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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 Inn , The Tilted Tiki , Northern Vineyards 

 Discover Stillwater Blog – tune in for the latest!

Winter Thrills in Stillwater

Contributed by Liz Westerhaus of This Minnesota Life

Winter in Minnesota spans about HALF of our year (a truth we still have a hard time accepting). But that doesn’t mean we have to retreat to our homes until it’s gone.  Winter in the valley is a GREAT time to explore the outdoors and uncover not just the beauty of nature, but the EXCITEMENT and FUN Stillwater, Minnesota has to offer!  Take the time this winter to step away from the hum-drum of adult responsibilities and tap into your child-like nature and finally try those things you’ve always wanted to do. Things you maybe haven’t done since you were a kid. We have just the places for you to add a little more thrill to your chill and excitement back into your winter days.

The St. Croix Valley has so much to offer this time of year for every type of adventurer.  But if you like your activities with a little adrenaline rush, start at Green Acres Tubing Hill!  Located off Hwy 36 as you’re heading into Stillwater from Minneapolis/St. Paul metro area, this lovely family-owned business has been a winter hot spot for 45 years.  At Green Acres you can hear screams of joy and shrieks of laughter echo through the trees as riders fly by with arms in the air, free as can be from the boredom and monotony of day to day life. 

From the easy parking close to the lodge to the slick ride down the rolling hills and tow-rope to pull back up, you hardly have to do a thing. This is the perfect outside weekend idea for the work-weary couples or groups of friends who want to have a good time but with minimal effort.  Green Acres is open for all ages and is CHEAP entertainment at only $15 for a two-hour session. Step away from your desk, disconnect from your phone and RECONNECT to the child within at Green Acres. You’ll make amazing memories all while reaping the benefits of fresh air and laughter with friends.

Maybe this is the year you FINALLY take to the slopes and learn to ski.  Experience a Minnesota winter day from the gorgeous, expansive slopes of Afton Alps Ski Resort, now with 50 runs, 18 lifts, five chalets and the Midwest’s most acclaimed ski and ride school, Afton Alps is a leader in the industry.   After being purchased by Vail Resorts, millions were invested to re-imagine the guest experience with state of the art snowmaking and cutting edge terrain parks on their 300 skiable acres. 

Afton Alps has MORE than enough space to challenge expert skiers AND beginners alike. Accessible, affordable and a thrill, this big-time resort has a cozy, small town feel with skilled employees that work to help first-timers become life-long skiers with several offerings of daily lessons.  Learn how to carve or ride with more ease and confidence or simply stand on those skis for the first time ever. You can book private lessons if you want something more intimate for you and a friend, or can be grouped with similar ability learners. Lessons are a great way to build your skills no matter your current level.  And at Afton Alps safety, fun and learning is always the focus!  

If you’re set on spending a day skiing, stay overnight at the Lora Hotel in the heart of downtown Stillwater and get TWO lift passes included with your stay.  That’s more than $100 off your ski experience AND two Apres-ski drinks waiting for you after an amazing day on the hills. Head south on beautiful St. Croix Scenic Byway on the winding two-lane country road just 30 minutes to Afton Alps.  If you’re just planning on spending a day there, renting gear is the perfect option.  Just show up and get outfitted with ski’s, poles, boots, a helmet, and/or snowboard. On weekdays, they offer evening lessons, and on weekends, both morning and afternoon lessons are available.  Be sure to book at least 48 hours in advance.

If you’re not interested in skiing, but would love to experience the fresh air, get an AWESOME workout via snowshoe or hiking boots at Afton State Park located just next door to Afton Alps. With over 12 miles of trails, you can buy a day park pass for $7 ($35 for the year) and take on steep but gorgeous climbs to panoramic vista views of the St. Croix River Valley.  This park doesn’t disappoint with its myriad types of terrain, from single-track trails, steps, riverside cross-country ski tracks or wide-open prairies. There’s a lot of ground to cover with lots of climbing, so make sure you have a map and hydration!  

Afton State Park, Photo provided by @Liz_Rosev
Main Street Nightime Twinkles by David A Parker Photography

If you feel like heading out of Minnesota, to our neighboring State of Wisconsin, take a scenic drive 36 minutes northwest to TrollHaugen Outdoor Recreation Area or head onward north in Minnesota from Main Street to Wild Mountain Ski and Tubing resort, about 40 minutes north.  Both of these destinations also offer incredible winter fun and are within driving distance to your hotel stay in Stillwater, Minnesota.

If you are visiting Stillwater from January 18-26th, Stillwater hosts WINTER FEST, a FREE festival of fun where event-goers, locals and tourists alike, are incentivized to compete in activities from a parka pub crawl to local shopping, live entertainment and even a casserole cookoff amongst the camaraderie of the greater Stillwater community.  During your stay, join fellow weekend warrior “classmates” in this epic celebration of winter fun with the Fighting Stork as the campus mascot (get it? representing the Birthplace of Minnesota), you can get active in winter and meet new people all while taking in the beauty of Stillwater and immersing yourself in this incredible community. The festivities officially begin with opening ceremonies at the Frozen Flannel Bonspiel Curling Tournament on Saturday, January 18 (JUST POSTPONED TO JANUARY 25th due to weather) which offers free opportunities to learn how to curl on Lily Lake in Stillwater.

Most events will be free of charge to participate with the help of amazing sponsors.  Winterfest 2020 will showcase BOTH “Shop Local” AND “Activities” punch cards redeemable for over $1000 in cash and prizes at the closing ceremonies brunch.  A few events include Outdoor Frozen Yoga or Zumba, an Urban Adventure Challenge, and games, music and entertainment to enjoy from INDOORS as well, in the beautiful JX Venue in town. Check out the Winterfest website for a schedule of events.

Grab a friend or your sweetie and get INto winter this year!  See how freeing and rejuvenating it is to laugh out loud as you fly down a hill on an inner tube or take a weekend to learn to ski.  Discover Stillwater Minnesota’s winter charm with a stay in cozy fireplace suites. Book your winter stay, you will be so glad you did. Heck, stay a little longer if you can with #stayanextra day deals.

Click to interact with this 360 View of Downtown Stillwater Minnesota in the Winter

#MyTrueNorth #OnlyinMN #DiscoverStillwater #FightingStorks #Winter

2020 Stillwater Deals Posted

Whether you are headed to Stillwater, Minnesota for a day trip or an extended stay look for ways to save on your dining, shopping, tours, and accommodations! The list of coupons, discounts and deals for many restaurants, boutiques, workshops, tours, and hotels has been updated for the 2020 season. Take a peek and see what you can save on travel while exploring and having fun in this beautiful midwest river town getaway destination! https://www.discoverstillwater.com/cool-deals/

#DiscoverStillwater #StayAnExtraDay

Fireplaces & Cozy Suites of Stillwater, Minnesota

Browse these photographs or inspiration for your winter getaway. You can find links to all places to stay here. Book your stay soon to enjoy the true beauty of this winter snow covered historic rivertown with twinkling Main Street lined of warm shops, pubs, and restaurants. Find fun events, workshops, or live music to attend during your Stillwater stay on our events calendar. Snuggle up, relax and feel inspired in the stunning suites, lofts, mansions, and hotels. #DiscoverStillwater #StayanExtraDay #MyTrueNorth

Winter Trails to Enjoy in the St. Croix Valley

In Collaboration with Liz Westerhause of This Minnesota Life

Pine Point Park

Cleaning up after the chaos of Christmas is a welcome reprieve, greeting the New Year with a fresh start and pine-needle free floors. But the packing up of ornaments and the laborious drag of the tree to the curb seems to take with it all the joy and excitement of the holidays. Leaving many anxiously wondering how they’re going to fill and enjoy the dark, gloomy days of the next few months of winter without the distraction of holiday festivities.

Yes, the icy roads and the negative-temp wind chills are irritating and can be enough to cause even the heartiest born-and-raised Midwesterner to hole up away in their home, counting the days until Spring flowers bloom. But the experience of mid-winter in Minnesota can also showcase some of the most brilliant morning frosts, the brightest sunshine, most glorious bluebird skies making for some of the BEST days to explore the landscapes of this gorgeous state.

Lean IN to this season and learn to make the most of it and ENJOY a Minnesota winter! Use this time of year as an INVITATION to take a break from your well-worn routine to Discover Stillwater and explore the nearby nature!

Heading north on Main Street with turns into HWY 95/St. Croix Scenic Byway

A quick jaunt East of the Twin Cities Minneapolis/St. Paul you’ll find yourself in this sweet, little river town. The boutiques, art galleries, quaint antique stores, cozy bars and award-winning restaurants that line the downtown streets are plentiful. But the OUTDOOR venue, the trails and scenic landscapes are top notch! Getting outdoors and into nature is one of the simplest, most affordable and truly one of the greatest gifts you could give yourself or a loved one in the New Year and there’s no better place than the St. Croix Valley to TRULY experience the beauty, peacefulness and solitude that winter offers from an outdoor perspective. The scenes will not only revive the senses but rejuvenate the soul.

Toss your bags in a cozy suite at Lora on the South end of town, Hotel Crosby at the North end, or in something more private at one of our many bed and breakfasts and rental homes you can stay in downtown.

Bring your cross country skis or for those who’ve always wanted to explore the woods by ski, stop at 45 Degrees on Main Street to rent cross country ski’s, boots and poles on your way out of town for just $25 a day, $55 for three days. Head north down scenic HWY 95 for a gorgeous 20-minute drive. A gently winding two-lane road escorts you to the expansive William O’Brien State Park (just $7 a day or $35 for an annual pass to get in.) You could spend an ENTIRE day exploring the serene landscapes of these woods by ski or foot. William O’Brien grooms their trails for Nordic skiing, with both a skate deck AND classic tracks!

William O’Brien State Park, Prairie Overlook Trail.

But if skiing’s not your jam or you don’t want to have to work too hard, the lower section, the riverside trail at William O’Brien is accessible by snowshoe or hiking boots. Once you park by the Visitor’s Center, set out for the unplowed road you passed on the way in and an easy downhill walk will take you to a totally flat, 1.6 mile loop through towering pines along a quiet river bed. It’s the perfect recharge your mind and body need after a busy holiday season, to enjoy some quiet and fresh air.

William O’Brien, Wetland Trail

Head south out of town to spend a peaceful sunrise snowshoeing at Lake Elmo Park Reserve! (Also $7 a day, $30 for an annual.) Explore the gentle rolling hills, woods and prairies of this awesome county park. Lake Elmo is ALSO groomed for both types of Nordic skiing with designated snowshoeing areas and a gorgeous Nordic Lodge and fireplace to warm you up. This is also the ONLY local county park to offer LIT trails until 10pm! After a day of shopping and dining, end the evening experiencing the trails by moonlight. The lights alongside the Lake Elmo trails make it easy to navigate and allow you to take in the night sounds and scenes in the calm of an evening snow.

Lake Elmo Park Reserve, Green Trail.
Freshly Groomed Skate Deck, Lake Elmo Park Reserve, Brown’s Pond Trail.

If you’re craving the peace and tranquility of nature but don’t want to venture too far out of town, take a quick 4-mile drive from your downtown Stillwater hotel to Pine Point Park and the Gateway Trail.

Pine Point Park, Green South Loop

Pine Point is a peaceful spot where you can walk amongst pine forests, alongside lakes and watch the snow falling from the trees. It has five miles of multi-use trails that intersect the main trail with a large parking lot off Norell Avenue. The main trail is wide open and ungroomed, great for snowshoeing and hiking. They also groom for both skate and classic skiing here. (Refer to a map of the park before setting out so you know where you can explore.) Don’t forget about the trails North of the parking lot (just watch for cars and cross over Norell.) There is an easy and short loop over there as well.

Pine Point Park Ski Trail

If your stay is short but you want to get in a quick outdoor workout or capture panoramic views with your phone or camera, take to the newly-renovated (and always shoveled,) main street stairs just outside the Lora Hotel and make your way to the top. It’s an awesome workout no matter what your pace and worth a stop for the view.

Click to interact with a 360 view of downtown Stillwater in the winter.

From Main Street you can also head towards the St. Croix river and hop on the Brown’s Creek Trail, which ventures North along the river on a paved, tree-lined path or South towards the new St. Croix Crossing bridge where more sweeping views of the river valley will meet you. Either direction at any pace is sure to rejuvenate and inspire. The newly-designed “Loop Trail” is nearly connected, (final section due to be finished this Spring,) which you can take from the old Lift Bridge on the Minnesota side, south to the new bridge and across, along the river bluffs on the Wisconsin side, back to the historic Lift Bridge.

Brown’s Creek Trail

There’s SO much to see in Stillwater, Minnesota this time of year, winter is one of the GREATEST times to visit! Parking is ample (and FREE until April 30), the woods serene, and the downtown dining, nightlife and shopping still vibrant for after your outdoor adventures. With short drives to the local parks in either direction or gear for exploring, it’s all here for you! Diro Outdoors has awesome outdoor packages that include snowshoes, maps, snacks, water and headlamps for the nighttime adventurers and can be delivered right to your hotel or B&B! Also, if you fall in love with the abundant outdoor amenities and want to head back in the Spring or Summer, you can trade in your day park pass and get $7 off a year-round permit!

Get IN to Winter this year to Discover Stillwater and all it has to offer in the nearby parks! You’ll leave feeling refreshed, revitalized and yearning for more!

Enjoying coffee fireside outside Lora Hotel on Main Street

New Year’s Eve 2019

When it comes to New Year’s Eve there’s no better way to kick off another trip around the sun than a visit to Stillwater! The holiday season is far from over – the most awaited and amusing celebration is yet to come! Prepare yourself and greet the New Year with some dining, fun, music, dance and an overnight stay in one of Stillwater’s luxury accomodations! Here are some New Year’s Eve ideas to help start 2020 off right!

🎊 Roaring in the 20’s NYE Party at The Water Street Inn
Help us swing into the New Year with style. We will be putting together a great evening for you and your friends to celebrate New Year’s Eve! Depending on the package you choice the followed are offered:

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  • Passed Hors d’oeuvres
  • Depart for “Sing In the New Year®” at Trinity Church
  • Return to the Inn for a Four-Course Dinner
  • Music by the ever-popular Red Rock Swing Band
  • Dancing and Music until Midnight
  • Champagne Toast at Midnight

🎊 Ring in 2020 with a delicious 3 course dinner at the Lowell Inn! Top it off with one of our old fashion cocktails 🍸 Reservations required, give them a call today!

🎊  Sing in the New Year® with Operatunity Theatre Sing in the New Year® returns to Trinity Lutheran on Tuesday, December 31st, at 7 p.m. Featuring a roster of exciting young professional talent, this concert is sure to put you in the mood for a festive evening. Come and hear Stillwater natives Jack Swanson and Clark Weyrauch & friends sing your favorite holiday classics, show tunes, and standards.

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🎊 Ring in the New Year at Matchstick Restaurant & Spirits. Celebrate the New Year with us! We are now taking reservations for New Year’s Eve. With two time slots available, 6:30 and 8:30, we look forward to you joining us for dinner, scotch, and sparkling wines plus a complimentary dessert and Chandon Rose toast at midnight.

🎊 BIG New Year’s Eve Party at Ziggy’s Restaurant Biggest New Year’s Eve Party around! Celebrate and ring in the New Year with the band Roughhouse at Ziggy’s in Downtown Stillwater!

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🎊 NYE with Tati the Island Boy at The Tilted Tiki Island Style New Years with Tati the Island Boy and a special Hula Show!

🎊 New Year’s Eve Countdown Party at Portside Stillwater. 9:00 Pm, Live DJ, Balloon drop, Champagne toast!

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🎊 New Year’s Eve Celebration at The Lumberjack. Receive a complimentary champagne toast or kiddy cocktail with all pre-bookings!

🎊 La Danza’s New Year’s Eve Gala at The Grand Banquet Hall “Silver & Gold” theme with Band: The KJ Quintet featuring Charmin Michelle. Cost: $160 per couple from 6:30 – 12:30.

Be sure to keep an eye on https://events.discoverstillwater.com/ for more!

Black Friday & Shop Small Business Saturday

Black Friday or Shop Small Saturday? What’s your preference?
Stillwater is the Ultimate Shop Small Destination in Minnesota and one of America’s Most Picturesque Towns. Choose a charming scene for shopping! Our month-long Hometown for the Holidays celebration of the season starts with Black Friday and continues until New Year’s Eve!
Black Friday – November 29th 

The civilized and sane way to kick-off your holiday shopping at Independently owned businesses not Big Box stores full of plastic junk! No 6am wake up calls – The Historic Downtown Shopping District opens early at 9am with holiday shopping specials, deals and refreshments. Unique shopping and dining – you just won’t find in a small, big box mecca, or online. And… we have strolling carolers and Santa!
Shop Small Business Saturday– November 30th

Downtown Stillwater Minnesota is home to 100+ independently owned shops in a historic downtown district (see full list). Find fashion and gift boutiques, art galleries, culinary shops, restaurants, salons, and vintage/antique dealers all within walking distance in this beautiful rivertown just outside Minneapolis/St.Paul, Minnesota. Conquer your holiday shopping list in a traditional festive environment while supporting local business on this national day to #ShopSmall.

Stillwater is a top Midwest getaway destination, so consider gift certificates for lodging, dining, spas, or attractions as well! FREE Horse-Drawn Carriage Rides Downtown! Starting Saturday, Nov. 30th. This is a thank you gift from Discover Stillwater for all those who come to support our historic district shops and restaurants. Fun for the whole family!
List of Shops
List of Restaurants
Things to Do
Places to Stay
More Holiday Events for Hometown for the Holidays
Best Towns for Holiday Shopping & Celebrations: Stillwater, MN

Holiday Gift Guide

Downtown Stillwater is full of holiday nostalgia and joy during November & December! And, did you know that downtown Stillwater, Minnesota has 50 independently owned boutiques, shops and art galleries making it the ultimate Shop Small, Shop Local destination for all your holiday gift giving needs (and your personal wish list)! The tourism bureau wants to welcome you to Stillwater and help you easily find gift ideas with gift ideas from each shop. Follow Discover Stillwater’s stories on Instagram and Facebook. Enjoy touring all the delightful spaces and beautiful merchandise in the historic downtown shopping district of Stillwater, Minnesota. We’re excited to bring you hundreds of gift ideas!

Tour every shop in downtown Stillwater for Holiday Gift Ideas!
Instagram @DiscoverStillwater Missed a few? Click on the ‘gift guide’ in the highlights!
Facebook @DiscoverStillwater Holiday Gift Guide Album
Website – full list of shopping options – https://www.discoverstillwater.com/shopping/

Not only is there a huge variety of stores – book stores, beauty shops, fashion for men and women, toys, candy, art galleries, culinary wares and German or Scandinavian imports, but there is a festive vibe while you shop, too. Listen in for strolling Victorian costumed carolers , watch for Santa, catch the free horse-drawn carriage rides through downtown, and be sure to dig into all the deals throughout all the stores for black or plaid friday and Shop Small Business Saturday. For the full Hometown for the Holidays event schedule, visit www.DiscoverStillwater.com/events.

Let us know which store you discovered through our daily holiday gift guide posts and share your fun shopping and dining days in Stillwater with us on social media by using #DiscoverStillwater.

Thank you for supporting peaceful, nostalgic places to shop like downtown Stillwater during the holidays. We want you to have an enjoyable experience and know your loved ones will adore the gifts you find in our local shops. Happy Holidays!

2019 Stillwater Photo Contest Winners

Discover Stillwater’s 7th annual photo contest has announced the winners. There were 522 entries this year showcasing a variety of stunning scenes of the Stillwater, Minnesota area. The Stillwater/Oak Park Heights Convention & Visitors Bureau Board of Directors selected the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners: Kelley Brenner won first place with “Stillwater Dressed in Snow”, a holiday card worthy winter scene of Chilkoot hill dotted with steeples, Rick Schmolke took second place with a “beautiful fall moment” of a dog and his owner at Pioneer Park, and Bill Donovan took third place by capturing one the view of an iconic historic home on the hill overlooking downtown and the St. Croix River. The top three winners will receive cash prizes of $300, $200, $100. Honorable Mentions were also given to photos by Kelley Brenner, Dale Peterson, and Daniel Kalusche.

Stillwater visitors, locals, and fans took part during a week in October by voting online for the Popular Vote category grand prize winner. With so many entries, the Discover Stillwater Board of Directors tried a new approach this year trimming the entries to the top 25 best images before going to the public online vote. The winner selected by the public was Kelly Perry whose ‘Spring Break in Stillwater’ picture of a three young kids bundled up for a happy stroll over the new St. Croix Crossing Bridge Loop Trail.

Kelly will receive a Stillwater Getaway Package valued at $1000 which includes a $200 lodging voucher and gift certificates from these sponsors: $50 at Lift Bridge Brewery, two-hour bike rental for two at Mike’s Electric Bikes, two tickets to the Stillwater Escape Room, $50 at Aamodts Apple Orchard, $50 Thor’s Hard Cider Tap Room, two tickets to a performance at The Zephyr Theatre, $50 Just for Me Spa, $50 The Tilted Tiki, $50 No Neck Tony’s, $50 Matchstick Grill at Hotel Crosby, $50 Jori & June, $50 Forget Me Not, $50 Minnesota Made Apparel, $50 Trembley’s Candy Shop, $25 Valley Bookseller, $25 Stillwater Olive Oil Company.

All winners will all also receive recognition on the DiscoverStillwater.com tourism marketing website, Discover Stillwater social media, and be showcased in the 2020 Official Stillwater Visitors Guide/Maps.

“We had so much fun looking through the photos taken all round the river valley and historic district of Stillwater. This is what the contest is all about – showcasing happy times for all ages visiting our destination year-round.” Chuck Dougherty, Discover Stillwater/CVB President.

View the top 25 contestants and past winners at 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.

Top 10 Reasons to Visit Stillwater, MN in the Fall

1. Apple Picking
It’s officially fall when you arrive at an apple orchard and step inside a vintage barn to take in the fall scent of apples, apple pie, caramel apples and fresh family fun. Celebrating 70 years in business, Aamodt’s Apple Farm  is in high season open 7 days a week for apple picking or activities such as hay wagon rides, honeycrisp express kids train, hay bale maze, and live goats. Check their website for days/times. For the adults, lounge in Thor’s Hard Cider tasting room or pop next door to Saint Croix Vineyards.

2. Fall Rivercruise
Spot the bright red colors of maple trees and yellow leaves of the oak trees along the shoreline of the St. Croix River. Wave to Minnesota and Wisconsin while enjoying lunch and dinner cruises offered daily (through October weather permitting) with an extra special live jazz band brunch cruise on Sundays. Come see the beauty of the river valley who’s celebrating 50 years as a nationally protected scenic riverway this year.

3. Fall Fashion
Touch and feel the fabrics of fall. Suede, denim, wovens, silks…it’s all downtown Stillwater with several women’s and some men’s clothing boutiques. You’ll even find an exhibit on how bicycles influenced women’s fashion, a new consignment shopshoe store, tons of vintage pieces at several antique shops, a Ladies Night Outshopping event in September. Mix new and upcycled while feeling all pulled together for the new season.

4. Grape Stomp
Roll up your jeans and prepare to laugh out loud. You know a grape stomp is on your bucket list, so make plans to be a part of the fall harvest process at three wineries in Stillwater: Northern Vineyards, Saint Croix Vineyards, 7 Vines. Ask about tastings, tours, and special events like yoga in the vineyard. Stillwater has one of Minnesota’s oldest wine co-ops, award winning wines and a new event venue in the countryside.

5. Gondola Romantica
Enjoy the romance of Venice blended with the beauty of the St. Croix River and the charm of Stillwater. Plan an especially romantic proposal, celebrate a birthday, wedding or anniversary, or just get away to a relaxing cruise on the river in an authentic Venetian gondola. You can book a sunlit daytime cruise or a moonlit evening cruise with options to add a 5-course dinner at the Dock Cafe with riverviews first, a gourmet picnic or even roll out the red carpet and red roses!

6. Giant Pumpkins
A true Midwest experience, Harvest Fest & Giant Pumpking Weigh-off is a fall festival in downtown Stillwater on the banks of the St. Croix River famous for it’s pumpkin regatta, giant pumpkin drop, and Guiness Book of World Record pumpkin competitions. Fun for the whole family right downtown so you can also shop, dine and stay right in the action.

7. Fall Cooking

Pumpkin, maple, cinnamon…..ooh the crisp air inspires you to have fun in the kitchen, doesn’t it? Visit Stillwater to stock up on your spices, olive oils, and cookware, or for inspiration. Take the foodie tour with a group of friends or a culinary class at Cooks of Crocus Hill, try a new restaurant or look for special dinner events at The Outing Lodge, Rivertown Inn, or Water Street Inn.

8. Best Views & Colors
Stillwater was rated one of the Best Towns for Fall Colors by Travel & Leisure Magazine AND the new St. Croix Crossing Bridge connecting Minnesota to Wisconsin was voted Best View by City Pages. Come see the view! Pick your preferred transportation: Walk (new parking lot near the Stillwater exit on the MN side), rent a bike or bring your own, drive over the bridge, or take a guided segway tour from St. Croix Valley Segway or Stillwater Segway Tours. You can also drive the St. Croix Scenic Byway through downtown Stillwater heading north to Taylor’s Falls.

9. Local Art
Art is in the air….find art sculptures and murals on public display downtown and browse the artists and works on exhibit at Stillwater Art Guild Gallery, Art Reach St. Croix, Galeria Saro and the new Smith & Trade Merchantile. Well known fall art events are happening soon, too: September- Take Me to the River a unique gathering of art events in the valley and on Sat/Sun October 5/6 explore over 150 artists from the Midwest at the Rivertown Fall Art Festival downtown in Lowell Park featuring live music and local beer/wine/food vendors as well! Look for fun DIY workshops downtown as well to make your own at Sawdust Savvy or Kari’s Create & Paint Studio. And, don’t forget about the local performing artists at Stillwater Zephyr Theatre!

10. Unique Stay
If you’ve read this far, you’ve realized that Stillwater is no day-trip. You need more time, so plan to stay overnight! Stillwater has so many choices like never before, so you’ll find a place to stay to suit your style or budget. Swedish Hot Steam shower? Chandelier lit marble bath spa? Room with balcony? A Pool? A private home with kitchen? A loft above a downtown shop? An on-site bar & restaurant? A Main Street location? It’s all here. www.DiscoverStillwater.com/Lodging Rooms book quick in the fall, so don’t delay.

Psst: Visit and take photos for a chance to win a $1000 Stillwater Getaway Package or cash prizes. Photo Contest entries accepted through October 8th. 

New Electric Bike Rental

Warm sunny days are still here so it’s time to get outside and explore the trails in Stillwater. With three connecting trailsSt. Croix Loop Trail that goes over the new bridge to Wisconsin, the Brown’s Creek Trail along the old rail line north of downtown Stillwater and the Gateway State Bike Trail that connects to St. Paul, Minnesota  – Stillwater is a beautiful destination for a spring, summer or fall biking getaway.

Bike Rental Location at Gateway Trailside

Didn’t bring your bike on your travels or perhaps you want to try out an electric bike – We have many solutions for you!

Rent cruiser bikes from the DIRO Outdoors self-rental station next to Water Street Inn near the riverfront or try out e-bikes from Mike’s Electric Bikes or Big River LTD both right downtown or, imagine starting your bike trail route at an adorable and very tasty food truck (Gateway Trailside) along the Gateway State Trail where they also have a few electric cruiser bikes for rent.

Electric bikes are stylish, comfortable and easy to figure out how to operate once you give it a try. E-bikes make it easy to cover a longer trip and see more of Stillwater, Minnesota. Tired of pedaling? Simply kick on the motor for a boost and take a break. Let the wind flow through your hair (under your helmet of course) and open your eyes to see the beauty of prairies, woods, creeks, bridges, golf courses and the historic riverfront downtown of Stillwater. 

Duluth Junction, Intersection of Brown’s Creek and Gateway Trails

From the Gateway Trail access at Pine Point Park, it’s just a 10 mile ride to downtown Stillwater, so we recommend a turn onto the Brown’s Creek trail when you hit Duluth Junction and a coast downhill into downtown.

Depending on how many times you stop to take pictures or read the history displays you may arrive downtown in as quick as a half hour. Lock up your bikes and spend the day browsing Main Street boutiques and candy shops. Grab lunch and a cool drink on a patio or enjoy a picnic together in riverfront Lowell Park while you watch the boats go by on the St. Croix River.

More about these hip cycles…The electric bikes are just like a regular bike – only better. You can pedal normally (or not) and get power when you want it. The battery will last for 40 miles of moderate use with average size person.You have the freedom to go farther and faster, and to conquer hills and headwinds with ease. It feels like being a kid again! (verified via personal experience). Rent for 2, 4, or 8 hours. Use the electric bikes to conquer the steep hills of Myrtle or Olive St. and get up into the South and North Hill historic neighborhoods to admire the front porch era and historic mansions of this town once the epicenter of the lumber era.

Picnic Downtown Stillwater

Picnic Lunch from Gateway Trailside

For rentals longer than 4 hours, Gateway Trailside is offering a limited time ‘picnic deal’ where they’ll pack a healthy picnic for you that fits perfectly in your cruiser bike’s basket!

How sweet is that? Date idea…guys and gals! This is very thoughtful and special way to spend the day together don’t you think? mother/daughter, father/son, grandparents, girlfriends…this fun idea is great for all adults (16yr old min age). Online rental is preferred, so plan ahead to reserve your bikes. If you prefer to have the bikes delivered to your hotel or Bed & Breakfast, with prior notice this can also be arranged. We hope you enjoy this experience while in Stillwater as we always recommend a dose of nature on your visit!

Bike Rental Options in Stillwater

For more information on hiking and biking trails in Stillwater visit this Things to Do – Hiking & Biking page. You can also order your own copy of the Visitor Guide which includes a bike trail map here: https://www.discoverstillwater.com/visitors-guide/

Discover Stillwater