Katie Kinsley

A Visit to Historic Stillwater, Minnesota

A Weekend Visit to Historic Stillwater Minnesota

Stillwater is a year-round travel destination, but I have only visited during the summer months. This time is the first that I’ve stayed overnight as a destination.

We stayed at the Rivertown Inn and ended up being the only guests within the facility. The location is great. It’s just off the main street and everything is extremely walkable.

After we got checked in Zack and I explored the town on foot. We grabbed a bite to eat at Smalley’s Caribbean Barbeque. Then we had ice cream at Leo’s Grill & Malt Shop. After desserts we had a couple drinks at No Neck Tony’s. The next morning we followed up by breakfast at the Lumberjack Cafe.

Here are some photos that I took while walking through Stillwater:

Stillwater Minnesota

Stillwater Minnesota Freight House

Stillwater Minnesota Madcapper

Stillwater Minnesota Nacho Mamas

Stillwater Minnesota Court House

Stillwater Minnesota street entrance

Stillwater Minnesota Lift Bridge

Stillwater Minnesota

Stillwater Minnesota war memorial

Stillwater Minnesota war memorial

Stillwater Minnesota is considered the historic birthplace of Minnesota in 1848. The lumber industry made Stillwater famous. Read more about their history at DiscoverStillwater.com.

What is Stillwater known for?

Where to stay in Stillwater Minnesota

Stillwater, Minnesota, is a charming and historic town located along the St. Croix River. When choosing a place to stay in Stillwater, you have several options to consider, ranging from historic inns to modern hotels. The choice will depend on your preferences, budget, and the type of experience you want. Here are some suggestions:

  • Water Street Inn: This historic inn is located right on the St. Croix River and offers a great view of the water. It’s within walking distance of shops, restaurants, and attractions in downtown Stillwater.
  • Rivertown Inn: If you’re looking for a more intimate and luxurious experience, the Rivertown Inn is a charming bed and breakfast with beautiful rooms and a gourmet breakfast.
  • The Lowell Inn: Another historic option, the Lowell Inn is known for its classic charm and excellent dining options. It’s located in the heart of Stillwater and is convenient for exploring the town.
  • Hilton Garden Inn Stillwater: If you prefer a more modern hotel experience, the Hilton Garden Inn offers comfortable rooms and amenities. It’s a short drive from the downtown area.
  • AmericInn by Wyndham Stillwater: This is a budget-friendly option with comfortable accommodations. It’s a bit farther from the town center but provides good value.
  • Airbnb: Stillwater has a variety of Airbnb options, from private rooms to entire homes. Renting an Airbnb can be a good choice if you prefer a home-like environment or need more space for a group.

Things to do in Stillwater Minnesota

Stillwater, Minnesota, offers a wide range of activities and attractions for visitors to enjoy. Here are some of the top things to do in Stillwater:

  • Stroll along Main Street: Stillwater’s historic Main Street is lined with charming shops, boutiques, and restaurants. Take a leisurely walk and explore the unique stores and local art galleries.
  • Take a Scenic Cruise: Enjoy a boat tour on the St. Croix River. Several companies offer scenic cruises that provide beautiful views of the river and the surrounding bluffs.
  • Visit the Lift Bridge: The historic Stillwater Lift Bridge is an iconic landmark. You can watch it in action when it’s raised to allow boats to pass, or simply admire its architecture.
  • Trolley Tours: Join a trolley tour to learn more about Stillwater’s history and architecture. It’s an informative and fun way to explore the town.
  • Discover History: Visit the Washington County Historic Courthouse, which now serves as a museum. It provides insight into the history of the area and offers guided tours.
  • iking and Hiking: Enjoy the scenic beauty of Stillwater by going for a bike ride or hike. The town is a hub for various trails, including the Brown’s Creek State Trail and the Gateway State Trail.
  • Wineries and Breweries: Stillwater and the surrounding region have several wineries and breweries. You can go for tastings and enjoy local beverages.
  • Ice Cream at Nelson’s: Nelson’s Ice Cream is a local institution. Try their homemade ice cream and enjoy a sweet treat on a warm day.
  • Galleries and Art: Explore the local art scene by visiting the many art galleries in Stillwater. The town has a thriving community of artists, and you may find unique pieces to take home.
  • Outdoor Activities: Depending on the season, you can engage in activities like fishing, boating, kayaking, and stand-up paddleboarding on the St. Croix River. In the winter, there are opportunities for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing.
  • Take a Historic Trolley Ride: The Stillwater Trolley offers guided tours of the town’s historic districts and neighborhoods, providing insight into its rich history.
  • Winery Tours: Explore local wineries such as Saint Croix Vineyards and Northern Vineyards Winery for wine tastings and tours.
  • Golf: Play a round of golf at one of the nearby golf courses, like Loggers Trail Golf Course or Oak Glen Golf Course.
  • Fall Foliage: Visit in the fall to experience the beautiful autumn colors along the St. Croix River.
  • Winter Wonderland: In the winter, the town often hosts ice festivals, and you can go ice skating or cross-country skiing at nearby parks.

These activities offer a mix of history, culture, outdoor recreation, and relaxation, making Stillwater a delightful destination year-round. Whether you’re interested in a romantic getaway or a family adventure, you’ll find plenty to do in this picturesque Minnesota town.

Stillwater Minnesota Restaurants

Stillwater, Minnesota, offers a variety of dining options, from charming bistros and cafes to fine dining establishments. Here are some popular restaurants in Stillwater to consider:

  • Domacin Restaurant & Wine Bar: Known for its extensive wine list and a menu that features a blend of Mediterranean and American cuisine. It’s a great place for a special occasion dinner.
  • The Tilted Tiki: This restaurant and bar offers a tropical-themed atmosphere with a menu featuring seafood, sandwiches, and island-inspired cocktails.
  • The Freight House: Housed in a beautifully restored 1883 depot, this restaurant offers contemporary American cuisine with an emphasis on farm-to-table ingredients.
  • Lolo American Kitchen: Lolo features a modern American menu with an emphasis on fresh, locally-sourced ingredients. Their menu includes a variety of dishes, from burgers to seafood and steaks.
  • Phil’s Tara Hideaway: A classic supper club-style restaurant with a relaxed atmosphere, offering steak and seafood dishes.
  • The Oasis Cafe: A cozy cafe known for its breakfast and brunch menu, featuring delicious omelets, pancakes, and other morning favorites.
  • Matchstick Restaurant and Spirits: A contemporary American restaurant known for its small plates, craft cocktails, and a diverse menu.
  • Pier 500: Located on the riverfront, Pier 500 offers a diverse menu with seafood, steak, and pasta options. It’s a great place to dine with a view of the St. Croix River.
  • Leo’s Grill & Malt Shop: Leo’s is a nostalgic spot for classic American diner fare, including burgers, malts, and ice cream.
  • Mad Capper Saloon & Eatery: A historic restaurant and bar with a diverse menu, including burgers, sandwiches, and comfort food.
  • The Daily Grind Espresso Cafe: A cozy cafe offering a selection of coffee, espresso drinks, and light breakfast and lunch items.
  • Acapulco Restaurante Mexicano: Enjoy authentic Mexican cuisine in a vibrant and casual setting, with a menu featuring tacos, enchiladas, and more.
  • The LoLo Station: A laid-back establishment with a menu offering a mix of American and Asian fusion dishes. It’s known for its diverse and unique menu.

These restaurants offer a range of dining experiences, from upscale and romantic to casual and family-friendly. Be sure to check their opening hours and make reservations if needed, especially during peak dining times, to ensure you have a great dining experience in Stillwater.

Stillwater Minnesota Shopping

What’s you favorite place in Minnesota? Let me know in the comments below!

XOXO,
Katie

If you’re interested in visiting more places in Minnesota please check out my other Minnesota posts here.

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Katie Kinsley

Hailing from the great state of Wisconsin, Katie Kinsley is a content creating, email marketing, overambitious plant-lover (read: killer). She's obsessed with planning detailed vacations and finding and building an affordable wardrobe. She's an individualist at heart discovering self-growth, a parent to a dog and a cat and in love with productivity hacks.
Dallas Dreamhaus Katie Kinsley Selkie Puff Sleeve Dress

Hello I’m Katie!

Katie Kinsley is a Texas-based digital marketer and aspiring influencer. This is a lifestyle blog focused on Katie’s work-in-progress life. She’s focused on creating joy in the everyday, sharing adventures throughout Dallas/Ft. Worth (and the world), and empowering women to find their confidence — all in her unique unfiltered style.
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37 Responses

  1. I have never been anywhere in Minnesota before, but Stillwater sounds like a fun place to visit. I sure hope I make it there someday.

  2. I have never been anywhere in Minnesota before, but Stillwater sounds like a fun place to visit. I sure hope I make it there someday.

  3. Those beautiful pictures make me want to visit. I’ve never been to Minnesota, but if I do, Stillwater is on the list.

  4. I have never been to Minnesota, but it is on my list of places I want to see but probably in the summer! These pictures are amazing, they make me want to dress up my kids and photograph them in these places.

  5. Beautiful pictures. I’ve only visited Minneapolis Minnesota & the Mall of America. Stillwater looks beautiful from your pictures.

  6. This brings back so many memories. Still water is a place I’ve been to many times and I always love it. They have such a small town feel and I always feel welcome when I go there. I have not been back there in years and it looks like they have done a lot of new stuff. I am definitely going to have to take a trip up there.

  7. I have never been to Minnesota, but it is on my list of places I want to see but probably in the summer! These pictures are amazing, they make me want to dress up my kids and photograph them in these places.

  8. These are great pictures. You really captured the feel of the town, in my opinion. I’ve never been to Minnesota,

  9. I’ve only been to Minnesota twice but it was so awesome! We went in the fall and it was glorious.
    I love how your photos capture the personable fell of Stillwater.

  10. I have distant relatives in Minnesota but I’ve never been there. It looks like a quiet litttle quaint town.

  11. These are great pictures. You really captured the feel of the town, in my opinion. I’ve never been to Minnesota,

  12. What a beautiful American town. My father was born in Minnesota, but I’ve never been there. I love the photos that you took; they really tell a story.

  13. I have never been to MInnesota but I do love visiting little towns. It is so interesting to me to explore new places and little towns seem to have everything you need to enjoy yourself while on vacation.

  14. I’ve only been to Minnesota twice but it was so awesome! We went in the fall and it was glorious.
    I love how your photos capture the personable fell of Stillwater.

  15. Hey Katie, all these beautiful visuals and lovely landscapes are luring me into planning a trip off to Minnesota. To be honest, it’s not yet in my trip book, but if I ever get a chance to be there, I’ll definitely pay a visit to Stillwater only because it is simply amazing. Great pics by the way!

  16. I’ve never been to Minnesota before, but Stillwater sounds like a wonderful place to visit! The photos are beautiful – it looks like a place full of charm and history which are two things I love! Thanks for sharing this post!

  17. Hey Katie, all these beautiful visuals and lovely landscapes are luring me into planning a trip off to Minnesota. To be honest, it’s not yet in my trip book, but if I ever get a chance to be there, I’ll definitely pay a visit to Stillwater only because it is simply amazing. Great pics by the way!

  18. I’ve never been to Minnesota before, but Stillwater sounds like a wonderful place to visit! The photos are beautiful – it looks like a place full of charm and history which are two things I love! Thanks for sharing this post!

  19. I’ve never visited Minnesota, thanks for sharing some insights. We travel to the UP of Michigan frequently may have to continue westward someday.

  20. Those beautiful pictures make me want to visit. I’ve never been to Minnesota, but if I do, Stillwater is on the list.

  21. I have distant relatives in Minnesota but I’ve never been there. It looks like a quiet litttle quaint town.

  22. This brings back so many memories. Still water is a place I’ve been to many times and I always love it. They have such a small town feel and I always feel welcome when I go there. I have not been back there in years and it looks like they have done a lot of new stuff. I am definitely going to have to take a trip up there.

  23. I have never been to MInnesota but I do love visiting little towns. It is so interesting to me to explore new places and little towns seem to have everything you need to enjoy yourself while on vacation.

  24. What a beautiful American town. My father was born in Minnesota, but I’ve never been there. I love the photos that you took; they really tell a story.

  25. Beautiful pictures. I’ve only visited Minneapolis Minnesota & the Mall of America. Stillwater looks beautiful from your pictures.

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