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!
Hello fellow holiday gift givers…we know it’s tough to find something special for everyone on your list, so let us help you! Follow along on our Facebook or Instagram pages @DiscoverStillwater as we post gift ideas from every shop downtown Stillwater. There’s 100+ independently owned shops & restaurants so there’s a bundle of sidewalks to cover. Stay tuned. Here are your first 8 ideas posted for the official kick-off of the Hometown for the Holidays season with events every weekend.
Holiday Gift Guide on Facebook: http://bit.ly/2mFdHZW
Holiday Events Schedule: http://events.discoverstillwater.com/event/hometown-for-the-holidays/
Full list of shops (search using filters, too): https://www.discoverstillwater.com/shopping/
Experience the holidays like you remember. Historic Main Street Stillwater is alive with Christmas decorations, lights, and traditional events and celebrations from November to New Year’s Eve. Get in the old-fashioned holiday spirit! Downtown Stillwater’s independently owned unique boutiques and restaurants welcome you. Shop small and local throughout the season to support local businesses and Minnesota-made gifts. Find joy in shopping and dining during the holiday season with many free family friendly events in November and December:
- Christmas at the Courthouse – Gala & Bazaar 11/17 & 11/18
- Black Friday/Plaid Friday, 11/24: strolling victorian carolers from 5-8pm, and strolling Santa (12-4).
- Shop Small Business Saturday, 11/25: Shop at the 100+ independently owned businesses downtown Stillwater, Victorian Wagonette Rides 1-4, and strolling victorian carolers 1-4.
- Costumed Victorian Carolers Strolling Historic Main Street
- Santa Strolling Historic Main Street Shops & Restaurants
- FREE horse-drawn Victorian Wagonette Rides along the riverfront
- The Nutcracker performances
- Twinkle Party, 12/2: Bring the kids for live music, santa, and tree lighting
- Live Reindeer & Santa – 12/9
- Aurora Staples Inn Christmas Open House – 12/10 & 12/17
- Strolling Holiday Market, 12/16 & 12/17
- Warden’s House Museum Holiday Event, 12/17
- Caroling tours on the Biercycle (fun for whole family!)
- Holiday Tea at Historic Lowell Inn
- Breakfast with Santa events
- Reserve Christmas Eve Dinner or Day brunch at Historic Lowell Inn
- Come back in January as well when the Ice Castles will return to the riverfront
Click on each event to find details on location, dates, times, etc. Check out our events calender for more holiday themed events! DiscoverStillwater.com/events
The cool air is rolling in, but saying good-bye to October and hello to November is great news for a few reasons:
1. As of November 1st, parking in lots downtown Stillwater are FREE! Enjoy this perk until May 31st.
2. Stay an Extra Day lodging deals have begun, so go ahead, get out of town and save money with a several night stay at hotels, historic inns, and B&Bs in historic Stillwater
4. The final Ladies Night Out event of the year is Thursday, November 9th. Pretend you are a queen for a day, grab your ladies and hit main street for boutiques, dining, and prizes.
6. The trails are calling! Take a nice stroll/bike along the river either south to the new bridge or north to the Brown’s Creek Trail which connects to the Gateway State Trail. That’s right, you can walk/run/bike/rollerblade from downtown Stillwater to downtown St. Paul or Wisconsin! Get outside before the snow hits.
6. Traditional old-time holiday experience kicks off on November 18th with Christmas at the Courthouse. Stop down to historic main street during the month-long shopping specials and fun Christmas events for the annual Hometown for the Holidays.
Make November fun and find ideas at www.DiscoverStillwater.com.
#OnlyinMN #shopSmall #movember #historicStillwater #stayanextraday
Discover Stillwater’s 5th annual summer photo contest has announced the winners. There were 350 entries (see all here) 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: Kelley Brenner won first place with the perfect capture of river boats and hot air balloons between the historic Lift Bridge and new St. Croix Crossing Bridge, Jessica Rother took second place with an image of two young friends sitting among the positive chalk messages on the historic Main Street stairs, and Ron Brenner took third place by capturing a historic moment as the final car crossed the Lift Bridge with an excited crowd high-fiving the Mayor of Stillwater. The top three winners will receive cash prizes of $300, $200, $100. Honorable Mentions were also given to photos by Charles Packard, Maureen Lee, Dale Peterson, Sandra Allweiler-Ebert, Ray Kreps, and Sharon Humphreys.
Stillwater visitors, locals, and fans took part during September by voting online for the Popular Vote category winner. The winner selected by the public was Abby Dean whose photo fit the ‘Selfies and Scenes’ of Stillwater theme for the contest this year perfectly with a picture of a young girl standing at the riverfront pretending to hold up the Lift Bridge. Abby will receive a Stillwater Getaway Package valued at $1000 which includes a night stay at the William Sauntry Mansion and gift certificates from these sponsors: golf for 4 with a cart at Logger’s Trail Golf Course, 2 tickets for a Sawdust Savvy workshop, $100 for Ziggy’s, $50 Lift Bridge Brewery, $50 Leo’s Grill & Malt Shop, $50 Cooks of Crocus Hill, $50 Dock Cafe, $50 Stokes Jewelry, 2 Tickets to Murder Mystery Dinner Show, Warden’s House Museum annual family membership,$25 Gammy & Gumpys, $25 Kids Oasis Event & Party Space, $25 Mad Capper Saloon, $25 South Hill Vintage, $25 Lil’ Tulips, $25 Valley Bookseller.
All winners will all also receive recognition on the DiscoverStillwater.com website, Discover Stillwater social media, and be showcased in the 2018 Official Stillwater Visitors Guide/Map.
“We had so much fun looking through the photos with selfies taken on the river, at restaurants, and anywhere in Stillwater they were smiling with friends. This is what the contest is all about – showcasing happy times for all ages visiting our destination.” Christie Rosckes, Discover Stillwater Marketing Director
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.
Thank you to everyone who entered our annual photo contest this year! We have 336 entries showcasing this year’s theme of Selfies & Scenes of Stillwater. Now, it’s time for you to choose the Popular Vote category winner! Voting takes place online September 11- Setember 30th.
You can vote once for as many photos as you’d like. The winner will recieve a Stillwater Getaway Package valued at over $1000 which includes a night’s stay at the William Sauntry Mansion*, golf for 4 with a cart at Logger’s Trail Golf Course, 2 tickets for a Sawdust Savvy workshop, $100 for Ziggy’s Live Music/Cocktails/StreetFood, $50 Lift Bridge Brewery, $50 Leo’s Grill & Malt Shop, $50 Cooks of Crocus Hill, $50 Dock Cafe, $50 Stokes Jewelry, 2 Tickets to Murder Mystery Dinner Show, Warden’s House Museum annual family membership,$25 Gammy & Gumpys, $25 Kids Oasis Event & Party Space, $25 Mad Capper Saloon, $25 South Hill Vintage, $25 Lil’ Tulips, $25 Valley Bookseller. NOTE*: Not transferable. Prize awarded for winner’s use only. Restrictions and conditions may apply to each prize.
The Stillwater/Oak Park Heights Convention & Visitor Bureau Board will select the 1st, 2nd, 3rd place cash prize winners. All winners will be announced in October. Go explore all the beautiful images and cast your vote for the MOST deserving image that portrays a fun, beautiful tourism destination: Stillwater, Minnesota. Thank you! #OnlyinMN #DiscoverStillwater #PhotoContest
A new bridge 50+ years in the making will finally be complete and open on August 3rd. The rare extradosed design and size is one of only two in the country and has taken many environmentally conscious steps including slim lines due to its location on a Nationally protected scenic St. Croix River. The Historic Tourism District of Stillwater is EXCITED because the new bridge will relieve traffic congestion downtown making the traveler experience more pleasant, help save the historic lift bridge from further damage, and bring a fantastic new amenity to downtown that all travelers will love – In a year, a new 5-mile loop trail circling both bridges over to Wisconsin and back will welcome pedestrians and bikes to excellent views. For now, you can drive across the new bridge to enjoy the beautiful design as well as valley views from this high bridge. For those walking/biking there are viewing points along the way to stop for pictures as a portion of the Loop Trail is complete. You can access the Loop Trail from downtown Stillwater, Bayport, and Oak Park Heights. Currently, the trail ends at old County Road E in Wisconsin. For more information, we encourage people to visit the St. Croix Crossing website (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/stcroixcrossing/design.html#loop) or visit the Wisconsin Loop Trail website (https://projects.511wi.gov/stcroixcrossing/). You can even take a segway tour across the new bridge!
Celebrate with us by showing downtown how much you ❤️ it – shop, dine, segway, trolley, bike and browse your way through a more pedestrian-friendly historic district! We ❤️pedestrians! The official ribbon cutting is August 2nd. at 10am, so the new bridge will be open to cars August 3rd.
Care to learn more?
Ribbon Cutting Logistics and More Celebrations
August 2nd: The Ribbon Cutting Ceremony for the new St. Croix Crossing Bridge is scheduled for Wednesday, August, 2, 2017, at 10:00 am on the Minnesota side of the new bridge. Governors and state and local officials from both Minnesota and Wisconsin will be in attendance for the one-hour ceremony, and this event is open to the public. Information about parking and shuttles can be found at: http://www.dot.state.mn.us/stcroixcrossing/events.html.
No public parking will be available at the dedication site. However, parking at nearby locations on both the Minnesota and Wisconsin sides has been identified and shuttles will be provided to get to the location of the dedication. Shuttles will begin transporting individuals to the event location from the Wisconsin side at 8 a.m. and from the Minnesota side at 8:30 a.m. They will run as needed until 9 a.m. on the Wisconsin side and until 9:30 a.m. on the Minnesota side. Shuttles will resume approximately 30 minutes after the dedication ceremony ends to return to parking locations. The last shuttle will depart approximately 60 minutes after the dedication ceremony ends. Note: The Beach Rd bridge will be closed to vehicle and pedestrian traffic beginning at 9:30 a.m. on Wed, Aug. 2 until after the ceremony ends.
Fury Motors (old car lot) located at the corner of Osgood Ave. and Hwy 36.
Stillwater Middle School – 523 West Marsh St. (north of Hwy 36 at Osgood/4th Street and west of Orleans)
Stillwater Area High School – 5701 Stillwater Blvd. N, Stillwater, MN 55082
Immediately following the ceremony, the City of Oak Park Heights and Town of St. Joseph invites everyone to attend an ice cream social at the Oak Park Crossing Park, 15125 60th Street North, located next to Phil’s Tara Hideaway Restaurant.
Additional events planned for that day include a brief public ceremony in Lowell Park to commemorate the Lift Bridge’s 86 years of service. Stillwater Mayor Ted Kozlowski and city leaders will host the event with Federal, state and local officials.
Starting at 6:00pm the same evening, the City of Stillwater and civic leaders are partnering to expand the already scheduled “Cruisin’ on the Croix” classic car show to a public festival billed as “Cruisin to Closure” to celebrating the closing of the historic lift bridge. “We don’t know what time MnDOT will throw up the ‘bridge closed’ sign and do the permanent traffic shift, but we’ll be downtown celebrating until they do” stated Kozlowski.
August 12: Ten days later, the City of Stillwater, Minnesota – Local Government is planning a Community Street Dance on Chestnut Street, Saturday, August 12 from 5:00 pm – 10:00 pm. The idea for the dance is a reflection to the celebration that took place in 1931 when the lift bridge opened. “We thought we should have a community celebration of the closing of the lift bridge, the highlight of this event would be a polka dance,” said Council member and Chamber Board Member Mike Polehna. The city council approved the closure of Chestnut Street from Water Street to the lift bridge for the street dance, and the use of the adjacent parking lots for food vendors and a beer tent.
Care to learn more about the project?
STILLWATER PHOTO CONTEST
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 ($1000+ value)
- 1st Prize WINNER – $300
- 2nd Prize WINNER – $200
- 3rd Prize WINNER – $100 The Stillwater Getaway Package valued at over $1000 includes a night’s stay at the William Sauntry Mansion*, golf for 4 with a cart at Logger’s Trail Golf Course, 2 tickets for a Sawdust Savvy workshop, $100 for Ziggy’s Live Music/Cocktails/StreetFood, $50 Lift Bridge Brewery, $50 Leo’s Grill & Malt Shop, $50 Cooks of Crocus Hill, $50 Dock Cafe, $50 Stokes Jewelry, 2 Tickets to Murder Mystery Dinner Show, Warden’s House Museum annual family membership,$25 Gammy & Gumpys, $25 Kids Oasis Event & Party Space, $25 Mad Capper Saloon, $25 South Hill Vintage, $25 Lil’ Tulips, $25 Valley Bookseller. NOTE*: Not transferable. Prize awarded for winner’s use only. Restrictions and conditions may apply to each prize.
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 during last two weeks of September. Winners will be notified by email or phone in October.
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, places to stay and events you must see this year.
Stillwater welcomes the following NEW businesses:
NEW ATTRACTIONS, SHOPS & RESTAURANTS
Himalayan Salt Cave Sanctuary at Just for Me Spa
Lip, Lash, Brow Bar at Just for Me Spa
Stillwater Ghost Walks – guided haunted history tours downtown
Thor’s Hard Cider – created by a forth generation family of apply farmers – Aamodts Apple Farm.
Tuk Tuk Woo Hoo – FREE rides on the first electric Tuk Tuk in the U.S. This fun quazi-cab ride is sure to make you smile.
Ziggy’s Street Food & Cocktails – live music venue and restaurant on the corner of Main and Chestnut.
A Spacious Place – new boutique on Chestnut Street full of Minnesota made gifts – excellent quality souvenir stop.
Diro Outdoors – Outdoor activities outfitter and guide for private events or rental gear for kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding or fat tire biking.
Kristina Lynn Photography & Design – specializing in portraits.
Uber – taxi service app now servicing Stillwater
Zephyre Theatre & Studios – If you’d love to see a theatre downtown Stillwater in the old train depot, help out this organization with their fundraising efforts. For now, acting and theatre enthusiasts can enjoy classes in their temporary studio in the historic Brick Alley building on Main Street.
St. Croix Brewing – possible opening in the historic Brunswick house on Chestnut St.
Mai Little Cakes – custom cakes, cupcakes, and boba tea
Netty Q’s – Italian food truck fare at a cute walk-up window with patio on the northern end of Main Street.
Namaste – Women’s clothing store with one-of-a-kind dresses and jewelry imported from India.
Downtown Divas – A boutique for ALL girls ages 4-94! We specialize in purses, jewelry, scarves, makeup, clothing, and accessories! No matter who you are or what your style is you can always find something FUN and affordable.
Champagne Press – wedding stationery
Pinch n’ Rub Spice & Tea Hub – remodeled and re-branded Spice & Tea company on Main Street
Our Shop Bridal – new ownership and re-branding underway at this award-winning formal wear and tux rental shop on Main Street
Lace Salon – new salon on North main St.
What’s new at the Stillwater Exchange Building (317 Main S. S.)?
New Restaurant, Nightlife Spot & Private Dining Venue (<50) – Rafters has new owners, a stunning remodel, rebrand and new menu: Portside!
New Coffee Shop – Revival Coffee & Deli
Pasta Perfetta – Local and international pastas and gifts
Designs of Sweden – moved across the hall from it’s previous location
Jaguar Blu – gallery and gift shop
New Venue with on-site Beauty Salon and Speakeasy!
JX Event Venue – new large venue (500 seated, 720 standing) full of elegance and historic charm right downtown Stillwater.
The Velveteen Speakeasy – prohibition era fans and cocktail connoisseurs will soon delight with an opening very soon.
Just Cuz Beauty Boutique – full service salon specializing in bridal parties.
The Collective Photography Studio
What’s New in the Grand Garage Building (324 Main St. S.)?
Nina Marie Boutique – clothing boutique of hot young fashions.
Tilted Tiki – cocktail lounge of tropical drinks with live music and appetizer style tidbits menu.
Galerio Saro – art gallery of fine art and handmade crafts by local and global artisans including pottery, wood, multi-media works, watercolors and tapestries.
We welcomed the Ice Castles this past winter and hope they return again next year!
Welcoming back the River City Art Sculpture Tour for another year, so look for a few of the sculptures to change!
New combined spring and fall art fair will now be the Rivertown Fall Art Festival.
New Food Truck Extraveganza in June.
NEW PLACES TO STAY
Asteria Inn & Suites – previously Super 8. New Updates, Owner, & Brand!
GrandStay Inn & Suites – new pool!
Ann Bean Mansion– Ann Bean owners just celebrated 13 years of merging 21st-Century luxuries into the 19th-Century Mansion!–Think fresh, grand bedrooms and lovely linens, with spacious bathrooms (walk-in showers with body jets, artisan tile, heated flooring, a copper soaking tub).
210 Laurel – whole house rental for up to 14 with riverviews.
Vacation home rentals now legal in Stillwater. See the full list of VRBO/AirBnb options: https://www.discoverstillwater.com/lodging/house-loft-rentals/.
MOVED TO NEW LOCATION
Sawdust Savvy – DIY custom workshops with wood now located in the Grand Garage building at 324 S. Main Street
South Hill Vintage – now downtown on the north end of Main Street in the historic Isaac Staples Sawmill
Designs of Sweden – don’t worry this very modern cool boutique didn’t go far, just across the hallway. Also, did you know they launched a group travel company for guided tours of Sweden (including day trips to Denmark & Norway) as well.
Paint.Sip.Nosh/Artful Indulgence – is now an on-site only experience – they come to your venue!
Marquess Studios – This destination group experience moved to 305 Greeley St. S.
Stillwater Trolley now has a new trolley with a wheelchair accessible ramp and year-round weather proof capabilities for private hire.
Wahoo Adventures – Friday morning Herons & History kayak/trolley tours
Rivertown Inn – new chef, updated culinary classes, and package experience ideas
Victoriano’s NY Pizza – offering online ordering and delivery.
NEW 360 TOURS OF KEY MEETING VENUES
New St. Croix Crossing Bridge construction project was completed August 2nd! The historic lift bridge is closed to vehicle traffic as it undergoes rennovations to welcome pedestrians and bikes in 2019 as part of the Loop Trail.
Closed: Please note that Luna Rossa Restaurant, wine shop and caves (402 Main St. S.) has permanently closed because that beautiful building has been sold and will re-open as a downtown boutique hotel/restaurant in 2018.
Visit www.DiscoverStillwater.com for a complete list of boutiques, restaurants, and unique things to do! Curious what was new in 2014, 2015, or 2016 – type ‘what’s new’ in our home page search bar. There is always something new and old to discover in historic Stillwater! #OnlyinMN #StayanExtraDay #Travel #DiscoverStillwater
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/loft ($200 voucher), and just for fun, two tickets for a tour of the historic Prison Warden’s House museum!
Contest runs until May 15th at 8am. Enter on our website at: www.discoverstillwater.com/pontoon-stay-sweepstakes/.
Discover Stillwater, the Stillwater/Oak Park Heights Convention & Visitor Bureau (CVB), was recognized on April 6th by readers of Minnesota Meetings & Events magazine as the Best Small CVB in Minnesota! Professional event planners and vendors recognized Discover Stillwater’s great customer service and inspiring destination with over 20 venues, beautiful scenery, and many experience ideas. One of Stillwater’s venues was also recognized as Best Boat/Cruise/Charter in Minnesota, so congratulations to St. Croix Boat & Packet/Stillwater River Boats.
Representatives from Discover Stillwater (pictured left to right: Larry Loyer – Board Member & General Manager of Rivertown Inn, Janel Hutton – Marketing Assistant, Christie Rosckes – Marketing Director) celebrated at the awards ceremony held at the Solar Arts Building in Minneapolis and catered by Chowgirls catering. Check out these links to read the awards release or see the entire list of winners and nominees.