Built on a mere sandbar in the middle of a river, Winona’s a couple hours and change from the Twin Cities. That’s actually a good thing, given how pretty that drive is. Farm country, rolling green hills, and rocky crevices eventually give way to what this town has to offer: lakes, soaring bluffs, eagles, herons, and a bank-side view of the Mississippi River. More into art? Check out the galleries in Winona’s extremely walkable downtown, or catch the annual Shakespeare Festival, Boats and Bluegrass Festival, or Midwest Music Fest. Pound Bloedow Bakery’s doughnuts, which have been voted best in the state too many times to count and are more or less a religion. Winona is far away enough to offer escape, but close enough to make a one-day trip worth your time.