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 , The Tilted Tiki , Northern Vineyards
Discover Stillwater Blog – tune in for the latest!
In collaboration with NellieBellie Kitchen
Your summer isn’t complete without a trip to downtown Stillwater, Minnesota to take in the beautiful scenery, great shopping, patios and fun activities. And don’t leave without stopping for a meal at one of the amazing outdoor dining locations (who all happen to be locally owned by the way).
Even if you are familiar with Stillwater and visit the historic riverfront district on a regular basis, check out some of these patios and make sure you haven’t missed them.
We don’t think there is a better way to experience this hip historic town and all of its charm than at one of the many outdoor eating locations. There are so many gorgeous views, menus, and ideal people-watching spots!
Many restaurants have excellent specials, menu items, and drink choices no matter what time of day you are enjoying Stillwater. Here are some of our favorite places and menu items you should check out. Put them on your summer bucket list and see what’s new!
1. Brick and Bourbon
215 Main St. S. Stillwater, MN
This intimate rooftop patio has an amazing view of the St. Croix River! Enjoy happy hour from 3pm-6:30 pm Monday to Thursday with drink and menu specials. And they have brunch with a bloody mary bar on the weekends…don’t miss that!
We tried out their mango and blackberry wine slushies, the PB & Jay burger, and their maple pecan salad. That burger though! It comes on a glazed donut instead of a bun, slathered in peanut butter and a bit of bacon. This burger is a must-try, for sure! The wine slushies are a refreshing surprise, full of yummy wine, and beautiful to look at. We will be going back for another, really soon.
A great menu, beautiful view, and friendly staff Brick and Bourbon is on our must-do list for a beautiful day!
2. Tilted Tiki
324 S. Main St. Stillwater, MN
The Tilted Tiki’s patio is right on Main Street and a great location for people-watching. They have live music multiple nights a week, drink specials daily, and a menu unlike anything else in the city (we tried pickle pockets… so fun!). Their happy hour specials are from 3-7pm.
We loved the large vegan portion on their menu and tried the vegan cheesecake. It was delicious!
Don’t leave Stillwater without heading to Tilted Tiki and grabbing a drink. Their tropical drinks are beautiful, delicious, and a thrilling dose of summer!
3. Nacho Mama’s
312 S. Main St. Stillwater, MN
If you haven’t been to Nacho Mama’s yet, do so! In the summer, head to their patio located behind their building. Their alleyway patio is tucked away and a colorful place to grab a bite to eat.
Nacho Mama’s serves up large portions of delicious Mexican food. Once you come, you’ll be back! We always grab their Mexican street corn, a margarita, and homemade guacamole when we are there.
Don’t leave without sharing a Mexican Ice Cream. Easily serving 2-4 people, it’s a fantastic summer treat!
4. Leo’s Grill & Malt Shop
131 Main St. Stillwater, MN
The patio for Leo’s Malt Shop and Grill is surprisingly large, dog-friendly, and nicely shaded.
Leo’s is always the perfect place to grab a classic burger and malt with that old-time vibe in Stillwater. Their reubens are amazing and did we mention their malts? Truly, they serve up old-fashioned malts in several flavors from strawberry banana to Nutella.
5. Feller Restaurantin Lora Hotel
402 S. Main St. Stillwater, MN
At Feller Restaurant you’ll find a beautiful, dog-friendly patio right on the main street.
Feller has a gorgeous location and delicious made-in-house, chef-driven food! We are big fans of their Feller burger (every. single. thing. is handmade—even the bun and cheese!), foragers crostini, and cocktails.
And…Feller is a fantastic location for breakfast! Grab outdoor seating, a bloody mary (they have several interesting flavors), and flapjacks (our personal favorite). It’s hard to beat this spot for a summer breakfast!
Bonus…the historic stairs are right near them! Indulge in that dessert, you can walk it off!
6. Matchstick Grill in Hotel Crosby
232 N. Main St. Stillwater, MN
One of the newest places in Stillwater, Matchstick has an amazing main street indoor/outdoor vibe. Giant doors open to their main street patio and allow for a great social experience.
Each weeknight features a fun special and their happy hour runs from 3:30-5:30 (we love their fish tacos and 1/2 price selections). Tuesday is flight night (come during 3-5:30 for 1/2 price) and a great time to try something new. Did we mention that their whiskey selection is extensive? Sooo good.
The locally sourced, chef-driven menu here is ala carte and they deliver food when it finishes rather than delivering all of the dishes at once, so collaborate with your fellow diners and sit back to taste an array of flavors together.
Try their wood-fired carrots and made-in-house sausage for a true sample of the custom wood-fire grill in their kitchen.
7. Reve’ Bistro & Bar
200 E. Chestnut St. Stillwater, MN
Reve has a large, nicely shaded patio just up the street from Main Street.
They serve happy hour from 2-5pm with menu items like fresh oysters and smoky mac & cheese on the happy hour menu.
This is a nice stop for a glass of wine and salad for lunch, at dinner don’t miss their beef wellington (they are well-known for this tasty dish!).
Bonus…they have parking lot that is reserved only for Reve’ customers.
8. Dock Cafe
425 Nelson St. E. Stillwater, MN
The patio at Dock Cafe is simply amazing. Large, right on the river and those views! It has an outdoor bar ready to serve from their nice wine list.
The food at Dock Cafe is fairly traditional and familiar. This is a great place for large groups to find something to please everyone.
Don’t miss their homemade pumpkin bread and their curried chicken salad is a nice lunch option or citrus herb panko crusted walleye for dinner or “supper” as many in the Midwest say!
Bonus, there are several parking options around and they are located right along the bike path.
9. Quickfire Pizza
116 Main St. S. Stillwater, MN
Oh boy, this is a hidden gem of a patio convenient for grabbing drinks and a delicious lunch for that oh so needed private chat with a friend.
Immerse your taste buds in a wild variety of pizzas using all locally sourced or specialty imported ingredients. Kids will love to watch them build your za and place it into the custom wood-fired oven. Out will come the crisp toppings ready to enjoy with a local brew on tap or wine.
Take a bit to shop along Main Street while you are out and about, too.
10. P.D. Pappy’s
422 E. Mulberry St. Stillwater, MN
We can’t close out this list without mentioning P.D. Pappy’s, can we!
P.D. Pappy’s patios (they have two) are right on the river. Sometimes literally. They are often victim to flood waters creeping in and invading one of their patio spaces. This happens most often in the spring but simply adds to the fun that is P.D. Pappy’s.
With live weekend music (a great line-up!) in the summer, P.D. Pappy’s is the place to head down for dancing, a drink and nacho’s (huge!). They also have a great menu full of your favorite burgers and sandwiches.
“Pappy Hour” is Wed-Fri 11-6pm plus they have really good weekly specials. Head to their patio on Sunday afternoons to listen to a 3-piece band! An easy stop before you head out on your rented pontoon from Stillwater Boat Club & Rentals next door or when the Stillwater Car Show is right in front of their location.
This isn’t ALL of the outdoor dining locations in Stillwater, by any means. There are many more places with pretty patio options and hot spot locations (oh la la see below). These are simply the ones we knocked off our bucket list and checked out so we could share some great options with you all.
Enjoy your culinary adventure in the historic downtown district of Stillwater, Minnesota. For a full list of restaurants, pubs, wineries, and breweries visit www.DiscoverStillwater.com.
Stillwater certainly has just as much foodie draw as their nearby big cities Minneapolis or St. Paul AND it’s more pedestrian friendly with free or very cheap parking!
Happy 4th of July! Let’s celebrate our great country with free outdoor live music and an excellent Minnesota fireworks display in a classic Americana small town with a historic Main Street and beautiful riverfront views. Find out all the details for the 4th of July fireworks, music and Independence Day celebrations in Stillwater, Minnesota here: https://events.discoverstillwater.com/event/fourth-of-july-fireworks/
Stillwater, MN – One of America’s Most Picturesque Towns (according to USA Today Travel) is hosting their 7th annual photo contest where anyone, amateur or professional, has a chance to win prizes. With big prize incentives, it’s a great excuse to take a road-trip to the Birthplace of Minnesota. The Stillwater/Oak Park Heights Convention & Visitors Bureau (Discover Stillwater) invites those with a love for capturing great photos to submit their best Stillwater images by October 8, 2019 for the chance to win up to $300 or a Stillwater Getaway Package valued at $1000. There will be 1st, 2nd, 3rd place cash prizes and a popular vote category who wins the grand prize of the Stillwater Getaway Package which includes the following:
• $200 Lodging Voucher for any lodging property listed on DiscoverStillwater.com/lodging.
Things to Do
• $50 at Lift Bridge Brewery. Tours, taproom, or merchandise.
• 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 Lion’s Tavern
• $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
Winners will all also receive recognition on the DiscoverStillwater.com website and social media as well as a showcase in the 2020 Official Stillwater Visitors Guide. Images are encouraged from all four seasons and must be taken in Stillwater, Minnesota. Ideas include people and/or places that portray Stillwater’s history, people having fun, events, landmarks, scenery, attractions, dining, lodging, river activities, weddings, culinary travel, art scene, families, nature, adventure, boutiques, architecture, and more. Photographers are encouraged to find what inspires them about the Stillwater travel destination. Up to five images can be submitted with a preferred minimum resolution of 300dpi.
Official contest rules and entry page link is available at http://www.DiscoverStillwater.com/photo-contest. Popular vote winners will be determined by an online voting tool in October with a new approach this year limiting the voting to the top 25 photos as selected by a panel of judges from the Discover Stillwater Board members who also traditionally select the cash prize winners. Winners will be notified in October.
Located on the scenic St. Croix River bordering Minnesota and Wisconsin, Stillwater is a popular year-round Midwest travel destination located just minutes from the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul. Since the opening of the new St. Croix Crossing bridge in the summer of 2017, the popular downtown historic district has seen a surge of investment with two new boutique Main Street hotels as well as multiple vacation home rentals, new restaurants, shops and attractions such as electric bike rentals and Segway tours to explore the beautiful new bike trails of this rivertown.
This beautiful town is waiting for you to visit when the time is right. Have you ever stayed in a vacation home rental? (Aka VRBO AirBnB) We toured 20 of them this past month and featured on our Instagram-stories. In case you missed them, they are now all uploaded to our IGTV channel, so click in to view them all!
Full list with booking links here:
Here’s a quick line up of the newest shops, experiences, restaurants, venues, places to stay and events you must see this year.
Thank you to the Pioneer Press newspaper for this wonderful 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” and Star Tribune Magazine for 5 Hottest Small Town Destinations in Minnesota. Exciting things are happening here…please excuse our dust!
Stillwater welcomed the following NEW businesses in the last year or two:
NEW PLACES TO STAY
Hotel Crosby – boutique hotel with large suites, restaurant and rooftop salt water hot-tub on the north end of Main St. (Opened November 2018)
Lora Hotel – boutique hotel and restaurant in historic brewery block on the south end of Main St. (Opened June 2018)
Water Street Inn – renovation to expand 20 more rooms, a rooftop restaurant and new entrance with clock tower (summer 2019)
20+ new vacation home or downtown loft rentals in the area – check out the latest ones added: Durant House, Downtown Loft Getaway, Main Street Retreat, A Spacious Place, Dutchtown Retreat, Dutchtown Retreat, Long Lake Estate, Meadowlark Cottage, and Private Home on Bike Trail.
Smith + Trade Merchantile – Minnesota & St. Croix Valley artisans & classes
Kenzington Boutique – clothing, home decor & gifts. Inside the historic grand garage building
Shop in the City – clothing & gift store inside Shops at 317 Main
Minnesota Made – local apparel design – moved from pop up shop on north hill shop to permanent store front downtown
When Pigs Flew – resale consignment and new women’s fashion & accessories
Magnolias – women’s clothing to size 3X and wool applique & classes
Jori & June – women’s fashion boutique
Riverway Gifts & Flower Shoppe – fresh flowers and local gifts
Enchante – same fabulous women’s fashion boutique moved from Chestnut St. to Main Street
Uncommon Cents – Coin Collectors Shop moved to new location on Main
T-Shirt Factory – moved locations to 232 S. Main
Galeria Saro – art gallery relocated from the Grand Garage to 213 Main St.
Images of the Past – moved from Main Street around the corner to 222 Commercial St.
Let There Be Light Antiques – moving around the corner and will be by appointment only
Scandinavian North – new name, same great imports from Sweden, Norway, Iceland, and Finland
The Lumberjack Axe Throwing Bar – We opened The Lumberjack to create a place where visitors can learn about Stillwater’s rich history and locals can find a home.
St. Croix Crossing Bridge & Loop Trail – the new bridge opened in August 2017 and the historic lift bridge closed to vehicle traffic as it undergoes renovations to welcome pedestrians and bikes as part of the St. Croix Loop Trail. Three-quarters of the trail is complete, so you can enjoy biking or walking from downtown Stillwater south over the new bridge to Wisconsin. The final section is delayed until spring 2020. See our new bike trails maps.
Mike’s Electric Bikes – both fat tire or cruiser style electric bike rental a block from the lift bridge
Big River E-Bike & Kayak Rental – downtown rental of both regular and electric bikes, located behind Hotel Crosby
DIRO Outdoors – bike rental downtown at self-rental station and snowshoe rental packages
Comfort Cruiser Electric Bike Rental – park at Gateway Trailside food truck and ride into downtown
Stillwater Escape Room – team puzzle solving experience in JX Event Venue with 3 different rooms to choose from for your group – Connolly’s Office, The Cave and coming soon Space Emergency
Himalayan Salt Cave Sanctuary and Serenity Lounge at Just for Me Spa (Healing Mineral Pool also under construction)
The Lumberjack Axe Throwing Bar – We opened The Lumberjack to create a place where visitors can learn about Stillwater’s rich history and locals can find a home.
Stillwater Zephyre Theatre – live performance theater downtown Stillwater
Segway Tours: Several routes, two companies St. Croix Valley Segway or Stillwater Segway
GullyWubbles – walk-in arts & crafts, gift boutique and birthday parties for kids
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 Aamodt’s Apple Farm
Lift Bridge Brewery – create a new line of hard seltzers
NEW RESTAURANTS & PUBS
Mon Petit Cheri – bakery from Minneapolis (opening in May 29)
Lolito – new owners and fresh re-brand with new spanish inspired menu and lots of tequila. Same owners as LOLO American Kitchen, In the Pearl & The Thief’s location
MN Nice Cream – nostalgic dessert experience with a twist. Home of edible glitter
Matchstick Restaurant – inside Hotel Crosby
Feller Restaurant & The Long Goodbye Bar and MADE Coffee – located inside Lora hotel
Brian’s Bar & Grill – new owners and remodeled when long time Stillwater Brine’s family retired. 3rd floor venue space under renovation as well
Brick & Bourbon – restaurant with rooftop
The Velveteen Speakeasy – underground at JX Event Venue
Oasis Cafe – remodeled to now include full bar and outdoor patio – See article
LOLO American Kitchen – expanded a new upper level lounge open weekends only- See 360 tour here
NEW SALONS & SPA
Spa 810 – located inside Hotel Crosby offering on-site lazer, skin and massage services as well as adjacent bridal suite for hair & make-up
Uptown Curl – a curly hair focused salon on Main Street
Salon Mintee – new partnership with Make Up by Mindie & Hair By Theresa. Located in the historic Grand Garage next to Essential Esthetics and She Fancy Salon.
JBelissima Hair Salon – intimate downtown hair and make-up salon
Stillwater Skin – medical spa in new location now closer to downtown
Food Truck Extravaganza – at the Washington County Fairgrounds, June 15
St. Croix Crossing Half Marathon – enjoy the views of the new bridge, July 27
A Streetcar Named Desire at Zephyr Theatre , July 19 – Aug. 4
Opera On the River – free outdoor opera music, August 10
Arcola Mills historic site hosting events like the Back Porch Jam Series
River City Sculpture Tour continues with new sculptures downtown
JX Event Venue and The Loft at Studio J aren’t just for weddings – watch our calendar for live music, acoustic listening sessions, comedy, drag shows, etc.
Live Music Saturdays at St. Croix Vineyards,all summer
Bike Happy Hour (Tues) and Bingo (Wed) at Maple Island Brewing.
New Bike history exhibit “Spokes and Folks” at Washington County Historical Courthouse. Now until the end of the year.
Stillwater Trolley – Kayaking Tours, Storytime Trolley
Rivertown Inn – Friday night chef’s dinners (not just for B&B guests)
Kari’s Create & Paint Studio expanded their space
Live Music at 15 venues downtown year-round!
NEW 360 TOURS OF KEY VENUES
Tour Stillwater meeting, wedding and event venues right from your desk – more new 360 tours added!
Lift Bridge Cowork – co-work space for self-employed or remote working professionals above the bakery on Main Street
JX Event Venue has two new break out room spaces – Connolly Conference Room and the Bourbon Room. They are also now managing the Stillwater Library Rooftop space via One23 Events
Rivertown Inn has a new executive conference room in the private carriage house
Lolito has a new 2nd floor space for private rental called Carlito
Charlie’s Irish Pub – created a glass enclosed large patio area to enjoy year-round
Visit www.DiscoverStillwater.com for a complete list of boutiques, restaurants, and unique things to do! Curious what was new in 2015, 2016, 2017 , 2018– type ‘what’s new’ in our home page search bar. There is always something new and old to discover in historic Stillwater! We hope to see you travel here soon! Psst…hotels book up, so plan now.
#OnlyinMN #StayanExtraDay #Travel #DiscoverStillwater
Spring is here and summer is coming soon, so here’s a reminder of all the warm weather attractions now open for the season in Stillwater, Minnesota!
Stillwater River Boats: See full public cruise schedule and book your St. Croix River lunch, brunch, or dinner cruise on the St. Croix River online.
Stillwater Trolley: Book tours online or stop by in person at their kiosk on Nelson St.. Enjoy the traditional 45 minute narrated history of Stillwater tour, storytime trolley, or kayak tours.
Gondola Romantica: Book your romantic private Venetian gondola ride on the St. Croix River online. Perfect place for a proposal or special celebration!
Biercycle Adventures: Book for your private party and look for public history tour date announcements coming soon.
Segway Tours: St. Croix Valley Segway and Stillwater Segway Tours. Both companies booking tours now! Tour downtown Stillwater, Brown’s Creek Trail or head over the new St. Croix Crossing Bridge Loop trail.
Warden’s House Museum: Did you know Stillwater had the first State Prison? Tour the 1800s home of the prison warden.
Patios, Rooftops & Decks
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. Find the two rooftop patios at Portside and Brick & Bourbon.
PD Pappy’s – Outdoor dining by the marina and live music.
Nelson’s Ice Cream – Get the famous giant child sized ice cream cone or try the lumberjack.
Cherry Berry – 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!
Free public boat slips behind the Stillwater RiverBoats south of the historic lift bridge.
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. Also offering a few classic cruiser electric bike rental by reservation on their website. (Opening May 24)
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: Bike share cruiser bike rental station located next to the Water Street Inn.
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!
All golf courses are now open for the season, for a complete list visit our golf webpage.
Teddy Bear Park – open daily 8am-8pm this unique park built into the bluff downtown is perfect for young kids under 8.
Pioneer Park – note that the playground area is under construction. Stay tuned for a new play area this summer!
Lowell Park – note that portions are still slightly flooded.
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.
Read about the variety of beautiful places to stay year-round in the historic rivertown of Stillwater, Minnesota. From new boutique hotels, to main street lofts to historic hotels, to family hotels with a pool to vacation home rentals – you have so many choices – what’s your favorite?
Do you plan business events in Minnesota? We’d like to invite you on a complimentary tour of Stillwater, Minnesota so you can see for yourself what a beautiful destination it could be for your next corporate event. During this 4 hour tour you’ll get a chance to see the new downtown hotels as well as several venues and have a little fun while exploring with fellow meetings industry professionals.
Wednesday, June 12, 2019
Space is limited so please RVSP or send questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We hope to see you on the trolley! You’ll love what’s happening here.
UPDATE WINNER ANNOUNCED: Jared Ring!!
Enter to win during March for a chance to enjoy a nearly $1500 spring vacation to Stillwater, Minnesota! The prize package includes lodging to downtown Stillwater’s newest boutique hotel, Hotel Crosby featuring rustic, warm and modern decor, large suite options for groups and a rooftop salt-water hot tub. In addition to accomodations, the prize package includes several hundred dollars worth of gift certificates for shopping, dining, breweries, bike rental, spa treatments and more. The contest runs March 5th through March 21st, 2019 so enter the staycation sweepstakes now for a chance to win!
Stillwater, Minnesota is located 30 minutes east of Minneapolis/St. Paul on the scenic St. Croix River bordering MN and WI. See official contest rules and prize details on the entry page. Limit one entry per person.