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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!

10 Fall Hikes in Minnesota, Enjoy & Win Prizes

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

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, lace…it’s all downtown Stillwater with several women’s and some men’s clothing boutiques. You’ll even find a fashion show, a new shoe store, a Ladies Night Out shopping event in September and rare vintage fashion pieces you seek. 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 new beautiful vineyard 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 on public display downtown and browse the artists and works on exhibit at Stillwater Art Guild Gallery, Art Reach St. Croix, Jaguar Blu (new expanded location) or Tamarack Art Gallery. Well known fall art events are happening now, too: September- Take Me to the RIver a unique gathering of art events in the valley and in October, explore over 100 juried 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!

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: Enter to Win a Stillwater Getaway via the Explore Minnesota “Hike MN Sweepstakes Sept. 5th – October 21st.”
Enter Here:http://www.exploreminnesota.com/travel-topics/hikemn/10-fall-hikes/

360 Tours of Key Downtown Stillwater Venues

Need a place to host a meeting or event in Stillwater? You can tour venues right from your desk! Originally launched in 2017, we just added even more 360 tours to our website as well as an easy-to-navigate NEW menu of venue space tours.

View the 360 Venue Tours Here:

View table of details, capacity, etc. Here:

Stillwater has over 20 venues for weddings, meetings & events so think of this beautiful rivertown for your next special event – Restaurant private dining, Ballrooms, Upper Level Lounges, Breweries, Wineries, Golf Courses, and Historic Mansions.

New 360 tours just added in 2018: Lolo American Kitchen Stillwater, Revé Bistro and Bar, Portside Stillwater, Pearl & the Thief, Lift Bridge Beer Company, Aurora Staples Inn.

Tours created in 2017: Water Street Inn, Lowell Inn, JX Event Venue, The Loft at Studio J, Rivertown Inn, The Idea Pad, Cooks of Crocus Hill, The Grand Banquet Hall, Stillwater Riverboats, The Dock Cafe, Northern Vineyards Winery, Maple Island Brewing, Stillwater Library, Washington County Historic Courthouse

All photography done by Alley Cat Photography with a co-op from Explore Minnesota.

Bike Rental Now Downtown


DIRO Outdoors rents bikes any day, anytime from sunrise to sunset and head off exploring the beautiful trails around the St. Croix Valley. Perfect for visitors, tourists, and locals looking for some fun and exercise. The bike rental station is located at the Water Street Inn on the corner of Water St. and Myrtle St. and has ten uni-sex seven speed bikes available. Riders use their smartphone to rent and pay for a bike. Couldn’t be simpler.

Rider Requirements:

  • Riders must be 18 or older
  • Each rider must use their own smartphone to create an account and check-in/check-out a bike.
  • Rider must install the Movatic app from the Apple or Google Play stores and have Bluetooth and Location Services enabled for the app. We recommending installing the app and adding your credit card info before arriving at the bike station to save time.
  • Only one bike can be checked out per smartphone to ensure each rider is presented with and expressly agrees to the rental and liability terms and conditions.
  • Rider must pay with credit card. Debit cards not accepted.
  • Cost: First Hour: $9 / Subsequent Hours: $7

Happy Trails!

Fashion Forward 4th of July

As you get ready to celebrate our country’s freedom next week for the 4th of July, take time to celebrate the fireworks inside all the fabulous entrepreneurs running fashion-forward boutiques on Main Street. They take the time to research, follow trends, and travel to buyers shows to find you all the lastest styles from jeans to jewelry. The shopping scene downtown Stillwater continues evolve with new shops popping up, so come stay for a shopping getaway.

You are beautiful, you work hard, and you have fierce female independence to celebrate as well, so treat yourself to fashion. Life is short, buy the dress, right!

July 1st-7th is national “Celebrate Your Independents” week honoring locally owned shops – if you live in the Midwest, Stillwater is your destination to shop local and shop small. We hope to see you soon. Featured in this photo shoot is a small taste of all the shops in downtown historic Stillwater, so be sure to check DiscoverStillwater.com/Shopping for a complete list of the 50 boutiques!

Get these looks and accessories downtown Stillwater right NOW.


Christie (Blonde)
Dress: Simply Chic $60
Shoes: Enchante, $130, Brand: Jeffrey Campbell
Bracelet: Mara-Mi $14
Ring: Enchante $39, Dank Smykkekunst
Earrings: Collaborations Boutique $15
Sunglasses: Downtown Divas $10
Purse: Enchante $105 wearable leather iphone case by Bandolier
Hair: Just Cuz Beauty Boutique

Jen (Brunette)
Top: Jori & June $35
Bottoms: Jori & June $66, Brand: Unpublished
Shoes: Luya $175 brand: Unity.In.Diversity
Bracelet: Simply Chic $24
Necklace: Downtown Divas $20
Earrings: Enchante $99, brand: Chan Luu
Sunglasses: Collaborations Boutique $15
Purse: Jaguar Blu $195 brand: Strey Designs

NOTE: Both gals are keeping soft summer skin with a light reflecting lotion made here locally in Minnesota using bronzing chaga and natural ingredients available at Modern Roots. Photo shoot locations: Northern Vineyards Winery and 210 Laurel (historic mansion vacation home rental perched on the bluff above downtown near Pioneer Park. Photographer: Eye Spy

Psst: We are the gals behind #discoverstillwater! Thank you for following us.

Celebrate the 4th of July Fireworks in Stillwater, Minnesota

Celebrate independence day in an All-American historic river town! The City of Stillwater puts on a huge fireworks display over the St. Croix River offering views from anywhere downtown. Make a weekend out of it and stay overnight! During the day take a cruise on the river, ride the historic trolley, eat ice cream, relax and browse all the boutiques on Main Street!

Before dusk, be sure to find a spot to watch the fabulous firework display! Try a spot in one of the parks or settle in while enjoying food and beverages on one of our many outdoor dining decks. See the list below for some fantastic viewing options:

Lowell Park and Pioneer Park on the 4th of July – Wonderful views and first come first serve seating. Lowell Park is the riverfront area downtown and Pioneer Park is up on the bluff above downtown off 2nd Street. The fireworks are musically choreographed and simulcasted on WDGY FM Radio or you can hear it through a full sound system in Lowell Park (riverfront park). Come by early and hear live music in both parks. Special reserved seating will be available for Veterans in the Pedestrian Plaza at Lowell Park.

  • St. Croix Jazz Orchestra at Pioneer Park from 7:00 – 9:00 PM.
  • Civil War Cannons from Battery I, 1st US Calvary at Mulberry Point in Lowell Park.
  • Bands at the Pedestrian Plaza area in Lowell Park from 6:30-9:45 PM. Scott Holt – blues/rock, Amanda Watkins & Cal Ecker, country.
  • Fireworks by RES Specialty Pyrotechnics over the St. Croix River at dusk (after 10 PM).

With generous sponsorship support from: Gold Sponsor – CUB Foods, Silver Sponsors – Xcel Energy & Margaret Rivers Foundation, Bronze Sponsors – DBD Partners, Water Street Inn, P.D. Pappy’s, St. Croix Boat & Packet, Kwik Trip. CUB foods is the major sponsor of this year’s fireworks.

Fireworks on the Patio at Northern Vineyards Winery – Looking for a fun and unique location to celebrate 4th of July? The Northern Vineyard patio is the perfect location to view the Stillwater fireworks. Each seat reservation includes your first glass of Main Street wine and a reserved seat on the deck! Additional wine and small snack plates available for purchase.

4th of July at the Zephyr Theater – The Zephyr Theatre is serving complimentary root beer floats 1:00 – 4:00 p.m., with Lift Bridge Brewery root beer and Nelson’s vanilla ice cream. Get a tour of the new theatre-in-progress. All are welcome to bring a chair to watch the 10 p.m. fireworks from The Zephyr, or park and walk to Lowell Park for the fireworks display.

Brick and Bourbon – Rooftop Dinner, Cocktails and Fireworks – Take advantage of the beautiful rooftop patio by gathering there for the Fourth of July festivities! Seating fee for the table includes dinner for each guest and up to 4 handcrafted cocktail drinks per person. This is an amazing location to enjoy the firework display said to be one of the largest in Minnesota!

Book at room at Water Street Inn – Why not stay overnight in Stillwater on the 4th of July? There are rooms overlooking the St. Croix River for an up close and personal view of the fireworks! Or book a city side room and enjoy the display from the patio!

Light a Spark event at Stillwater Public Library – If you haven’t been to the Stillwater Library rooftop terrace, this might be the ideal time to check it out! The firework display and celebration are a must!

Watch the fireworks from the Riverboats – Celebrate the 4th in style on an authentic paddlewheel boat cruising the St. Croix River. Included is thier famous Chicken and St. Louis Style Rib Buffet. Upon return to the dock, stay on-board to watch the Stillwater fireworks or disembark and watch the show from land. Our full bar stays “live” throughout the fireworks. You can get on and off the boat at leisure during the fireworks display. Order tickets online or call us at (651) 430-1234.

Ask about special seating policies at any restaurant or bar with a patio or rooftop, too! (PD Pappys, Dock Cafe, The Freight House, Charlie’s Irish Pub at Water Street Inn)

Visit www.discoverstillwater.com/dining-night-life/  or DiscoverStillwater.com/events for live music and places to stop!

Celebrate our country and locally independent businesses by shopping in our stores and dining at our cafes during the week of July 1st – 7th which is a national celebration of small independently owned businesses.

And lastly, please read through the important information from MNDOT about parking for the Fourth of July Fireworks: https://bit.ly/2MjKziP

Have a safe and wonderful time!

Celebrate Your Independents July 1-7. Shop in Stillwater

Stillwater’s Main Street Independent Business Alliance (Mainstreet Stillwater MN) is joining other organizations nationwide to #celebrate the great locally owned small #businesses who exemplify the uniqueness of Stillwater, #Minnesota. Did you know that the vast majority of our 100+ downtown shops, attractions, hotels & restaurants are locally owned?

🛍🇺🇸”Celebrate Your Independents Week” is July 1st-July 7th. Take time to shop and dine to say thank goodness we have this spirit of #entrepreneurship, individuality, #charm, and #character! Each business gives back to the #community with time, talents, goods and services fulfilling our community’s need. We are also recognizing the independence of our #customers– your ability to think and act for themselves and embrace their part in shaping our beautiful city!
We invite #locals and #guests to visit historic #downtown #StillwaterMinnesota to Celebrate your #Independents with us!!!

Find complete shops & #boutiques list at 👉🏼https://www.DiscoverStillwater.com/shopping.

Here’s just a quick birds eye view from a stroll today… step inside just one of the 50 boutiques and you’ll be delighted with what you find!!!

Summer Photo Contest LIVE: Enter to Win Cash or Stillwater Getaway Prize Package



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 ($900+ value)
  • 1st Prize WINNER – $300
  • 2nd Prize WINNER – $200
  • 3rd Prize WINNER – $100  

The Stillwater Getaway Package includes:


  • A night’s stay at Stillwater’s new boutique hotel on Main Street: Lora*. One night stay in a Deluxe King room. Valid through December 30th, 2018. Based on availability and black-out dates may apply.

Things to Do



NOTE: Not transferable. Prize awarded for winner’s use only. Restrictions and conditions may apply to each prize.

ENTRY DEADLINE: Monday, September 10th, 2018


Winners receive recognition with photo credit on www.DiscoverStillwater.com website, a showcase in the 2019 Official Stillwater Visitors Guide, social media recognition and in press release announcements to Twin Cities media.  Prizes will be awarded in October. Contest entry period is June 10th 5pm to Sept 10th at 5pm.

1st, 2nd, and 3rd place cash prize winners will be judged by a panel of Stillwater Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB) Board members. Popular vote grand prize winners will be determined by an online voting tool Sept 11-25th. People can vote for as many images as they’d like – 1 vote per image per person. Winners will be notified by email in October. Contestants can share the link of their image or tell fans to search by the name or description the image was submitted under.

Up to 5 images can be submitted (.jpg format, 300 dpi min. preferred, 8mb max size). Submissions are only accepted via the online tool. Enter online via our website with the ability to upload images from your computer, phone or Instagram account.We reserve the right to reject ANY entry. Photos must be obviously taken in Stillwater and be tourism related. No photos of flooding and current photos are preferred.

We encourage photos of all-seasons, so if the photo wasn’t taken this summer – that is okay! We are looking for scenery, selfies, history themes, creative shots, main street scenes, or active shots of fun experiences in Stillwater!

Enter contest and view past winners here: http://www.discoverstillwater.com/photo-contest/

Construction on Highway 95/Main Street

Originally published in April, project Delayed to June.

Excuse our dust as we finish up making downtown Stillwater even more enjoyable for you!

Although the Hwy 36 St. Croix river crossing bridge opened to traffic on Wed, Aug. 2, 2017, additional work remains to complete the project. Find the current projects here: http://www.dot.state.mn.us/stcroixcrossing/

Hwy 95/South end of Main Street will be one of these projects starting June 11th. To avoid road closure or single lane traffic, take the detour from highway 36/Manning to enter downtown via the north on Hwy 96. Here’s the details: http://www.dot.state.mn.us/metro/projects/hwy95stillwater/.

Good news is that a parking lot is under construction for people to park and walk over the new bridge, the Loop Trail will be 3/4 complete this year, and there will be access to Oasis Cafe and Stillwater River Boatsduring the 3 week period!

To sign up for updates from MNDOT, click here.

New Electric Cruiser Bike Rental

Summer is here so it’s time to get outside and explore the trails in Stillwater. With three connecting trails – St. Croix Loop Trail that goes over the new bridge, the Brown’s Creek Trail and the Gateway State Trail that connects to St. Paul, Minnesota  – Stillwater is a beautiful destination for a summer getaway.

Bike Rental Location at Gateway Trailside

Didn’t bring your bike on your travels or perhaps you need a little warm up before you try to bike miles with the use of your weak winter muscles? Gateway Trailside has a solution for you! Imagine starting your bike trail route at an adorable and very tasty food truck along the Gateway State Trail where they now have electric cruiser bikes for rent. They are stylish, comfortable and easy. Easy to figure out how to operate and they make it easy to cover a longer trip should you desire. 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

You could continue on the Gateway State Trail, but just a 7 mile ride from Gateway Trailside and you’ll be downtown Stillwater, so we recommend a turn onto the Brown’s Creek trail when you hit Duluth Juction 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.

Interactive Educational Displays Along Brown’s Creek Trail

More about these hip cycles…The electric bikes are Pedego brand. A Pedego is 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. If you want to give yourself time downtown Stillwater, definately go for the 4 hour rental.

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 Location

Gateway Trailside
Electric Cruiser Bike Rentals

Plan your overnight accommodations as well: www.DiscoverStillwater.com/lodging.

#DiscoverStillwater #OnlyinMN #electricbike

Discover Stillwater