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Retirement Living In Winona Area - Minnesota

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Area Description

Thinking of moving to Winona? There are many reasons that would be a good choice.

Winona is a unique community. We have amenities and options that many cities our size often don’t.

We are one of the oldest communities in Minnesota, with some of the newest innovations occurring daily.

Among other things, we have three institutions of higher learning, which brings great energy throughout the year. This allows students from around the world to be educated in some highly acclaimed fields, and it gives year-round residents many cultural, educational and sporting options to attend.

The people and lifestyles here run the gamut from simple to elegant, from pro-business to pro-environment, from conservative to liberal religion and other ways of life. The churches themselves are a huge source of activities, both religious and cultural.

We have a fiercely entrepreneurial spirit in Winona, with companies that serve customers on an international scale. We have businesses that have been here for more than 150 years and businesses that are starting up every day. And our businesses are as varied as our people. The types of manufacturers that are located here range from small traditional businesses to incredibly high-tech and innovative. We have locally owned coffee shops, microbreweries, a winery. We have restaurants here and in the surrounding small towns that are second to none.

Winona is a safe and healthy place to raise a family. It’s the kind of town where kids can be kids –playing, learning, enjoying their lives. Families can find things to do every day, evening and weekend. And there are many options of schools – public, charter, Catholic, Lutheran.

You can’t beat living here when it comes to your family’s healthcare needs. Winona Health is an excellent primary care health system which has been part of the community since 1894. For more complex medical care, Gundersen Health System is a mere 45 minutes away in LaCrosse, Wisconsin, and Mayo Health System is about an hour from Winona, in Rochester, Minnesota. This corner of southeast Minnesota is richly blessed with healthcare options.

We are home to an amazing array of arts activities, from talent shows at the senior high school, all the way up to world-renowned music and theater festivals and a one-of-a-kind art museum.

Like the outdoors? Winona is your place, all four seasons. The bluffs, our lakes, and – oh, did we mention we are an island city IN the Mississippi River? Skiing, running, boating, walking, biking……and more…..all are available any day of the year. Winona, with its bluffs, is one of the most stunning places in the country and in the state.

If you enjoy spending the day in a rural atmosphere, that’s just a short drive away. If you yearn for the “big city,” we are within just a few driving hours of some of the most metropolitan areas of the country. If you want something in the middle, there’s no need to leave town.

Sophistication? We have that. Quirky? We have that. Fun? Ditto. Serious? Ditto. Traditional or innovative? We have them both. There is a little bit of everything for everyone here in Winona, and that makes for a rich diversity of people, activities, thoughts and ideas.

Come visit us. Think about staying. We would love to have you join our community.

Region Characteristics

Area Amenities

Things to Do, Recreation & Fitness

   Because of its location along the Great River Road (Highway 61), a national scenic byway, Winona has become a travel destination for thousands of visitors every year to enjoy the spectacular beauty of the Mississippi River and towering bluffs, the remarkable arts and culture, the historic architecture, and outdoor adventure. Home to Winona State University, Saint Mary’s University, and MN SE Technical, Winona has a lively college-town vibe.

Popular attractions include the Garvin Heights Overlook and a bluff top winery as well as Levee Park, at the riverfront. Winona boasts several museums, including the Winona County History Center with its Laird Norton addition, the Watkins Museum and Store, Minnesota Marine Art Museum, Polish Cultural Institute and the Pickwick Mill. The Trester Trolley offers regularly scheduled “points of interest” tours and is available for private charters.

Two National Register Historic Districts in downtown Winona make it one of the largest collections of Victorian commercial architecture in the region. Downtown Winona has more than 100 buildings on the historic register with several dating back to the 1800s. Elaborate cornices, grand buildings, and notable stained glass beckon for a stroll through the historic downtown.

Businesses and organizations may contact Visit Winona for help with planning meetings, and conferences, organizing special events or group functions, and welcome bags for out-of-town clients and vendors. For information about events/festivals, lodging, dining or things to do go to www.visitwinona.com or call 507-452-0735. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and YouTube.

Cultural Activities

Winona: The Region’s Arts Destination
Winona’s beautiful scenery, all-season recreational opportunities, top tier universities and schools, and strong business and industrial base have each played a significant role in making the Historic Island City one of the truly great places to visit and live. But there is a new excitement in the air, Winona has steadily begun reinventing itself and is now a regional Arts Destination. This explosion of arts and culture is an outgrowth of what has always been a strong tradition of celebrating creativity in Winona, but now truly world class art and a full slate of festivals can be found in every genre possible. The Visual and Performing arts, spoken word and poetry, the entire spectrum, there is something wonderfully artistic to be experienced all year round.

The Visual Arts
Fine and visual arts in Winona ranges from fine art at the Minnesota Marine Art Museum to student art at university galleries to established stained glass studios; visitors can discover how national cathedral windows are made or watch jewelry being created. Winona’s rich history is reflected in the many stained glass studios; exceptional stained glass windows can be viewed at several downtown buildings, such as the Merchant’s National Bank and the Winona National and Savings Bank.

The Minnesota Marine Art Museum (MMAM) opened in 2006 along the banks of the Mississippi River. It features an incredible and unique collection, highlighted by masterpieces by Picasso, Matisse, Turner, Van Gogh, Cézanne, Cassatt, Monet, Renoir, O’Keeffe, Homer, and many more. The MMAM also has a dynamic exhibition program, presenting as many as 10 contemporary and historical exhibitions every year. The Museum consistently surprises first time visitors to the area, many of whom do not expect to experience some of the highest quality art in the U.S. in Winona.

Rotating art displays are often at local coffee spots, such as The Acoustic Café or The Blue Heron Gallery and Studio. Blue Heron statues, reflective of the real birds seen in the area, are also sighted around Winona from an art competition. A bronze drinking fountain sporting playful otters can be used near the Lake Park band shell. The Bluff Country Studio Art Tour or the Winona Art Walk provide an up -close experience of artists at work.

The Performing Arts
Winona is now truly a City of Festivals. Performing Arts in each of the disciplines and at all levels, from young artists to world renowned professionals, are gracing the many performance venues and throughout the year in signature festivals.

Art in motion occurs at various dance studios, including the Minnesota Conservatory for the Arts at the Valencia Art Center and local universities. Saint Mary’s University provides the annual Page Series with quality performances. Winona has a strong history of music – such as the Winona Symphony Orchestra and the Winona Concert Band, which offers outdoor concerts at Lake Winona during summer months. The Minnesota Beethoven Festival presents nationally renowned artists, such as Yo -Yo Ma, for music lovers. There are a variety of types of music genres, such as Boats and Bluegrass Festival, jazz events, or vocal and instrumental concerts at local establishments. The springtime Mid West Music Festival the spring music scene with appearances by more than 100 local and regional artists (rock, bluegrass, folk, and classical). The Great Dakota Gathering and Homecoming in the Fall celebrates Native American culture on their original land- “Wapahasa’s Prairie” (Winona). Events include dancing, drumming, storytelling, and native crafts.

The Great River Shakespeare Festival, who helped launch this Winona artistic renaissance ten years ago, has built a strong reputation as the only professional Equity theater in the region. GRSF is dedicated to thoughtful, articulate, and engaging productions of Shakespeare’s plays and other works of great language and features professional actors in-residence from around the world. Additional programming to complete the festival experience include an apprentice and internship production, a Shakespeare for Young Actors and Designer program and production, free Concerts on the Green, and the Front Porch Series of events and symposiums. GRSF has special event and educational programming throughout the year as well.

The Winona Arts Center exhibits local art and offers workshops, music events, and films. Theatre du Mississippi is another theater venue, providing musicians and local plays throughout the year at the Masonic Theater where antique curtain drops are featured.

During winter, the Frozen River Film Festival (FRFF) is rapidly becoming the venue of choice for movie buffs. Dozens of documentaries, workshops, speakers, and musical events follow an annual theme. Both Winona State University and Saint Mary’s University offer a host of other cultural experiences which are posted daily on each school’s web site.

The Winona County History Center is home to many special events including spoken word, music, and poetry. Sum Sum Studio and Theatre Du Mississippi are two other venues that often present an eclectic slate of music, art, and live performance. TDM also produces a one act festival and plays rooted in the history of Winona, and is housed in the Historic Masonic Temple, where one of the only original collection of extant historic scenic drops in the world is on display.

The newest organization on the Winona arts scene, Live @the Levee is a series of free all day music concerts, food, family events, crafts, and promotion of social services and organizations that happens right on the Mississippi in Levee Park. From Bluegrass, to Folk, to Blues and Jazz right up to full tilt Rock and Roll, all types of music can be heard in the big tent where Main Street meets the Mississippi.

Finally there is Steamboat Days, Winona’s annual community wide celebration, which takes place the third weekend in June and provides family fun activities and includes five days of carnival, live music, boat races, a grande parade and fireworks.

Between the bluffs and nestled in one of the most beautiful natural settings in America, is one of the truly vibrant arts and cultural capitals of the Midwest: Winona, Art Town USA.

Public transportation

Winona is located in the southeast corner of Minnesota with access to major highways, rail, and it’s riverside location provides an opportunity for transportation via the Mississippi River.

Highway 61 and Interstate 90 offer a vital major highway transportation links to many markets in the Midwest including: Rochester, Minneapolis, St. Paul, La Crosse, Madison, Milwaukee, Madison and Chicago.

The Mississippi River provides opportunities for recreational and commercial transportation which is an asset for business and industry for the Winona area. Winona’s Commercial Harbor is the third largest on the Mississippi River in Minnesota transporting between 1.5 and 2.2 million tons of commodities annually. The Port Authority of Winona promotes the river and commerce and serves as the economic development arm of the City of Winona.

Winona is served by the UP, CP and Amtrak’s Empire Builder providing rail service opportunities for commerce and travel throughout the country.

Winona’s Airport provides service for many local companies with charter, corporate and private aircraft flights. The Winona Airport will undergo a major renovation project beginning in 2014. The nearby airports of La Crosse Municipal Airport and Rochester International Airport are within 30-40 minutes of Winona and provides commercial air service.

Medical Facilities

Healthy starts here, with a strong, local healthcare system

It’s becoming increasingly rare for a small town to have an independent, community-owned, healthcare organization such as Winona Health, a nonprofit, integrated healthcare system with leading-edge technology and high quality clinical performance. Founded in 1894 in a converted home, Winona General Hospital has transformed to Winona Health, one of the city’s largest employers with approximately 1200 employees including more than 90 physicians and mid-level providers.

Winona Health provides comprehensive healthcare services for individuals through all stages of life through Primary Care clinics in Winona and Rushford, Minn., and a broad range of specialty services, from eye care and podiatry to an accredited cancer care program, and senior services including home care; Senior Living at Watkins assisted living apartments; Lake Winona Manor adjacent to the hospital and clinic for long-term and transitional care; Roger Metz and Adith Miller Manor memory care residences; palliative care; and hospice services.

Personal care with a high-tech advantage

A national leader in the use of technology to increase healthcare efficiency and safety, Winona Health was among the first to implement a community-wide, integrated Electronic Medical Record. This commitment to technology has developed further relationships such as participation in the Beacon Project, funded by the US Department of Health and Human Services. In 2011, Winona Health joined Mayo Clinic and other regional organizations to implement Telemedicine, combining medical technology and a secured broad-band network.

Winona Health’s ongoing commitment to providing the scope of services that allow community members to stay close to home for healthcare. The organization’s diagnostic imaging capabilities include on-site MRI, a CT scanner with the lowest possible level of radiation, that provides high resolution, four-dimensional images of complete organs in just seconds, and 3D mammography (breast tomosynthesis).

Winona and Winona Health an attractive combination to healthcare providers.

Winona is fortunate to have the community feel and resources that make it an ideal place for healthcare providers to call home. With the ever increasing nation-wide demand for healthcare providers creating a competitive environment for provider recruitment, Winona Health benefits not only from its own offerings that draw providers, but also from the many things that make Winona a wonderful and unique place to live.

In addition, generous community support of the Winona Health Foundation makes it possible for the organization to offer scholarships for many students pursuing a healthcare career, provide opportunities through the Humanitarian Relief Fund, make investments in areas that enhance the healing environment and services offered at Winona Health, provide financial assistance to help patients with medical expenses, and other programs that further Winona Health’s mission to improve the health and well-being of the community.

Healthy starts here in Winona

What Will The Climate And Weather Be Like If I Retire In Winona Area, Minnesota?

Every season brings about its own beauty here in Winona and the residents are eager to get outside and experience it, no matter what the temperature. In the summer months, residents can take advantage of an array of recreational activities such as biking, hiking, canoeing or kayaking on Lake Winona, gardening, our many city parks and swimming at Bob Welch Aquatic Center. Also, during the spring and summer months Winonans enjoy all of the fun activities that the Mississippi river provides to us. Our residents love to spend time with their families playing in the river, fishing, lounging or skiing and tubing. Even when the weather turns colder, there are still many opportunities for recreation, entertainment, sightseeing and unique shopping around town.

Winona has its Frozen River Film Festival, many outdoor ice rinks, trails for cross country skiing, and snowmobiling and a large population of bald eagles that settle along the river provide hours of enjoyment to all who have the pleasure of witnessing their graceful presence.

Monthly Temperature Ranges

 Month  Low  Avg  High
 Jan  9  17  26
 Feb  13  23  32
 Mar  24  34  44
 Apr  37  48  59
 May  48  59  71
 Jun  58  69  80
 Jul  62  73  84
 Aug  61  71  81
 Sep  52  63  73
 Oct  40  50  60
 Nov  28  36  43
 Dec  14  22  29

Monthly Average # of Hot and Cold Days

 Month  Days Greater Than 90 F°  Days Less Than 32 F°  Days Less Than 0 F°
 Jan  0  30  9
 Feb  0  26  6
 Mar  0  24  1
 Apr  0  9  0
 May  1  1  0
 Jun  2  0  0
 Jul  5  0  0
 Aug  3  0  0
 Sep  0  1  0
 Oct  0  7  0
 Nov  0  20  0
 Dec  0  29  6

Rain & Humidity

 Month  Rainfall  Rainy Days  Humidity
 Jan  1 "  7  11 %
 Feb  1 "  6  15 %
 Mar  2 "  8  24 %
 Apr  4 "  10  33 %
 May  4 "  12  45 %
 Jun  4 "  11  56 %
 Jul  4 "  10  62 %
 Aug  5 "  10  61 %
 Sep  4 "  10  53 %
 Oct  2 "  9  39 %
 Nov  2 "  8  28 %
 Dec  1 "  8  17 %


 Month  Snowfall  Snow On Ground Days  Snowy Days
 Jan  9 "  25  5
 Feb  8 "  23  4
 Mar  6 "  13  3
 Apr  1 "  1  1
 May  0 "  0  0
 Jun  0 "  0  0
 Jul  0 "  0  0
 Aug  0 "  0  0
 Sep  0 "  0  0
 Oct  0 "  0  0
 Nov  3 "  3  1
 Dec  10 "  21  5

Natural Disaster Areas

Cost of Living for Winona Area, MN

Winona Area, Minnesota cost of living for Housing, Healthcare, Transportation, Taxes, Utilities, etc.:

Cost of Living




Political Party


Senior Housing Options

As a city, Winona was booming in the mid 1800s, as the visionaries of the day stepped up and made their mark. Therefore, Winona has one of the most beautiful collections of Queen Anne Victorian style homes that have now been restored and are still standing proudly today, scattered throughout the whole of our downtown streets. Many of these are on the National Register of Historic Homes. Our growth definitely did not stop there and so we also have homes that represent every decade and style, including the simple symmetrical colonial revival homes, Frank Lloyd Wright’s horizontal lines, Bungalow’s, modernist and post-modern houses. We have everything from traditional colonial and cape-cod houses to newer homes that are borrowing details from these older gems and combining them with modern features. Visitors now come from all across our nation to marvel at our vast collection of homes and business buildings that line our historic downtown streets and represent the best in the architectural styling of each era.
Tight-knit neighborhoods can also be found overlooking the city, on top of the bluffs and in our cozy wooded valleys. Newly built houses continue to fill these areas as more and more people begin to call Winona their home. Integrated within all of our neighborhoods, you will also find a wide range of apartments and rentals that offer living at an equitable monthly price. Winona also has a variety of options for our retiring residents; everything from new state of the art retirement communities, to facilities that can assist with medical professions on staff. Here in Winona, we pride ourselves on having a little bit of something for everyone.

Even in the midst of all this growth, Winona has truly remained secure in its small town neighborhood feel where, on any given sunny day, you will find multiple generations interacting on the front porch, at the local diner, or down at the boat house. Residents today can still experience the comfortable lifestyle of times gone by while also having access to all of the modern conveniences available. Parents can be secure that their children will grow up in a safe environment where people still “look out for each other.”

Senior Assistance in Winona Area, MN

Winona Area, Minnesota offers the following assistance for seniors:

What Job or Volunteer Opportunities Does Winona Area Offer For Retirees?

There are many volunteers opportunities within the Winona area. Many people volunteer at:
Winona Hospital
MN Marine Art Museum
Polish Museum
Great River Shakespeare Festival
Live at the Levee
Winona County Historical Society
Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Winona County

Additional Information

Visitor Information

Relocation Information

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