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Things To Do In Lake Pepin Mn

Hop Over To Wisconsin

Walleye and Smallmouth in Lake Pepin, MN

For beautiful views of the Minnesota bluffs, hop over to the Wisconsin side for a unique experience. Youll find two cute towns called Nelson and Pepin that can provide for a fun stop along the way.

The Nelson Cheese Factory

The Nelson Cheese Factory, previously called Nelsons Creamery is a great stop for hot and cold sandwiches, salad, soup, and pizza. They also have a wine room and a kitchen pantry with sauces, cheese, cookies, meat, and more so you can bring your favorite items home.

The Pickle Factory

Stop by the Pickle Factory for lunch in Pepin. They have excellent burgers and cheap beer. Sit inside, or find a spot on the outdoor patio, which is just a few steps from Lake Pepin.

Villa Bellezza

Continue the adventure with a glass of wine at Villa Bellezza. I had the Chardonnay, which is light and refreshing. Sit outside on the beautiful piazza, walk around the vineyard and feel transported to Italy. They also sell Italian-inspired food, like lasagna if youre looking for a meal.

Sunflower Field

Another great stop along the way is Village Edge Farms Organic Sunflowers. Theres something so stunning about a sunflower field in full bloom. Everyone is welcome to take photos and enjoy the view. Be careful not to trample the flowers and give a donation in the donation box if you can.

Frontenac State Park & Lake Pepin

With few options for summer travels in 2020 I did have a lot of fun exploring the quaint gems within my own state during the weekends. While Minnesota isnt the most exciting of the 50 states, it has a lot to offer in the summer months in terms of outdoor exploration, camping, and other fun activities.

I only went camping once this summer, and it was in Frontenac State Park, about an hour and a half outside the Twin Cities. Its super convenient for a quick weekend getaway, and by some miracle, the mosquitos werent even bad!

Here are the highlights from the weekend in a place Id highly recommend for either a day trip or camping during the summer!

Activites Abound In Lake City Minnesotas South Shore With A Longer Season To Play Outdoors

Lake City is an outdoor enthusiasts paradise. We offer unmatched access to the lake, championship golf and miles of hiking and biking trails. Known as the Birthplace of Waterskiing, our lake provides world class sailing opportunities, the best fishing in Southeastern Minnesota with over 85 different species, and endless water sport activities. Enjoy the lake from shore by taking a stroll on our 2 and ½ mile river walk, hiking or biking along our scenic trails, or watch the majestic bald eagle and other migratory birds in action from our designated viewing areas.

Lake City is also the perfect destination for the golfers of all skill levels. Challenge yourself at one of our four 18-hole golf courses played out over various terrains. Play atop the bluffs with views of the lake or wind through the majestic Mississippi River Valley.

View what there is to do in Lake City:
Tour de Pepin

An biking event that starts and ends in Lake City. A tradition on the first Saturday of June. Join us for the exciting rides or just come to watch and cheer on the bikers. Visit for more information and registration.

Four Touring Options


The perfect boating experience. Lake City is nestled on the banks of Lake Pepin, a 22-mile-long, 2-mile-wide natural broadening of the Mississippi River.

Smitty’s Marina

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A Monster In Lake Pepin

The legend of Pepie the Lake Monster comes from numerous sightings of an unexplained creature surfacing from the depths of Lake Pepin. These sightings have taken place from both ship and shore. So far, none of these sightings has confirmed the existence of a new species! That may change in the next few years as many people try to obtain evidence of Pepie’s existence! Read more about Pepie

The Frederick R Weisman Art Museum


The Frederick R. Weiman Art Museum is located at the University of Minnesota and is another free thing to do in Minnesota. It features over 6,000 paintings and sculptures from artists around the world.

The Frederick R. Weisman Art Museum features Renaissance, Gothic, and Baroque paintings along with many other different exhibits that are worth checking out.

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Visit The Boundary Waters Canoe And Camping Area

The BWCA is one of my personal favorites to completely get off the grid and explore the wilderness.

I absolutely love the Boundary Waters Canoe Area in Minnesota. Its best done on a beautiful 3-day canoe trip and camping excursion.

The BWCA is one of my favorite things to do in Minnesota because it offers an incredible wilderness experience. You dont need to own a canoe, as there are numerous sites that rent them out.

If you decide to go, I highly recommend going during Labor Day weekend because its just generally a great time there as the mosquitos have calmed down a bit and the weather is tremendous.

Its always fun to go around that time of year and its an experience you wont forget.

Even if you dont have the time to explore in a canoe, make sure to stop and visit Gooseberry Falls State Park on your way into the Boundary Waters Canoe Area!

Its about a 45-minute drive from Duluth down the Superior Hwy. 1 and its absolutely worth the stop!

Gooseberry Falls is free to visit but is one of the best things to do in Minnesota that just cant be missed, particularly in Autumn!

The falls are everything you want in a beautiful waterfall: tall, roaring, majestic, and surrounded by trees dressed in fall foliage.

See Related: Cascade River State Park

On The Mississippi River Between Minnesota And Wisconsin A Favorite Driving Route Leads To Some Real Treats

From the Maiden Rock Bluff state natural area, hikers have a spectacular view of Lake Pepin.

Along the shores of Lake Pepin, villages like to play a game called Tempt the Tourist.

The tourists think theyre going to go for a drive and see some scenery. But the villages give them so many places to indulge themselves, they end up mostly eating and shopping not that anyones complaining.

The highway around Lake Pepin is a gantlet of temptations bakeries, bistros, wine bars and gift shops. Some people never make it beyond Stockholm in Wisconsin or Red Wing in Minnesota, just an hour from the Twin Cities.

But this is the kind of place where its fun to spin your wheels.

Lake Pepin actually is a 26-mile-long wide spot on the Mississippi, created by the delta of the Chippewa River across from Reads Landing, Minn.

Early explorers were quick to extol its beauty, and when steamboats began traveling upriver in the 1820s, settlements sprang up to supply travelers with wood and food.

General stores replaced wharves, then gave way to shops, galleries and cafes that cater to tourists. Today, visitors have an array of choices thats as expansive as the views.

It’s a 70-mile drive around Lake Pepin, making it a perfect day trip. We start in , and our first stop is Old West Main Street, near Pottery Place, to pick up baked goods or a picnic lunch.

From Lake City, the Pearl of the Lake paddlewheeler gives tours.

The Pepin Heights store sells produce from its Lake City orchard.

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Things To Do With Kids In Lake City Mn

  • TripBuzz found 33 things to do with kids in or near Lake City, Minnesota, including 27 fun activities for kids in nearby cities within 25 miles like Red Wing, Alma, Wabasha and Pepin.
  • From Port 104 to Pearl of the Lake Paddlboat, the Lake City area offers 57 different types of family activities, including: Bowling, Parks, Marinas and Observation Decks.
  • Located in southern Minnesota, Lake City is situated in the beautiful Mississippi Bluffs region along Lake Pepin. With a large marina and plenty of water to traverse, boating is a big part of life in Lake City. Visitors head to Hok-Si-La Municipal Park for camping, hiking the mile stretch along the Mississippi River, and enjoying the sandy beach along Lake Pepin.

Spend A Weekend In Bluff Country

Wabasha, MN & Pepin, WI – Things to Do – Travel Blog – Our Anniversary Trip

Minnesotas Bluff Country is an incredible part of our state. While its a great place to visit any time of the year, its most breathtaking in the fall with bursts of orange and yellow trees along the bluffs surrounding wide sections of the deep blue Mississippi River winding along the Minnesota and Wisconsin border. Although much of these stops can be done in a packed day trip, I recommend you spend at least 48 hours visiting this region.

If youre coming from the Twin Cities, I suggest you make your first stop in Red Wing, then continue on to Frontenac State Park for sweeping views of Lake Pepin. Then, check out Lake City, Wabasha, and finish in Winona. If you have time to hop over to the Wisconsin side, Pepin and Nelson are great places to stop. Youll find restaurants, a winery, a sunflower field, and great views of the yellow and orange Minnesota bluffs.

I was invited by Explore Minnesota and Visit Winona to visit this region. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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Sightseeing At The Pearl Of The Lake

The Pearl of the Lake is a picturesque boat created in memory of the Mississippi cruisers in the 1800s.

So, if youre in the mood for a relaxing day, you can head towards the Pearl of the Lake. Here, you can spend the day learning about its history and enjoying the view.

The view of the sunset aboard the Pearl of the Lake is one of the best things to see in Lake City, Minnesota. The grandeur of the sunset against the sublime waters is the perfect view to enjoy with your significant other.

Similarly, the site offers other activities like fishing and paddlewheel boating rides as well.

You can enjoy Mediterranean and American cuisine at the cozy restaurants located on the shore.

Sargent’s Nursery Red Wing Minnesota

Sargent’s Nursery has been around since the year 1928, working to beautify the city of Red Wing, as well as the surrounding areas. The feeling of satisfaction runs deep with every customer served and in the roots of each plant grown at the nursery. Sargents is a family owned and operated business, offering customers something quite different from larger businesses and big-box stores. The nursery boasts a more personal and relaxed atmosphere in which guests can take their time shopping, browse the gardens and greenhouses, and ask questions. Sargents is known of its large selection of quality plants for landscaping.

3352 N. Service Dr, Red Wing, MN 55066, Phone: 651-388-3847

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Learn About Minnesotas Military History At Fort Snelling

Fort Snelling is located along the Mississippi River, literally adjacent to the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. Theres a chance if you are flying into town, you can spot it while you are landing.

The fort was constructed in 1819 by the US Army as a trading post, bordering contested territory between the US and British held Canada, shortly after the War of 1812. When Minnesota achieved statehood in 1858, the Army transferred it to the State of Minnesota.

Fort Snelling is now part of the National Park Service and has been recognized as a National Historic Landmark. Its home to a museum and the old fort has been preserved to show what life was like for the garrison back in the day.

Reenactments are also hosted every year, with live drill, musketry, and light artillery making a terrific boom!

Visit Lake City Minnesota

9 Fun Things to Do Near Minneapolis, MN (2021): Best ...

Lake City, on the banks of Lake Pepin and the Mississippi River, is located on Hwy. 61, also known as the Great River Road, just 68 miles southeast of Minneapolis/St. Paul and 34 miles east of Rochester, MN.

Our central location means you spend less time on the road and more time biking, hiking, boating, golfing, snowmobiling, browsing our quaint shops and enjoying our restaurants. We welcome thousands each year to Water Ski Days, Tour de Pepin, and Junk Crush events. Lake City has something to delight every visitor all year long.

Browse our unique shops and enjoy a full range of dining options. Theres plenty to see, do, buy, and eat in Lake City!

Dont just take our word for it experience it for yourself!

Visit the Lake City Tourism Bureau here.

BIKING: Lake City is a cyclists paradise. In addition to be the home of Tour de Pepin, the most unique bike tour in SE MN, now in its 10th year, we offer several mapped rides and trails that are perfect for cyclists of all ages and skill levels. View the complete Lake Pepin area Biking Guide here.

Need a bike? The Lake City Marina, open daily from April to October, is where you can get one. Bike sharing in Lake City is free for daily use and is available to anyone over the age of 18.

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Goodhue County Historical Society

The Goodhue County Historical Society acts as a steward for the history of Goodhue County through collection, preservation, and promotion of cultural and natural history through outreach and education. It is the oldest county historical society in the entire state, having been chartered back in the year 1869. The permanent collection of the Goodhue County Historical Society has grown to include many two-dimensional and three-dimensional items that represent every decade of the biographical, cultural, and modern corporate history of the county, including rare examples of Mississippian and Woodland pottery, and terracotta and stoneware products from the pottery companies of Red Wing.

1166 Oak St, Red Wing, MN 55066, Phone: 651-388-6024

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What To Do In Pepin

The Village of Pepin began as a steamboat boomtown that was visited by Mark Twain during his days as a paddle wheeler captain, and is also famous as the birthplace of Laura Ingalls Wilder, whose first book, Little House in the Big Woods, described her childhood here. Pepin is located on Lake Pepin of the Mississippi River one of the widest and, many say, most beautiful spots on the Great River. Pepin is a great place to cruise, fish, sail, bicycle or just hang out for the day. With wonderful events and places to see all summer long. If youre looking for a place to stay or something to do around Pepin, check out the village of Pepins website at or the Pepin Area Chamber of Commerce website at Pepin is located an hour south of the Twin Cities on Wisconsin HiWay 35approximately 20 minutes from Red Wing or Wabasha, MN.

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Lake Pepin Pearl Button Company

4.5 based on 19 reviews

Reviewed By LakeResident72

The Pearl Button Factory is a great place to visit when you’re in Lake City! The new management has expanded the clothing section and added to the variety of unusual gift items. The antiques are reasonably priced and artfully arranged. I love to wander ths beautiful store in search of treasures for myself and gifts for family and friends.

Visit Paisley Park Museum

Warners Dock Walleye on Lake Pepin, Mississippi River, WI and MN

Speaking of Prince, if you are a fan or want to take a trip down memory lane, be sure to visit Paisley Park in Chanhassen, Minnesota. Princes estate is now a museum and its an interesting place to visit and get into the mind of one of Minnesotas greatest musical talents.

I mean, where else can you see Princes iconic purple chair?

Paisley Park is Princes former home and recording studio where he famously held late-night parties. Paisley Park is now converted into a museum where you can explore his studios and office and take a glimpse of the more private side of this genius of pop.

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Bay Point Park Red Wing Minnesota

The beautiful Bay Point Park near the downtown area of Red Wing is situated along the banks of the winding Mississippi River. The park hosts several of the celebrations that take place in the community. The park also consists of several picnic areas, a playground, a boat launch, a volleyball court, and a walking path that is open year-round and lit during the evening. The distance around the park is two-thirds of a mile. Located near the Bay Point Park is the historic Boat House Village, in which guests can see the one of the few remaining gin pole installations.

Levee Rd, Red Wing, MN 55066

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