April Showers Bring May Flowers but Spring Brings Excitement to the Winona Area

April 4, 2011 § Leave a comment

The snow and ice have melted and the sun is finally starting to poke its head out from behind the clouds and warm up the ground. While the weather is beginning to perk up, along with it I see students getting excited about the upcoming season and all the fun things involved with nicer weather.    Finals haven’t hit yet and summer isn’t quite here, so while we are all busy with classes, there is still free time and lots of various options here in Winona to get out and have some fun!

View of lake Winona from Garvin Heights

View of lake Winona from Garvin Heights

How many of you have gone hiking yet in Winona? Personally, I think hiking is a great way to have some fun with your friends and break away from the stresses of school and work. Lucky for us here in Winona we have some prime places to hike and see the sights. First we have Sugarloaf; a great place to see the sights in a short time. The path to the top does not take long nor is it a hard climb. There are several spots to stop along the way for a scenic outlook of our wonderful town.  For the adventurous rock climbers out there, sugarloaf even has hooks set in the rock for rock climbing to the very top! Garvin heights is another great place students on campus can go hiking and explore on nice days. While there is a wonderful lookout place, other interesting aspects include the step path leading to the bottom of the hill and places to have a picnic.

Lake Winona is another part of Winona that I enjoy. There is a wonderful five mile path that follows the lake entirely around and people frequently run, walk, rollerblade, bike, and stroll along the trail. The Winona City Park surrounds Lake Winona and includes a beach, picnic sites, band shell, dock and boat fishing, playgrounds, skating rink in winter, a Frisbee golf course, and soccer and softball fields.  Within Lake Park, by the band shell, is Veterans Memorial Park as well.

Lakeview Restaurant in Winona, MN

Lakeview Drive-inn located in Winona, MN

The most exciting place for students to eat in the spring is the famous Lakeview Drive-inn on Sarnia St. Many do not know that Lakeview is Winona’s oldest restaurant in town, founded in 1938. Carhops still serve a large menu of burgers, sandwiches, ice cream and homemade root beer. Close to the lake and not too far from campus, students travel to Lakeview for great food and good company with friends. Because the drive-inn is only open from March to September, there is always a great rush of people in the spring when they re-open for the season.  If you are looking for some great fries, a burger and perhaps a shake or root beer, look no further than Lakeview drive-inn- YUM

Visiting historic downtown Winona can be a great activity regardless of the time of year, so this spring, check it out! There is the Winona County Historical Center, located on 160 Johnson St, that shows professionally constructed exhibits that examine life in Winona as lived by both lumber baron and laborer, Winona’s rowdy past, a brief history of our sewers, and the Cold War parking plans to be used during a nuclear war. Needless to say, there is a lot of interesting stuff to see in this museum. Our city houses the historic Bunnell House, and the Minnesota Marine Art Museum. The Bunnell House is a Gothic style wood home overlooking the Mississippi River—its even listed on the National Register of Historic Places! The MN Marine Art Museum exhibits a collection of 19th and 20th century marine and landscape painting, impressionism, and rotating exhibitions of accomplished living artists. I’ve never been there myself but have always wanted to go and have heard great things! Lastly we have the Watkins Heritage Museum, located on E. 3rd St. Here in the Watkins Museum & Store is a large collection of memorabilia from Watkins’ rich history. I think it would be great for students to get out into our community and see the rich history our town has!

I know I am looking forward to more of this spring weather so I can get out and enjoy warm temperatures. I’ll be out and around Winona seeking out these fun activities and more and I hope you all get the opportunity to do the same!   Ciao!

Megan Zimmerman

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