MInnesota is a very beautiful state. Even though it lacks a coastline and high mountains, there is still lot of natural beauty to be found. Part of the credit also goes to the way small attractions have been developed. Being a warm in the summer and extremely cold in the winter type of state, Minnesota has a lot to offer for everyone.
I would have never explored Minnesota if not for my parents 2 month long visit. I drove for about 4,000 miles in less than 2 months, to put it into perspective. The day before their scheduled departure, I made up a small plan to visit a city called Winona. The plan was instigated by the fact that Winona was voted as the “Best Day trip” in the local CityPages.
The overlook allows you to catch a glimpse of the entire city as well as the Mississippi river on a clear day. truly exhilarating!
Next on the agenda was a stop over at the visitor center. It is not clearly visible in the picture, but was located directly below the peak on the left bank of the lake!
This is the visitor’s center on the right. I bought a small wooden magnetic memento from here. The staff was friendly and genuinely interested in welcoming tourists. Speaking of tourism, the only other economic contributor in the city is the Winona State University.
Then we headed for a drive on the Lake Drive road where we stopped by the Memorial Park at the lake bank to take some pictures. From here, you could actually see the Sugarloaf Bluff at a peak. It is said that the bluff resembles the shape of the hat worn by the first Indian settler in Winona!
Downtown Winona is also pretty beautiful with lots of restaurants, and a Levee Park at the edge of downtown. We had lunch (soup, hoagies, and pita) at a coffee shop called Acoustic Café, which was recommended by the lady at the visitor’s center. It was here that we decided to skip going to the Winona County Historical Museum due to lack of interest.
We finally came back to Minneapolis, driving through Rochester, MN. And, in the evening, I treated my parents to a nice dinner at Maggiano’s Little Italy restaurant. They had a flight back to Mumbai the next day.
Here’s a map of the location: