Located on the banks of the St. Croix River, which serves as the boundary between Minnesota and Wisconsin, this former logging town is charming without being cloying. It’s an active waterfront city that delivers a historic downtown district and artfully restored period homes, but equally known for romantic hideaways and some surprising ways to get outdoors and enjoy nature. Not the history geek? See Stillwater through two different weekend styles named above.
Stillwater for Couples
Historic Stillwater is captivating no matter who you’re traveling with. But when you’re strolling the streets with that special someone, it really turns on the charm.
Lovebirds nest at Rivertown Inn, a grand mansion that offers seven suites and two bedchambers, all named for romantic poets and literary figures like Jane Austen, Lord Byron and Christina Rossetti. Guests enjoy a lavish breakfast as well as wine and hors d’oeuvres during a nightly social hour. Little luxuries like flowers, French press coffee and Champagne can be ordered in and cozy fireplaces, whirlpool tubs and plush bathrobes make it tempting to hide away in your room.
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If you do decide to venture out, you’ll find another relaxing retreat at Just For Me Spa. The rustic log cabin in the woods also offers a soothing Escape For Two, which includes a whirlpool soak, a massage and a facial for both partners, as well as a full menu of spa services.
When it’s time for a romantic stroll, head to Pioneer Park. This unassuming public park is situated high on the bluffs above downtown Stillwater and offers majestic views of the city, the St. Croix River valley and the Wisconsin hills just beyond the water. Your hosts at the Rivertown Inn can pack you a picnic lunch (complete with a picnic basket and blanket) to enjoy.
To take your picnic to the next level, unpack your picnic basket as a gondolier steers you down the waters of the St. Croix. Gondola Romantica offers private gondola tours for up to six people from May through October.[caption id="attachment_48037" align="aligncenter" width="500"] Photo by Mark Goebel CC BY[/caption]
If you prefer dining on dry land, try Domacin Restaurant and Winebar, named one of the top wine bars in the country by “Travel + Leisure” magazine. Pair your favorite bottle with tender scallops served with pancetta and carrot crema, risotto with mushrooms or tender osso buco. Or cozy up in the kitchen with Date Night cooking class at Cooks of Crocus Hill. Offered on Friday and Saturday evenings, these popular classes include a multi-course meal and an adult beverage.[caption id="attachment_48038" align="alignnone" width="800"] Photo by Richie Diesterheft CC BY[/caption]
A getaway focused on romance, indulgence and relaxation requires a particularly spectacular ending. Find yours in the basket of a hot air balloon high above the city. Stillwater Balloon operates all year long, since Stillwater is a stunner in all seasons.