Take a trip back in time in Stillwater, Minnesota
Photo courtesy of www.DiscoverStillwater.com
Stillwater is a very popular destination for Twin Citians. It is only a 30 minute drive east of Saint Paul, so you can be in for a day of good fun and memories in a jiffy. It is recommended you head there early, because the morning light makes the area particularly beautiful, and goes really, really well with a nice cup of coffee while meditating upon the Saint Croix River.
Stillwater holds the honor of being the Birthplace of Minnesota, dating back to the mid-1800s. It’s economic origin was lumbering. Its several sawmill harvested the vast white pine forests to the north, which became the ideal framing boards for the booming population both here and beyond.
It still retains much of its old world charm. A spectacular collection of “Painted-lady”, Victorian homes dot the steep hillside. Some particularly large and stunning ones were the homes of the lumber barons. Many have been transformed into bed and breakfasts, should you choose to spend a night or two. The hillside offers spectacular views of the town and valley below.
The old-fashioned Main Street offers a time-machine experience. It is filled with interesting shops and restaurants: antiques, used books, fudge, coffee, ice cream, gifts, and so on. A suggestion is to walk Main Street end-to-end (about one mile), then return along the riverside. There is an excellent grocery co-op along Main Street where you can make purchases for a wholesome picnic, or stop at any of the many fine restaurants. Eat in or take out! There are picnic benches alongside the river. It is the ideal promenade.
The town is located on the beautiful St. Croix River, one of America’s protected Wild and Scenic Waterways. A drive across the historic Lift Bridge will get you to Wisconsin on the other side. Large paddleboats offer rides. There is a trolley which gives tours of the town.
Stillwater, as well as up and down the St. Croix River Valley, is especially beautiful in autumn when the maples, oaks and other hardwoods turn radiant colors. When visitors request autumn leaf tours, Stillwater is where we usually head.