Enjoy Arts & Architecture in Winona

By Explore Minnesota

Winona OverlookWinona holds a very scenic spot along the Mississippi River, bordered by broad bluffs. Enjoy the art of nature on display here, as well as an abundant offering of fine arts including paintings, architecture, music, theater, and film.

The city has a fine collection of residential and commercial architecture, with Queen Anne, Italianate, Romanesque, and Prairie School buildings from the 1850s to the early 1900s. Exquisitely crafted stained glass windows, some manufactured by Tiffany, can be seen at banks, churches, and public buildings. Brochures outlining the stained glass locations and walking tours of the historic downtown and an adjacent neighborhood of stately homes are available at the county history museum, the visitors' bureau, or online at visitwinona.com. Another enjoyable walk is the stroll around Lake Winona.

Winona is a college town, and the Page Theatre at St. Mary's University, perched on the hills above town, brings in an entertaining array of performances. Theatre du Mississippi is another active arts group in town, booking a variety of concerts at the Historic Masonic Theatre. It also puts on the Frozen River Film Festival, held at Winona State University. Summer is filled with performances presented by the Great River Shakespeare Festival and the Minnesota Beethoven Festival. Check also for performances at the Winona Arts Center, housed in an old church.

Marine Art Museum - Big PhotoThe Minnesota Marine Art Museum resides in an attractive riverfront complex designed to look like a 1900-era waterfront warehouse and shipyard. The museum displays the Burrichter/Kierlin Marine Art Collection, one of the largest in the country of its type, with oil paintings, watercolors, and three-dimensional objects from a variety of countries and periods. A gallery devoted to Impressionist and Hudson River art features work by Van Gogh, Monet, Pissarro, Renoir,Corot, Singer Sargent, Church, Cole, Bierstadt, and many other artists. Other permanent exhibits include wooden marine folk sculptures, and temporary shows highlight regional artists and other marine themes and collections.

The art of nature is stunningly displayed in Winona. The Garvin Heights Overlook offers spectacular views of Winona and the Mississippi River Valley in three directions. Natural beauty can also be found at Winona’s Great River Bluffs State Park as well as the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge. Hiking, biking and canoeing are great ways to explore the sights.

For an overnight stay, choose from several brand-name motels or B&Bs in beautiful Victorian homes.For an overnight stay, choose from several brand-name motels or B&Bs in beautiful Victorian homes.

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