On the Road: Winona - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

On the Road: Winona

WINONA, Minn. (KTTC) -

When you come to Winona you can expect the lapping waves to call you to spend your time on the water.

But make sure you come with an empty stomach.

"If you get here early enough, go to Bloedow's and get a doughnut," Will Speckeen, a Winona State University student, said.

Bloedow's has been a Winona tradition since 1924, serving pastries, doughnuts and baked goods on the corner of Broadway and Laird for as long as many people remember.

"I used to have a paper route around here when I was a kid and I would stop here on my way home after my paper route was done and bring pick up Bloedow's and bring them home to my family," Jenny Kanne, a manager at Bloedow's, said.

The trick to keeping people coming back?

Not changing the recipe for almost 100 years.

"Just the traditions that everyone has had their whole entire life, if they lived here, if they haven't, it's just if they come back, it's the same thing," Kanne said.

Their most popular item?

"Our biggest seller is the maple long john," she said.

If sweets aren't your thing, a five minute drive takes you to the Lakeview Drive Inn, Winona's oldest restaurant since 1938.

"It's an old fashioned root beer stand you don't see anymore," Betty Spalding, there with her husband Roger, said.

The Spaldings have been coming here for ages and Roger says this was the place to be after school.

"I used to take their boys to school," Roger Spalding, a Winona native, said. "In high school especially, because I was the only one with a car and we always came down here."

Homemade root beer, burgers and fries - it seems it's your typical drive-in fare.

But one with this level of authenticity is rare.

"They've kept it up good, cause I've seen a lot of other root beer stands in different towns, they no longer exist," Roger said.

While there's plenty here to tempt your taste buds, what people really love about Winona is the scenery

"I'd say the best part is just coming out here on the two lakes in the summer and enjoying the view," Sean Wittenberg said, after getting off a canoe ride. "Enjoying all the different recreational activities you can do."

All it takes is a quick stop by Winona Parks and Recreation's Lake Lodge to rent a kayak or canoe.

After that it's a one way trip to relaxation.

"I just absolutely love it, it feels just like everything - if you're in a stressful moment you can just go out on the water and you'll feel much better when you come back in," Ezra Frame, fresh off a kayak ride, said.

You don't just have to take his word for it, for $15, you can get a one-year pass from the Lake Lodge.

However, this is all just scratching the surface.

"I think of Winona as a kind of hole in the wall city," Wittenberg said. "A lot of people don't know about it or even people that do live here don't know about some of the things you can do."

The people of Winona offer just one piece of advice.

Get out here and see for yourself.

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