How to Spend a Spring Day in Stillwater

Stillwater is a Historic and Charming Town

Stillwater is a special place with an adorable, quaint town nestled along the St. Croix River. The downtown area has a huge selection of restaurants, bars, bakeries, and ice cream shops. The waterfront park is a beautiful spot to sit and relax or set up a picnic. There are also a lot of parks and places to hike, a trolley, and even a gondola!


1. Support a Local Florist

I stopped by Sarah’s Cottage Creations to meet the founder, Sarah, and walk with her around her gardens. While the property is not open to the public for tours, you can purchase seasonal bouquets with vibrant colors from her website for delivery.

With a 3-acre flower farm and more acres recently purchased, Sarah and her team create incredible floral arrangements and provide landscaping services. You can also purchase a  subscription for a new arrangement to show up on your doorstep every few weeks or months.

Sarah has so many flowers popping up, like peonies, anemones, tulips, and dahlias. She is clearly passionate about her work and puts so much love into her gardens. When you buy flowers from Sarah’s Cottage Creations, you support a small and local business with fresh flowers that are responsibly grown. They smell incredible too! Currently, they deliver within the Wayzata, Lindstrom, Hudson, and Lakeville metro areas.


2. Enjoy Lunch by the River

There are a ton of places to eat in Stillwater. Some of my favorites are Lolito’s for savory tacos and Brick and Bourbon for great steak and a rooftop.

I took my parents to P.D. Pappy’s for our spring day trip. I chose this place for a few reasons. First, they have their own free parking lot, and street parking can be hard to find in the busy months when Stillwater is bustling. There is also a covered riverfront patio and an open space patio, and occasionally they’ll have live music. The relaxed vibe, combined with great food and very reasonable prices makes this spot one of my favorites.

Pro tip: The chili and Reuben sandwich with potato chips are awesome!

3. Cool Off with a Cold Treat

Known for its malts, burgers, and fries, Leo’s Grill and Malt Shop is a corner staple in Stillwater. Go inside to sit down and relax, or visit the window counter facing Chestnut Street for a grab-and-go malt or ice cream cone.
They have everything from maple nut to cookies and cream, and strawberry. Or, for a fun surprise order the ever-changing flavor of the month. My two scoops of peppermint bon bon cost just under $5.

4. Walk Through Lowell Park and Across the Lift Bridge

Lowell Park is a large grassy area adjacent to the St. Croix River. It has an incredible view of the historic Lift Bridge. Walk around the park, dip your toes in the water, or throw down a blanket and have a picnic. Then, head over to the lift bridge where you can either walk or bike across and into Wisconsin. Lowell Park is in the center of town, so it’s very easy to get to.

5. Take a Tour on the Trolley

The Stillwater trolley takes you on a 45-minute narrated tour around Stillwater’s views of the St. Croix River, the historic Lift Bridge, and the lumber baron’s multiple mansions. You’ll learn about Stillwater’s history and what makes it such a special place. It costs $13.50/adult and $7.50/child.


6. Hike to a Waterfall

The St. Croix Boom Site is located on the northern end of Stillwater. It’s a historical marker and if you Google “St. Croix Boom Site,” you will find the free parking lot. From there, you’ll see a long staircase. Head down those stairs and towards the St. Croix River. If you turn to your right, you’ll encounter a cave, which you can enter and explore.

If you turn to your left and walk for about 20 minutes, you’ll encounter the waterfall. The rocks are wobbly and unstable at times. It’s also a very narrow path. I wouldn’t suggest this hike for young children or older folks. I also think this would be very difficult with any kind of slick conditions like rain or ice. If the St. Croix River is frozen, however, you can walk along the flat frozen river, which would be much easier!


Stillwater is Bustling in the Spring

Stillwater is an incredible town. It has so much to offer and a huge selection of shops, parks, restaurants, and breweries. Yet, it manages to maintain its romantic, small-town feel.

This quaint river town has quickly made its way to one of my absolute favorite Minnesota towns. For more small-town ideas, check out my blog post on Taylors Falls and Grand Marais.


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