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!
Enjoy a mid-week getaway in the Birthplace of Minnesota – Stillwater! Launch your rented pontoon from the St. Croix River boat docks right in the heart of the historic downtown district.Spend the day cruising along a National Scenic Riverway on the border of Minnesota and Wisconsin celebrating 50 years as a protected wild and scenic river this year! Take in the fresh air, throw a fishing line, or swim in the water on a break at a sandbar.Hop off the boat and walk to downtown Stillwater to enjoy the many boutiques, over 20 outdoor patios/rooftop restaurants, art galleries, live music, and local breweries and wineries.
Your water front hotel welcomes you with a good night’s sleep as well. Everything you need for a fun summer getaway!
The votes are in for the “Best Patios in the Twin Cities” Pioneer Press Reader’s Choice sections and Stillwater claims 8 of the 20! Proof we are a culinary destination and a place you MUST put on your summer list!
Congratulations to these winners:
Full list of outdoor dining in Stillwater: https://www.discoverstillwater.com/dining-night-life/ (search by ‘outdoor dining’)
All golf courses are open for the season in Stillwater! Time to use up those vacation days for relaxing sights like this on the greens. Book a tee time soon at Loggers Trail Golf Course, Stillwater Oaks Golf Course, StoneRidge Golf Club Applewood Hills Public Golf Course Oak Glen Golf Course, Indian Hills Golf Club, Stillwater Country Club or the new Royal Golf Club nearby! Bent grass fairways, foot golf, golf board rentals, executive nine, 18 hole championship courses, country clubs, public golf courses, and links style holes… we’ve got it all. Play golf by day, dine and cheers by night downtown Stillwater and stay in hotels, historic mansions, or downtown boutique hotels. Guys or Gals getaway? ⛳You deserve it. Plan now. Psst… gents grab a new shirt to impress at our Matt & Nate Men’s Life Style exclusive men’s clothing shop, too!
@Loggers Trail Golf Course, photographer: Charlie Vaughn
See full list of course at: https://www.discoverstillwater.com/things-to-do/golf/
Experience A Time Tunnel Through Stillwater Minnesota’s History: Lens Flare Stillwater Launches Additional New Free APP With New Locations
Press Release by Robert Molenda, LensFlare Stillwater founder
Lens Flare Stillwater, a not for profit project funded by The Stillwater Area Foundation announces its newest FREE APP and Web Site to visitors, tourists and residents. This project won The Great Idea competition in 2016. The project objective was to provide APPs for your mobile devices that enable you to carry the history of Stillwater in your pocket while traveling through a geo-location time tunnel.
Imagine that you are standing in front of the South Hill Stairwell in Downtown Stillwater. You go to the www.lensflarestillwater.org web site and activate one of the FREE APPS. The APP senses your geo-location and when you are inside the geo-fence of this historical location, the device is triggered to show a photo of how that same location appeared at some previous time in the past. In this case, the South Stairwell location will show John Runk Collection Photos taken in the early 1850’s and later years. In addition to the photos, there are text and audio narratives. When you walk into the geo-fence of other nearby historic locations, new photos and information automatically appear on your mobile device. There are nineteen locations to visit and most feature the audio trigger when you enter the geo-fence using the Newest Apple iOS APP.
The other, browser-based FREE APPs for any mobile device, are linked to the web site for a seamless transition from one to the other for additional historical information. In this way, we connect to Google Maps 360 to see the same location as it appears today, along with other surprises. The APP is unique and the combination of the APP with the web site is synergistic and interactive for telling stories in a different way.
These FREE APPs enhance your experience while actually visiting Stillwater. To experience historic Stillwater from an armchair, people use the web site by itself.
The software for the APP is powered by LodeStar, an authoring tool provided by LodeStar Learning Systems, a Minnesota Company that sells learning software to Educators. Director for Online Learning at Metropolitan State University, Mr. Robert Bilyk says,”To view the town of Stillwater through the lens of the past, the group has combined the arts of storytelling and photography with the new technology of mobile phones and geo-location-aware applications.”
Dr. Molenda, a retired 3M research manager and marketer heads up a small volunteer group of history buffs who provide the content, narratives and populate the software fields for this project. “The content is a tribute to Mr. John Runk, an early photographer who collected and archived his and other photos of Stillwater for historical purposes”, says Molenda. “From what I know of him, he would have felt right at home with this project.”
Mother Nature really tested us hardy Minnesotans this year with an April snow storm, so spring seasonal attractions are opening later than usual but here is the scoop for all the warm weather fun in Stillwater, Minnesota!
Stillwater River Boats: Public cruises began May 12th. See full schedule and book your St. Croix River lunch, brunch, or dinner cruise on the St. Croix River online.
Stillwater Trolley: Open as of May 1st. Book tours online for the traditional 45 minute narrated history of Stillwater tour, storytime trolley, bed & breakfast tour, or kayak tours.
Gondola Romantica: Open as of May 4th. Book your romantic Venetian gondola ride on the St. Croix River online.
Biercycle Adventures: Private tours started in April and public history tour date announcements coming soon.
Segway Tours: St. Croix Valley Segway (previously All American Segway) and Stillwater Segway Tours. Both companies booking tours as of April!
Patios, Rooftops & Decks
As of May 4th all are open! With nearly 20 outdoor dining options there’s many a sidewalk cafe or riverfront deck to dine on in downtown Stillwater. Come hungry and thirsty.
PD Pappy’s – open as of May 4th. Outdoor dining by the marina and live music.
Nelson’s Ice Cream – open as of April 21st. Get the famous giant child sized ice cream cone or try the lumberjack.
Cherry Berry – Open as of March 24th. Self-serve yogurt bar on Main Street.
Marinas – Slips & Boat Rental
Stillwater Boat Club & Rentals: Start booking summer fun on the water now. Look for weekday happy hour deals!
Ole Sawmill Marina: Pontoon rental and weekly boat slips.
Wolf Marine: Open daily for all your on the water needs – life jackets, boating supplies, and even new SUP boards.
Sunnyside Marina: Transient dockage available.
Bayport Marina: Transient slips available.
Boomsite Marina: boat launch
Boomsite Public Boat Launch – open!
Gateway Trailside: Find this food truck just north of the intersection of the Brown’s Creek Bike Trail and Gateway State Trail, about 8 miles from downtown Stillwater. Open as of April 26th. Now offering classic cruiser electric bike rental by reservation on their website.
Wahoo Adventures: Book tours online! 90 minute Herons & History Paddle every Friday morning at 8:30am or two unique guided bicycle tours throughout the week. See Stillwater from a new perspective! You can also book your own private/custom kayak, bicycle, or scavenger hunt tour for 2 – 20 people. Enjoy the best the St. Croix Valley has to offer on the river or on the local bicycle trails. We provide all the gear, maps, guidance, and inspiration you may need! No experience necessary.
DIRO Outdoors: Provides local outdoor activities; gear rental & delivery; parties & company events; and educational & environmental stewardship opportunities within the Twin Cities and St. Croix River Valley. We encourage you to try a wide variety of activities in hopes these will help you “find your outer space”.
Stand-Up Paddleboard Rental – St. Croix SUP Board (early june, kayaks too), 45 Degrees , Brown Dog Paddleboard Company (mid-June)
Madline Horseback Riding: booking trail rides now! New this year, children’s birthday partys – horseback riding and a picnic.
All golf courses are now open for the season at of May 3, for a complete list visit our golf webpage.
NOTE: As of May 1st winter season free parking deal has ended. All street parking is still free and a few lots, but any lots marketed paid parking will now be monitored. For a full map to see time limits on parking lots, visit our directions page. Prices are very reasonable.
City Pages names the St. Croix Crossing Bridge Best View for 2018
From City Pages:
St. Croix Crossing begins on Highway 36 as you head east, leaving Oak Park Heights and soaring toward St. Joseph, Wisconsin. But unlike the imposing freeway bridges of yesteryear, the Minnesota Department of Transportation decided this one would be pedestrian- and bike-friendly. And so it is. The walkway soars 150 feet above the St. Croix River, a National Scenic Riverway. That designation has largely prevented the view from becoming an onslaught of business signs and billboards. Instead, you’re treated to a spectacular vine of blue running miles to the north, accompanied by dense green foliage that obscures most of the commercial development. The St. Croix is a state treasure, and the new bridge allows you to witness it in all its majesty, free of charge.
What great timing as the St. Croix river celebrates 50 years since being named a wild and scenic nationally protected river. Be sure to include a bike, walk, or segway tour across this bridge or a river cruise under to see the spectacular St. Croix River Valley views. A parking lot near Sunnyside Marina is currently under construction, but for now you can park along the water treatment plant frontage road at the Minnesota side base of the bridge. Eventually, there will be a 5 mile loop trail from downtown Stillwater over both the historic lift bridge and new St. Croix Crossing bridge to Wisconsin. For the 2018 season, about 3/4 is complete – find maps on our website. Bring your own bike, pack the camera, and stop to enjoy the three lookout points with historical information.
Teddy Bear Park in downtown Stillwater is NOW OPEN for the season. 👏👏 Open daily 8am-8pm. Free fun for the kids! Parents, babysitters and grandparents – Here’s 10 more ideas for fun with the kids while in town!
1. A sweet treat: Candyland, Stillwater Tremblay’s Sweet Shop Barbara Ann’s Fudge Leo’s Grill & Malt Shop CherryBerry-Stillwater, MN Mai Little Cakes
2. A Stillwater Trolley Co. 45 minute narrated history Tour
3. A Stillwater River Boats cruise
4. Buy a new book at Valley Bookseller and stop into the Stillwater Public Library rooftop for a great reading spot with a view.
5. Creative painting on pottery or canvas as Kari’s Create & Paint Studiowalk-in downtown studio
6. A DIY craft class at Gullywubbles or Indoor playtime at Kids Oasis next door.
7. Bring your bikes for a trail ride on the Brown’s Creek Trail or St. Croix Crossing loop trail: https://www.discoverstillwater.com/th…/biking-hiking-trails/
8. Shopping for a new toy or outfit accessory: Alfresco Casual LivingDOWNTOWN DIVAS BOUTIQUE Betty June’s Mara-Mi Store + Studio + Cafe
9. Walk downtown to find all the River City Sculpture tour public art sculptures or learn about history together with the Lens Flare Stillwater app.
10. Enjoy a pizza together at: Stillwater MN’s Victoriano’s NY Style PizzaQuickFire Pizza Stillwater MN Grand Pizza – Stillwater MN
Here’s a quick line up of the newest shops, experiences, restaurants, venues, places to stay and events you must see this year. We’ll continue to update so check back for more as summer nears. Thank you to the Pioneer Press newspaper for this wonderful recent article: “With the Lift Bridge Closed, Stillwater’s Main Street is Booming!” and KSTP for this TV spot: “Developers Drop $30 Million on Downtown Stillwater“. Exciting things are happening here…please excuse our dust!
Stillwater welcomes the following NEW businesses:
Lip, Lash, Brow Bar Glam Parties at Just for Me Spa
Healing Mineral Pool and serenity lounge also currently under construction at Just for Me Spa (Opening in summer)
Airy Fitness – aerial silks fitness classes and parties
St. Croix Crossing Bridge & Loop Trail – the new bridge construction project was completed last August and the historic lift bridge closed to vehicle traffic as it undergoes rennovations to welcome pedestrians and bikes in 2019 as part of the Loop Trail. Half of the trail is now complete, so you can enjoy biking or walking from downtown Stillwater over the new bridge to Wisconsin.
Zephyre Theatre & Studios – live theatre venue in the works
Ice Castles – back on our riverfront this winter with new design including a skyslide and rainbow LED wall. (Closed for the season).
Stillwater Segway Tours – now there are two companies in Stillwater offering tours
GullyWubbles – walk-in arts & crafts, gift boutique and birthday parties for kids (Opening May 3rd)
Comfort Cruiser Electric Bike Rental – Park at Gateway Trailside Food Truck and ride into downtown. Starts April 28th!
JBelissima Hair Salon – intimate downtown hair and make up salon
Essential Esthetics – Facials in this intimate salon suite of the historic Grand Garage mall
Madline Horseback Riding – trail rides just outside downtown in the woods and fields of the valley
LensFlare History Tour App – view what places downtown looked like in history while standing in front of the building!
Thor’s Hard Cider Tasting Room – locally produced hard cider at Aamodts family apple farm.
Stillwater Escape Room – team puzzle solving experience in JX Event Venue
All American Segway Tours In the St. Croix Valley – new St. Croix Crossing Bridge Tours, Culinary Tours, and shorter 1 Hr. Gateway Jr Tour.
JX Event Venue isn’t just for weddings – watch our calendar for live music, acoustic listening sessions, comedy and more in this beautiful venue downtown.
Stillwater Trolley – Bed & Breakfast Tour, Kayaking Tours, Storytime Trolley
Literature Lovers Night Out – Valley Bookseller hosts this monthly event at The Grand Banquet Hall downtown featuring national and local authors, light refreshments and drawings for prizes.
DIRO Outdoors – Fat tire biking tours, multi-person stand-up paddleboards for rent
Wahoo! Adventures – Guided Stillwater Bicycle Tours and Learn to Kayak events…find your eco-therapy in Stillwater!
Tatts by Zapp – Under new ownership and remodeled!
Uncommon Cents – Coin Collectors Shop
A Little Candle Shop – soy candles & luxury bath items tucked inside the historic grand garage mall
St. Croix Finery Consignment Shop – designer clothing and artwork
Loome Theological Books – rare collection of religious books is back downtown again!
Jori & June – clothing boutique (Opening May 4th)
Brick & Bourbon – restaurant with rooftop
The Velveteen Speakeasy – underground at JX Venue
Pearl & The Thief – restaurant in the completely redesigned Pub 112 location (Opening Late May)
Oasis Cafe – remodeled to now include full bar and outdoor patio also coming soon. See article.
LOLO American Kitchen – expanded a new upper level lounge open weekends only.
Feller Restaurant & The Long Goodbye Bar – located inside Lora hotel (opens in June)
NEW PLACES TO STAY
Vacation home rentals now legal in Stillwater. See the full list of homes and downtown loft options: https://www.discoverstillwater.com/lodging/house-loft-rentals/
Lora Hotel – boutique hotel and restaurant on the south end of Main St. opening June 18th.
The Crosby – boutique hotel, restaurant and rooftop pool on the north end of Main St. opening this fall 2018
Holiday Inn Express & Suites– proposal to start in Oak Park Heights this fall, opening summer 2019.
NEW WEDDING BUSINESSES
Photo Collective – located in JX Event Venue
NEW 360 TOURS OF KEY MEETING VENUES
Tour Stillwater venues right from your desk!
Lion’s Tavern – more live music Thursday-Sunday come May and an updated menu this spring/summer!
Portside Restaurant & Bar – new chef (Shawn Smalley) and menu just launched in April!
Kids Oasis – new ownership. Indoor play and party center on Main Street.
Rivertown Inn – new executive meeting room and friday night chef’s dinners (you don’t have to be a B&B guest)
Visit www.DiscoverStillwater.com for a complete list of boutiques, restaurants, and unique things to do! Curious what was new in 2015, 2016, or 2017 – 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
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 2018 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!
As a popular Midwest travel destination just outside the Twin Cities Minneapolis/St. Paul, Stillwater, Minnesota is a beautiful getaway year-round with dining, shopping, festivals and outdoor recreation on the river and bike trails. The demand for lodging has increased over the years especially because it’s a popular place for weddings with multiple ceremony and reception venues. Travelers coming to Stillwater seeking more options will be delighted to know that the City of Stillwater and Oak Park Heights are both allowing licensed vacation rental homes or lofts. With nearly twenty new properties listed on the tourism bureau’s website www.DiscoverStillwater.com in this category, this vacation destination most certainly has something for everyone. From an intimate loft above a boutique on Main Street to a large luxury mansion with river views that sleeps 14 to a cozy neighborhood historic home with a front porch – visitors can immerse themselves in this inspiring Birthplace of Minnesota. These lovely homes are perfect if you have a group that wants to stay together, you prefer to have a kitchen available, or just want a little more privacy.
Here is the current list of vacation rentals available in Stillwater and Oak Park Heights:
The Stillwater area has over 400 rooms available with 5 hotels, 2 downtown inns, 8 bed & breakfasts and now nearly 20 vacation rental homes. In addition, 2018 will also welcome two new boutique hotels on Main Street that are currently under construction. Lodging books up quickly in Stillwater, so be sure to plan ahead to pick your favorite place that meets your needs exactly whether it be walking distance to restaurants or your own riverside outdoor firepit.
Here’s a quick slideshow of the new accommodations in Stillwater, Minnesota: