Winona, MN

"Minnesota's nicest"

A runner finds his stride at the Physical Health for Mental Wealth fundraiser. (Credit: Heidi Monson)

Apart from the breathtaking natural beauty of the area, heaps of outdoor recreation, and love for the arts, people here are just plain nice! We have some wonderful organizations for assisting people with disabilities and mental illness, an impressive number of service organization chapters per capita, quaint coffee shops, and boutiques with outstanding customer service.

Stories About Winona

Our area Lion’s Clubs are raising millions of dollars to construct a park that is completely handicapped accessible and sure to be every child’s dream. Our volunteer group Team Vogel vs. Cancer raises funds every year through a variety of events for local families affected by cancer. We host multiple festivals in this small town, like the Great River Shakespeare Festival, Beethoven Festival, Boats and Bluegrass, and Midwest Music Festival, and the artists always comment on our lovely, kind, and accommodating community. Home and Community puts on a musical every year to raise funds to help integrate people with cognitive disabilities into the workforce, provide semi-independent living, and participate in everyday events in the community. It’s almost always sold out! Ready, Set, School collects school supplies to help children succeed in the classroom, even if they can’t afford the proper school supplies. There are so many more beautiful things about this place. Be careful if you visit, you might want to stay forever!

Here’s a perfect example of how kind this town is:

I stopped at a local gas station (Kwik Trip on Huff St.) and there was an eight-year-old girl and her mother with a lot of luggage nestled up to the counter. I asked one of the cashiers if they were okay and she said they had arrived on the Amtrak train the night before and were trying to get to Rochester, Minnesota (about 45 mins away). Other customers had been purchasing food for them and donating money. The coworkers at that store had pooled together enough money for a Lyft driver, but there were none available in our area at the time. I called a retired man I knew and asked if he could help. He didn’t even hesitate! He was just waking up, but would rush to get there as soon as possible.