Introduction to Winona, Minnesota

The city of Winona, county seat of Winona County, is located in southeastern Minnesota on the banks of the Mississippi River. The city is situated 50 miles east of Rochester and about 135 miles southeast of the Minneapolis-St. Paul metropolitan area. Home to Winona State University and Saint Mary's College, the city is a commercial, manufacturing, and shipping center nestled within an agricultural and limestone-quarrying region.

Founded in 1851 by a steamboat captain and incorporated in 1857, Winona's was originally named Montezuma but was later renamed for a Dakota Indian princess (Winona is the phonetic pronunciation of the Dakota term meaning "first-born daughter"). The year 1858 saw the establishment of Winona Normal School in the city, a school which later became Winona State University. In 1912, St. Mary's College was founded as a private Roman Catholic school which later went on to become St. Mary's University.

Things to See and Do in Winona

Winona maintains a lively arts scene. In addition to the arts introduced to the community by its local educational institutions, Winona has two professional theater companies. The Great River Shakespeare Festival runs six weeks each summer, showcasing two Shakespeare plays in repertory. The Theatre du Mississippi presents original live plays and locally produced films in a variety of venues including the turn-of-the- century Masonic Theatre as well as outdoor sites. Housed in a 1915 brick fortress reminiscent of its original purpose as an armory, the Winona County Historical Museum displays artifacts depicting Winona's city and county history. The Minnesota Marine Art Museum, encompassing works of international and local artists, currently features four major art collections and will soon present a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers river dredge as an exhibit. Other cultural and historic sites include:

  • Merchants Bank: A Prairie School style building originally completed in 1912.
  • Pickwick Mill: An 1850s six-story pioneer mill which was used for grounding flour for the Civil War.
  • Church of Saint Stanislaus Kostka: An 1894 structure featuring unique architecture.
  • Arches Museum
  • Bunnell House
  • Julius C. Wilkie Steamboat Center
  • Polish Cultural Institute of Winona
  • Watkins Heritage Museum

Winona is not lacking in outdoor attractions. Some of its more popular are as follows:

  • Sugar Loaf Mountain: An historic site towering 500 feet over Lake Winona.
  • Rockie Hill Bison Farm
  • Julia Belle Swain Steamboat
  • C. A. Rohrer Rose Garden
  • Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife & Fish Refuge

Winona is rich in college sports, owing to the presence of Winona State University's athletic teams. Known as the Warriors, the University's teams compete in the NCAA's Division II and participate in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC) with the exception of the men's tennis team (North Central Conference) and the women's gymnastics team (Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference). The Warriors football team has won the NSIC conference championship nine times since 1993 and its men's basketball team recently captured the 2006 NCAA Division II Basketball Championship, the first NCAA title for the University.

Sports fans willing to take the two-hour drive north to Minneapolis-St. Paul will be rewarded with a plethora of teams in a variety of professional sports. Major League Baseball's Minnesota Twins reside there, as do the Minnesota Vikings of the National Football League. Pro basketball fans can see the National Basketball Association's Minnesota Timberwolves or the Women's National Basketball Association's Minnesota Lynx. Major league hockey resides there too, embodied by the Minnesota Wild of the National Hockey League. Also located in the Twin Cities are the United Soccer League's Minnesota Thunder and the National Lacrosse League's Minnesota Swarm.


Total Population 27,437
Male Share of the Population 47%
Female Share of the Population 53%
Senior Citizens 15%
Employed Population 16+ 15,189
Age of the Population 29


% of people married 34.4%
Average household size 2

Education and Earnings

Population % with Bachelor Degree or Higher 33.5%
Median Earnings25+ $31,000
Median Earnings Without High School Qualification $14,614
Median Earnings With High School Degree $22,427


Median Family Income $64,480
% Above Poverty Level 79.9%
% Below Poverty Level 20.1%

Commute & Sprawl

Average Commute Time 14 minutes
% Working from Home 3.1%
% Walking and Biking to Work 10.9%
% Using Public Transportation 2.4%


People Living Alone 38.1%
Median Gross Rent $574
Median House Value $137,300


Other(often includes Hispanic and African American) 9%
US/American 0%
English 5.4%
Irish 13.1%

Source: American Community Survey, U.S. Census Bureau, 2015, www.census.gov/programs-surveys/acs/.

Winona Almanac

Category Value
Nearest Medium City 26 miles NW of La Crosse, Wisconsin (center to center)
Nearest Large City 94 miles SE of St. Paul, Minnesota
County Winona
Standard Zip Codes 55987
P.O. Box Zip Codes 55988
Phone Area Codes 507
Time Zone Central (-6 hours from GMT)
Daylight Savings The city observes Daylight Saving Time.
Latitude 44.05
Longitude -91.639

Winona Climate

Nearest Weather Stations


  • Temp ranges are avg daily min and max for the month
  • Precipitation is rainfall (and rainfall equiv of snowfall)

Station WINONA
Distance 0.3 miles
Jan Temp 9 to 26 F
Apr Temp 40 to 60 F
Jul Temp 66 to 85 F
Oct Temp 43 to 62 F
Annual Precip 34.2 inches
Station DODGE
Distance 7.3 miles
Jan Temp 2 to 26 F
Apr Temp 33 to 60 F
Jul Temp 58 to 85 F
Oct Temp 36 to 62 F
Annual Precip 33.6 inches
Distance 29.6 miles
Jan Temp 3 to 22 F
Apr Temp 34 to 56 F
Jul Temp 60 to 82 F
Oct Temp 37 to 59 F
Annual Precip 34.9 inches

Neighborhood and Nearby Area Names

According to the US Postal Service, Winona, its neighborhoods, and/or surrounding areas are also referred to as:

Lamoille (55987)

Pickwick (55987)

Wilson (55987)

Wiscoy (55987)

Witoka (55987)

Note that not all alternate names are acceptable for use in US Post Office addresses.

Nearby Cities and Towns

Location Population Median Family Income
Goodview 4,052 $77,618
Lewiston 1,562 $70,625

Source: American Community Survey, U.S. Census Bureau, 2015, www.census.gov/programs-surveys/acs/.

Winona Public Libraries

Winona Public Library
Winona, Minnesota
(507) 452-4582

library logo

More Information for Librarians

Winona Hospitals

(Voluntary non-profit - Private)
(507) 454-3650
Emergency Service: Yes

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Winona High Schools

(Sorted by Number of Students)

Serves 1,420 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 17.6

926 W. 5TH ST.
A Non-traditional School
Serves 84 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 9.3

Additional Details
Winona Colleges
Winona colleges and trade schools.
Winona Graduate Schools
Winona Graduate and Business Schools
Study Online in Winona
Historic Winona


Court House between 1880 and 1899

Select a photo to view (Source):

Court House between 1880 and 1899

Winona Hotel between 1880 and 1899

Residences on Broadway between 1880 and 1899

Additional Resources
Info for Winona Government Officials

Are you an official in the Winona government or quasi-government agency such as the chamber of commerce, visitors bureau or economic development council? If so, visit our information page for government officials to see how CityTownInfo can support you.

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