This week in our County by County special we are highlighting Winona county. Fox First news at Nine’s Zach Prelutsky tells us what you can expect if you decide to visit region.

Only 50,000 call Winona County home and more than half of those people live in the city of Winona.

But for those 50,000 and all the visitors the region sees, there is not a shortage of activities to do.

“Winona is the incredible variety of opportunity that they have and easy access to really experiencing what we have to offer.  So again, the fact that you can go from backwater canoeing on the Mississippi to eating at a fine dining restaurant and it’s within a five-mile car ride is truly, truly incredible,” said Kate Carlson, Director of Visit Winona Partnership.

Since the turn of the 20th century, Winona has added new attractions and experiences.

Whether it is Garvin Heights or the new levee park, Winona is committed to growing

“In Winona, we’ve definitely seen a surge in growth and excitement over a lot of amazing attractions and opportunities that Winonans and visitors can take advantage of.  Particularly our festivals have taken off like lightning,” said Carlson. 

Festivals such as the Great River Shakespeare Fest and the Midwest Music Fest highlight culture and music. And there are other advantages residents say they like having in a smaller community

“We think that the quality of life that we offer in Winona, because of the diversity in opportunities in outdoor rec, in arts, in just the simple fact that we don’t have very little traffic to deal with, other than train traffic which a whole other thing, is really what makes Winona special and what keeps people coming back,” said Carlson.

At the visitor’s center, Kate Carlson deals with people traveling to Winona from all fifty states and beyond.

She says there is a common reaction she hears from visitors on their way out of the region…

“I think one of Winona’s best features is that you can truly be a part of this community. Whether you’re a resident for life or you’re just stopping for the weekend you can participate in activities and take in experiences that are truly Winona and there’s just no other place I think that gives you the access to do these things in a fun, easy, informal, amazing and breathtaking way,” Carlson said. 

In Winona, Zach Prelutsky Fox First News at Nine.