Red Wing Shoe Company Museum

The World’s Largest Workboot ever witnessed by the civilized public! The World’s Largest Boot a bewildering 2,300 lbs of sheer gargantuan bulk! At 20 feet long and 16 feet tall it’s a colossal curiosity fit for a 12 story human giant! A fantastic modern engineering wonder of human invention!

In case you haven’t guessed, the Red Wing Shoe Company Museum is next on the #mnbucketlist. Home of the The World’s Largest Boot. Built using the very same design and materials used to build the Red Wing Shoes classic style number 877, and used as the centerpiece in 2005 for Red Wing Shoes centennial anniversary. It’s a whopping U.S. size 638 ½ D, 16 feet tall, 20 feet long, and weighs over a ton. The roadside attraction is complete with gigantic laces and massive metal eyelets. The boot sits in the lobby of the flagship Red Wing Shoe Store in Red Wing where it spends most of its time inside, occasionally coming out for parades and events. If you stop in, don’t stop at the leather mammoth. The flagship has a basement full of outlet / clearance merchandise, a retail store and gift shop on the main floor, and if you head upstairs, the 110-year history of Red Wing shoes is on display. Free and open seven days a week, you get a glimpse into how Red Wing shoes are made with hands on exhibits, posters, old pictures, artifacts, old cars, and of course, boots. Fun fact: You can even see the Norman Rockwell original art gallery featuring footwear ads from the 1960s!

Kelly’s Tap House and Grill

On a recent trip to Red Wing, I stopped at Kelly’s Tap House and Grill in Red Wing off Old Main kitty corner from the Red Wing Brewery. In a recently renovated building, the place is massive, with full bars on the first and second floors and even deck and outdoor patio seating that include a view of the Mississippi River.  The whole taproom atmosphere is awesome. Owned by Rick and Kelly (the moniker’s namesake) Anderson, Kelly’s is a local favorite, serving up really good American comfort food along with homemade ice cream. They even deliver! You can get their homemade pizzas and broasted chicken, right to your front door! Stop in for their French dip, the signature chicken sandwich, spinach strawberry salad or the popular Reuben.   It’s not a surprise they won the Red Wing Chamber of Commerce Restaurant of the Year. If you’re looking for more of a bar scene, they have that too. Tap beer and wine, yes, tap wine, games on big screens and complementary popcorn – which really is a selling point for me. I had a great time and would spend way too much time at Kelly’s if I lived close. Absolutely worth checking out!

Red Wing Confectionery 

Okay, seriously. How cute are these guys?! I got them from the Red Wing Confectionery Chocolate Shop in Red Wing. Just off Main Street, the place was purchased by the Oasis Eatery at Nesbitt’s Nursery in the summer of 2013 and has been serving up hand-made chocolates, salt water taffy, truffles, and old-fashioned candy. While I’d say they are worth the trip for the great service and atmosphere, they also have Cedar Crest ice cream that comes in regular cones and hand-dipped chocolate waffle cones with rotating flavors. I mean, what more could you want? Oh! And at Red Wing Confectionery, they don’t just specialize in the sucre filled. They also have hot and cold drinks. You can get MorningStar coffee to take the edge off your morning or indulge in a root beer float made with Sprecher’s root beer. These little guys are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to what this place can make!

Mandy’s Coffee & Café

Today’s coffee journey has taken us to Red Wing, to Mandy’s Coffee & Café. Located in the downtown district off 3rd Street, Mandy’s is a hen-peck away from Hanisch Bakery.  Complete with a courtyard, a big open meeting space and a super-sweet mirror wall (pictured). The place is owned by Mandy Cardinal, who loves the European coffeehouse style and created the place with that in mind. Although they serve cold press and espresso, I opted for the Mandy’s Mug (cold press + vanilla + half & half) and later the Lavender Latte. Have you ever been to Mandy’s? Have a favorite local coffeeshop I should check out?