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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!


A popular, icy attraction in Stillwater, Minnesota is just one week away from opening to the public. Ice Castles will open its icicle-adorned archways to the public onFriday, January 5, 2018. Tickets will go on sale on the attractions’ website on Friday, December 29, 2017: www.IceCastles.com/Stillwater

The Utah-based company is currently building ice castles in an unprecedented six locations across North America. The acre-sized interactive attraction in Stillwater will feature ice-carved tunnels, fountains, slides, frozen thrones, and spiraling towers embedded with color-changing LED lights that twinkle to music at night.

Artisans have spent the last four weeks dripping, shaping and hand-placing icicles to create the life-size fairytale playground. The breathtaking attraction has become a must-see winter attraction and social media sensation.

Since 2011, travelers from all over the globe have flocked to Ice Castles to walk through the frozen creation made up of 25 million pounds of ice.

The ice castle in Stillwater is one of six locations this year. The company has other locations in Midway, Utah; Dillon, Colorado; Lincoln, New Hampshire; Edmonton, Alberta; and Winnipeg, Manitoba.

——–For more Stillwater Information visit our events calendar and Things to Do Winter Wonderland pages. ———–

New Year’s Eve in Stillwater!

Ring in 2018 downtown Stillwater! Restaurants, Pubs, Breweries, Winery, Speakeasy, Live Music and FREE horse-drawn carriage rides from 4-7pm.
Make reservations for dinner and enjoy the night walking to other establishments.
List of Restaurants & Nightlife Locations
Events Calendar

Happy New Year!

12/29/2017 UPDATE: Mother Nature has cast a cold spell on Stillwater for this weekend. It’s wonderful for the Ice Castles that are growing but not so great for horses or people in open-air wagonette rides, so we regret to let you know that the FREE horse-drawn wagonette rides for New Year’s Eve have been CANCELLED for safety reasons due to extreme cold temperatures. The good news is that we will now have the wagonette rides on the Saturday before Valentine’s day (February 10th) instead from 4-7pm.

Minnesota Hosts Super Bowl 52

Minnesota is hosting the 2018 Super Bowl Football game in neighboring Minneapolis this winter. Hundreds of thousands of people will be visiting our wonderful state, so here’s what you need to know about the big event including 4 reasons (there are so many, but hey we had to narrow down for you a bit) why Stillwater has to be on your ‘must-see’ list:

1) Birthplace of Minnesota. Stillwater is where this great Northern state all began with the first territorial convention (aka the process to make Minnesota an official state) was held in 1848 right downtown on the corner of Myrtle & Main Street. Find the historical marker then scoot around the corner for a cocktail at No Neck Tony’s or find the secret down to the new underground Speakeasy, The Velveteen.

2) Ice Castles. Stillwater is the host site of this frozen fairytale spectacle grown from icicles to bring life to magnificent archways, towners, ice-carved tunnels, and slides ready to be explored. By day this Ice Castle glimmers with glacial blues and after dark the ice formations create a magical glow. See this true #OnlyinMN experience set at the river’s edge of downtown Stillwater within walking distance to 30 restaurants, pubs, breweries, wineries and 50 shops. During January, this site will also welcome the giant #OnlyinMN hashtag monument – quite possibly the best spot for the ultimate winter selfie.

3) Food & Beverage Exploration. Imagine a five-block area with 30+ locally owned unique, delicious and fun establishments! Downtown Stillwater has a plethora of retsaurants, pubs, wine bars, a winery, a brewery, coffee shops, candy shops, bistros, taverns, tap rooms, fine dining, and even a culinary walking tour called Foodies on Foot. If you need to eat or are thirsty…this town has it covered and it’s convenient. Park once and explore multiple places on foot. Here’s a complete restaurant and night life listing for you!

4) A Good Nights Sleep. Minneapolis is going to be blast during the Super Bowl, but with all that excitment you’ll want to unwind and relax at night, so stay outside the hustle and bustle. Stillwater is an easy straight drive out of downtown Minneapolis – Find 35E head north, then exit on highway 36 until you find the river. That’s us! Just 30 minutes away.

Stay in one of America’s Most Picturesque Small Towns (USA Today) and a popular day trip for Twin Cities residents- it’s a must see for it’s natural beauty on the St. Croix River and hip historic downtown district. You’ll find many options in Stillwater’s lodging scene – Need a grand mansion with river views that sleeps 16? Or a stunning historic carriage house suite? How about a home next to a spa? A downtown loft with a rooftop? A hotel with a pool? A historic Inn with balcaony overlooking the Ice Castles? A cozy B&B private room with a swedish steam shower? This is a town of wealth, history and yes…lumberjacks – wouldn’t you want to stay where the rough and tough wealthy lumbermen made their furtunes? That’s Minnesotan alright. Your friends will be impressed.

Find all your options here and book soon: Hotels. Downtown Inns. Bed & Breakfasts. Home or Loft Rentals. Look for #StayAnExtraDay deals, too!

Super Bowl Highlights You Need to Know


  1. When/Where: Sunday, February 4, 2018. US Bank Stadium Downtown Minneapolis Minnesota
  2. 10 Day Celebration Superbowl LIVE – Nicollet Mall in downtown Minneapolis will be the site of the massive free ten-day fan festival leading up to Super Bowl LII on February 4, 2018. Super Bowl LIVE presented by Verizon will open daily starting on Friday, January 26 at 4:00pm through gameday on Sunday, February 4. The free, 10-day festival will include food, fun, and more, with nods to winter that showcase Minnesota’s authentic, Bold North brand.Super Bowl LIVE will stretch six blocks on Nicollet Mall, from South 12th Street to South 6th Street, with each block offering unique and exciting Super Bowl opportunities. Fans will see larger-than-life ice sculptures, national broadcast sets, and the Verizon Up Stage at Ice Mountain, where both local and national concert acts will perform throughout the free 10-day festival. Super Bowl LIVE presented by Verizon will also be the public’s gateway to additional exciting events across the city, including Super Bowl Experience Driven by Genesis, the NFL’s interactive theme park which will be located at the Minneapolis Convention Center.
  3. Bold North Zipline – Hosting Super Bowl LII gives Minnesotans and one-million visitors alike an opportunity to make unforgettable memories, which now includes the chance to soar across the Mississippi River suspended 100 feet in the air. The Bold North™ Zipline, a feature attraction for the 10 days of Super Bowl festivities, where fun seekers will be enticed to thrill their senses by ziplining 750 feet from a launch tower on Nicollet Island to a landing tower across the Mississippi River. Sponsored by XOOX, a lifestyle backpack brand founded by former Minnesota Vikings player Robert Griffith, the Bold North Zipline will open on January 26, 2018 and run through gameday on Sunday, February 4, 2018.
  4. Superbowl Experience Driven by Genesis– Returning to Minneapolis for the first time since Super Bowl XXVI in 1992, this event offers fans a unique chance to get involved in the festivities surrounding Super Bowl LII, offering interactive games, youth football clinics, merchandise from NFL Shop presented by Visa, player autograph sessions and more.Fans are invited to join the National Football League to celebrate the history of the Super Bowl and ring in Super Bowl LII in the heart of downtown Minneapolis at the Minneapolis Convention Center for the 25th edition of Super Bowl Experience, which will be open to the public from Saturday, January 27 to Saturday, February 3.
  5. My North: 52 Minnesota Stories – We’re counting down to Super Bowl 52 with 52 Minnesota stories. This video series features notable Minnesotans, from artists to athletes to entertainers. Visit myboldnorth.com to watch the entire series. My North is a weekly video series created by Mpls St Paul Magazine and presented by Explore Minnesota. And 52 Reasons to Love the Twin Cities.
  6. Corporate Excursion – Stillwater Ice Castles & Sleigh Ride, Friday/Saturday Feb 2nd and 3rd.
  7. Media Experience – Stillwater Ice Castles, Friday February 2nd.
  8. Where to Buy Superbowl Gear

Holiday Store Hours

We know you have a big list to tackle for holiday gifts, so here’s the full list of our 50+ boutiques along with posted holiday hours for each. Go ahead, take the 1 mile long snowflake trail to find presents for everyone!


www.DiscoverStillwater.com/Events (to find holiday events all month long!)

Note…the construction you see right away on the left – that will be a new boutique hotel & restaurant opening in 2018! yay!

Holiday Gift Guide

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/

Holiday Events Schedule Announced!

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: 

Stay in Stillwater for New Year’s Eve dining, live music, and unique lodging

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

Why November is Awesome

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

3. It’s Movember…that means you may spot a spectacular hipster mustache or beard at a local pub, brewery, or vintage shop.

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.

5. Decorate your abode with an artsy find before your family visits for Thanksgiving. Stillwater’s art galleries, vintage shops and antique malls are busting with decor ideas!

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

Photo Contest Winners Announced!

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.

Photo Contest Closed – Time to Vote!

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 ShowWarden’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 BooksellerNOTE*: 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

New Bridge. Happy Historic Downtown!

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.


📷Kelley Brenner 

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.
Shuttle Locations:
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?

Discover Stillwater