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Old 08-31-2010, 07:46 PM
 
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Differences? Similarities? Have seen a bit of Winona so have an idea how its laid out. From these forums, Mankato seems to have more to do for its size but I don't really know. Is one more walkable/bikable than the other?
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Old 08-31-2010, 07:54 PM
 
Location: Gladstone, MO
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Mankato is better and bigger, and its easy to walk around and bike.
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Old 08-31-2010, 11:25 PM
 
Location: Southern Minnesota
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The towns are actually very similar. Both have stunning river bluffs/hilly (almost "mountainous") scenery, both are college towns, both are around 30,000 people.

Mankato has a lot more to do, with the mall, lively downtown and commercial district. Winona lacks a mall (the nearest ones are in Rochester or La Crosse, WI) and has much less commercial activity. Mankato also has a lot more business (United Prairie Bank, Verizon and AgStar all have major operations in Mankato) than Winona and is a fast-growing city, while Winona is losing population. As far as "walkability," Winona is much more compact and will probably be more walkable. However, Mankato has a lot of walking trails, sidewalks, bike paths and a well-developed bus system.

Mankato has plenty of lakes outside of town, while the Winona area lacks lakes. Winona has a touristy feel, while Mankato is mostly untouched by tourists, although it has just as much, if not more tourist potential than Winona (shh, don't tell anyone).

Mankato's weather is a lot better than Winona's: much more sunshine, less rain and colder winter temperatures. Southeast Minnesota seems to get a lot more rain and cloud-cover than the rest of the state.

Overall, I like Mankato better, but I may be biased. Both are great cities.
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Old 08-31-2010, 11:38 PM
 
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Originally Posted by flyingwriter View Post
Mankato has plenty of lakes outside of town, while the Winona area lacks lakes. Winona has a touristy feel, while Mankato is mostly untouched by tourists, although it has just as much, if not more tourist potential than Winona (shh, don't tell anyone).
Does Mankato push the Betsy-Tacy tourism angle? (do people still read those? I hope so!) I've always meant to do a Betsy-Tacy tour of Mankato. I know there's a museum and some other sites, so presumably there's a core group of people who come through for that purpose.
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Old 08-31-2010, 11:46 PM
 
Location: Southern Minnesota
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Quote:
Originally Posted by uptown_urbanist View Post
Does Mankato push the Betsy-Tacy tourism angle? (do people still read those? I hope so!) I've always meant to do a Betsy-Tacy tour of Mankato. I know there's a museum and some other sites, so presumably there's a core group of people who come through for that purpose.

I know there's the Betsy-Tacy house and museum, and people do come to visit. However, Mankato doesn't really "push" it in the same way that Winona "pushes" its tourist attractions. Obviously, being male, I've never read the books, though, so I'm not exactly sure of how big it is.
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Old 09-01-2010, 12:56 AM
 
Location: Gladstone, MO
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Originally Posted by uptown_urbanist View Post
Does Mankato push the Betsy-Tacy tourism angle? (do people still read those? I hope so!) I've always meant to do a Betsy-Tacy tour of Mankato. I know there's a museum and some other sites, so presumably there's a core group of people who come through for that purpose.
I have an aunt that has lived in Mankato for around 30 years, and shes read them, probably owns them. I remember when one of my younger sisters was little and would go stay with her in Mankato, she bought my sister some of those books.
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Old 09-01-2010, 11:06 AM
 
Location: Columbus OH
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Originally Posted by flyingwriter View Post
The towns are actually very similar.
Mankato has plenty of lakes outside of town, while the Winona area lacks lakes.
I generally agree with your post, but have to say that Winona has a nice large lake along the west side of the town. Lake Winona is on the town side of Highway 61 and almost gives Winona an isthmus feel because it is bounded by the lake on the west and the river on the east. The lake has jogging/walking trails and is a great community asset--one amenity I don't think Mankato has an equal of.
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Old 09-01-2010, 11:39 AM
 
Location: Southern Minnesota
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Lake Winona isn't technically a "lake," just an extension of the Mississippi River.
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Old 09-02-2010, 03:21 AM
 
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Originally Posted by flyingwriter View Post
Lake Winona isn't technically a "lake," just an extension of the Mississippi River.
Ummm its a lake its NOT even anywhere close to the river. Its on the complete opposite side of the town then the river is. Nobody goes swimming in there because its nasty and you have the river to go in anyways. Which is honestly probably a 2-4 mile drive from the lake. Im honestly even more confused about how you think it rains more in Winona then mankato having lived there half of my life i never noticed a difference. The bluffs tend to kill the severe weather.
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Old 09-02-2010, 07:17 AM
 
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Thanks flyingwriter for giving me a better picture of what Makato is like, esp regarding the walkability.
We liked Winona and its very pretty there but it seemed pretty quiet when we were there - saw very few people walking around but I think some things were going on nearby that weekend and the students weren't back yet either so probably not a fair picture. I'll have to check around more, I have seen a lot of positive posts about Mankato which made it seem like it was more lively and growing faster. I do like that its reasonably close to the Twin cities for trips now and then.
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