Winona is surrounded by water – Lake Winona wraps around one end, while the Mississippi River curves around the other. A smattering of ponds and lakes surround the rest of the city, giving Winona an island-like feel.
To appreciate the true beauty of this Minnesota city, take a trip to Garvin Heights, a spectacular overlook with a view that extends from Mount Trempealeau to Lake Pepin. Another amazing location, Sugar Loaf, is a rocky tower that soars 85 feet above the bluff it stands on, a result of limestone mining in the 1800s. Today, this unique tower of rock is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Perhaps inspired by the natural beauty surrounding it, Winona is famous for its stained glass, and is considered the stained glass capital of the US with more than six stained glass companies located in the area. It is also famous for its contribution to music – Hal Leonard Corporation, the largest publisher of sheet music in the world, is located in Winona. Rounding out its cultural contributions, the Minnesota Marine Art Museum is home to four galleries that include more than 400 paintings by famous artists, such as Renoir, Homer, and Monet. Sculptures, traveling exhibits, and other collections are also featured.
Winona is the county seat of Winona County. It is home to Winona State University and Saint Mary’s University. As an integral part of the community, the universities feature museums, theater performances, and – in the case of Saint Mary’s — some of the best skiing and skating trails in the state. WSU features a Garden and Monument Tour as well as a performing arts center and art galleries.
Surrounded by the beautiful bluffs, Lake Winona is a beautiful place to enjoy outdoor activities such as camping, fishing, and boating. Lake Park, which surrounds the lake, includes a band shell, a fishing dock, hiking trails, a rose garden, and play areas. In winter, visitors enjoy the skating rink. Other area activities and sites include vineyards, three historic sites, Big Valley Ranch, three golf courses, and outdoor sculptures.