Stillwater is Such a Quaint Town
Stillwater is an adorable, quaint town nestled along the St. Croix River. The downtown area has a huge selection of restaurants, bars, bakeries, and boutiques. During the warmer months, there are a lot of great places to have a picnic, take a guided trolley ride around town, and even a gondola on the river! And there is no shortage of things to do during the colder months. From free holiday LED light shows, to horse-drawn wagonette rides, ice palace maze and luxury hotels, Stillwater is a cozy and welcoming place in the winter.
This post is sponsored by Discover Stillwater. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
1. Treat Yourself at Hotel Crosby
Hotel Crosby is located in the heart of downtown Stillwater and is the perfect combination of comfort and luxury. The rooms are beautiful with exposed brick and wooden beams, and the bathrooms are really large, bright, and clean. There’s a restaurant in the hotel lobby called MatchStick. They have a great selection of whiskey and delicious food. I recommend the dry rubbed wings, which are excellent! And if you can plan your visit around the happy hour specials, most beers cost $3 and many appetizers cost $6.
My favorite part of Hotel Crosby is definitely the rooftop. It’s decorated with string lights, comfy chairs, and a there’s a firepit. There’s also a hot tub, which is especially great in the middle of a snowstorm! The night we stayed at Hotel Crosby, Stillwater got about 18 inches of snow, making this rooftop a winter wonderland.
2. Sip Quality Coffee
Stillwater has several great coffee shops, but Green Bridge Coffee is one of the newest spots, which opened in March 2020. Their storefront is inviting with large windows and once you step inside you’ll see a large, open sunny space. You’ll want to stop in if you’re looking for quality coffee and lattes or treats like muffins, scones, and egg sandwiches.
3. Enjoy the Shops
Stillwater has several really beautiful and high-end gift shops and boutiques. I always love stopping into Scandinavian North for quality Scandinavian products like clothing, jewelry, and home decor. There are also several clothing boutiques like Apricot Lane, Rust and Rose, and Minnesota Made with pretty home decor items and women’s fashion.
There’s a new store in Stillwater that I fell in love with, and it’s called Smith + Trade Mercantile. They provide a retail brick and mortar space for Minnesota and St. Croix Valley merchants including Faribault Wool, Excelsior Candle Company, Minnesota Maker and so many more. Currently, they have items from over 100 local artists, woodworkers, and smiths. They also offer classes, workshops, and host private events, and when you stop by you may even see artisans creating their craft right at the mercantile!
4. Walk Through an LED Light Show
Every night from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. November 26, 2021, through March 20, 2022, there is a gorgeous and totally free LED light show right in the center of town. Walk through a lit-up tunnel, check out a huge LED tree and watch the lights flash and change colors in unison with holiday music. This is located in the heart of downtown Stillwater on Chestnut Street, next to Leo’s Malt Shop and Grill.
5. Grab Dinner at Tilted Tiki
Tilted Tiki is a really fun and colorful place to grab dinner and drinks in Stillwater. If you’ve ever been to Psycho Suzi’s in Minneapolis, it has a similar tropical vibe. Grab a fruity cocktail with a paper flamingo or starfish, and enjoy fried shrimp and fish tacos. Both the inside and outside of Tilted Tiki are currently covered in bright holiday lights making it a really inviting and festive experience.
6. Sip a Fancy Cocktail at Stillwater Proper
Stillwater Proper is a very new spot, having just opened in June 2021. This is the place to go for quality cocktails and mixed drinks. They also serve food if you’re looking for an appetizer or meal. It’s a very narrow building with exposed brick and stained glass, giving it a cozy and inviting vibe.
7. Walk Around the River Front Park
Lowell Park is a large spacious park running adjacent to the St. Croix River. It has an incredible view of the historic Lift Bridge, which you can walk across and into Wisconsin. Take a walk in the sun or a photo by the bridge. Lowell Park is in the center of town, making it very easy to get to.
Plan Your Winter Trip to Stillwater
Stillwater is such an incredible town and it’s extra magical in the wintertime. With a huge selection of restaurants, unique bars, cute boutiques, and the now frozen St. Croix River running through the town, Stillwater is a great place for a day trip or weekend getaway. If you need more Stillwater inspiration, check out the town’s detailed tourism website at discoverstillwater.com.