Hi, my name is Sam. I just stumbled upon this site while 'googling'pictures of Stillwater for the background of my computer. At the moment I attend school in South Bend, Indiana, but was lucky enough to grow up in Stillwater.
To be honest, before graduating and leaving for college, I thought Stillwater was just another small city with nice people and a bit of history. Leaving for a few years and only being home three of twelve months made me realize how great not only Stillwater, but Minnesota really is.
Okay, enough with the background. Here are some things to do, I'll start off keeping it family oriented. Take a tour on one of the many riverboats...I highly recommend doing this if you don’t have any other access to the river. Seeing the city from the water is remarkable, the bluffs just north are absolutely breathtaking (and I’ve been seeing them all my life. Or if your group is feeling more active, renting canoes on a nice day is another way to enjoy the river. Pack food and beverages, there are tons of great spots to stop and relax along the way.
I was planning having this list in some kind of order that made sense, but that’s not going to happen. Get your morning coffee downtown at the Daily Grind. It is right on the south end of downtown; nothing starts a day better than a good cup of coffee looking out or walking along the river. There are a lot of cool, random shops downtown. From fine antiques, to a board/snow shop and everything between.
Which reminds me, if you're into cooking, look into taking a class at Chefs Gallery, or popping into the store at least( my mom used to work there, it’s really nice).
Since Stillwater is known as part of "St. Croix Valley", walking can get a bit tiring, which makes the well-known trolley ride a favorite. The trolley ride starts at the south end of Stillwater and the tour goes around downtown, and up through some residential areas where some one of a kind homes are pointed out and touched on.
Okay, food. Smalley's on the south end has some of the best wings, and pretty much the best anything grilled around. It’s a Caribbean bbq, and the wood used to grill is shipped from South Africa, giving chicken, shrimp, or whatever you like a great taste..their wings are by the pound for ten bucks..my favorite. For a bit more upscale menu, Marx, fusion bistro, offers a wide variety of tasty meals. Marx is a tad on the spendy side, but worth every penny.
If you're looking for something to do later at night, the bar scene in Stillwater is great fun. Mad Capper provides a pretty low key environment with an excellent beer selection, while at Brines you're likely to find the same selection along with one dollar beer specials...which in turn comes with college aged people turning that into their spot to unwind. Smalley’s and The Freight House are both great places for the 21+ crowd to hang out past dark...these spots tend to be filled up with those right around the age of 21, so if you're looking for a somewhat quiet beer or a glass of wine, Marx, Whitey's, or the Northern Vineyards Winery are spots to try.
Rambling for a minute or two about what I see as main points, doesn't do Stillwater justice. No matter how old, weather you come with family or just friends, Stillwater has a ton to offer. There is more to Stillwater than the beauty of the river, its bluffs, and the sight of a city that stood the test of time. All of these features combined with a historically rich past make Stillwater a place you've got to see.