Kayla Bacon-Carefree Fall 2

My Favorite Weekend Getaways from Winona

Given that I grew up in the city of Minneapolis, I sometimes question why I decided to attend a college in a smaller town. Winona State University definitely has its perks, but there are moments when I really miss all of the action that goes on in Minneapolis. Sure, Winona has cute little coffee shops like Mugby Junction and Blooming Grounds, and fortunately, both a Target and a Walmart, but I can still feel a Mall of America-shaped hole in my heart.


One of my close friends that I met at the beginning of this year, Harmony Angellar (who is also a member of Her Campus!), can relate. She’s from Roseville, Minnesota which is a suburb near the Twin Cities. We regularly discuss our itching to find something to do on the weekends and have gone home to visit multiple times throughout the year. I don’t have my driver's license yet, for reasons I can’t explain, so it’s been wonderfully kind and convenient to have Harmony willing to drive me around. 

A few of the best weekends I’ve had at home were those that were planned out by my family. One time I spent a night at my cousin’s house with my sister. We watched a movie, ate some snacks, and caught up on each other’s lives. I miss being able to frequently see and talk to my sister, so I always treasure our time together. 


There was another weekend where my sister’s schedule was jam-packed, so I spent it with my parents. We did a lot more than I expected. We spent the day at Como Zoo and went to see Frozen 2 at the Riverview Theater. I made sure to spend the rest of my time playing with my dog, Ozzy.


My weekends with Harmony have been some of my favorites. We don’t always leave Winona, but when we do it’s always quite the adventure. I think the first place we went to was Rochester. I remember struggling to wake up early enough so that it wouldn’t be pitch black outside on the drive back. I think we finally got on the road around 10:00 am and ended up eating lunch at a place called Chester’s. Then, we went to see the new Charlie’s Angels movie in the theater. That weekend sparked our desire for wanting to explore more new areas. 


The next place I recall going with Harmony was Eau Claire, Wisconsin. My sister went to UWEC for her undergrad, so I was somewhat acquainted with the area. My mom still follows the UWEC University Activities Commission Facebook page, and she sent me a screenshot of an upcoming event. It said that Yam Haus, a small-ish band popular amongst WSU students, would be playing in Eau Claire. I knew that Harmony really likes Yam Haus (and so do I) and had a friend attending UWEC. So, of course, I told Harmony about the event and her friend, Audrey, had agreed to let us spend a night in her dorm room. 

Street Performers In The Park B&W 4

My most recent weekend getaway with Harmony was to the University of Wisconsin: Madison. Julia, another friend of Harmony’s, wanted to tour the campus as she is considering transferring somewhere new from WSU next year. We woke up early and were on the road by 8:30am. 


When we arrived in Madison, we ate lunch at Ian’s Pizza and walked around a bit before starting the tour. All of us liked the campus a lot more than we expected to and were feeling a little overwhelmed. It was interesting to see how a bigger campus like UWM put things into perspective for us. 


Even though I may feel stuck in Winona sometimes, I do - for the most part - enjoy my time here. However, there are times when a weekend at home or somewhere new is just what I need to rejuvenate! 


If you are interested in checking out Harmony’s articles, click here!