College doesn’t have to be all work and no play, especially during a pandemic. And the last thing we want is for you to be cooped up in your res hall or home.

That’s why at Winona State, there’s plenty to do outdoors in the local community that’s also close to campus.

The best part is that you can maintain physical distancing without sacrificing your social life, which is what your college experience is all about!

1. Take a lap (or two) around Lake Winona

Whether you’re in the mood for laid-back walking and longboarding or heart-pumping biking and rollerblading, the lake lends itself to outdoor adventure and exercise.

2. Cast a line and catch a fish

You don’t need to be an experienced fisher—but you may need some patience and bug spray at Lake Winona.

3. Hammock between the trees

Feel like ripping through a book, listening to your latest Spotify playlist or taking a cat-nap?

The lake is the perfect spot with plenty of hanging space and the lull of the water.

4. Fine-tune your frolfing skills

Challenge yourself to a round of frisbee golf at Lake Winona… it’s all about the flick of the wrist.

5. Hike up to Garvin Heights and admire the lookout

Sometimes all we need is a new perspective, and what better place to go for a great view of our campus and college town.

At Garvin Heights, it’s easy to see that our small town has lots to offer.

6. Tee off at Westfield Golf

Not into frolfing? Try the real thing and go golfing on one of Westfield Golf’s beautiful course.

Or you can hit a bucket of balls at the driving range and practice the flick of the wrist I mentioned earlier.

7. Grab some fresh goods from the Winona Farmers Market

Fill your basket (and your belly) at the farmers market at Levee Park. You can pick out your favorite produce, meats, herbs and more from a variety of local vendors.

The farmers market plans to be open now through October on Saturdays from 7:30am-12pm, so be there or be square.

8. Order out and have a picnic

Ordering takeout is another way to support local businesses. Whether you’re craving something salty, sweet or a little bit of both, there’s a lot of pickup and delivery options to choose from.

Then enjoy your meal by the lake, on the grass, or at a picnic table of your choice.

9. Take a stroll downtown for Dine Out Downtown

Dine Out Downtown is an event series that allows local restaurants, bars and retail businesses to safely expand their outdoor seating capacity and product display into the street. Think of the farmers market, but on a much larger scale.

Now through October, you can stop by and chow down on an outdoor patio or browse around for your next thrifting find every Friday from 4-10pm. See you there!

Although these experiences may be a little different because of the need for wearing masks and physical distancing, you don’t need to sacrifice your social life as a college student.

It is, in fact, possible to have fun during a pandemic—so, come see for yourself, and meet what’s possible at Winona State.

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Hailey Seipel

Hailey is an English: Applied and Professional Writing major with a Mass Communication: Journalism minor who will graduate in 2020. She is from Rosemount, MN, and and her interests include writing, listening to music, hiking, and watching football and basketball.