stories in Structure: Winona Architecture Tour”); leads through 7 blocks preserved on National Historic Register.
J.R. Watkins Museum & Store – 150 Liberty Street; 507-457-6095;
Sights & Sights
Lake Park Lodge – 80 West Lake Boulevard; 607-453-1995;; bike, canoe, ski, and snow-shoe rentals.
Minnesota Marine Art Museum – 800 Riverview Drive; 507-474-6626;; anchors pretty terrace on riverfront; works such as American and Dutch paintings of ships and their captains, dreamy Hudson River Valley landscapes, and permanent installation that includes Monet, O’Keeffe, Renoir, and Van Gogh.
Polish Cultural Institute & Museum – 102 Liberty Street; 507-454-3431;; .
J.R. Watkins Museum & Store – 150 Liberty Street; 507-457-6095;; dedicated to spice empire’s founding location (dominated by white spire visible all over town).
Winona County History Center – 160 Johnson Street; 507-454-2723;; in 1915 former brick armory; Winona founded in 1851 on Mississippi River sandbar “island,” displacing native Dakotas; documentation of this time period and on, particularly through town’s “boom” years (1870-1890), which years 3rd Street’s remaining, world-class architecture personifies; for example, make sure to see Winona National Bank’s original structure, grand Egyptian revival with Tiffany stained glass; also noteworthy: Merchants Bank building (Prairie-style edifice with stained glass and 1915 murals).

No comments:

Post a Comment