Shopping is a key component of the Red Wing experience, and many people make special trips for the pottery and antiques. Most shops are found in two main areas: Up along Old West Main Street in what’s known as the Historic Pottery District, you’ll find several outlet stores, and specialty shops downtown lean toward the refined.
Two companies continue the city’s pottery heritage, and you can watch the products being made by hand at both of them. The revival began in 1987 at the Red Wing Stoneware Company (4909 Moundview Dr., 651/388-4610 or 800/352-4877, www.redwingstoneware.com, 9 a.m.–5 p.m. Mon.–Sat., 11 a.m.–4 p.m. Sun.), 4.5 miles west of town along U.S. Highway 61, which throws the classic crocks and jugs plus other customary and contemporary products. You can also take a factory tour (10:30 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. Mon.–Fri., $3 adults).
Red Wing Pottery (1995 Old West Main St., 651/388-3562 or 800/228-0174, 9 a.m.–6 p.m. Mon.–Fri., 8 a.m.–6 p.m. Sat., 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Sun.) has produced salt-glazed wares since 1996.
Antiques lovers could easily browse for a day. The best place to start is at Pottery Place (2000 Old West Main St.) mall. Here you’ll find Pottery Place Antiques (651/388-7765, 10 a.m.–6 p.m. Mon.–Sat., 11 a.m.–5 p.m. Sun.) and Old Main Street Antiques (651/388-1371, 10 a.m.–6 p.m. Mon.–Sat., 11 a.m.–5 p.m. Sun.), two superb multi-dealer showrooms with plenty of Red Wing Pottery merchandise.
You can buy footwear direct from the source at the Red Wing Shoe Store (314 Main St., 651/388-6233, 9 a.m.–8 p.m. Mon.–Fri., 9 a.m.–6 p.m. Sat., 11 a.m.–5 p.m. Sun.).
Falconer Vineyards (3572 Old Tyler Rd., 651/388-8849, noon–5 p.m. Fri. and Sun., 10 a.m.–6 p.m. Sat. May–Thanksgiving, www.falconervineyards.com), in the hills just west of town (turn south on Tyler Road by the Econo Foods and follow the signs), is open weekends for sales and tastings.
Further west, Hobgoblin Music (920 Hwy. 19, 877/866-3936, 9 a.m.–5 p.m. daily) sells dulcimers, guitars, bagpipes, drums, flutes, and similar folk instruments from their restored barn, and you can watch harps being made.
© Tim Bewer from Moon Minnesota, 3rd Edition