The answers are yes. Both Red Wing Pottery and Red Wing Shoes hail from this flower-filled river town, one of the prettiest on the whole of the Mississippi. Just an hour from St. Paul  and Rochester , this vibrant city of 16,000 has a largely intact 19th-century downtown, a gift to all from previous city leaders who were ahead of their time in historic preservation.
You can enjoy the results by just strolling through downtown and the residential neighborhood next to it.
The immaculately restored 1904 Sheldon Theatre (443 3rd St. W., 651/388-8700 or 800/899-5759, www.sheldontheatre.org ) has a busy year-round schedule of theatrical and musical performances.
Weekend acoustic acts play at Blue Moon (427 3rd St. W., 651/385-5799, 7:30 a.m.–8 p.m. Mon.–Fri., 8 a.m.–10 p.m. Sat., 8 a.m.–8 p.m. Sun.).
The city’s biggest blowout is River City Days, the first weekend in August, with a parade, talent show, ice cream social, arts and crafts fair, and dragon boat races. There are several autumn arts events, including the Studio Ramble in late September.
The train is a great way to visit Red Wing from the Twin Cities . Amtrak (800/872-7245, www.amtrak.com ) arrives at the city’s historic depot from St. Paul at 7:50 a.m., while the westbound service comes through at 8:52 p.m. A walk-up single ticket costs $10–14.
Go Carefree Shuttle (608/781-5181, www.gocarefreeshuttle.com , $35 one-way, reservations required) vans go to the Twin Cities from the AmericInn (1819 Old West Main St.) twice a day.
If you are arriving by boat there is short-term dockage downtown at Levee Park. For additional boating services, Bill’s Bay Marina (651/388-0481, www.billsbaymarina.com ), Ole Miss Marina (651/388-5839, www.olemissmarina.com ), and Red Wing Marina (651/388-8995, www.redwingmarina.com ) can meet your needs.