Family Weekend is a fun weekend for students to get together with their parents and siblings and hang out around Winona. There are so many hidden gems that make Winona such a special and beautiful place to visit. Here are ten places to check out with family and friends during Family Weekend at WSU.


  1. Hike to Garvin Heights or Sugar Loaf

A little fresh air and exercise is always great and the views from the top of these bluffs are breath-taking. This time of year, when the leaves are starting to change, it is especially beautiful. Both Garvin Heights and Sugar Loaf provide great opportunities for you to snag that family Instagram photo!


  1. Roam around the Winona Farmers Market

On Saturday morning, head downtown to the Winona Farmers Market for food and activities. The market opens at 7:30 a.m. for early risers and is all packed up by noon. Also, this Saturday is WSU Student Day at the market. There will be opportunities for WSU students who attend to win free giveaways and prizes! Quite a fun way to spend a Saturday morning if you ask me!


  1. Take a ride on Trester Trolley

Trester Trolley offers hour and a half long, guided trolley rides through the scenic Winona city with views of the bluffs. This is a great way to spend time with your family while they get to know a little more about your new home.


  1. Drink hot apple cider at Ecker’s Apple Farm

Just outside Winona is an adorable apple orchard, Eckers, and it’s one of my favorite places to visit in the fall! If you’re like me, you love to spend a nice fall day looking at the pretty changing colors of the trees, drinking hot apple cider and taking fun fall photos. I highly recommend you check this one out!


  1. Visit Ferguson’s Orchard

This is another one of my favorite orchards to visit in the fall and it’s just as great as Ecker’s Apple Farm. This one is also just outside of Winona but it’s worth the short road trip. If you get the chance, I recommend checking out both orchards in one day!


  1. Grab a cup of Joe at one of Winona’s many coffee shops

The town of Winona has a multitude of cute spots for a coffee or lunch break with the family. Mugby Junction, Blooming Grounds and Acoustic Café are a few of my favorites. These three are located downtown Winona.


  1. Check out the Minnesota Marine Art Museum

I personally have not yet had the chance to visit the Marine Art Museum, but from what my friends say, it’s definitely worth looking into. There’s always something interesting going on at the museum and their website has all the info for what’s happening during Family Weekend.


  1. Take a river ride on the Cal Fremling

This river ride is a must in Winona. I have been on the Cal Fremling with my friends and it is the perfect scenic activity for a nice weathered day. The boat is docked at Levee park on the Mississippi River.


  1. Paddle away at the Lake Park Lodge

The lodge has canoes, kayaks, paddle boards and many more activities to enjoy while the weather is still bearable! I am a huge fan of paddle boarding. This is an excellent place to check out if you are looking for a fun day on the water.


  1. Find quality entertainment at The Edge Student Center

If you enjoy live entertainment or free coffee and refreshments, head on over to the Coffeehouse Talent Show at 7 p.m. Saturday evening! At this event, there will be WSU students showing off an array of talents such as singing, gymnastics, instrumental duets, and dancing. The event is free to attend and will be located at The Edge Student Center, across from Memorial Hall on the corner of Main and Sanborn Street.


These are just a few ideas of places for you and your family to check out during Family Weekend. Winona may be small, but it offers many places and activities that make for a great weekend visit! For the full schedule of events and more information about WSU Family Weekend 2017, click here. I hope your weekend in Winona is filled with quality family time, good laughs, and a hint of adventure!

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Cheney Mason

Cheney is from Stevens Point, WI and is majoring in Public Relations with a minor in Spanish. She enjoys writing, baking, working out, hanging out with friends and traveling.

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