As we approach autumn’s peak here in the Twin Cities, we eagerly prepare for an influx of late September and early October “leaf peepers.” In the midst of fall, the lush forestry that’s scattered all across the numerous Minneapolis and St. Paul neighborhoods transforms into an awe-inspiring, picturesque blend of crimson, amber, marigold, and kelly green. And one of the most popular fall destinations here in Minnesota is Stillwater, a historic, charming town along the serene St. Croix River. For those who don’t already know, Stillwater is approximately 17 miles northeast of our state’s capital (St. Paul). Downtown Stillwater, in particular, is a tourist hub for travelers from across the Midwest. You’ll discover countless shops, restaurants, bars, and parks all within walking distance of each other. And one of the grandest Twin Cities rentals (210 Laurel) rests just three city blocks from the heart of Downtown Stillwater.
The Very Best of Downtown Stillwater
Here at Elite Destination Homes, we specialize in providing first-rate service, complimentary concierges, and, of course, lavish vacation homes. And, to ensure that your next visit to the Twin Cities is nothing short of flawless, we’ve compiled a comprehensive list of the best things to do in Downtown Stillwater.
Top 5 Downtown Stillwater Restaurants
The world-class culinary scene in Downtown Stillwater is unrivaled by any other small town in Minnesota. Whether you’re searching for award-winning pasta, innovative street tacos, or mouthwatering barbecue, you’ll quickly discover a gourmet dinner that perfectly suits your flavor palate. We’ve pieced together five of our favorite restaurants in Stillwater, MN, to give you a proper “taste” of what lively Main Street has to offer well-traveled foodies.
- Best Dive: Mad Capper Saloon & Eatery
- Best Fine Dining: Domaćin Winebar
- Best Mexican Cuisine: Lolito Cantina
- Best Modern American Fare: Lolo American Kitchen & Craft Bar
- Best Seafood: Marx Fusion Bistro & Wine Bar
Top 5 Main Street Stores
Downtown Stillwater is home to an array of high-end shops on Main Street as well as several kitschy stops for the whole family. There’s no shortage of antique shopping and sweet eats, but we recommend seeking out the local jewelers, niche clothing stores, and perhaps a health food hideaway. Don’t leave Downtown Stillwater without stepping into these five local establishments:
- Best Antiques: Midtown Antique Mall
- Best Bookstore: Valley Bookseller
- Best Chocolate Shop: Tremblay’s Sweet Shop
- Best Gift Shop: The T Shirt Factory
- Best Specialty Shop: Stillwater Olive Oil Company
Thirst-Quenching Hot Spots
Whether you need an early-morning pick-me-up, a refreshing craft ale, or an eye-popping cocktail, you’ll quickly fall in love with Downtown Stillwater’s bar and cafe scene. You’ll stroll past a craft brewery, several wine bars, numerous coffee shops, and rowdy cocktail hangouts. Click these five links to learn more about the city’s best craft beverages.
- Best Bourbon: Brick & Bourbon
- Best Brewery: Maple Island Brewing
- Best Cocktails: No-Neck Tony’s
- Best Coffee: Tin Bins
- Best Wine Bar: Domaćin Winebar (again)
Top 5 Downtown Stillwater Attractions
Downtown Stillwater is also home to loads of history, visually-appealing monuments, a famous boat cruise company, and an ultra-popular playground. Most Midwesterners know about our picturesque Lift Bridge and tall bluffs, but the well-preserved architecture makes for an idyllic mid-day walking tour. Here are five more things to do in Stillwater, MN, this fall:
- Best Architecture: Washington County Historic Courthouse
- Best Boat Cruise: Stillwater River Boats
- Best History Tour: Warden’s House Museum
- Best Monument: Stillwater Lift Bridge
- Best Play Area: Teddy Bear Park
Luxury Homes in Minnesota: 210 Laurel
Only three blocks north of Downtown Stillwater rests a 7,000-square-foot historic home atop a jaw-dropping bluff: 210 Laurel. This lavish 1859 home sits on 1.7 acres of meticulously manicured grounds and gardens, highlighted by a stately gazebo, covered terrace, and countless St. Croix River vistas. The interior is equally sleek and charming thanks to its modern decor and 19th-century features. 210 Laurel also has a dazzling chef’s kitchen, three-car garage, an extensive library, and three cozy fireplaces. To learn more about this historic palace, please visit EliteDestinationHomes.com.