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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!

WIN a Ski & Stay Package!

Stillwater’s charming historic downtown is an exciting and relaxing winter escape! Ski season is underway in Minnesota with lots of beautiful white snow at nearby Afton Alps.

Funds tight after the holidays? Enter to WIN a ski & stay package with Afton Alps which is the closest ski resort to Main Street Stillwater only 16 miles south along the Scenic St. Croix Byway.

Contest ends January 25th, 2019. ENTER here: http://www.discoverstillwater.com/afton-alps-ski-weekend-sweepstakes/

For more information on winter fun in Stillwater visit our ‘winter wonderland’ page: http://www.discoverstillwater.com/things-to-do/winter-wonderland/ 

Enjoy the season & good luck! Just remember the only thing that closes in the winter in Stillwater is the river, so restaurants, boutiques, hotels, and fun experiences still welcome you on Main Street! And…don’t forget we have the new Stillwater Lights tunnel you can stroll through every evening along the river.

WINNER ANNOUNCED 1/25/19: Congratulations, Monica Kirkham from Mooresville, Indiana.

Join Us in January!

Join us in January for winter fun every weekend!

January 12-13 – Sticks in Stillwater – Largest mite hockey tournament in the Midwest.

January 19th – Winter Ice Cream Social – historic tradition at mulberry point by the river downtown.
January 19th – Frozen Flannel Bonspiel & Curling Tournament. New outdoor curling event with ice bar and spectators encouraged.
January 19th – Lift Bridge Brewery Snowball Formal and Silhouette Imperial Stout release party.
January 24-27th – Winterfest celebration and winter games including a parka pub crawl, live music, outdoor yoga, .5K run (lol!), contests and more. 

Read more details in our January E-newsletter: Winter in Stillwater. Cozy New Hotels & Live Music.

Stillwater, Minnesota Travel Videos

Thinking of a getaway this year? Get a taste of the scenery, new places to stay, and attractions with these videos on Stillwater, Minnesota. Located just 30 minutes east of Minneapolis/St. Paul on the St. Croix River bordering Minnesota and Wisconsin, Stillwater is an easy drive or flight away for your vacation any time of the year.

Winter Romantic Getaway

Girlfriend Getaway

Summer Getaway: Ways to Explore

Holiday Getaway


New Bridge

360 Tours of Venues (Youtube) (On Website, much better viewing)

Find more videos on our YouTube Channel, Facebook, Instagram TV (psst. you can tour every shop), or Google Maps (tour every venue).

Order a 2019 Official Stillwater Visitor Guide & Map

January 29th is National Plan a Vacation Day, so be sure to order your complimentary copy of the 2019 Official Stillwater, Minnesota Visitor Guide with Downtown Map and New Bike Trails Map. The new bike trails map features all three trails accessible from downtown Stillwater (New St. Croix Crossing Loop Trail, Brown’s Creek State Bike Trail, and the Gateway State Bike Trail).

The Stillwater Visitor Guide also includes listings for restaurants, coffee shops, boutiques, hotels, and attractions. Throughout the publication you’ll be inspired by photographs of all seasons, given itinerary ideas for families, girlfriend getaways, or romantic escapes as well as weddings and business meetings. For history buffs, there is a complimentary self-guided historic walking tour map and historic information to read at each stop or a QR code to scan with your phone to watch a video. In addition, you’ll find a year-round events calendar for reference.

Pick up a copy at any hotel or downtown shop or restaurant or request a free copy by mail by ordering online here: https://www.discoverstillwater.com/visitors-guide/

We hope to see you in the Birthplace of Minnesota during 2019 – note all the new places to stay! Two new boutique hotels on Main Street (Lora, Hotel Crosby) and 20+ vacation home or downtown loft rentals.


New Stillwater Lights Winter Stroll

The Greater Stillwater Chamber of Commerce and local businesses invite you to downtown Stillwater to experience a new attraction … Stillwater Lights! This lighted tunnel from Mulberry Point to Myrtle Street in Lowell Park opened mid-December partly as a result of the sudden news that the Ice Castles would no longer be in downtown Stillwater for the winter of 2019. This twinkling tunnel of lights right along the St. Croix River is a free display that will be downtown until the end of March, lit from 4:00-Midnight daily. We welcome you to enjoy time hand-in-hand with your love or bring the kids for a little winter wonder! You can enter at either end of the tunnel – by the gazebo or by the boat docks/PD Pappy’s at Mulberry point.

Have fun! Share your photos with #discoverstillwater #stillwaterlights


Holiday Gift Guide: Stillwater Shop Tour Series

Downtown Stillwater is full of holiday nostalgia and joy during December! And, did you know that downtown Stillwater, Minnesota has over 50 independently owned boutiques, shops and galleries making it the ultimate Shop Small, Shop Local destination for all your holiday gift giving needs (and your personal wish list)! The tourism bureau wants to welcome you to Stillwater and help you easily find gift ideas with daily tours of each shop along with many gift ideas inside. Every day starting November 1st, Discover Stillwater will visit a shop and post a little video tour. The tours can be seen on thier Insta-Story, Instagram TV channel, Facebook stories, and Facebook videos. Enjoy touring all the delightful spaces and beautiful merchandise in the historic downtown shopping district of Stillwater, Minnesota.

Tour every shop in downtown Stillwater for Holiday Gift Ideas!
Instagram @DiscoverStillwater
Facebook @DiscoverStillwater
Website – full list of shopping options – https://www.discoverstillwater.com/shopping/

Not only is there a huge variety of stores – book stores, beauty shops, fashion for men and women, toys, candy, art galleries, culinary wares and German or Scandinavian imports, but there is a festive vibe while you shop, too. Listen in for strolling Victorian costumed carolers , watch for Santa, catch the free horse-drawn carriage rides through downtown, and be sure to participate in the strolling holiday market with deals throughout all the stores December 15, 2018. For the full Hometown for the Holidays event schedule, visit www.DiscoverStillwater.com/events.

Let us know which store you discovered through our daily holiday gift guide posts and share your fun shopping and dining days in Stillwater with us on social media by using #DiscoverStillwater.

Thank you for supporting peaceful, nostalgic places to shop like downtown Stillwater during the holidays. We want you to have an enjoyable experience and know your loved ones will adore the gifts you find in our local shops. Happy Holidays!

Best Towns for Holiday Shopping & Celebrations: Stillwater, MN

Located along the scenic St. Croix River, and just outside of Minneapolis/St. Paul, Stillwater, Minnesota is considered the state’s historic birthplace. It’s been described as one of the Best Places to Take Out of Town Guests and named one of America’s Most Picturesque Towns, where paddle wheel river boats and gondolas still travel near a historic bridge.

This little city has easy access from the Twin Cities and Wisconsin and turns into a romantic, natural wonderland in wintertime. Stillwater is simultaneously festive, charming, and nostalgic, making it one of the best places in the nation to enjoy the holidays. Ready to celebrate the season? Here are some great ways to enjoy Stillwater at this magical time of year.

A Festive Season

A bazaar and gala kick-off Stillwater Hometown for the Holidays Events, which span mid-November through New Year’s Eve. During the holiday season, hop aboard a free horse-drawn Victorian Wagonette Ride along the beautiful historic river town. You can greet Santa on Main Street as strolling carolers in Victorian garb add a festive soundtrack, especially during Stillwater’s Black Friday activities.

Stillwater likes to support its small businesses and there’s no better time than during Shop Small Saturday, a national, annual event that takes place, this year, on November 24. Shop small and you’ll feel even better about your purchases, especially as Santa and his reindeer join the celebration.

For classic holiday experiences, enjoy breakfast with Santa or indulge in Holiday Tea at the historic Lowell Inn or tour the Aurora Staples Inn, decorated from floor to ceiling in seasonal finery. Kids will love the annual Twinkle Party held in Lowell Park, where crowds adorned with twinkle lights gather to see the official lighting of the Christmas tree, fireworks and a performance by the Teddy Bear Band. Stay warm with free cocoa, coffee and cookies too.

“Make Stillwater Your Hometown for the Holidays” when you participate in a one-of-a-kind Biercycle Caroling Tour. You’ll join nine other ‘pedalers,’ plus bench seat passengers, on a beautifully decorated bike for a bunch. Then sing carols together as you travel through the streets of downtown Stillwater and sip wine or hot chocolate from home.

Biercycle Caroling Tours

Pedal together while caroling on the Biercycle

Visit the must-see Ice Castles where fairy tales are brought to life with twinkling lights of the nighttime glow, magnificent archways and towers, ice-carved tunnels and slides ready to be explored. Coming to the riverfront park of Downtown Stillwater this January-February (weather dependent). 11/9/18 update: Ice Castles will not be built in Stillwater this year, but we are hopeful they’ll return in 2020!. The frozen Ice Castles constructed downtown Stillwater were in Lowell Park on the riverfront the last two winters. We were grateful for the thousands who explored the carved tunnels, slides, archways and magical glow of this once in a lifetime frozen fun for all ages.

Superior Shopping

Revel in the joys of holiday shopping along Stillwater’s historic main street, where you’ll find perfect gifts and entertainment essentials. More than 50 downtown boutiques showcase an astonishing variety of locally made goods and unique ideas.  These independently owned businesses provide a laidback, friendly ambiance too.


Historic Main Street twinkles

Park once and enjoy walking amid vintage buildings to shopping, dining, and even some lodging. There’s free on-street and city lot parking available from November to May, with a nearby parking ramp for $5 per day.

Shopping is a favorite Stillwater pastime. Whether browsing necklaces and shoes inside a hidden second story boutique, or trying on the latest high fashion dresses , jeans , or jewelry you’re sure to find new favorites. European wearable brands fill SASH and Simply Chic stocks affordable accessories for all ages, while outdoors enthusiasts appreciate adventure clothing and shoes, or gear, at 45 Degrees. Don’t forget, no sales tax on clothes in Minnesota!


Many clothing shops like Enchante’ for fashionistas

Want to spruce up your home for the holidays? Fans of upcycled home decor & painted furniture enjoy browsing Reclaiming Beautiful. You’ll find eclectic home accents and clocks at Forget Me Not, rocks, fossils and funny gifts at Art n’ Soul and a general department store ‘feel’ from garden to bed and bath accessories to custom furniture, at Alfresco Casual Living.

‘Shop local’

There are baby carriers at Lil Tulips, natural soaps at Modern Roots, locally designed stationery at Mara-Mi and children’s accessories at Gully Wubbles. Foodies can purchase top-quality olive oil downtown, plus fresh candy and popcorn, while Pinch n’ Rub Spice & Tea Hub is known for premium-quality seasonings and loose leaf teas. Find unique imported goods from Kathe Wohlfahrt German Christmas Store or Scandinavian North. For the crafty in the family make a stop at Darn Knit Anyway and the avid reader, Valley Bookseller. Shop Stillwater’s used book stores and vintage antique shops, for more great purchases.

The Gift of Experience

When you’re ready to take a break from shopping, there are many more fun things to do in Stillwater. Enjoy breathtaking views of the St. Croix River Valley atop one of several historic main street stairways, or browse the beautiful two- and three-dimensional work of local artists at Tamarack Art Gallery and Stillwater Art Guild & Gallery. Or learn new culinary skills such as how to make the ultimate stir fry dish, and French inspired brunch dishes for holiday gatherings.

Gift giving becomes more personal when you create your own hand-painted pottery, custom heirloom jewelry, or spend an afternoon at Sawdust Savvy. The ideal Girlfriend Experience or DIY holiday gift idea, this woman-owned ‘shop’ provides all the power tools, paint and other accessories needed to create custom wood crafts without assembling your own workshop.

Sawdust Savvy Stillwater MN

Create gifts together at Sawdust Savvy workshops

Stillwater gift certificates can cover meals at local restaurants, tastings at local wineries or a behind-the-scenes culinary walking tours with Foodies on Foot. You can treat loved ones to a stay in one of eight beautiful, historic Stillwater bed & breakfasts too, as well as trolley tours or boat tours. For more adventurous souls, book a hot air balloon ride or Segway tour. If your loved one enjoys being pampered, a gift certificate for spa & salon treatments will create the perfect ‘girl’s day.’

Eat, Drink & Stay

More than 30 downtown Stillwater restaurants and pubs can satisfy your hunger and thirst, as well as two breweries and two wineries. Sip your favorite coffee drink and savor freshly prepared quiche beside a roaring fire, or chow down on hearty Irish fare. In addition, sample cuisine riverside at The Dock Cafe and rich, delicious Caribbean seafood stew from Nacho Mamas. Whether you prefer pizza or burgers, scratch-made Thai food, or a house Reuben served with a side of bicycle repair, Stillwater dining offers plenty of tasty options.


Ann Bean Mansion’s Solarium Suite

This lovely city features diverse accommodations too. You can stay at a  hotel with an indoor pool, in nearby Oak Park Heights, MN, or downtown in a historic inn or new boutique hotel. For a more personal lodging experience, settle into one of eight cute and cozy B&Bs, within short walks and drives from Main Street, while spa home retreats or sleek, modern downtown lofts combine privacy with all the comforts of home. No matter which option you choose, be sure to ask about #StayAnExtraDay deals too.

There’s no better place to celebrate the holiday season than in Stillwater, MN, where natural winter beauty and seasonal events only enhance the charm of this riverside city. #OnlyinMN

“I’ll Be Home for Christmas”



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.

Discover Stillwater