MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — WCCO-TV is getting in on the summer fun and spending time by the water.

Mike Max and Amelia Santaniello are “Goin’ to the Lake” in Winona this week.

They spent most of Thursday on Lake Winona. Friday, they took in the beauty of the Mississippi River. But first, they woke up early to get some of the best donuts around.

Just about everyone we talked to said we needed to visit Bloedow’s Bakery. In fact, WCCO-TV viewers named Bloedow’s as having the best donuts in the state back in 2012. All morning long there was a steady line of customers. The Bloedow family started the bakery in 1924.

Goin’ To The Lake Throwback: Frank & Chris Visits Bloedow’s Bakery In 2017

The same is true for Sugar Loaf — the signature landmark in Winona. It’s a 500-foot bluff with a rock pinnacle on top. You can hike up to the base of the pinnacle, then if you’re really adventurous, rock climb up. Sugar Loaf is on the National Register of Historic Places.

Cal Fremling Research Boat

Winona is home to two universities: St. Mary’s and Winona State. Winona State had a long-time professor named Dr. Cal Fremling who dedicated his life to studying and teaching about the Mississippi River. Today, a boat bearing his name carries on his legacy. You’ll find the Cal Fremling in Levee Park. There’s also a Winona Tour Boat with guided cruises out on the Mississippi. Plenty of ways to enjoy and learn about the river.

Minnesota Marine Art Museum

Amelia and Mike talked Thursday night about the vibrant arts community in Winona. The town has an incredible museum dedicated to great art that’s inspired by water. The Minnesota Marine Art Museum is set right along the Mississippi River. It features works from Van Gogh and Monet. Right now, there’s a special exhibit by an artist from Minneapolis named Alex Soth. The most famous painting is Emanuel Leutze’s iconic “Washington Crossing the Delaware.” If you visit on Saturdays, you’ll enjoy guided tours that are included in the cost of admission. Those start at 11 a.m.

Winona’s Handball Dynasty

Winona’s location right on the Mississippi River helped grow it from its original settlement in the 1850s to what it is now. And of course, the river carved the bluffs that make Winona so beautiful. Today, it’s used for recreation, education, business and even as home to many people who live in houseboats. There’s a dynasty of sorts in Winona: A family that has excelled and keeps excelling at the sport of handball. Andy Nett has been a state champ many times over. Friday, he and his wife, Bailey, showed Amelia and Mike how it’s done.

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