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 Trolley – Water Street Inn – Alfresco – Northern Vineyards
Discover Stillwater Blog – tune in for the latest!
Gather ideas to plan the a special getaway for your valentine in Stillwater, Minnesota.
February’s Enewsletter can be viewed here: https://mailchi.mp/discoverstillwater/m5ikhlhwoa-325305
Nightlife in downtown Stillwater, Minnesota never sleeps. Year-round the 30 restaurants and pubs burst with culinary greatness and many also have live entertainment. River towns like to rock even when the river is closed during the winter but be sure to come back for patio and outdoor music festival season as well.
With two new boutique hotels right on main street (Lora & Hotel Crosby), this thriving night life scene has become even better as visitors can walk from their downtown hotel room or loft rental to 15 live music venues including restaurant lounges, a new live performance theater, a brewery, and a speakeasy.
Entertainment ranges from live comedy to ukelele open mic jams, acoustic duos to country bands, cover bands belting out top 40 hits to classics of the 70s and 80s, intimate three piece jazz ensembles to local rock band headliners that will make you dance all night.
Romantic date night or “let’s meet for a drink, I had a rough day” friend’s night out, downtown Stillwater’s live music venues offer variety and are easy to get to. Skip the drive into the big city, find free parking on-street year-round or free parking in lots November-April, and stroll to find your new favorite live music joint. Create your own live music walking tour as you sample the sounds criss-crossing beautiful historic Main Street! We’ve preserved the beauty of the past while infusing the fun of the present.
Follow us on Facebook or Instagram as we broadcast live music samples from each venue this winter. After our stop, we’ll update their listing below with each venue’s claim to fame and our favorite fare or cocktail!
Share your nights out downtown with #discoverstillwater on Instagram. Life is short, have fun and don’t forget to travel and try new places!
324 S. Main St.
Open Tues-Sunday. Happy Hour Sun-Fri 4-6pm.
Find Live Music Schedule on their Facebook page or website.
Instagram Story Live Video, FB Live 2/1/19, Artist: Kyle Kohlia
Venue Type: Restaurant with bar lounge area and booth seating (my fav) – music can be heard in either section and the vibe is casual yet lively.
Live Music Genre: Find rotating acts Thursday – Saturday evenings with open mic on Wednesdays. Acoustic guitar singer/songwriters such as Jorgenson Tagg, 3OTT (Three on the Tree), The Third Wheel Project...artists infuse rock, blues, pop, soul and southern classic rock.
Fare: Perfectly sized menu – not too big and not too small. You’ll find a bite for all from the Lion’s Chop salad to the Sweet & Sally burger topped with tomato-serrano marmalade, blue cheese and black pepper bacon.
Cocktails: Try the house wine for only $5 or go for signature cocktails like the Violet Vixen with Tito’s vodka, lavender, blackberry, orange and lemon juice – it’s fruity and refreshing. The house-infused peanut-bourbon old fashion is a great sipper while you enjoy the sounds, too!
Claim to Fame: In the summer the large bluff-side patio is the place to be for live music with an outdoor firepit and fountains adding to the ambiance. Often voted Best Patio by local media outlets.
The Tilted Tiki
324 S. Main St.
Open 7 Days a Week. Happy Hour Mon-Friday 3-6pm.
See live music schedule on their Facebook page.
Instagram Story Live Video , FB Live 1/24. Artist: Grant Walker
Venue Type: Tropical-themed bar & lounge with great attitude of fun and relaxation.
Live Music Genre: Weekly live music inside the tropical vacation oasis or outside on the Main Street facing patio. Great local and national acts on our stages, including Tati the Island Boy, Gary LaRue Ratpack Band, and more events like comedy, open mic or purse bingo.
Fare: Bursting with island flavors and house-made sauces, try any of the sharable plates like the coconut shrimp, luao fries with pulled pork/onions/cheese, salads and vegetarians won’t want to miss the new Vegan menu – the tropical pineapple beyond plant-based burger is delightful!
Cocktails: Strong, citrusy and rum-forward – the colorful menu of tropical cocktails is beautiful. It’s especially pleasing to the eye during the winter months. Go big with a classic Mai Tai or just sample a volcano shooter. Excellent happy hour deals on beer and drinks, too!
Claim to Fame: Best place to feel like you are on a vacation or stay-cation year-round.
317 S. Main St.
Open 7 Days a Week. Happy Hour Wed-Friday 3-6pm.
Find live music schedule on their Facebook page.
Instagram Story Live Video 1/10/19 (technical issues, didn’t save…we’ll stop again) Artist: Brandon Grady
Venue Type: Huge second story recently renovated brick-filled space with large windows overlooking the St. Croix River. The backdrop of the live music stage are windows to Main Street with an adjacent dance floor, pool table, darts & high top tables for seating near music. Large bar area for seating with sports tvs as well as a back section for private rental with fireplace.
Live Music Genre:. Live music every Friday Night (through April) and live DJ every Saturday night year-round (and Fridays in summer). Check Facebook page for other events as well. Genre tends to be Top 40s, rock, pop, dance and a little country.
Fare: Spicy wings, wood-fired pizzas, burgers and a few Chef Smalley signature dishes like the mac and cheese with bacon and jalapenos or pork tacos.
Cocktails: Signature cocktails include ‘single and ready to mingle’ with strawberry infused vodka but a full bar with beer taps and wine are at your service with great drink specials.
Claim to Fame: Best place in town to dance and huge river view windows.
Marx’s Fusion Bistro & Wine Bar
241 S. Main St.
Open 7 Days a Week. Live music every Tuesday night.
Mad Capper Saloon & Eatery
224 S. Main Street
Open 7 Days a Week. Happy Hour Mon-Friday 3-6pm.
Find live music schedule on their Facebook page or website.
Instagram Story Live Video 1/10/19 Artist: Joe Leiner
Venue Type: Feel like you’ve stepped into a classic sports bar or wild west saloon with a long bar area for seating and tables along the narrow Main Street building. Approachable casual vibe for all ages and families welcome.
Live Music: Thursdays 6-8pm and most Saturday nights 9-midnight. See schedule at: https://www.madcapper.biz/events. Mix of music types – classics of 70s/80s and acoustic duos. Frequent acts: Hailey James, Travis Thamert, Joe Leiner (thursdays)
Fare: American. Burgers, Sandwiches, House-made soups (try their famous French Onion!) and dressings. Gluten free options and kids menu. Simple, easy and tasty menu!
Cocktails: In the winter try the Mad Capper (hot chocolate with peppermint schnapps) and in all seasons you can admire the craft beer tap selection said to be one of the largest downtown.
Claim to Fame: This historic site has been operating as a saloon since 1906.
Ziggy’s Street Food & Live Music
132 S. Main St.
Open Tues-Sunday. Happy Hour Thurs-Sat 5-8pm.
Charlie’s Irish Pub
101 Water St. S.
Open 7 Days a Week. Located inside Water Street Inn.
Instagram Story Live Video, FB Live 2/1/19, Artist: Bedlam Boys
See live music schedule on their Facebook page or website.
Venue Type: An intimate authentic Irish pub scattered with Jameson, Guiness and Irish flare as the backdrop for friendly whiskey toasts with the crowd. Located inside a downtown historic hotel, the cozy and vibrant pub is a conventient accomodation for your stay in Stillwater.
Live Music Genre: Sing along with favorites or sit back to admire the variety of celtic instruments from fiddle to mandolin to accordion accompanying guitar and voices of the British islands.
Fare: Nibble on tasty bites like Irish Egg Rolls with corned beef, cabbage, swiss cheese in a crispy fried wontons, house-braised corned beef brisket, or famous fish & chips using Minnesota walleye of course!
Cocktails: Guiness on tap, Minnesota’s own Two Gingers whiskey concocktions, excellent wine list with great prices or in the winter, we love an Irish Coffee topped with whipped cream. Frequent patrons must consider the Whiskey Club for deals and accolades in the pub.
Claim to Fame: A casual pub you can always count on for live music on the weekends year-round. We are looking forward to their outdoor music continuing on the new riverside rooftop this summer as well!
Live Music Genre:
Claim to Fame:
The Velveteen Speakeasy
123 2nd St. N. (underground, unmarked door to the left when you enter JX Event Venue)
Open Wed-Sunday. Live Music Thursdays 7-10pm.
Instagram Story Video 11/6/18 Artist: Miss Myra & The Moonshiners
Venue Type: This event space offers elegance, rustic charm, brick walls from floor to
ceiling and tons of natural light. The recently renovation of this historic building allows for a versatile layout and can accommodate groups of all sizes. Also located in the building is a photography studio, bourbon room, full-service salon, Stillwater Escape Company and the Velveteen Speakeasy!
Live Music: This venue has many opportunities for the public to enjoy live music. From acoustic nights to large concerts to drag shows, this venue has it all! See upcoming schedule.
Fare: Grab a slice of pizza at the bar if you get the munchies while dancing at one of the many concerts. Walking distance to all downtown restaurants so plan to stop there for dinner first.
Cocktails: The bar area is gorgeous and their selection is awesome! Full bar, beer taps and wine available.
Claim to Fame: JX Venue is the largest event venue in the region with the ability to host events up to 720 guests.
422 E. Mulberry St.
Located in the marina, open seasonally. Pappy Hour Wed/Thur 3-6pm & Fri 11-6pm. Live music Thurs-Sunday.
Stillwater’s charming historic downtown is an exciting and relaxing winter escape! Ski season is underway in Minnesota with lots of beautiful white snow at nearby Afton Alps.
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 25th, 2019. 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! And…don’t forget we have the new Stillwater Lights tunnel you can stroll through every evening along the river.
WINNER ANNOUNCED 1/25/19: Congratulations, Monica Kirkham from Mooresville, Indiana.
Join us in January for winter fun every weekend!
January 12-13 – Sticks in Stillwater – Largest mite hockey tournament in the Midwest.
January 19th – Frozen Flannel Bonspiel & Curling Tournament. New outdoor curling event with ice bar and spectators encouraged.
January 19th – Lift Bridge Brewery Snowball Formal and Silhouette Imperial Stout release party.
January 24-27th – Winterfest celebration and winter games including a parka pub crawl, live music, outdoor yoga, .5K run (lol!), contests and more.
Read more details in our January E-newsletter: Winter in Stillwater. Cozy New Hotels & Live Music.
Thinking of a getaway this year? Get a taste of the scenery, new places to stay, and attractions with these videos on Stillwater, Minnesota. Located just 30 minutes east of Minneapolis/St. Paul on the St. Croix River bordering Minnesota and Wisconsin, Stillwater is an easy drive or flight away for your vacation any time of the year.
January 29th is National Plan a Vacation Day, so be sure to order your complimentary copy of the 2019 Official Stillwater, Minnesota Visitor Guide with Downtown Map and New Bike Trails Map. The new bike trails map features all three trails accessible from downtown Stillwater (New St. Croix Crossing Loop Trail, Brown’s Creek State Bike Trail, and the Gateway State Bike Trail).
The Stillwater Visitor Guide also includes listings for restaurants, coffee shops, boutiques, hotels, and attractions. Throughout the publication you’ll be inspired by photographs of all seasons, given itinerary ideas for families, girlfriend getaways, or romantic escapes as well as weddings and business meetings. For history buffs, there is a complimentary self-guided historic walking tour map and historic information to read at each stop or a QR code to scan with your phone to watch a video. In addition, you’ll find a year-round events calendar for reference.
Pick up a copy at any hotel or downtown shop or restaurant or request a free copy by mail by ordering online here: https://www.discoverstillwater.com/visitors-guide/
We hope to see you in the Birthplace of Minnesota during 2019 – note all the new places to stay! Two new boutique hotels on Main Street (Lora, Hotel Crosby) and 20+ vacation home or downtown loft rentals.
The Greater Stillwater Chamber of Commerce and local businesses invite you to downtown Stillwater to experience a new attraction … Stillwater Lights! This lighted tunnel from Mulberry Point to Myrtle Street in Lowell Park opened mid-December partly as a result of the sudden news that the Ice Castles would no longer be in downtown Stillwater for the winter of 2019. This twinkling tunnel of lights right along the St. Croix River is a free display that will be downtown until the end of March, lit from 4:00-Midnight daily. We welcome you to enjoy time hand-in-hand with your love or bring the kids for a little winter wonder! You can enter at either end of the tunnel – by the gazebo or by the boat docks/PD Pappy’s at Mulberry point.
Have fun! Share your photos with #discoverstillwater #stillwaterlights
Downtown Stillwater is full of holiday nostalgia and joy during December! And, did you know that downtown Stillwater, Minnesota has over 50 independently owned boutiques, shops and 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 daily tours of each shop along with many gift ideas inside. Every day starting November 1st, Discover Stillwater will visit a shop and post a little video tour. The tours can be seen on thier Insta-Story, Instagram TV channel, Facebook stories, and Facebook videos. Enjoy touring all the delightful spaces and beautiful merchandise in the historic downtown shopping district of Stillwater, Minnesota.
Tour every shop in downtown Stillwater for Holiday Gift Ideas!
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 participate in the strolling holiday market with deals throughout all the stores December 15, 2018. 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!
Located along the scenic St. Croix River, and just outside of Minneapolis/St. Paul, Stillwater, Minnesota is considered the state’s historic birthplace. It’s been described as one of the Best Places to Take Out of Town Guests and named one of America’s Most Picturesque Towns, where paddle wheel river boats and gondolas still travel near a historic bridge.
This little city has easy access from the Twin Cities and Wisconsin and turns into a romantic, natural wonderland in wintertime. Stillwater is simultaneously festive, charming, and nostalgic, making it one of the best places in the nation to enjoy the holidays. Ready to celebrate the season? Here are some great ways to enjoy Stillwater at this magical time of year.
A bazaar and gala kick-off Stillwater Hometown for the Holidays Events, which span mid-November through New Year’s Eve. During the holiday season, hop aboard a free horse-drawn Victorian Wagonette Ride along the beautiful historic river town. You can greet Santa on Main Street as strolling carolers in Victorian garb add a festive soundtrack, especially during Stillwater’s Black Friday activities.
Stillwater likes to support its small businesses and there’s no better time than during Shop Small Saturday, a national, annual event that takes place, this year, on November 24. Shop small and you’ll feel even better about your purchases, especially as Santa and his reindeer join the celebration.
For classic holiday experiences, enjoy breakfast with Santa or indulge in Holiday Tea at the historic Lowell Inn or tour the Aurora Staples Inn, decorated from floor to ceiling in seasonal finery. Kids will love the annual Twinkle Party held in Lowell Park, where crowds adorned with twinkle lights gather to see the official lighting of the Christmas tree, fireworks and a performance by the Teddy Bear Band. Stay warm with free cocoa, coffee and cookies too.
“Make Stillwater Your Hometown for the Holidays” when you participate in a one-of-a-kind Biercycle Caroling Tour. You’ll join nine other ‘pedalers,’ plus bench seat passengers, on a beautifully decorated bike for a bunch. Then sing carols together as you travel through the streets of downtown Stillwater and sip wine or hot chocolate from home.
Visit the must-see Ice Castles where fairy tales are brought to life with twinkling lights of the nighttime glow, magnificent archways and towers, ice-carved tunnels and slides ready to be explored. Coming to the riverfront park of Downtown Stillwater this January-February (weather dependent). 11/9/18 update: Ice Castles will not be built in Stillwater this year, but we are hopeful they’ll return in 2020!. The frozen Ice Castles constructed downtown Stillwater were in Lowell Park on the riverfront the last two winters. We were grateful for the thousands who explored the carved tunnels, slides, archways and magical glow of this once in a lifetime frozen fun for all ages.
Revel in the joys of holiday shopping along Stillwater’s historic main street, where you’ll find perfect gifts and entertainment essentials. More than 50 downtown boutiques showcase an astonishing variety of locally made goods and unique ideas. These independently owned businesses provide a laidback, friendly ambiance too.
Park once and enjoy walking amid vintage buildings to shopping, dining, and even some lodging. There’s free on-street and city lot parking available from November to May, with a nearby parking ramp for $5 per day.
Shopping is a favorite Stillwater pastime. Whether browsing necklaces and shoes inside a hidden second story boutique, or trying on the latest high fashion dresses , jeans , or jewelry you’re sure to find new favorites. European wearable brands fill SASH and Simply Chic stocks affordable accessories for all ages, while outdoors enthusiasts appreciate adventure clothing and shoes, or gear, at 45 Degrees. Don’t forget, no sales tax on clothes in Minnesota!
Want to spruce up your home for the holidays? Fans of upcycled home decor & painted furniture enjoy browsing Reclaiming Beautiful. You’ll find eclectic home accents and clocks at Forget Me Not, rocks, fossils and funny gifts at Art n’ Soul and a general department store ‘feel’ from garden to bed and bath accessories to custom furniture, at Alfresco Casual Living.
There are baby carriers at Lil Tulips, natural soaps at Modern Roots, locally designed stationery at Mara-Mi and children’s accessories at Gully Wubbles. Foodies can purchase top-quality olive oil downtown, plus fresh candy and popcorn, while Pinch n’ Rub Spice & Tea Hub is known for premium-quality seasonings and loose leaf teas. Find unique imported goods from Kathe Wohlfahrt German Christmas Store or Scandinavian North. For the crafty in the family make a stop at Darn Knit Anyway and the avid reader, Valley Bookseller. Shop Stillwater’s used book stores and vintage antique shops, for more great purchases.
The Gift of Experience
When you’re ready to take a break from shopping, there are many more fun things to do in Stillwater. Enjoy breathtaking views of the St. Croix River Valley atop one of several historic main street stairways, or browse the beautiful two- and three-dimensional work of local artists at Tamarack Art Gallery and Stillwater Art Guild & Gallery. Or learn new culinary skills such as how to make the ultimate stir fry dish, and French inspired brunch dishes for holiday gatherings.
Gift giving becomes more personal when you create your own hand-painted pottery, custom heirloom jewelry, or spend an afternoon at Sawdust Savvy. The ideal Girlfriend Experience or DIY holiday gift idea, this woman-owned ‘shop’ provides all the power tools, paint and other accessories needed to create custom wood crafts without assembling your own workshop.
Stillwater gift certificates can cover meals at local restaurants, tastings at local wineries or a behind-the-scenes culinary walking tours with Foodies on Foot. You can treat loved ones to a stay in one of eight beautiful, historic Stillwater bed & breakfasts too, as well as trolley tours or boat tours. For more adventurous souls, book a hot air balloon ride or Segway tour. If your loved one enjoys being pampered, a gift certificate for spa & salon treatments will create the perfect ‘girl’s day.’
Eat, Drink & Stay
More than 30 downtown Stillwater restaurants and pubs can satisfy your hunger and thirst, as well as two breweries and two wineries. Sip your favorite coffee drink and savor freshly prepared quiche beside a roaring fire, or chow down on hearty Irish fare. In addition, sample cuisine riverside at The Dock Cafe and rich, delicious Caribbean seafood stew from Nacho Mamas. Whether you prefer pizza or burgers, scratch-made Thai food, or a house Reuben served with a side of bicycle repair, Stillwater dining offers plenty of tasty options.
This lovely city features diverse accommodations too. You can stay at a hotel with an indoor pool, in nearby Oak Park Heights, MN, or downtown in a historic inn or new boutique hotel. For a more personal lodging experience, settle into one of eight cute and cozy B&Bs, within short walks and drives from Main Street, while spa home retreats or sleek, modern downtown lofts combine privacy with all the comforts of home. No matter which option you choose, be sure to ask about #StayAnExtraDay deals too.
There’s no better place to celebrate the holiday season than in Stillwater, MN, where natural winter beauty and seasonal events only enhance the charm of this riverside city. #OnlyinMN
Hiking at William O’Brien State Park, just north of downtown Stillwater, Minnesota is a great way to create new memories while enjoying the great outdoors. Enter the Hike MN sweepstakes now through October 21st, 2018 for a chance to win a ‘Discover Stillwater Getaway’ that includes lodging, local beer from Lift Bridge Brewery, bike rental from DIRO Outdoors, shopping at 45 Degrees outdoor apparel shop, and sweet treats from Candyland.
Stillwater is just one of 10 featured hikes and 10 prize packages, so enter here: www.exploreminnesota.com/hikemn #OnlyinMN