Best of Summer Guide 2012

One hundred and five ways to do summer with a splash in the Twin Cities.

Best of Summer Guide 2012

St. Croix River

Take a day trip to any of the towns along the lovely St. Croix, and it will be a day to remember. You truly can’t go wrong.



The Drive-In
Since 1956, this brightly colored drive-in has been feeding summer kids with thick, juicy, hand-pattied burgers and frosty mugs of root beer. 572 Bench St., 651-465-7831

Border Bar & Grill
A typical small-town bar and grill with goodly greasy burgers and one heck of a Bloody Mary bar on Saturdays and Sundays. 367 Bench St., 651-465-1011


Olive's Pizza
Open Thursday through Sunday evenings, this sweet spot cranks out wood-fired pies topped with fresh ingredients, plus there’s a charming deck and nice round of tap beers. 11 Judd St., 651-538-2124

Bikery Du Nord
You don’t have to be a biker to enjoy this Belgian coffee shop and bikery. But it would help if you like sweet and malty Belgian waffles that are sometimes served from the waffle van. 41 Judd St., 651-433-5801


Pier 500
The best big patio on the river, it’s all good times and classic American tavern food. 500 1st St., 715-386-5504

The Nova Wine Bar
Built in caves in 1896, this wine bar is a great place to sip and relax with lighter fare. 236 Coulee Rd., 715-386-5333


Shanghai Bistro
Just up the hill from the main drag is one of the best-landscaped patios in town. It’s lounge-y, there are cabanas, and it’s dog-friendly. 324 S. Main St., 651-430-9000

If you want to tread off the beaten path where the tourists aren’t, slip into this cool, rustic wine bar for a great glass and some honest, good food. 102 S. 2nd St., 651-439-1352


Afton House Inn
This place has it all. There’s the Swirl wine shop and bar, fine dining in the Wheel Room, casual dining at Current, and quaint guest rooms so you don’t have to drive. 3291 St. Croix Tr. S., 651-436-8883

Selma’s Ice Cream
New owners have revived this historic ice cream shop. Stop in for a cone and hit the big park across the street. 3419 St. Croix Tr. S., 651-436-8067


Gondola Romantica
We recommend seeing scenic Stillwater by boat—any boat, really. You have lots of cruising choices, but there’s nothing quite like taking a ridiculous, conspicuous, highly un-Minnesotan, and romantic (especially at sunset) gondola ride manned by a stripe-shirted gent while Italian music blares. 425 E. Nelson St., 651-439-1783

Pack a picnic, rent a canoe, paddle down the river a ways, and wait for a shuttle to bring you back to your car. There are lots of places to rent a canoe along the beautiful St. Croix. For a listing of canoe-rental outfitters for all the rivers in the state, go to dnr.state.mn.us/watertrails/outfitters.html.



A newer highlight in downtown Stillwater, the flagship store showcases the best from the hometown stationery brand, plus a café serving light meals, ice cream, and cupcakes. 201 S. Main St., 651-689-1730

45 Degrees
Clothes, shoes, and gear for outdoor enthusiasts of all ages. 229 S. Main St., 651-430-3609

Tremblay's Sweet Shop
No trip to Stillwater is complete without visiting Tremblay’s, where the peanut brittle is still warm and the fudge melts in your mouth. 308 S. Main St., 651-430-0087

Cooks of Crocus Hill
Round out your outing with a stop (or even a cooking class) at this shop, which recently took over The Chef’s Gallery. 324 S. Main St., 651-351-1144


Lavender Thymes
A longtime fixture in downtown Hudson. Half the store is gifts and gourmet; the other half is contemporary women’s fashion. 512 2nd St., 715-386-3866

Knoke’s Chocolates
Every river stroll deserves an ice cream cone and homemade sweets. 220 Locust St., 715-381-9866

Dilly-Dally in the Alley
It’s a gift store and a state of mind. Find it around the corner from sister store Élan. 214 Locust St., 715-381-8424

Seasons on the St. Croix
Witness artists at work and discover regional and national talents at this contemporary craft and fine art gallery. 401 2nd St., 715-381-2906


Squire House Gardens
Wander through the historic home filled with gifts and home accessories. Explore the lush grounds, where you’ll discover all sorts of rare plants and flowers and landscaping ideas. 3390 St. Croix Tr. S., 651-436-8080


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