Day trip to Red Wing MN

Day trip to Red Wing MN

Summer is just around the corner! Summer’s a great time to explore the local area with short-getaways and nearby day trips. If you live in the Upper Midwest, have you been to Red Wing?? And if you don’t live in the Upper Midwest but will be visiting, I highly recommend adding Red Wing, Minnesota to your itinerary. Here’s what to do in a day trip to Red Wing, MN!

We actually had our wedding near Red Wing, and so yes — I may have a soft spot for this place. But it’s a great small-town getaway when you live a busier life. We just got back from a weekend there celebrating our anniversary. It might become our annual anniversary tradition.

For other shorter-trip ideas check out:

Day trip to Red Wing MN

Before we dig into your day trip to Red Wing MN, I want to mention a couple logistics:

  • This also makes a great 1-night stay in Red Wing. Swap up this itinerary to arrive in Red Wing early afternoon, stay the night and then spend a leisurely morning exploring before heading back home.
  • You could even consider this without a car. It may not be talked about enough, but there’s an Amtrak train station in Red Wing about an hour journey from the Twin Cities. You could pretty easily get through this itinerary by walking to and from the Red Wing train station. Isn’t that an interesting thought??

Day trip to Red Wing MN

Barn Bluff (He Mni Can) Hike and Overlook

Start your day in Red Wing by getting a little exercise! Head to Barn Bluff or He Mni Can for a hike to one of the highest points and best overlooks in the area. There are a few trails with varying difficulty to fit most people’s needs. You can do it quite leisurely or you can hike the difficult trail for a little more of a challenge.

Either way, you can probably do this hike — there and back — within an hour (maybe 1.5 if you stop a lot).

Visit Red Wing Shoe Company Museum for the world’s largest boot

The Red Wing Shoe Company is well known for their famous shoes and boots. But there’s also a Museum that you should check out to say you saw the largest boot in the world.

This is probably one of the most iconic things you can do in Red Wing!

Picnic lunch in Bay Point Park

Start your afternoon by heading to Bay Point Park. This is one of our favorite parks in Red Wing, right on the Mississippi River. Pack a blanket, a cooler with food, and maybe a couple of cushions if you desire.

Take in the views, soak in the breeze beneath the trees and take your time enjoying a picnic. We did this recently and were like “Why don’t we do this more….” The great thing about Red Wing is that you won’t feel over-run with buzzing streets and busy people. You will notice more people sitting on the benches and slowing down their day.

Afternoon beer at Red Wing Brewery

Late afternoon head to Red Wing Brewery (a short walk from Bay Point Park). I always like checking out a local brewery. And if you aren’t a beer-drinker they also have root beer and wine (not to mention delicious homemade pizza!).

Dinner at Scarlet Kitchen and Bar

Finish your day trip to Red Wing MN by having dinner on the patio at Scarlet Kitchen and Bar. You will want to make a reservation as it can fill up fast!

Scarlet Kitchen and Bar is at the top of St. James Hotel on the main street in Red Wing.

Sipping a cocktail and enjoying a delicious meal on the patio is a great way to complete your day in Red Wing.

Stay the night at St. James Hotel

And if you aren’t ready to leave Red Wing, stay the night! I recommend St. James Hotel for a historic feeling and really nice rooms of varying price points and amenities.

As an alternative I also highly recommend the Holiday Inn Express and Suites in Red Wing. It’s a great location, very clean, bright, and spacious, and is somewhat more affordable as it includes breakfast. We actually had our wedding block here and stayed the night ourselves. It’s a really great option!

Now that you have an idea of what to do in Red Wing, don’t miss out!! Fill your car with gas (or purchase your train tickets), grab your coffee, and get on the road!


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