Named after the legendary daughter of a Dakota Sioux tribe chief, Winona was once the site of a Dakota village called Keoxa. The famous legend behind the name tells of the chief's daughter, Wenonah, who performed a Lover's Leap from a nearby bluff called Maiden's Rock instead of marrying a suitor she did not love. The legend has immortalized in a statue and a stained glass window, among other things. Non-native settlers arrived in the area in 1851 and turned it into a hub for railroad and steamboat transportation which helped Winona grow into a city known for wheat and lumber production. Winona is home to two districts that are listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places.
Today, Winona is popular with visitors interested in beautiful scenery, nature hikes, historic places, and the vibrant arts and culture scene. No matter your reason for visiting Winona, there is a perfect hotel to suit your needs and allow you convenient access to all the city has to offer.
When to Visit Winona, MN
With the warmest climate on average in all of Minnesota, Winona offers great weather any time of year. Hot summer days in June through August are perfect for hiking, boating, or swimming, while mid- to late September is the best time to view the gorgeous leaves as they change color for fall. Due to popularity and increased tourism, hotel rates are higher during this time and there is a risk of hotel rooms filling up quickly. It's best to book in advance to secure the best room rate possible.
Winter is a great time to visit for both low hotel rates and the great winter activities Winona has to offer, such as film festivals and winter sports like cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. Be sure to pack warm clothes; even though temperatures may be mild on average, it's possible to for it to get bitterly cold. In springtime, rates are lower and you'll be treated to the lovely views of budding plants and trees, cooler temperatures, and fewer tourists.
Below is a chart of the current pricing seasonality of hotels and motels in Winona, MN:
Averate Rates by Star Rating
Below we've posted 3 graphs displaying average rate patterns by star rating class in Winona, MN. Analyze these charts to evaluate the most cost effective time to book in Winona for any future trips.
Luxury Hotel Options in Winona, MN
4 Star Average Prices: $189.00
Newly remodeled with a restaurant on site, The Plaza Hotel & Suites is the perfect place for a romantic getaway, wedding night, or anniversary. With a variety of rooms from standard to multi-room luxury suites, this hotel will cater to whatever wishes you may have. A fully loaded fitness center and a conference room that can accommodate up to 60 people makes The Plaza Hotel & Suites a great choice for business travelers with a fully equipped business center and executive rooms and suites.
If you're really looking to be pampered on a relaxing, intimate getaway, consider the Alexander Mansion Historic Bed and Breakfast, right in the heart of Winona. This beautifully appointed Victorian-era mansion features five unique rooms, each with a private bath, luxurious linens, and locally produced body wash, lotion, and bath salts. Guests can also relax in the grand room and library, or enjoy the breeze on the screened-in porch. Complimentary treats and refreshments are available throughout the mansion, and a wine reception is available daily from 4 to 6 p.m. Of course, your stay also includes a gourmet breakfast, served in multiple courses that feature the local cuisine.
Affordable Accommodations in Winona, MN
3 Star Average Prices: $106.74
As the newest hotel in Winona, this home away from home will make you feel comfortable and even welcomes your four-legged traveling companions. AmericInn Hotel & Suites is conveniently located and offers cozy room decor with free home-style breakfast, a 24-hour coffee bar, and even a bar serving alcoholic drinks. The indoor pool and fitness center will let you continue your workout regime even while on the road. This hotel offers a variety of rooms and can accommodate groups of any size, so it's convenient for sports groups, wedding parties, or family reunions.
2 Star Average Prices: $75.96
Winona: Real Discounts
Taking advantage of discounts can ease the stress on your pocketbook and leave you with more spending money to do fun things, so it's important to try and find the best deals. AAA discounts can be found at Days Inn where they claim the "Best Value Under the Sun." Days Inn offers clean and comfortable accommodation at a great value. With free continental breakfast, Wi-Fi, a fitness center, and spacious parking with outdoor outlets for RVs and trucks, Days Inn is an excellent option for the low-budget traveler. Pet-friendly and accommodating for groups, this hotel even has an indoor pool and nearby restaurant for late-night eats. For golfers or equestrian enthusiasts, there are nearby golf courses and stables.
Senior citizens can take advantage of great discounts as well. Saving up to 30 percent on their booking, Holiday Inn Express Winona is sure to appeal. With multiple indoor pools and a complimentary buffet breakfast, Holiday Inn Express is an excellent choice for those looking for for a luxurious stay with plenty of high-quality amenities. Free Wi-Fi, a plethora of outlets, and plush bedding are the least of what this hotel has to offer. Whether you're looking for a quiet stay with family, an office away from home, or a large group event, this hotel has it all. A well-equipped fitness center makes the Holiday Inn Express appeal even to the most physically active of guests.
Best Value Hotel in Winona, MN
Near local restaurants and attractions, the Super 8 by Wyndham is an excellent value for accommodation in Winona. Enjoy a free breakfast buffet, Wi-Fi, and a refrigerator, microwave, coffee/tea maker, and flatscreen TV in every room, all while having access to round-the-clock reception and a well-stocked business center. The hotel also includes an outdoor picnic area, complete with grills for cooking out on a nice summer night.
Top Things to Do in Winona, MN
Easily one of Minnesota's most iconic landmarks, Sugar Loaf bluff is an interesting geological formation rich with history. Originally the shape of a dome, Sugar Loaf was heavily quarried for its limestone after a 19th-century fire resulted in a city ordinance that decreed all sidewalks needed to be made from stone. This 85-foot-tall pinnacle of rock residing on a 400-foot bluff is a popular destination for hiking and climbing.
Canoeing and kayaking is a popular activity in Winona due to its proximity to the river, lakes, and even a few islands. It's easy to rent the vessel of your choice, and there are many outfitters to choose from. Rent a canoe and take the whole family on a gentle trip on Lake Winona, or rent a kayak for a boating adventure on one of Winona's many scenic kayak and canoe trails.
If you're a beer connoisseur or just a lover of craft beer, Island City Brewing is a definite spot to check out. Located near the river, the brewery offers a good selection of locally crafted beers and flights for a cheap price. While there isn't food available on site, the establishment does offer a large variety of games, making it a nice place to spend an evening — even with kids.
Don't let the name fool you, the Minnesota Marine Art Museum is more than nautical paintings and carved driftwood. Housing paintings by true artistic geniuses, this museum is more than worth the price of entry. With accommodating and knowledgeable staff, the museum even offers a fun art bingo to enjoy with kids and adults alike.
A must see in Winona is the Garvin Heights overlook. Just a brief hike up stairs or drive up a steep paved road, the lookout at the top of the bluffs offers a fantastic view of the whole city and beyond. The prairie restoration project offers a chance to see some great wildlife and be immersed in nature just a short distance from town.
If you have an interest in stained glass, Winona is known as the stained glass capital of the United States, with more than six stained glass shops with works that can be found all across the globe. Enjoy a stained glass tour or explore on your own with a self-guided map. Many churches in Winona proudly display local works, so a visit to a few of these is sure to tickle your fancy.
Exploring quaint Winona is a pleasant time for any type of enthusiast. You'll find delicious food, museums of all kinds, gorgeous artworks, and plenty of options to explore the great outdoors. Whether you're looking for a budget-friendly rural hotel or a fancy hotel in the heart of the city, you're sure to find the perfect place to suit your budget and needs. Just be sure to book a long enough stay to tick everything off your itinerary.