DescriptionThe name Red Wing is derived from the title given Dakota chiefs who once lived in the area; they were called Koo-poo-hoo-sha (meaning “wing of the wild swan dyed scarlet”) because of the symbol they carried. Acclaimed historian Frances Densmore was born in Red Wing. Known as the Writing Down Woman, her work—22 books about Native American customs and thousands of song and voice recordings, including Geronimo's voice—still forms the basis of much academic research.
Several vantage points offer bird's-eye views of the Mississippi River, which widens in the Red Wing vicinity. River traffic can be observed from locations within Levee Park, Bay Point Park and Colvill Park; Colvill Park also offers opportunities for eagle watching November through March.
Along the summit of Memorial Park, a vista encompassing some 10 miles unfolds on clear days. The view from atop Barn Bluff, a geologic feature named for its resemblance to a barn, is well worth the exertion of hiking to the top.
Footwear and pottery both bear the town's name. An enormous work boot resides in the Red Wing Shoe Store & Museum at 315 Main St.; a to-scale individual trying on the 16-foot-high, 20-foot-long boot would stand around 12 stories tall. Displays at this flagship branch trace the century-plus history of Red Wing Shoes; phone (651) 388-6233.
Red Wing Stoneware Co., 4909 Moundview Dr., has an observation area for visitors to watch artisans craft pottery and also offers guided tours. Phone (651) 388-4610 or (800) 352-4877.
The Goodhue County Historical Society History Center, 1166 Oak St., has displays about area history; phone (651) 388-6024. Performances at the Sheldon Theatre, 443 W. 3rd St., include theater, popular music concerts, children's shows and seasonal holiday events; for schedule information phone (651) 388-8700 or (800) 899-5759.
Visitor InfoRed Wing Visitors and Convention Bureau 420 Levee St. RED WING, MN 55066. Phone:(651)385-5934
ShoppingPottery Place Antiques, 2000 Old W. Main St., features more than 50 dealers on two floors of retail shops; phone (651) 388-7765. The restored Victorian St. James Hotel, on Main Street at Riverfront Centre, stands on the banks of the Mississippi overlooking the Hiawatha Valley and has a collection of boutiques and specialty shops; phone (800) 252-1875.
Self-guiding toursBrochures outlining walking tours of the downtown historic district along the Mississippi River are available at the visitors and convention bureau.