Arriving in Red Wing on the American Queen

My friend Lynn and I slept well on our first night on the American Queen. We had a full day a head of us and we started with a quick breakfast at the Front Porch Café. One of the complimentary amenities of the cruise line was unlimited specialty coffees and we took full advantage preparing our lattes to taste with our eggs and pastries.

The American Queen is all about conservation. Everyone was given a water bottle and there were water filling stations on every floor. There were no plastic water bottles available.

Another thing available to all passengers at no charge were the hop on, hop off bus tours at every stop. It was nice to have the freedom to explore, with transportation that included taking my scooter on the bus, a guide telling us about the towns and attractions, and all admission fees paid by the American Queen Voyages.

Our first experience with the tours was in Red Wing. I had never been to this Minnesota town before and I was looking forward to checking it out. It’s known mostly for pottery and shoes. Am off combination, but it worked for the town.

The tour guide told us about the stops available to us, as well as other places within walking distance of the bus stops. She also told us about Red Wing’s scenic bluff, houseboats, and fishing in Pottery Pond Park. The town is also filled with historic houses, including the TB Shelton Mansion.

We had limited time and decided to skip the Military and Marine Museums, but some veterans in our group enjoyed them. It was a beautiful day around 70  degrees, with no rain in sight so we were ready to do some walking. Well, Lynn was walking and I was on my scooter.

Our first stop was the pottery museum. We watched a demonstration of basic pottery making and heard about the history of this art and how it brought a lot of income into Red Wing. We also saw many examples of the pottery made there, from simple dishes to more complex and colorful designs.

We got back on the bus to the downtown area. There were lots of shops and some restaurants. I was drawn to Red Wing Confectionary, where the owner was actually making chocolates in the back of the store. I had a Café Mocha and bought some treats to bring home to Mom.

After the candy store, we went to the bus stop by Red Wing Shoes Museum. We missed the world’s largest boot (638 ½). We did have enough time to go to the Red Wing Arts Cebter in the old train depot. They had some locally made jewelry and beautiful scarfs.

We were back on the American Queen in time for lunch in the dining room. Lunch each day was a choice of buffet or sit down. Many chose to do a little of each, as did we. We had the first of many creative salads, this one with blueberries and feta cheese.

For a main course, I had a Thanksgiving meal, which I love anytime of year. There was blueberry cheesecake for dessert.

After lunch and some work, I took a nap before showering and dressing for dinner. I don’t have a chance to get dressed up too often and I liked it. 

Dinner did not disappoint. I started with a Spring Mix Bouquet, had a very tender pork chop with fresh vegetables, and chose the pecan pie for dessert. There was a waiter ready to pour more complimentary wine at all times.

The show was “Southern Celebration” and the music and dancing was quite good. We really liked the balcony seats to stretch out in.

Before we turned in, we had a nightcap in the Engine Room bar, where there was music and dancing each night. We didn’t stay long before heading back to our suite on the American Queen to get ready for the next day in La Crosse, Wisconsin.

I was hosted by American Queen on this voyage, but opinions are my own. 


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