Our charming small town of Stillwater MN is a hub of activity during the summer months, and here we’ll break down the best of all the things to do in Stillwater on your vacation. The St. Croix River is the perfect backdrop for warm weather fun, our historic downtown is lovely for a day of shopping and sightseeing, and the surrounding area has amazing trails for wilderness hikes and biking routes.
Stillwater MN is located about a half hour east of Minneapolis, which makes it an ideal spot for a quick weekend getaway from the city. This picturesque town has everything you need to feel like you’re far away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Plus fresh air, exciting dining opportunities, quaint shops, and riverfront views. Luckily, our Stillwater Hotel has one of the best locations in the city, right on the St. Croix River.
The Water Street Inn is a Victorian-era hotel with spacious guest rooms, multiple dining options, and a stellar location. One of the best things to do in Stillwater, hands down, is enjoy a cocktail or iced tea on our rooftop deck. It’s the ultimate view in the entire city! Many of our 61 guest suites look out over the river and the historic lift bridge, a sight to behold as the sun sets. Start planning your next vacation packed with these things to do in Stillwater and book today!
The Best Things to do in Stillwater MN This Summer
Stillwater MN is one of the greatest weekend getaway locations from the nearby metropolitan areas. You’ll have all the comforts of city life, but in the charming setting in our riverfront town. There are so many things to do in Stillwater this summer, you may want to stay a lot longer than just one weekend!
Here the nine best things to do in Stillwater for your summer itinerary:
- Explore Downtown Stillwater: The historic Main Street area is meticulously maintained and has that quintessential small town vibe. When you first arrive, hop on the Stillwater Trolley tour, known as the “first best thing to do in Stillwater since 1989.” You’ll get a lay of the land, a quick history lesson on the town, and get a great first look of all the things to do in Stillwater on your summer vacation.
- For outdoor enthusiasts, The Brown’s Creek State Trail begins in downtown Stillwater. The nearly six mile trail connects to local parks and other longer hiking options. You’ll trek through a broadleaf forest canopy by Brown’s Creek and parallel the St. Croix River. This trail is accessible to hikers of all skill levels and it’s a great place for a mellow bike ride.
- One of the best things to do in Stillwater this summer is check out the nearby wineries, here’s a short list of our top five. Make sure to include Saint Croix Winery, only a quick 10 minute drive from our Stillwater Hotel. The pretty vineyards are a lovely spot for wine tasting, picnics, and if you’re lucky, live outdoor concerts.
- The taproom at Maple Island Brewing is back at 100% capacity for dining and drinks. Luckily, when you’re a guest at our Stillwater Hotel, you’ll only be a few minutes walk to this brewery for craft pints, tacos from the El Coronel food truck, and live music.
- There are a few rooftop restaurants in the city with breathtaking views of the St. Croix River. Enjoying a cocktail with this vista is definitely one of the best things to do in Stillwater. One of the best perks on a stay at our Stillwater Hotel is the access to Papa’s Rooftop. We often see our summer guests multiple times dining and imbibing at this awesome rooftop spot.
- There’s a rich history in Stillwater, after all, it’s considered the birthplace of Minnesota. You’ll find an abundance of historical tours, some more focused on the founders of the city and architecture, while some have the more paranormal activities in mind. Ghost tours are a popular way to see and learn more about Stillwater.
- The St. Croix River is a highlight to any vacation to Stillwater, especially in the heat of the summer months. On any given day, you’ll see folks taking a dip in the refreshing water or strolling along the shores. Kayaks and paddle boards are available to rent and a lot of people enjoy fishing for a relaxing pastime.
- One of the most romantic things to do in Stillwater is take a special gondola ride with Gondola Romantica. It’s a little touch of Venice in the midwest. Sit back and relax as you glide across the St. Croix River with a seasoned and knowledgable guide. Picnics with Champagne are encouraged!
- Summertime brings arts festivals, live music, and the Farmer’s Market to downtown Stillwater. Many visitors to the area rave about the live music riverboat cruises. Make sure to check out the Stillwater calendar of events here, to plan your itinerary while on vacation with us.
Enjoy Luxury Lodging at Our Historic Stillwater Hotel
As a guest at our historic Stillwater Hotel, you’ll be right at the heart of our small town and only a stone’s throw from all of the best things to do in Stillwater. There’s even a lot to do right at our riverfront location, from live music at Charlie’s Irish Pub to rooftop cocktails with an epic view at Papa’s Rooftop bar. You’ll also be within walking distance to so many of the fun summer activities on the river.
Our downtown Stillwater Hotel offers an array of accommodations with our 61 guest rooms and suites. All rooms are tastefully appointed, highlighting our history to the Victorian-era and industries of this town. Each room is equipped with modern amenities, such as double whirlpool tubs, gas fireplaces, and private balconies with impressive river views. We can’t wait to be your host for your next getaway to Stillwater. Check our availably and book today!