Spring Vacation in the St. Croix Valley!

All the outdoor fun, with plenty to do indoors too!

18 Things To Do This Spring!

It’s spring here in the St. Croix Valley, and that means we are ready to get outside and enjoy all things nature. But, as Prince once said, sometimes it snows in April (or rains, sleets, or hails), and we also need some suitable indoor activities to keep us entertained on our spring vacation.

Book your overnight stay and bookmark this list so you’ll never run out of things to do this spring in the St. Croix Valley!

Get Outdoors!


The “City of Trails” is the perfect place to start your hiking adventure. St. Croix Falls is home to miles of trails of all kinds. Rugged trails along the bluffs of the St. Croix River, wooded trails right through town, and meadows trails that let the bright blue spring sky shine. You’ve got so many choices: WI Interstate State Park, the Ice Age National Scenic Trail – St. Croix Falls Segment, and the Deer Lake Conservancy trails to mention a few. Need more trails? Hop the river to MN Interstate State Park, or head south to Dresser/Osceola and discover more. Don’t worry, you won’t run out of trails to explore!


Once the mud dries up and the snow melts off the side of the road, our spring biking season begins! If you’re looking for rail to trail, traffic free, riding, try the Gandy Dancer State Trail, which runs from St. Croix Falls all the way north to Superior, WI! This flat, gravel trail is such a great trail for bikers of all levels. It runs north through the Polk County WI towns of Centuria, Milltown, Luck, Lewis, and Frederic where you’ll see all the beautiful rural views along the way, and then continues north into Burnett County and beyond.

Looking for more? Try these:

Stower Seven Lakes Trail

Woolly Mountain Bike Trail

Road Bike Routes

3. Camp

There’s no better way to get away from it all than camping… except maybe glamping! Whether you like the rigors of roughing it or prefer the great outdoors with a side of luxury, the best camping and glamping near the Twin Cities are in the St. Croix Valley.

Try these:

Big Rock Creek

Wildwood RV Park and Campground

Interstate State Park, WI

Interstate State Park, MN

Wild Vines Campground

4.Chase Waterfalls

Yes, TLC told us not to in the 90’s, but we say please DO go chase waterfalls, rivers and lakes here in the St. Croix Valley. We know you’re going to ask us, “Where are the falls?” when you come to St. Croix Falls and Taylors Falls, and our short answer is that you’re not going to find a waterfall in our area right along the St. Croix River. But, if you look a little harder, you’re going to find our hidden gems of rushing water.

If you’re looking for an easy find, the rapids under the Hwy 8 bridge in Taylors Falls will show you the power of the river. It’s a short walk from the MN Interstate State Park parking lot. Another easy find is the dam viewing site at the Overlook in downtown St. Croix Falls, where you’ll get a chance to see the powerful hydroelectric dam in action.

If you don’t mind some stairs, take a short drive south to Osceola, and walk down to the Cascade Falls. You can walk right up and even under this waterfall (but it’s pretty cold in the spring!).

Or, if you’re willing to take a little walk, find the waterfall along the Silverbrook Trail inside Interstate State Park – WI.


Spring is here! The water in the St. Croix River and our many lakes is finally ice free, and ice houses are traded in for boats. It might still be a little cool out there, but that doesn’t keep the fishing season from heating up ! Technically, the 2024 fishing opener for WI is May 4th, and May 11th for MN, until then there are plenty of panfish to chase or sturgeon to catch and release.

6. Hunt for Wildflowers

Catch them while you can! These early and late spring wild blooming plants don’t last long. These wild growing woodland plants take advantage of the sun before the deciduous trees and shrubs leaf out and cast their cool, dark shade onto the forest floor. Look for Trillium, Rue Anemone, and Wild Columbine to name a few. Take a hike on one of our many area trails and count how many blooms you can find. Try a trail inside Interstate Park in Taylors Falls MN or Interstate Park in St. Croix Falls, WI and catch a glimpse of the Wild and Scenic St. Croix River too!


The long-awaited spring golf season is finally upon us! Snag a tee time and enjoy the fresh air while working on your swing. Or, if your style is more mini-golf or disc golf, we’ve got those too.


It’s officially spring when the Queen and Princess arrive back in Taylors Falls. The Taylors Falls Scenic Boat Tours resume in the spring with the Taylors Falls Princess and The Taylors Falls Queen Paddleboats back in the water and ready to take visitors on an excursion down the St. Croix river.  Since 1906 tourists by the thousands have enjoyed the scenic beauty of the world famous Dalles of the St. Croix River by excursion boat. Book early for the annual Mother’s Day Brunch and Dinner cruises!



Earth Day founder Senator Gaylord Nelson, a native of Polk County, WI, worked to protect the St. Croix National Scenic Riverway as the first ‘Wild and Scenic River’ in the United States and established the first “Earth Day” on April 22, 1970.

WI Senator Nelson also worked with MN Senator Walter Mondale, to cosponsor the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act in the late 1960’s.

The two cities of Taylors Falls, MN and St. Croix Falls, WI sit on opposite banks of the St. Croix River, which is protected under the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act of the late 1960’s; an effort cosponsored by WI Senator Nelson and  MN Senator Walter Mondale.

10. Discover the Unexpected

Franconia Sculpture Park is certainly an unexpected outdoor find here in the St. Croix Valley. But, this 50 acre, outdoor sculpture park located in Franconia, Minnesota (just west of Taylors Falls, is the perfect place to stroll and see big art in the wide open countryside. Franconia Sculpture Park is also known for its public music and arts events, and opens up it’s Farmer’s Market on Sundays starting in May. Best of all? It’s FREE, but please consider giving a donation to support this amazing art community.

11. Patio Dining

The time has finally come where we can dine al fresco! Patio seating starts to open up in the spring, and here are a few places that can’t be missed.

Be Wild Burgers

The Drive In

Dalles House Restaurant & Lounge

Trap Rock Brewing Co

Dancing Dragonfly Winery

Juneberry Cafe

Stay Inside!

12. Play Pickleball!

Pickleball is all the rage right now, and in St. Croix Falls, we are happy to report that we now sport an indoor court! St. Croix Pickleball & Recreational Sports Facility has 3 indoor courts, and even an indoor batting cage for softball and baseball. If you need your pickleball fix on vacation, or the kids need something to do when it rains, this is a good option.

13.Catch a Show (Professional Theater!)

Red Herring: April 12th-21st

Cahoot?! Physical Theatre, based in Minneapolis MN, is opening Festival Theatre’s 2024 Youth & Family Series with their production of A Red Herring, playing April 12th-21st at the Franklin Square Black Box, 125 N Washington St, St. Croix Falls, WI.

In the sprawling metropolis of Triton City, “Salty” Sloane McNulty seems past their prime as a private detective. But when lead scientist of the Triton City Aquarium and Research Center, Dr. Finneas Plunc, barges into Salty’s office with an urgent plea to help him track down a stolen experiment, it looks like Detective McNulty is back for one last case. Taking place throughout Triton City with the help of shadow puppetry and an overhead projector,

A Red Herring is performed in the style of a film noir brought to life off the screen. Explore the sewers, dance with sharks, follow the clues, and join the chase to discover what really happened in the case of the stolen Crimson Clupeidae.

Cahoot?!’s guiding principles as a company read “At the core of our mission is a radical idea: theatre (and art) should be available to everyone. Our goal is to create high-quality productions available to the public in the community and without a price tag. By doing this, we hope to break down the barriers of location, income, and class to bring innovative theatre to everyone.”

Tickets for A Red Herring are free of charge with limited seating available. To reserve tickets, you can go to or through our box office at (715) 483-3387.

Join Cahoot?! Physical Theatre on a tour of Triton City — from the depths of the city sewer system to the top of the largest skyscraper — and see if you can solve the mystery of the Crimson Clupeidae

14.Solve a Mystery: Try our brand-new ESCAPE ROOM: Storyteller

Brand new escape room in downtown St. Croix Falls.
Opening to the public for the first time on May 3, 4, & 5th!

In this 60-minute experience, Jack Frost has kidnapped Santa Claus on Christmas-eve, It’s up to you and your team to rescue Santa before Christmas is ruined FOREVER!

Learn more about the escape room by visiting and book your tickets here.

15. Attend the taste of the st. croix valley!


The Taste of the St. Croix Valley, formerly the Falls Sampler, is a fun opportunity to experience the unique tastes of the St. Croix River Valley!


Enjoy food and drink samples from local eateries, wineries, breweries, distilleries, and other exhibitors while catching up with friends in a festive atmosphere!


The Falls Chamber is excited to partner with Big Rock Creek for the 2024 Taste of the St. Croix Valley! 


This year’s event includes raffles for a Wall of Wine and Trough of Beer and 50/50 cash raffles. We’ll have live music and some of our vendors will have items for sale. 

Get your tickets early! The first 300 people to purchase tickets will receive a swag tote bag with tasting glasses and other items!

*Please note that this is an adult event. You need to be 18+ to enter and 21+ to consume alcohol. Please bring your ID.

16.Treat Yourself!

Sweet treats and yummy delectable are just more fun on vacation, are we right?

We’ve got plenty of options to treat yourself, but if you’re looking for something a little extra special, try these:

Valley Sweets: Old fashioned candy shop, ice cream, and fresh baked treats made daily!

Chateau St. Croix Winery: Wine. In a Castle. In the Country. Need we say more? Oh, get your photo taken with the suit of armor and post to social to show it off!

Dalles House Restaurant & Lounge: Serious Wisconsin Supper Club vibes. Don’t miss the fish fry and old fashioned’s. Check out their newly revamped dining room, opening mid-April!

Spring Tea Parties at Gustaf’s Eatery: Get a full tea party experience in the Gustaf Anderson House, a site on the National Register of Historic Places.


It’s always fun to come home with a find when you’re on vacation!

Our small towns are filled with unique finds, boutique trinkets, and antique treasures.

Check out some of these brand new storefronts in downtown St. Croix Falls:

The Unique Boutique ­ – Women’s Boutique clothing in a stunning new historic building location

The Napping Gnome – Home Decor and Custom & Refinished Furniture by Rugged Timber Revival

Rustic Sparrow ­ – Rustic and Vintage antiques and upcycled finds for your home!

Don’t miss:

The Derby Dash on May 2nd!  A fun night out of shopping, prizes, and fun!

Rotary’s Budding Artist  Show is Friday, May 3rd – Sunday May 5th. This three day art show for budding artists to support an artist scholarship fund and to support the arts in the St Croix Valley. Special activities Noon Saturday: Festival Theater Mimes. Saturday 1 pm to 4 pm Famed Artist Mary Pettis doing an art demonstration and Sunday noon to 3 pm music by Relan Grove.

The 32 Annual St. Croix Valley Pottery Tour is an annual gathering of exceptional potters and pottery enthusiasts in the beautiful St. Croix River Valley of Minnesota. The 2024 tour will feature seventy artists at seven different studios. We hope to see you there!

The studios are a short drive from each other, allowing some or all to be visited in a single day, and within an hour of the Twin Cities. Admission is free and open to everyone.


The River Valley Shop Hop April 18th – 21. A vibrant shopping adventure across four charming communities! Discover unique finds, enjoy special deals, and experience the best of local retail.


How will you get through this whole list if you don’t stay overnight?

Close to town:

Holiday Inn Express in St. Croix Falls

123 South Washington in St. Croix Falls

On the Lake

Lake Place Bed & Breakfast on Poplar Lake


This article was written by Linda Shober and produced by Linda Shober Marketing + Design, a marketing firm located in the St. Croix Valley specializing in providing content, strategy, management, design, and creative for digital and traditional marketing projects.