Summer Girls’ Weekend in the St. Croix Valley

Hiking in Interstate Park, WI in St. Croix Falls, WI. Photo courtesy of Luminaries Retreats.

Ladies, you need a vacation. No work. No kids. No men. In the St. Croix Valley, you’ll remember what it’s like to have responsibility-free fun with your friends.

 

 

Good Morning, Sunshine!

Start the day off right with some hot coffee and local cuisine.

The outdoor dining at The Watershed Cafe in Osceola is amazing! Photo © Jim Larsen

Farm Table, Amery, WI

You never know what is going to be on the menu at Farm Table. That’s because it’s based on the local crop and the time of year. The seasonal cuisine features some creative and delicious recipes sourced directly from small farms who take the utmost care in keeping their crop and soil healthy. Each item on the menu – from the coffee to the Featured Farmer selections – is made from the finest ingredients, free from harmful additives.

Watershed Café, Osceola, WI

From the patio seating in back, you can hear the crashing of falls and the murmur of the stream below as it hurries on its way to the St. Croix River. Out the front door is the quaint river town of Osceola, which harmoniously blends modernity with nostalgia for a heartwarming Main Street appeal. Inside, you’ll find rustic touches – wood panels, stone accents, a fireplace – and many large windows, lending the dining area a bright and cheery natural light. There’s plenty to enjoy at the Watershed Café, even before you’ve tasted the locally sourced, sustainable and delicious food!

Find Your Restaurant

On Beach Time

Whether you beach to catch some rays, go for a swim, or try a new sport, the St. Croix Valley has so many ways to play.

Hit the Beach with your girlfriends! Photo © Anne Marie Sinclear-Prokop

Fun in the Sun at Paradise Park, Chisago, MN

If it’s sun and sand you seek, the beach at Paradise Park has got you covered. Pack a lunch to enjoy on the sand, in the grass shaded by majestic trees or in the picnic pavilion. On a hot day, a dip in Chisago Lake is always a welcome relief and if you’re feeling active, challenge your girls to a match on the sand volleyball court.

Stand-up Paddleboarding on Lake Alice, William O’Brien State Park, Marine on the St. Croix, MN

The sedate waters of Lake Alice, located within the grounds of William O’Brien State Park, are an ideal place to try one of the fastest growing sports in the country. Your body will tone as your balance is challenged in a low-impact activity that’s easy on the joints, ligaments, and tendons. Meanwhile, your spirit will be soothed by the rhythmic motion of the paddle and the calming influence of the water.

Find Your Beach

A Walk on the Wild Side

Nature trails and wilderness hikes are pervasive in the St. Croix Valley, so much so that the river town of St. Croix Falls, WI is known far and wide as the City of Trails. And they don’t end there. Trails spiderweb across Taylors Falls, MN and spin relentlessly throughout the entire area.

Hiking on the MN side of Interstate Park. Photo © Wendy Cright.

Cascade Falls, Osceola, WI

Impressive views and photo ops await on the Cascade Falls trail. It is an easy loop, less than a half mile, that begins off Main Street in downtown Osceola. The hardest part of the hike is the 135 steps from street level to the falls, but you’ll receive instant gratification at the bottom. The trail follows along the babbling brook that carries the falls into the St. Croix River.

River Trail/Glacial Potholes Area, Taylors Falls, MN

The River Trail commences at Interstate Park in Taylors Falls and takes you through the woods, alongside the St. Croix River and gradually ascends until you find yourself high up on the bluffs with some stunning river overlooks. After about 1.25 miles, it intersects with the Glacial Potholes Area where you will hike tiers of flat rock to get exciting peeks at these geological phenomena. Hike back to the trailhead the way you came for a 3.5-mile hike that seems so much shorter.

Find Your Trail

A Little Bit Country

Forget about your smartphone and enjoy rustic farm life for a day.

Girls of any age love weekends away! Photo © Andrea Anderson Shakal

Horseback Riding Lessons at RNR Ranch and Tack, St. Croix Falls, WI

Most horse riders agree that the biggest reason why they love riding is the sense of freedom you get atop a horse. It is excitement, adventure and relaxation all rolled into one singular feeling. Horses have a way of making us forget all the worries of our daily lives while simultaneously reminding us to stay in the present as we work in harmony with the powerful animal.

Strawberry Picking at Pleasant Valley Orchard, Shafer, MN

A simple table with a few berry-weighing scales under an awning greet you when you arrive at Pleasant Valley Orchard’s strawberry fields. It’s not grandiose, but it’s exactly as advertised – pleasant. The element that is meant to impress is the strawberries. Those juicy red berries grow for three acres on the rolling countryside soaking up nutrients from the sun and soil. Straw mulch lines each row, keeping mud and weeds at bay and keeping you clean and comfortable while you pick.

 

Picking Your Own Strawberries is a sweet adventure.

Wine with Friends

Discover the St. Croix Valley’s award-winning wineries. Tour vineyards, stop in for a tasting, sip under the sun. Each winery hosts fun events throughout the summer, some featuring art or music or boat cruises; all featuring wine.

 

Tour the wineries of the area inside, and out! Photo © Dawn Ward

Winehaven, Chisago, MN

Wine & Chocolate or Wine & Cheese Riverboat Cruise Events

Explore the St. Croix River aboard a vintage-style riverboat complete with giant red paddlewheel and looming black smokestacks. There will be wine.

Chateau St. Croix, St. Croix Falls, WI

Jazz Festival

Local food vendors, a winery tour and six hours of live jazz. Admission is free. There will be wine.

Dancing Dragonfly, St. Croix Falls, WI

Paint & Sip, Plant & Sip, Comedy Night, Music, Dancing & More!

Whether you and your girls like to hit the dance floor or show off your artistic side with a paint brush, Dancing Dragonfly has an event for you. There will be wine.

Wild Mountain, Taylors Falls, MN

Music in the Vineyard

Outdoor concerts under the sun every Saturday afternoon, featuring local musicians. Admission is free. Oh, and there will be wine.

Make, Bake & Take a Break

A place to stay with things to do.

The Trails Retreat, St. Croix Falls, WI

Make a Scrapbook

A group photo in front of Cascade Falls? A pic of your bestie on horseback? A selfie at the beach? Commemorate the day’s events in a scrapbook in the spacious craft studio at The Trails Retreat. Each of the 18 stations is outfitted with a comfortable work chair, cup holder, lamp, and plenty of room to spread out. A computer, crafting tools and idea books will help get the creative juices flowing and the stereo and fridge encourage you to rock your favorite tunes and stock your favorite beverages.

Bake Some Tasty Treats

Strawberry Pie, made with fresh strawberries from Pleasant Valley Orchard in Shafer, MN. Photo © Linda Shober.

If you went berry picking, you are undoubtedly loaded with fresh strawberries begging to be transformed into some crowd-pleasing recipes. The fully equipped kitchen at The Trails Retreat includes a double oven and a full-size fridge ready to store all your goodies. So, what’s it going to be? Jam? Shortcake? Sorbet? Cobbler? Your options are endless!

Take a Well-Deserved Break

Flop down on a couch in the living room, bask in the sun on the patio, unwind in the lower level entertainment room, snooze in one of the 18 comfortable twin beds, take a soak in the jacuzzi tub…you earned it!

The only question left to answer is: Will there be wine?

 

The article "Summer Girls’ Weekend in the St. Croix Valley" was produced by Linda Shober Designs and Images, and written by Karen Lawrence. Linda Shober Designs and Images is a Marketing and Design firm located in the St. Croix Valley specializing in providing content, strategy, management, design, and creative for digital and traditional marketing projects.

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