Scenic and historic Winona, Minnesota, is a great destination for group tours. Brimming with history, music, art, and outdoor recreation, this charming city has a wide array of activities to ensure an exciting travel experience for all visitors. Contact Visit Winona to start planning your tour today.
Not sure where to start on your Winona travel experience? The Winona County Historical Society and Visit Winona can coordinate step-on guides for bus tours to get an overview of the city. Based on your group’s interests, you can see Winona’s top attractions, view the river valley from atop the bluffs, tour museums, and more.
Groups can also explore Winona’s Windom Park Historic District with the help of local guides. This architecture and history tour sheds light on Winona in the late 1800’s, when the city allegedly had the most millionaires per capita in the United States. Tour highlights include a stop by the statue of the legendary figure We-no-nah, the namesake of the city.
Winona is an artistic city with plenty of creative activities and events. In addition to its own plentiful art galleries and local performance venues, Winona plays host to popular live music events, including Minnesota Beethoven Festival, the Boats and Bluegrass Festival, the Mid West Music Festival.
From June through the end of July, groups can take in performances at The Great River Shakespeare Festival (GRSF). Each year, the talented company performs multiple works by the Bard, in what Talkin’ Broadway calls “an essential part of summer in Minnesota.” In addition to attending the play, the audience can participate in behind-the-scenes tours, workshops, and panel discussions with the cast and crew.
The Minnesota Marine Art Museum’s (MMAM) education programs and art exhibitions explore mankind’s relationship with water. Located on the banks of the Mississippi River, the museum’s six galleries contain contemporary exhibitions and historic artworks. Schedule a guided tour focused on three specific galleries, then wander the MMAM’s 3.5 acres of gardens with over 60,000 native plants.
Winona is in the gorgeous bluff region, a unique geographic area that offers myriad hiking and biking trails. Sugar Loaf Bluff might be Winona’s most famous landmark, offering excellent views of the surrounding area. The hike up to this nearly 85-foot bluff is only 20 minutes long, making it easy to incorporate into a busy day of exploring.
The National Eagle Center has two floors of exhibits on regional history of the Dakota peoples and other residents, the environment of the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife Refuge, and the history of eagles in the U.S. Book a tour with a live eagle ambassador and follow local experts to observe nest sites, Bald Eagles, Golden Eagles, and other wildlife. Group discounts are available.
Get out on the water with the Winona Tour Boat. This narrated boat tour covers the history of Winona and its relationship to the mighty Mississippi River as it floats by the commercial port, barge systems, and famous boat house community. Not only will your group get a unique perspective on the city’s history, but it’s a great opportunity to spot eagles, turtles, deer, and more of Winona’s native wildlife.
Winona’s river valley from atop the bluffs
Credit: Visit Winona