Top-Rated Attractions & Things to Do in Stillwater, MN

Minnesota

By Lucas Reynolds

Welcome to Stillwater, Minnesota – a charming and historic town located on the banks of the beautiful St. Croix River. Known for its captivating natural beauty and vibrant arts scene, Stillwater has become a popular destination for travelers near and far.

One of the top attractions in Stillwater is the historic lift bridge, a majestic landmark that dates back to 1931. This iconic bridge is not only a key transportation route, but also a scenic spot for a leisurely stroll or bike ride. As you cross the bridge, you’ll be treated to breathtaking views of the river and the picturesque town.

If you’re looking for outdoor adventures, head to the nearby William O’Brien State Park. This stunning park offers miles of hiking and biking trails, as well as opportunities for fishing and wildlife spotting. Don’t forget to pack a picnic and enjoy a peaceful afternoon surrounded by nature.

No visit to Stillwater is complete without exploring the downtown area. With its charming brick buildings, boutique shops, and cozy cafes, the downtown area is a shopper’s paradise. Be sure to stop by the local art galleries and check out the work of talented regional artists.

In the evening, catch a show at the historic Stillwater Theater. Known for its excellent productions and intimate setting, this theater is a must-visit for theater enthusiasts. Whether you’re into Broadway musicals or thought-provoking dramas, you’re sure to find a show that suits your taste.

Whether you’re seeking a peaceful getaway or an action-packed adventure, Stillwater has something for everyone. From its historic landmarks to its natural beauty, this charming town is sure to leave a lasting impression. Come and discover all that Stillwater, MN has to offer!

Explore the Beauty of Stillwater, MN

Stillwater, Minnesota is a charming town nestled along the scenic St. Croix River. Known for its picturesque beauty and historic charm, Stillwater is a popular destination for visitors looking to explore the natural wonders and cultural heritage of the region.

One of the best ways to experience the beauty of Stillwater is by taking a stroll along the historic Main Street. Lined with boutique shops, art galleries, and quaint cafes, Main Street offers a glimpse into the town’s rich history and vibrant arts scene. Visitors can also enjoy scenic views of the river and the iconic Lift Bridge while exploring the charming streetscape.

A visit to Stillwater wouldn’t be complete without exploring the area’s natural attractions. The town is surrounded by beautiful parks and nature preserves, making it a perfect destination for outdoor enthusiasts. One of the most popular parks is the Willow River State Park, located just a short drive away. This park offers miles of hiking trails, breathtaking waterfalls, and opportunities for camping, picnicking, and wildlife watching.

If you’re interested in history, be sure to visit the Washington County Historical Society and Museum. Housed in a restored courthouse, the museum showcases artifacts and exhibits that tell the story of the town’s early settlers and its role in Minnesota’s history. Visitors can learn about the lumber industry that once thrived in Stillwater and the steamboat era that brought prosperity to the town.

For those seeking a unique and memorable experience, a scenic boat cruise along the St. Croix River is a must-do. Several companies offer narrated tours that take passengers past stunning bluffs, limestone cliffs, and historic river towns. It’s a great way to relax and soak in the beauty of the river while learning about the area’s history.

Overall, Stillwater, MN is a hidden gem that offers a perfect blend of natural beauty, cultural heritage, and small-town charm. Whether you’re interested in outdoor adventures, shopping, dining, or history, there is something for everyone to enjoy in this quaint Midwestern town.

Top-Rated Attractions in Stillwater, MN: Address:
1. Lift Bridge Main St & St. Croix Trail S, Stillwater, MN 55082
2. Teddy Bear Park Nelson St E & 2nd St N, Stillwater, MN 55082
3. Stillwater Trolley Co. 400 E Nelson St, Stillwater, MN 55082
4. Northern Vineyards Winery 223 Main St N, Stillwater, MN 55082
5. Warden’s House Museum 602 Main St N, Stillwater, MN 55082

Discover the Charming History of Stillwater

Stillwater, Minnesota, a small town located just outside of Minneapolis, is known for its rich history and charming atmosphere. Founded in the mid-19th century, Stillwater was originally a bustling lumber town due to its location on the St. Croix River.

Visitors to Stillwater can explore the town’s fascinating history through its many historic sites and landmarks. One of the most popular attractions is the Warden’s House Museum, a beautifully preserved Victorian-era home that was once the residence of the Minnesota State Jail warden. Visitors can take a guided tour of the museum and learn about the history of the jail and the influential role it played in shaping Stillwater.

Another must-visit historic site in Stillwater is the St. Croix Boom Site. This site was once a bustling center for the logging industry, where thousands of logs would be gathered and sent downriver to sawmills. Today, visitors can explore the interpretive signs and take in the scenic views of the St. Croix River.

For those interested in the history of transportation, a visit to the Marine on St. Croix Historic Village is a must. This living history museum showcases what life was like in a 19th-century river town and features historic buildings, period artifacts, and costumed interpreters.

In addition to these historic sites, Stillwater is also home to a number of charming shops, restaurants, and art galleries, many of which are housed in beautifully preserved historic buildings. Visitors can take a leisurely stroll along the main street and experience the town’s unique blend of history and modern amenities.

Whether you’re a history buff or simply appreciate the charm of a small town, Stillwater offers a delightful escape into the past. Discover the rich history and captivating stories that have shaped this charming Minnesota town.

Visit the Historic Lift Bridge

One of the most iconic landmarks in Stillwater is the Historic Lift Bridge. This bridge, built in 1931, crosses the St. Croix River and connects Minnesota and Wisconsin. It was originally used to carry vehicular traffic, but now it is open only to pedestrians and bicyclists.

The Lift Bridge is a popular attraction for both locals and tourists. It offers stunning views of the river and the scenic surrounding area. Whether you walk or ride a bike across the bridge, you are sure to enjoy the experience.

While the Lift Bridge is no longer in use for vehicular traffic, it is still fully operational. In fact, you might have the chance to see the bridge in action during your visit. The bridge can be lifted to let boats pass through, and watching this process is quite fascinating.

If you are interested in learning more about the history and construction of the Lift Bridge, you can visit the nearby Lift Bridge Museum. The museum features exhibits and displays that provide insights into the bridge’s design and engineering, as well as its significance to the community.

In addition to the museum, there are several parks and picnic areas near the Lift Bridge where you can relax and enjoy the beautiful scenery. These spots are perfect for a family outing or a peaceful stroll along the river.

Whether you are a history enthusiast, a nature lover, or simply looking for a scenic spot to explore, a visit to the Historic Lift Bridge is a must when in Stillwater, Minnesota. Don’t forget to bring your camera to capture the breathtaking views from this iconic landmark.

Explore the Scenic St. Croix River

One of the top attractions in Stillwater, MN is the scenic St. Croix River. This beautiful river runs through the heart of the city and offers a variety of activities for visitors to enjoy.

One of the best ways to explore the St. Croix River is by taking a boat tour. Several companies offer guided tours that allow you to learn about the history and significance of the river while enjoying the stunning views. Along the way, you can spot wildlife, including eagles, herons, and river otters.

If you prefer a more active adventure, you can rent a kayak or paddleboard and explore the river at your own pace. The St. Croix River is known for its calm waters, making it perfect for paddling. You can paddle along the shoreline, admiring the picturesque scenery and maybe even stopping at one of the river’s many sandy beaches.

For those who enjoy fishing, the St. Croix River is a popular spot to cast a line. The river is home to a variety of fish, including walleye, bass, and catfish. You can fish from the shore or rent a boat to access deeper waters.

In addition to the river itself, the St. Croix River Valley is home to several parks and trails that offer beautiful views of the river and surrounding nature. William O’Brien State Park and Interstate State Park are both popular options for hiking and picnicking along the river.

No matter how you choose to explore the St. Croix River, you’re sure to be captivated by its natural beauty and tranquility. From boat tours to paddleboarding to fishing, there are plenty of ways to experience this scenic river and create lasting memories in Stillwater, MN.

Indulge in Local Culinary Delights

One of the highlights of visiting Stillwater, MN is the chance to indulge in the local culinary delights. With its rich history and diverse culture, the town offers a range of dining options that cater to all tastes and preferences.

If you’re in the mood for a classic American meal, head to one of the many traditional diners or cafes scattered throughout the town. These cozy establishments serve up hearty comfort food such as burgers, fries, and homemade pies. Don’t forget to try the famous Minnesota-style hot dish, a delicious casserole made with meat, vegetables, and a creamy sauce.

For a taste of international cuisine, explore the various ethnic restaurants in Stillwater. From Italian trattorias to Mexican taquerias, you’ll find a wide variety of flavors from around the world. Sample authentic dishes like handmade pasta, wood-fired pizza, or sizzling fajitas.

Seafood lovers won’t be disappointed in Stillwater either. The town is home to several seafood restaurants that specialize in fresh, locally sourced fish and shellfish. Treat yourself to a plate of succulent crab legs, pan-seared scallops, or a mouthwatering lobster tail.

Finally, no visit to Stillwater is complete without trying some of the local specialties. Head to one of the town’s quaint bakeries for a taste of the famous caramel roll or Swedish cardamom bread. And don’t forget to sample some of the locally crafted beer or wine from one of the area’s breweries or wineries.

Restaurant Cuisine Address Phone
Stillwater Grille American 123 Main St. 555-1234
La Cucina Italiana Italian 456 Elm St. 555-5678
Taco Loco Mexican 789 Oak St. 555-9012
Seaside Seafood Seafood 321 Maple St. 555-3456

Shop for Unique Gifts and Antiques

Stillwater, MN, offers a wide variety of charming shops and boutiques where you can find unique gifts and antiques. Whether you’re looking for a one-of-a-kind item to add to your collection or a special gift for a loved one, you’re sure to find something special in Stillwater.

One popular shop in Stillwater is The Weaver’s Guild. This shop offers an amazing selection of handmade textiles, including scarves, sweaters, and blankets. The talented artisans at The Weaver’s Guild use traditional weaving techniques to create beautiful and unique pieces that are sure to impress.

If you’re a fan of antiques, then you won’t want to miss The Antique Emporium. This expansive shop is filled with all sorts of treasures, from vintage furniture to old books and collectibles. Spend a few hours browsing through the aisles and you’re bound to find something that catches your eye.

For those looking for a more eclectic shopping experience, check out The Refinery. This boutique features an ever-changing selection of handmade jewelry, home decor items, and art pieces. You never know what you’ll find at The Refinery, but you can be sure that it will be unique and of the highest quality.

Another must-visit shop in Stillwater is The Tannery Emporium. This shop specializes in leather goods, including handbags, wallets, and belts. Everything at The Tannery Emporium is made from genuine leather and crafted with care. Whether you’re shopping for yourself or someone else, you can’t go wrong with a high-quality leather item.

Finally, if you’re a fan of fine art, you’ll want to stop by the Stillwater Art Guild Gallery. This gallery showcases the work of local artists in a variety of mediums, including painting, sculpture, and pottery. Not only can you admire the artwork, but you can also purchase pieces to take home and enjoy for years to come.

With its wide variety of shops and boutiques, Stillwater, MN, is the perfect destination for those looking for unique gifts and antiques. Spend a day exploring the charming streets of Stillwater and you’re sure to find something that catches your eye.

Enjoy Outdoor Activities at the Nearby Parks

If you’re looking for outdoor activities in Stillwater, MN, you’re in luck! The city is surrounded by several beautiful parks that offer a variety of recreational opportunities for visitors of all ages.

One of the top-rated parks in the area is Lowell Park. Located along the scenic St. Croix River, Lowell Park offers stunning views and a peaceful setting. Visitors can enjoy a leisurely stroll along the riverfront, have a picnic on the grassy fields, or simply relax and take in the natural beauty of the park.

If you’re feeling more active, head to Stillwater Pioneer Park. This park is perfect for those who enjoy hiking and biking. The park features several trails that wind through the wooded areas and offer glimpses of wildlife along the way. There’s also a playground for the little ones and plenty of open space for games and sports.

For a unique outdoor experience, visit William O’Brien State Park. Just a short drive from Stillwater, this state park boasts over 12 miles of hiking trails, scenic picnic areas, and a variety of wildlife. During the warmer months, visitors can rent canoes or kayaks and explore the park’s beautiful lakes and streams.

If you’re a nature lover, don’t miss Afton State Park. This park offers breathtaking views of the St. Croix River Valley and features a diverse range of habitats, including prairies, woodlands, and wetlands. Visitors can hike along the park’s many trails, go bird watching, or simply relax and enjoy the peaceful surroundings.

No matter which park you choose to visit, you’re sure to find plenty of outdoor activities to enjoy in the Stillwater area. So grab your hiking boots, pack a picnic, and get ready to explore the natural beauty of this charming city!

Go Wine Tasting at Local Vineyards

Stillwater, MN is known for its beautiful vineyards and wineries, making it the perfect destination for wine lovers. With a variety of local vineyards to choose from, visitors can embark on a wine tasting adventure and sample a wide range of wines.

One of the top-rated vineyards in Stillwater is the Stillwater Vineyards & Winery. This family-owned vineyard offers a unique wine tasting experience, allowing visitors to try their award-winning wines while enjoying the picturesque views of the vineyard. The knowledgeable staff is always on hand to provide information about the different wines and the winemaking process.

For those looking for a charming and cozy atmosphere, a visit to the St. Croix Vineyards is a must. This vineyard is known for its exceptional wines and beautiful grounds. Visitors can take a tour of the vineyard, learn about the wine production process, and then relax in the outdoor patio area while sipping on their delicious wines.

Another popular choice for wine tasting is the Northern Vineyards Winery. Located in the heart of downtown Stillwater, this winery offers a unique urban wine tasting experience. Visitors can sample a variety of wines, from crisp whites to bold reds, all made from grapes grown in the local vineyards.

Whether you are a wine connoisseur or simply enjoy a good glass of wine, a visit to the local vineyards in Stillwater is a must. Take the time to explore the different vineyards, learn about the winemaking process, and indulge in the flavors of the region. Cheers!

Experience Thrilling Water Sports

Stillwater, MN offers a variety of thrilling water sports for adventure enthusiasts. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced water sports lover, there’s something for everyone to enjoy on the beautiful St. Croix River.

One popular water sport in Stillwater is paddleboarding. Stand-up paddleboarding, or SUP, is a great way to explore the river and enjoy a unique perspective of the city. You can rent paddleboards from several local outfitters and paddle at your own pace along the calm waters of the St. Croix River.

If you prefer something more exhilarating, consider trying your hand at kayaking or canoeing. These water sports provide an exciting way to navigate the river and admire the picturesque landscape surrounding Stillwater. Rent a kayak or a canoe and experience the rush of paddling downstream or exploring the river’s various tributaries.

For those seeking an adrenaline rush, jet skiing is a thrilling option. Rent a jet ski and cruise along the river, feeling the wind in your hair and the water beneath you. Test your skills and explore the river’s nooks and crannies on this fast-paced water sport.

If you’re looking for a more relaxing water activity, consider taking a scenic river boat tour. These tours offer a leisurely way to enjoy the scenery and learn about the history of Stillwater. Sit back, relax, and let the captain navigate the waters while you take in the sights and sounds of the St. Croix River.

Whether you’re seeking adventure or relaxation, the water sports in Stillwater, MN provide the perfect opportunity to enjoy the natural beauty of the St. Croix River. So grab your gear, hop in a kayak or on a paddleboard, and experience the thrill of water sports in this charming river town.

Water Sports Renting Outfitters
Paddleboarding Stillwater Paddleboard Rental
Kayaking St. Croix River Kayak Rental
Canoeing Stillwater Canoe Rental
Jet Skiing Stillwater Jet Ski Rental
River Boat Tours St. Croix River Boat Tours

Take a Romantic Cruise on a Paddleboat

Stillwater, MN is not only known for its historic charm and beautiful scenery, but also for its romantic experiences. One of the most popular ways to enjoy a romantic outing in Stillwater is by taking a cruise on a paddleboat.

The paddleboats in Stillwater offer a unique and delightful experience for couples looking to spend some quality time together. These charming boats, with their nostalgic charm and old-world elegance, are perfect for a romantic date or anniversary celebration.

As you board the paddleboat, you and your partner will be greeted with a warm welcome and a friendly smile. Once on board, you can find a cozy spot on the deck or in the elegant interior of the boat. As the paddleboat sets sail, you will be surrounded by breathtaking views of the St. Croix River and the picturesque landscape of Stillwater.

During the cruise, you can enjoy a delicious meal prepared by talented chefs on board, accompanied by a selection of fine wines or signature cocktails. You can also choose to dance the night away to live music or simply relax and soak in the romantic ambiance.

Whether you’re celebrating a special occasion or just wanting to spend some quality time together, a romantic paddleboat cruise in Stillwater is an unforgettable experience. The gentle rocking of the boat, the soft glow of the evening light, and the company of your loved one create the perfect setting for a memorable and romantic evening.

So, if you’re looking to add a touch of romance to your visit to Stillwater, be sure to book a cruise on a paddleboat. It’s the perfect way to create lasting memories and enjoy the beauty of this charming riverside town with your special someone.

Attend Local Festivals and Events

Stillwater, MN is known for its vibrant local festivals and events throughout the year. Whether you’re a fan of music, food, art, or history, there’s something for everyone to enjoy in this charming town. Here are some of the top festivals and events that you should attend when you visit Stillwater:

  1. Summer Tuesdays: This popular event takes place every Tuesday during the summer months. Main Street is transformed into a lively street fair with live music, food vendors, and a variety of activities for people of all ages.
  2. Terrapin Apple Orchard Festival: Held in September, this festival celebrates the apple harvest with activities such as apple picking, live music, a petting zoo, and delicious apple treats.
  3. Stillwater Harvest Fest: This annual event takes place in October and is known for its giant pumpkin weigh-off. You can also enjoy a chili cook-off, live music, and a beer garden.
  4. Boat Festival: In the summertime, the St. Croix River comes alive with the Boat Festival. You can take a scenic cruise on a paddleboat, explore historic riverboats, and enjoy live music and entertainment.
  5. Stillwater Lumberjack Days: Held in July, this festival pays homage to Stillwater’s rich logging history. You can watch lumberjack demonstrations, canoe races, a hot saw competition, and enjoy a parade.

These are just a few examples of the many festivals and events that take place in Stillwater, MN. No matter when you visit, you’re sure to find something exciting happening in this charming town.

Frequently asked questions

What are some top-rated attractions in Stillwater, MN?

Some of the top-rated attractions in Stillwater, MN include the Lift Bridge Brewery, the Warden’s House Museum, and the St. Croix Vineyards.

What are some fun things to do in Stillwater, MN?

There are plenty of fun things to do in Stillwater, MN. You can take a scenic cruise on the St. Croix River, go hiking or biking in one of the many parks in the area, or explore the charming downtown area with its shops and restaurants.

How can I get to Stillwater, MN?

You can get to Stillwater, MN by car, as it is located about 20 miles east of St. Paul. There is also a public transportation option called Metro Transit, which operates buses in the area.

Are there any historical sites in Stillwater, MN?

Yes, there are several historical sites in Stillwater, MN. Some of the notable ones include the Warden’s House Museum, which offers a glimpse into the life of a 19th-century jail warden, and the Stillwater Historic Courthouse, which is a beautiful building with a rich history.

What is the best time to visit Stillwater, MN?

The best time to visit Stillwater, MN depends on your preferences. The summer months of June to August are popular for outdoor activities and festivals, while the fall months of September to November offer beautiful fall foliage. The winter months of December to February are great for winter sports and holiday events.

What are some top-rated attractions in Stillwater, MN?

Some top-rated attractions in Stillwater, MN include the Stillwater Lift Bridge, Historic Main Street, St. Croix Riverfront, and the Warden’s House Museum.

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Lucas Reynolds

Lucas Reynolds, the mastermind behind TravelAsker's compelling content, originates from the charming Sedona, Arizona. A genuine local, he shares deep insights into the region, unveiling its enchanting attractions, tranquil resorts, welcoming accommodations, diverse dining options, and engaging pastimes. Lucas invites readers to explore captivating experiences within the stunning landscapes of Sedona and beyond, ensuring unforgettable adventures.

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