My mom and I were feeling a touch of spring fever recently and decided a day trip to one of our favorite scenic river towns was in order! It’s the perfect spot for a girls’ foodie day trip to Red Wing MN, with fresh food, sweet treats, and shopping!! Later in the season, it’s a great place to take in spring flowers and walk around the historic neighborhoods to see all the gorgeous mansions, or hike up the bluff for a spectacular view.
1. Wisteria Twig Tea Shop
This nostalgic fancy tea shop provides delicious fresh breakfasts, lunches, and a dinner menu on Thursdays. Furnished in the style of a Victorian era, this adorable tiny restaurant features vintage teacups and teapots, kept warm on a glass warmer with a tiny candle to make every cup perfect. Their stunning teas are sourced from Fat Lady Tea, their house brand. You can buy packaged loose leaf teas to take your favorites home with you! It’s my favorite stop on a day trip to Red Wing MN. Try the Strawberry Salad, any Soup of the Day, and of course the Lemon Cake (trust me on that one!!!!). https://wisteria-twig-tea-room.square.site
2. Pottery Place
This giant rambling reclaimed pottery, which created the earthenware which made Red Wing famous, has become a unique boutique mall featuring a giant antique mall, resale clothing store, music shop, souvenirs, and a lot of surprises around the odd corners. It’s a must-see on any day trip to Red Wing Mn!
It’s an amazing building which features some of the old pottery machinery, in a very cool and industrial style. We rambled around the two story antique mall for at least an hour, and found some great vintage records! https://potteryplaceredwing.com
3. Hanisch Bakery
A must-stop on any day trip to Red Wing MN, Hanisch Bakery took over from Pirius Bakery (est 1961), and they have become a landmark in town. I can’t resist some of their delicious cookies or extravagant donuts, and I always take a loaf of 1890 Buttercrust bread home with me. Check out their hilariously decorated seasonal cookies, and also the decadent bars and treats which change constantly. You can get lunch right next door in the attached restaurant, and it’s delicious! https://hanischbakery.com
4. Red Wing Confectionery
An adorable candy shop on Red Wing’s busy Main Street, this was a new stop for me. Their truffles are spectacularly pretty, and the taste matches! I don’t know what exactly is in the Aztec gold truffle, but wow!!! I would totally get that again!! The raspberry truffle is another classic, and there are many other delicious choices. http://www.redwingconfectionery.com
5. Historic Neighborhood Walk
Another favorite activity on a Day Trip to Red Wing MN is to stare at the gorgeous mansions up the hill from downtown. It’s a bit of a workout up and down the hills, but a perfect spring tourist activity. Check out the Moondance Inn–you can stay there too!!!–outside and inside are both spectacular. Look for the Octagon House, which is an extremely unique landmark. These well-preserved Queen Anne and Italianate mansions are well worth the view!
6. Hike up Barn Bluff
We ran out of time and the trails were too wet, but in better weather this is a spectacular hike. Beware, it’s a pretty steep climb and will definitely stretch the cardio fitness! The view from the top is unbelievable. It’s an incredible picture taking spot, and you can see the whole city and the Mississippi River Valley stretched out below. https://redwing.org/barn-bluff-red-wing-mn/
Summary: If you’re in the Midwest, it’s hard to find a prettier spot than the Great River Road from Wabasha to Red Wing MN, with a destination of a gorgeous little river town with great shopping and food destinations. Visit mid-May for some amazing spring scenery and early October for spectacular fall foliage. It’s a great day trip, or stay a few days and explore the river valley!