Stillwater Stories


10 Reasons to Visit Stillwater, MN in the Fall

Voted as one of America’s Best Towns for Fall Colors, Stillwater, MN should be at the top of your list for fun fall getaways! Here is a round up of 10 reasons to visit Stillwater this fall! Find your inspiration, and then plan your own visit!

1 Best Views & Colors

Voted one of the prettiest small towns in Minnesota, there is not a better time to come and explore than the fall when the colors and views are spectacular! Walk the St. Croix River Loop 4.7 mile Trail, bring your bike or rent a bike from Herman’s Electric Bike Rental , Diro Outdoors, or Pedego Electric Bike Rental. Other great ways to enjoy the sights in Stillwater is a Historic Trolley Tour or a guided walking tour with Rivertown Tours.

2 Fall River Cruise

Spot the bright red colors of maple trees and yellow leaves of the oak trees along the shoreline of the St. Croix River. Wave to Minnesota and Wisconsin while enjoying lunch or dinner cruises offered daily (through mid-October weather permitting). Book your fall river cruise online at Come see the beauty of the river valley during its most colorful season. Peek colors in Stillwater are typically late September/Early October (sign up for the MN fall color finder).

3 Apple Picking

It’s officially fall when you arrive at an apple orchard and step inside a vintage barn to take in the fall scent of apples, apple pie and caramel apples. Aamodt’s Apple Farm is in high season open 7 days a week for apple picking or activities such as hay wagon rides, honeycrisp express kids train, hay bale maze, and live goats. For the adults, sip hard cider or Minnesota wine flights outdoors at Thor’s Hard Cider or Saint Croix Vineyards next door!

4 Giant Pumpkins

A true Midwest experience, Harvest Fest & Giant Pumpkin Weigh-off is a fall festival in downtown Stillwater on the banks of the St. Croix River famous for it’s pumpkin regatta, giant pumpkin drop, and Guiness Book of World Record pumpkin competitions. Other highlights of Harvest Fest include live music, chili cook-off, beer & wine garden and kids’ activities. Bring the whole family and plan ahead to book your lodging for Oct. 14 & 15!

5 Local Art

Well known fall art events also include October’s Rivertown Fall Art Festival. The weekend of Oct. 7 & 8, explore over 150 artists from the Midwest in Lowell Park featuring live music and local beer/wine/food vendors as well! You can also find art sculptures and murals on public display downtown and browse the local artists and works on display in Union Art Alley, Stillwater Art Guild Gallery, Art Reach St. Croix, Galeria Saro and Smith & Trade Merchantile. Paint your own pottery or canvas indoors or outside at Kari’s Create & Paint Studio on Chestnut St.

6 Gondola Romantica

Enjoy the romance of Venice blended with the beauty of the St. Croix River and the charm of Stillwater. Plan an especially romantic proposal, celebrate a birthday, wedding or anniversary, or just get away to a relaxing cruise on the river in an authentic Venetian gondola. You can book a sunlit daytime cruise or a moonlit evening cruise. Escape the chaos of the world and safely enjoy the beauty of this fall riverside town.

7 Dining Al Fresco

Have you been to one of the Best Small Town Food Scenes, yet? The variety of decks, rooftops, patios, and outdoor dining options, let alone cuisine choices is overwhelming so arrive hungry and thirsty. Almost all of the 30 dining establishments downtown have outdoor dining and many plan to warm you up with heaters on the patios and coffee in your hands into fall! View patios, full list of outdoor dining locations (those with heaters noted!), and view a list of breweries, wineries, cidery and distillery here. Also, be sure to get up to the best new view at the riverfront Papa’s rooftop at Water Street Inn!

8 Fall Fashion

Touch and feel the fabrics of fall. Faux fur, jewel tones like citrine & ruby, fine knit sweaters, suede fringe, preppy styles and of course cozy active wear…it’s all downtown Stillwater with several women’s and some men’s clothing boutiques. Don’t forget to purchase a few fashionable face masks as well, they are everywhere downtown. You’ll appreciate the mental boost a new outfit provides! Check out Garcon, a men’s clothing store inside of Enchante, Whatnot Boutique, Lakebound Clothing, Minnesota Made, Sota Clothing Co., Sorted Boutique and Lake & Company and more!

9 Live Music

Picture yourself listening to music outdoors on a gorgeous fall day. Come to Stillwater this fall for several opportunities for this fun experience! River Siren Brewery has their Rocktoberfest in September and Oktoberfest at Lift Bridge Brewing. And you can always find live music on weekends at Charlie’s Irish Pub, Tilted Tiki, Portside, Freight House and Ziggy’s on Main.

10 Unique Stay

If you’ve read this far, you’ve realized that Stillwater is no day-trip. You need more time, so plan to stay overnight! Stillwater has so many choices like never before, so you’ll find a place to stay to suit your style or budget. Swedish Hot Steam shower? Chandelier lit marble bath spa? Room with balcony? A private home with kitchen? A loft above a downtown shop? An on-site bar & riverside rooftop restaurant? A Main Street location that is pet friendly? It’s all here. Rooms fill up quick in the fall, so don’t delay.

Written byDiscover Stillwater

Categories: Uncategorized

Get latest updates from Stillwater