"Shoe City" Red Wing by yooperprof

Red Wing Travel Guide: 39 reviews and 70 photos

Old River Town

An industrial town that offers a glimpse into the early history of Minnesota, Red Wing is a pleasant river town a short drive from the Twin Cities. As a Mississippi port town, Red Wing was for a brief the most important wheat depot in the USA. Later it re-invented itself as an center for manufacturing and services. Red Wing is unusually interesting and unusually well-preserved, with a beautiful historic district which is both commercial and cultural in orientations. Those of you who are interested in small town America should definitely consider a stop in Red Wing.

Old Man River

There is a dramatic bend in the Mississippi at Red Wing - it's said that the river takes the bend north of the town is the sharpest navigable turn on the entire river. Also, an island in the middle of the river narrows the width of the water and makes it more "tamable." Long before Euro-man came to this region, the local Dakota people had chosen this site as an important settlement.

The first white settlements occurred here in the 1850s, and by 1870 Red Wing had a permanent population of over 4000.

Main Street USA

"Where all the women are strong, the men are good-looking, and the children above-average."

The folks in Red Wing have been unusually resourceful. First wheat-trading, then flour milling, then manufacturing (shoes and pottery) have all been important components of the local economy. Now Red Wing is taking advantage of its relative proximity to the big Twin Cities to market itself as a weekend holiday "getaway" from the pressures of the metropolis. Small town America does have its charms when it is well-preserved and prosperous as Red Wing.

  • Last visit to Red Wing: May 2007
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (19)

Comments (3)

  • Nemorino's Profile Photo
    Nov 22, 2008 at 12:36 PM

    It's been a quiet week in Lake Wobegon, err, Red Wing.

  • zrim's Profile Photo
    Jul 19, 2007 at 1:08 PM

    Red Wing is about as nice as we get in Minnesota. Fun place to spend a Saturday.

  • starship's Profile Photo
    Jun 14, 2007 at 5:42 AM

    It's only in the last 10 years that I really started to appreciate "small-town America". I'm sorry I wasted so many years Missing it! Very nice page!


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