Downtown Lanesboro main street in winter

Enjoy the Charm of Southern Minnesota This Winter

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Lanesboro is a charming destination any time of year / Lanesboro Chamber of Commerce

Enjoy the Charm of Southern Minnesota This Winter

By Southern Minnesota Tourism Association

Enjoy the hustle and bustle of the holidays in southern Minnesota. Whether you’re meeting friends at breweries, boutique shopping or going to holiday events with the family, there’s something fun and festive for every traveler. Make plans to hit the road and enjoy the charm of southern Minnesota this winter.  

Bottles of whiskey, vodka & bourbon at a distillery

Handcrafted whiskey, vodka and bourbon / Harmony Spirits in Harmony / Harmony Spirits


Ready to lose your mind? Visit Lost Sanity Brewery in Madelia for some crazy good beer. The featured beers stay on theme with names like Manic Black Lager, Catatonic Cream and Hopzophrenia. Feeling a little hangry? Order in from Madelia’s own La Plaza Fiesta or Fox’s Pizza Den. Don’t go without trying a dessert from the local bakery Sweet! Indeed or a scoop of gelato, a pound of handmade fudge or old-fashioned candy from Hope & Faith Floral Studio & Gifts in downtown Madelia.

Forbidden Barrel Brewing Co. in Worthington offers four to six original beers made on-site as well as a variety of porters, stout, IPAs, honey wheats and other craft brews. The brewery’s name was derived from an 1872 story about East Coast settlers who didn’t abide by Worthington’s temperance movement. During a Fourth of July celebration, Professor Ransom Humiston, Worthington’s founder, learned there was a keg of beer in the Worthington House Hotel, so he seized it, dragged it outside and destroyed it with an axe, hence the Forbidden Barrel.

Harmony Spirits, southeast Minnesota’s newest distillery in the small town of Harmony, takes grains to glass. The handcrafted spirits are made in small batches, including vodka, bourbon, whiskey, rum and gin using locally sourced grains. Sit in the rustic indoor tasting room while you sip and order food from one of Harmony’s local restaurants for a full farm-to-table experience.

Girls walking through a courtyard

Enjoy a latte / Mandy's Coffee & Cafe in Red Wing

Unique Holiday Shopping

Grab your girlfriends for a fun shopping trip to historic downtown Red Wing. This river town in southeast Minnesota is home to several family-owned shops featuring high-quality foods and service with local flair, including the quintessential Uffda Shop offering uniquely Scandinavian gifts. The famous Red Wing Shoes flagship store and museum is also downtown. Stop by for custom shoe and boot fittings, a clearance center and, of course, the World’s Largest Boot (size 638 ½) while learning about the history of this local manufacturer.

Wander and shop through a winter wonderland in downtown Albert Lea. Pop into Whimzy to be transported back to your childhood where fun is your super power. Toys, books, games and creativity abounds in this unique boutique. Looking for the hard-to-buy-for person this holiday season? Check-out the Color Wheel Gifts and Decor store for a selection of new, repurposed and locally made gifts. 

Looking for a place to get all your holiday shopping done in one trip? Check out the two-dozen stores at Ultra Outlets in Medford. This premier shopping destination offers 25-75% off everyday prices and features favorite brands including Old Navy, Christopher Banks, Eddie Bauer, Nike, Bath & Body Works, Famous Footwear and much more.

Victorian home decorated for Christmas

Victorian Bed & Breakfast decorated for the holidays / Lanesboro Christmas Inn Tour in Lanesboro


Take the family to a show at the Fairmont Opera House featuring Christmas with Lorie Line, a solo piano performance. This over-100-year-old historic Opera House is proud to present season after successful season of live performances. 

Spend an afternoon exploring the small businesses along the Root River Trail Towns of southeast Minnesota. Renamed the Root River Tinsel Trail for the day of Dec. 5 to observe a day of shopping local and supporting small businesses. 

Southern Minnesota Tourism Association

Southern Minnesota has plenty of other fun indoor attractions, tons of upcoming festivals and events, and countless places to dine. And if you’re looking to stay overnight, there are plenty of affordable lodging options. Plan your southern Minnesota escape today.