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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!

New Winter Events in Stillwater This Year!

Book your stay now because we have even more fun in store this winter with the Ice Castles and Hockey Day Minnesota 2017 coming to the riverfront of downtown Stillwater.

Ice Castles
December 26* through Mid-March
*Open/close dates weather dependent. Open daily except Tuesdays.
Full schedule, tickets, and details here.

Real-life Ice Castles that will take your breath away.

Ice castles is the must-see winter wonderland where fairy tales are brought to life with twinkling lights, magnificent archways and towers, ice-carved tunnels, fountains and slides ready to be explored. By day this frozen castle glimmers with glacial blues and after dark the ice formations create a magical glow.

Hockey Day Minnesota 2017
Saturday, January 21st
Full schedule, tickets, and details here.
Stillwater’s festivities on the outdoor hockey rink along the river will be part of a day-long television event broadcast on FOX Sports North, designed as a celebration of the game from peewees to pros.


2016 Photo Contest Winners Announced

Discover Stillwater’s 4th annual summer photo contest has announced the winners. There were 290 entries this year showcasing a variety of stunning scenes of the Stillwater area. The Stillwater/Oak Park Heights Convention & Visitors Bureau Board of Directors selected the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners as well as honorable mention images: Jeanette Moss McCurdy won first place with an artistic shot of the St. Croix Boat & Packet paddlewheel boat in the fog, Kelley Brenner took second place with an image of the historic courthouse and trolley, and Michael Boege took third place with an aerial view of the river valley from a historic home on Broadway Street. The top three winners will receive cash prizes of $300, $200, $100. Honorable Mentions were also given to photos by Tom Wieland, Nathan Lodermeier and Subree Subramanian.

Stillwater visitors, locals, and fans also took part by voting online for the Popular Vote category winner, Katie Linehan from Chicago whose photo had a great Americana feel capturing the front porch of a historic Stillwater home and American flag. She will receive a Stillwater Getaway Package valued at $700 which includes a 2-night stay at the Grand Stay Hotel & Suites and gift certificates from these sponsors: Northern Vineyards Winery, Kari’s Create & Paint, Leo’s Grill & Malt Shop, Simply Chic, South Hill Vintage, Pub 112, The Wedge & Wheel and Alfresco Casual Living.

All winners will all also receive recognition on the DiscoverStillwater.com website, Discover Stillwater social media, and be showcased in the 2017 Official Stillwater Visitors Guide/Map.

Official contest rules and past winners link is available at http://www.discoverstillwater.com/photo-contest. Stillwater is a popular tourist destination located just minutes from the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul, on the scenic St. Croix River, and is considered the Birthplace of Minnesota.

Maps & Resources


Are you looking for printable maps and other resources
to help plan your visit to Stillwater?
We’ve gathered many of the most popular in one place.

These resources vary from video walking tours to parking maps,
all with the intention of helping you have as much information as possible to make your trip to Stillwater a wonderful one!

Stillwater Steps

Stillwater Steps Route: The historic Stillwater Steps are a popular walking tour of Stillwater. You probably know where a couple of sets of steps are but do you know where all five are located? This is the route to take if you would like to see all five sets and the great history along the way.

GUIDE-COVER-120414-revised (1)-0
Visitor’s Guide: The ultimate resource for visitors to Stillwater. This guide has the restaurant, boutique, and attractions listings as well as a fold-out map of historic downtown and a re-print of the historic walking tour downtown. We will happily mail visitor’s guides to you!


 Visitor Guide Parking Map: This map will tell you what you need to know for the best parking options in Stillwater. Watch for the parking ramp and the 24 hour parking locations for some of the best options. For an extended map, view/print the black & white tear-off map with hotel area as well as downtown.

lodging-bedbreakfastsHomes Tour (video): This is a set of videos you can watch on your smart phone that will lead you on a historic walking tour of the gorgeous historic homes in Stillwater. Pick the loop you want to visit and use the accompanying video to help learn about the history of the homes you see.

Stillwater Downtown 2
Downtown Tour (video)
: Another video tour that will give you wonderful history and insight into what you are seeing in downtown Stillwater. The “Birthplace of MN” is a gem of a town full of historic buildings, beautiful landscapes, fun boutiques, great things to do, and delicious restaurants. Watch and learn about what you are experiencing as you walk along.

City Trails Maps – Stillwater and Oak Park Heights: A convenient map of all the trails for walking or biking located in town.


cross_country_skiingBrown’s Creek Nature Preserve Trails Map: This is a great little spot for cross country skiing in the winter or a summer walk and has Brown’s Creek bike trail access.

Pike Point Park CC Trails Map: A map of the Cross Country skiing trails in Pike Point Park which is also where you can jump on the Gateway State Trail.

Gateway/Brown Creek’s Trail Map
: This popular bike trail is absolutely stunning! Grab a map to plan your route and parking locations. Don’t forget to stop off in Stillwater for a bite to eat.

River City Sculpture Tour Map: Find 12 original sculptures throughout downtown Stillwater as part of a multi-city free public art tour.

St. Croix Scenic Byway Route Mapst_croix_scenic_byway: Meander along the St. Croix River roads from Point Douglas, MN to north of Hinkley, MN. Check out the Historical Travel Guide for route ideas and stories! Sawmill District central section features Stillwater. For fall colors, drive from Stillwater to Taylor’s Falls!


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2016 Summer Photo Contest – WIN!


The 2016 Summer Photo Contest has launched! Click here for complete contest rules: Enter on WEBSITE or Enter on FACEBOOK.

Find what inspires you about historic downtown Stillwater, Minnesota.

Submit your photos of people and places of Stillwater during all four seasons. Portray Stillwater’s history, events, landmarks, scenery, attractions, dining, lodging, river activities, weddings, culinary travel, art scene, families, nature, outdoor adventure, architecture, boutiques, and more. Photos must be taken in Stillwater, MN.


Popular Vote WINNER – Stillwater Getaway Package ($700 value)
1st Prize WINNER – $300
2nd Prize WINNER – $200
3rd Prize WINNER – $100
The Stillwater Getaway Package valued at over $700 includes a 2-night stay at Grandstay Hotel & Suites, wine-tasting for 4 and six bottles of wine at Northern Vineyards, $50 for Kari’s Create & Paint Studio, $50 at Wedge & Wheel artisan cheese shop, Boutiques: $50 Alfresco Casual Living, $50 Simply Chic, $50 South Hill Vintage, Restaurants: $50 Leo’s Grill & Malt Shop, $50 Pub 112.

DEADLINE: August 31, 2016

Winners receive recognition with photo credit on www.DiscoverStillwater.com website, a showcase in the 2017 Official Stillwater Visitors Guide, social media recognition and in press release announcements to Twin Cities media.  Prizes will be awarded in October. Click here to view past winners.

Contest entry period is June-August. Voting for Popular Vote category on Facebook during the first two weeks of September once all entries are submitted. 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place will be judged by a panel of Stillwater Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB) Board members. The popular vote will be determined by the highest number of Facebook votes via this Wishpond Software tool. Winners will be notified by email or phone.

Get out an enjoy the picturesque views of one of America’s Most Picturesque Small Towns – Have fun!

#OnlyinMN #Photography #Contest #DiscoverStillwater

What’s New in 2016

Summer is almost here! The Historic District’s fun Stillwater vibe is underway. Here’s a quick line up of the newest shops, experiences, restaurants, venues, and places to stay you must see this year.

Stillwater welcomes the following NEW businesses:

Alesci on St. Croix – VRBO studio apartment downtown above Wedge & Wheel on Chestnut St.
Artful Indulgence – canvas paint and sip studio offering locally sourced foods and drinks on-site.
Excelsior Escape – VRBO private upper flat above River Jeans clothing boutique on Main St.
Hanna’s Homemade Heavens – South Hill neighborhood home-style local bakery with an assortment changing daily.
Kids Oasis – Indoor creative play space for children 0-8. Also available for private rental.
Mama Ducks Shuttle Express – 14 person passenger vans great for group transport from downtown to hotels and nearby attractions.
Matt & Nate’s – Men’s clothing  & lifestyle boutique located in the Chestnut Building.
Modern Roots – locally grown and handcrafted soaps and body care with the use of natural oils, 18th century style with a modern twist.
Old Swedish Church – new wedding/event venue in a historic church downtown.
PHD Salon – Featuring customized hair cutting, natural organic coloring, perm treatments and hair styling for the whole family.
South Hill Vintage – Hand picked vintage apparel and accessories ranging from hard to find vintage to retro 90s (and everything in between).
Strawberry Patch -Vintage treasures, up-cycled finds, and sweet hand made gifts. Open once a month.
The Hair Tailor – boutique style hair care salon in the historic staples mill building on the north end of Main.

Recently Remodeled/Added Services:

America’s Best Value Inn – completely renovated with indoor pool.
Freight House  – restaurant now also featuring a beer garden and tap room with 24 local beers on tap, outdoor bocce ball and craft burgers.
GrandStay Hotel & Suites – completely remodeled and upgraded internal brand from Crossings Inn & Suites.
Lexington Inn will soon be the Comfort Inn & Suites – fully remodeled and re-branded hotel chain.
Lion’s Tavern – previously Lion’s Main, restaurant/lounge moved upstairs to the Shanghai Bistro location with a huge outdoor patio and cabanas.
Nacho Mamas – expanded restaurant to include a large bar area on Main Street (coming soon).
Stillwater Trolley – brewery tours and kayaking shuttles
Stillwater Farm Store – Under new ownership and focusing on lifestyles rooted in nature with a collection of gifts, birding goods, and homemade artisan products.

Visit www.DiscoverStillwater.com for a complete list of boutiques, restaurants, and unique things to do! Curious what was new in 2014 or 2015? There is always something new and old to discover in historic Stillwater! #OnlyinMN #StayanExtraDay #Travel #DiscoverStillwater  Photo by: Bill Hering

Pontoon Rental & Stay Sweepstakes

Hurry, enter for your chance to win a mid-week getaway on the scenic St. Croix River in Stillwater, Minnesota. Enjoy a day on the river with a 4-hour pontoon rental from Stillwater Boat Club & Rentals, overnight accommodations from your choice of hotel/B&B/Inn ($300 voucher), and just for fun two tickets for a tour of the historic Prison Warden’s House museum!

Contest runs until May 10th at noon. Enter on Facebook or www.discoverstillwater.com/pontoon-stay-sweepstakes/.


City Pages in Minneapolis Awards Stillwater

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

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.


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

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

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/

Discover Stillwater