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There is always something NEW happening in the fun, historic river town of Stillwater, Minnesota. Looking for information while visiting? The following Visitor Ambassador businesses welcome you to stop in, ask questions and pick up guidebook/map:  Stillwater TrolleyWater Street InnAlfresco – Northern Vineyards 

 Discover Stillwater Blog – tune in for the latest!

City Pages in Minneapolis Awards Stillwater

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City Pages announced their Best Of 2016 Awards and Stillwater was selected for two!

Best Place to Take Out-of-Town Guests
When your sister and her family fly in from Cleveland, it’s not an easy call. You need a one-stop destination that spans all ages and interests. You need a place that speaks to both active and sedentary. What you need is Stillwater. Minnesota’s oldest city has been named one of the 10 Prettiest Towns in America by Forbes. Along the pristine St. Croix River, the energetic can canoe, kayak, bike, or hike. For the more leisurely, there are wineries and breweries, boutiques and antiques, plus bars and restaurants galore. For the more intellectually inclined, there’s some of the finest old architecture Minnesota has to offer, plus historical trolley tours that take you back to the state’s days on the frontier. And for the little ones, there’s even Teddy Bear Park, featuring a tree house, slides, magicians, and, yes, giant teddy bears. ~City Pages Minneapolis

Best View – Pioneer Park 
As far as parks go, Pioneer isn’t much to brag about. This small patch of land nestled in a residential neighborhood offers picnic shelters, a playground, an old-time band shell, and a few grills. But its true value is its perch on the bluffs overlooking downtown Stillwater and the majestic St. Croix River beyond. This is one of the country’s most protected waterways, its banks north of town unspoiled by billboards, Holiday Inns, and lighted beacons for Home Depot. In a metro area that tends to be a tad short of scenic topography, Pioneer’s view of Stillwater’s historic center, the shimmering river, and the wooded hills of western Wisconsin will keep you serene and captivated.~City Pages Minneapolis

Share your photos of Pioneer Park views on Facebook and Instagram with ‪#‎DiscoverStillwater‬!


Discover Stillwater named Best Small CVB in Minnesota

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Among a crowd of top event planning professionals, venues and services, Discover Stillwater received a Minnesota Meetings & Events Magazine reader’s choice award for the Best CVB (Convention & Visitor Bureau) in the category for town/area less than 25,000 population. The event took place at Aria downtown Minneapolis on Thursday evening, March 31st.

Stillwater is a popular location in the state for both weddings and corporate meetings or team outings. There are over 20 venues and many unique experience ideas in Stillwater not to mention, the natural beauty of the scenic byway and river way in a small historic town setting. “Stillwater has so much more than just a boring meeting venue to offer – it’s truly an inspiring destination town for business or leisure events. I’ve really enjoyed the opportunity to showcase our features on tours to event professionals over the past few years, so this award is a really nice honor!” Christie Rosckes, Discover Stillwater Marketing Director.

Tourism in Stillwater is booming with the CVB in it’s eighth year of existence, the Board of Directors recently reported their highest lodging revenues on record for year-end 2015 with an average increase of 29% since inception. “It’s impressive to know that our organization achieved this without a significant increase in the number of hotel rooms in town.” Tiki Oswald, General Manager at AmericInn Hotel and CVB Board Member. The CVB’s website, DiscoverStillwater.com which promotes restaurants, boutiques, things to do, lodging, and events in the Stillwater area has seen a consistent increase of 40-60% every year, with year-end 2015 at 315,000 unique users on the site annually.

In the past two years, the CVB worked to create a consistent brand image launching a new logo and website re-design as well as social media presence, promotional videos, new vacation traveler advertising campaigns and increased exposure for the weddings and meetings market. Last year, the marketing plan focused the majority of advertising during the off-season to communicate the fun year-round escape Stillwater has become. Efforts paid off with DiscoverStillwater.com’s website traffic increasing 75% in the first quarter months of January/February/March for 2015.

“There is an exciting feeling in the air for tourism in Stillwater with new businesses appearing.” Jerry Helmberger, CVB President. “We’re a culinary town with an artisan cheese shop, foodie tours, rooftop dining and an outdoor adventurer’s paradise with the new bike trail, Segway tours, and river boat rentals as well as a mecca for artists with Instagram photographers strolling the historic streets and dreams of a new live theatre in the near future.” Christie Rosckes.

Meeting and Event planners who’d like to be more informed on Stillwater can attend a familiarization tour coming up on Tuesday, May 10th. Find out what’s new, where to stay, dine, shop, or explore at www.DiscoverStillwater.com and visit www.mn.meetingsmags.com to see all Best Of award winners this year.

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Photo Caption: Accepting the award were past CVB Board President – Tiki Oswald, Stillwater City Council and CVB Board Member -Mike Polehna, and Marketing Director -Christie Rosckes. Professional Image available at: http://goo.gl/yWKULb

Stillwater/Oak Park Heights CVB Board of Directors: Jerry Helmberger – President, Alex Rojas – Vice President, Chuck Dougherty – Treasurer, Steve Roll – Secretary. Board Members: Larry Loyer, Tiki Oswald, Shannon Oldsberg. Associate Members: Sherri Hopke (Mainstreet IBA), Erica Oesterreich (Greater Stillwater Chamber of Commerce), Mike Runk (City of Oak Park Heights), Mike Polehna & Doug Menikeim (City of Stillwater)


New Winter Event: Sticks in Stillwater

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Hockey enthusiasts and young mite hockey players unite for an action-packed weekend in Stillwater, Minnesota February 5-7, 2016! The first ever Sticks in Stillwater mite hockey tournament and festival is coming up soon. Tournament spots are full with a waiting list started, but the public can enjoy many of the other events planned for this family-friendly new winter festival encouraging shopping, dining, and fun in historic downtown.

Friday, February 5
6-7pm. Opening Ceremonies and Skate with the Greats (NHL Alumni and 80s Gold Medalists) at St. Croix Valley Recreation Center. Free and open to the public.
7-8pm. Autograph session (including Dave Hansen from Slapshot), meet and greet with the players and showing of the Movie Miracle at Water Street Inn. Free and Open to the public.
8pm-Midnight. Kick Off Party and Silent Auction with Boom Boom Steve V and the Knockouts at Rafters Bar and Event Center.$10 donation and open to the public. 21+ Only.

Saturday, February 6
5-7pm. Heroes Hockey Boot Hockey Game at St. Croix Valley Recreation Center. Stillwater Police, Stillwater Fire, Lakeview EMS and local Military will play outdoor games. FREE and open to the public.

Fun Events All Weekend Include:

  • Stillwater Scavenger Hunt in Downtown Stillwater sponsored by Candyland
  • Free shuttle rides from St. Croix Valley Recreation Center to downtown Stillwater for shopping and dining from 11 am to 3 pm daily.

All proceeds after expenses will benefit the Herb Brooks Foundation which continues it’s mission to make hockey accessible and affordable to all kids. For more information, visit www.sticksinstillwater.com or follow Sticks in Stillwater on Facebook.
#StateofHockey #Hockey #NHL #USAHockey #OnlyinMN


2016 Stillwater Visitor Guide/Map Now Available

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Welcome travelers! Order your very own 2016 Stillwater, Minnesota Official Visitor Guide and Map to be mailed directly to your doorstep for free. Live nearby? Pick up one in person from merchants downtown or at one of our ambassador locations: Alfresco Casual Living, Water Street Inn, and Northern Vineyards.

Remember Stillwater is a popular vacation and wedding destination, so lodging fills up fast – start planning your 2016 trips now! Happy travels.

To view/order the 2016 Visitor Guide, click here: http://www.discoverstillwater.com/visitors-guide/


Win Ski & Stay Package

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Stillwater’s charming historic downtown is an exciting and relaxing winter escape! Stay in Stillwater to explore three nearby ski resorts – Afton Alps, Trollhaugen, and Wild Mountain. Ski season has officially begun in Minnesota with lots of beautiful white snow.

Funds tight after the holidays? Enter to WIN a ski & stay package with Afton Alps which is the closest ski resort to Main Street Stillwater only 16 miles south along the Scenic St. Croix Byway.

Contest ends January 17th, 2016. ENTER here: http://www.discoverstillwater.com/afton-alps-ski-weekend-sweepstakes/

For more information on winter fun in Stillwater visit our ‘winter wonderland’ page: http://www.discoverstillwater.com/things-to-do/winter-wonderland/ 

Enjoy the season & good luck! Just remember the only thing that closes in the winter in Stillwater is the river, so restaurants, boutiques, hotels, and fun experiences still welcome you on Main Street!


Stillwater Ranked as Top Beer City

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Stillwater has been named a top beer city in the 99 Beers in 99 Cities list by Livability.com. They chose cities that are producers of great beer, consumers of craft brews and great places to live. To read more about the data-driven process used to pick each city and see Stillwater’s ranking (17th), see the full list. Once they had their list of cities, Livability partnered with their friends at RateBeer.com to name a representative brew for each town. Those are listed on the site as well.

“Economic development, tourism, talent attraction – these are all great side effects of the craft beer movement in the U.S.,” says Livability.com Editor Matt Carmichael. “But at the end of the day, this is a ranking of great beers in great cities, and it sure is nice to have a cold pint of one of these 99 brews.”

Stillwater is home to these excellent brewers: Lift Bridge Brewery, Maple Island Brewing, and Joseph Wolf Brewing Company.

#OnlyinMN #MNCraftBeer


Stillwater 1 of 10 CheckpointMN Destinations

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Explore Minnesota Through Statewide Winter Scavenger Hunt – Stillwater Selected As One of 10 ‘Checkpoint MN’ Hosts

For the third consecutive year, Explore Minnesota, the state’s tourism promotion office, in partnership with Minneapolis-based marketing agency Monopoint Media, will launch a statewide winter scavenger hunt this Thursday, Dec. 3. Coined “Checkpoint MN,” the event highlights 10 iconic travel destinations in Minnesota this winter season, including Stillwater, the Birthplace of Minnesota. The scavenger hunt runs December 3 through January 31, 2016, aiming to entice thousands of Minnesota travelers over the course of 8 weeks with $35,000+ in prizes, including winter gear, Wigwam Socks, MN getaways, grand prize ski, snowboard, and fat bike packages from The-House.com, and more.

Stillwater was chosen as a location to host one of the checkpoints. The checkpoint sign will be installed at the gazebo in Lowell Park just north of the historic Lift Bridge in downtown Stillwater. The beauty of the National Scenic St. Croix River and the Main Street which is on the National Historic Register are a delight during the winter season. Stop at this checkpoint, then enjoy shopping, dining, breweries, wineries, art galleries, and cozy inns. Plan your visit at DiscoverStillwater.com and take advantage of the Stillwater coupons on CheckpointMN.com. For those adventurers looking for more challenge, find the four sets of historic stairs throughout downtown to hike to more great views of this historic river town on the Minnesota/Wisconsin border.

Checkpoint MN locations include a variety of sites that embody winter travel in Minnesota including: a 218,000 acre national park to celebrate the 2016 National Park Service Centennial Celebration, Minnesota’s newest outdoor sports stadium, the country’s second oldest brewery, and more. CheckpointMN.com features a map of the checkpoints, complete prize descriptions, rules and sponsorship details, participant photos, and travel information about each checkpoint, so you can make the most out of checking in at each destination. The 10 checkpoints can be found at:

• Voyageurs National Park, Rainy Lake Visitors Center, International Falls
• World’s Largest Free Standing Hockey Stick & Puck, Eveleth
• Lowell Park, Stillwater
• TCF Bank Stadium, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis
• August Schell Brewing Company, New Ulm
• Zumbrota Covered Bridge, Zumbrota
• Mille Lacs Kathio State Park, Onamia
• Hopperstad Stave Church at the Hjemkomst Center, Moorhead
• Cuyuna State Recreation Area, Crosby-Ironton
• Arctic Cat, Inc., Thief River Falls

”Minnesota is a one-of-a-kind winter travel destination. Visitors can venture outdoors with numerous activities at our beautiful regional, state and national parks, catch a game, tour a museum or take a brewcation,” said John Edman, director of Explore Minnesota. “Each checkpoint destination offers a unique experience that can be found only in Minnesota this season. The checkpoints are a simple addition to a planned winter vacation, or good excuse to plan new trips around them.”

#OnlyinMN #CheckpointMN #DiscoverStillwater #Prizes #ScavengerHunt


Most Picturesque American Towns

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USA Today Travel took notice of our historic St. Croix river town when recently compiling one of their 2015 ‘best of’ lists, so we are so excited to announce that Stillwater was named as one of the most picturesque towns in America as the choice for the state of Minnesota.

“When it comes to the United States, each and every state has a unique look and feel. Inside each individual state we can find large, thriving cities and quiet, serene towns. Here, we look at picturesque small towns – one for each of the 50 states – as discovered through research and crowd-sourcing:  Idyllic America, 50 Picturesque small towns.” 

If you love photography, you’ll find inspiration around every corner in the historic district downtown Stillwater. Visit in all four seasons to capture the natural beauty, then submit your images to our annual photo contest for a chance to win! Visitors, we love to see and share your images on social media as well, so tag your photos with #PicturesqueStillwater.

www.DiscoverStillwater.com #OnlyinMN #USATODAYTravel


STILLWATER FEATURED ON NEW TRAVEL TV SHOW

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Fox Sports North and Fox Sports Wisconsin launched a new original television series in June called The Minnesota Traveler featuring different Minnesota communities throughout the state and showcasing their unique travel destinations and tourist attractions. The new show is hosted by a former small town girl from a hobby farm near Avon, Minnesota, Jennifer Mergen, whose moxie — and keen storytelling sensibilities — make every program a must-see adventure worth watching.

Several tourism businesses in Stillwater will soon be featured with an episode segment that highlights the Birthplace of Minnesota. Discover Stillwater, the Stillwater/Oak Park Heights Convention & Visitor Bureau, worked with the producers, McCally-Lee Entertainment, to capture the inspiring beauty and fun of both the fall colors and winter holiday wonderland along Main Street Stillwater.

Tune into Fox Sports North or Fox Sports Wisconsin to watch the first episode which airs on Sunday, August 30th from 8:30-9:00am. Additional replays will air Wednesday, September 2, 8:30 – 9:00 AM; Friday, September 4, 5:00-5:30; Sunday, November 29, 8:30 AM – 9:00 AM; Wednesday, December 2, 8:00 – 8:30 AM; and Friday, December 4, TBD. Stillwater also has a small part of a Twin Cities metro area tourism episode that will air again on Sunday, November 15, 8:30 AM – 9:00 AM;Wednesday, November 18, 8:30 – 9:00 AM; and Friday, November 20, TBD.

Discover Stillwater invites locals to celebrate our tourism industry with a replay of the full episode at Lift Bridge Brewery (1900 Tower Dr, Stillwater) on Sunday, August 30th from 3-5. The half hour episode will be played at 4pm.


Yelp Users Say Stillwater is a Hidden Gem

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See what USA Today and Yelp users have to say about Stillwater:

“Reader review site Yelp recently ran a unique query of millions of user-generated records. It was seeking U.S. destinations that travelers may not be familiar with but had the points of interest — with stellar rankings from readers — that would appeal to them.

From that list of under-the-radar destinations, USA TODAY asked Yelp to name the highest-rated non-chain local businesses in each category (food, nightlife, shopping, etc.), providing prospective visitors with a handy guide to a great day trip.

First in the series is Stillwater, Minn., a small town on the St. Croix River near St. Paul. Browse the best local venues and businesses from Yelp readers in the slideshow above, and stay tuned for future guides to Yelp’s hidden gems in other states. View full article and images: http://www.usatoday.com/story/travel/destinations/2015/08/13/yelp-hidden-gems-stillwater-mn/31565297/


Discover Stillwater