Red Wing is the home of Red Wing Shoes and Red Wing Pottery. In the 1870s, Red Wing was the number one wheat port in the world. The population is comprised of many people of German and Scandinavian origin. The original pottery closed in 1967, and the building is now an outlet mall. There is a new Red Wing Pottery at the extreme west end of town, still making wonderful pottery.
Located on the banks of the Mississippi, Red Wing is known for its wooded bluffs and neighborhoods that nestle into the valleys between the bluffs. Most prominent of the bluffs is Barn Bluff, which rises steeply above downtown and the river. Sorin’s bluff offers commanding views of the town and the river. Other bluffs rise throughout the city, adding scenic variety.
Red Wing has a number of parks and two golf courses. Colvill, Bay Point and Levee parks are on the river bank. Colvill park, near the east (downstream) end of town, is home to the city’s water park and is a popular picnic destination. Bay Point park, near downtown, the Pottery district, and marinas, is also a popular picnic destination. Levee park lies along the downtown riverfront, across the tracks from the railroad depot. Memorial Park covers most of Sorin’s bluff and offers road access, scenic overlooks and hiking. Barn Bluff is also city parkland and offers hiking trails to the summit. It is also a popular rock climbing destination. Several other parks are also scattered around town.
The harbor in Red Wing is spectacular, and includes the Boathouse Marina. Red Wing has one of the few bridges south of the Twin Cities connecting Minnesota with Wisconsin (the others are in Hastings, Wabasha, Winona, Dresbach and La Crescent). The town is largely a tourist town now, and it offers considerable charms. There are also many beautiful and historic homes in Red Wing, including an octagon house on 3rd Street, which is also a bed & breakfast.
From the Twin Cities, follow US Highway 61 south into Red Wing.
- 1 Amtrak, 420 Levee St (at Broad St). Amtrak’s Empire Builder service, which runs between Chicago and Seattle/Portland, stops in Red Wing.