EXPLORE TAYLORS FALLS, MN & ST. CROIX FALLS, WI
Ladies, you need a vacation. No work. No kids. In the St. Croix Valley, you’ll remember what it’s like to have responsibility-free fun with your friends.
Start the day off right with some hot coffee and local cuisine.
3 Arrows Coffee Company, St. Croix Falls, WI
3 Arrows Coffee is a specialty coffee shop and roaster conveniently located at the intersection of Highways 8 and 35 in St. Croix Falls. Enjoy a cup of fresh-roasted specialty coffee alongside mouthwatering, made-from-scratch quiche and baked goods. You can find cozy seating indoors or enjoy your breakfast on the sunny patio. Once you’re finished, you’re just a short distance from hiking, biking, boat tours, shopping, and more!
Watershed Café, Osceola, WI
From the patio seating in the 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!
Hit the Beach
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.
Lake O’ the Dalles Beach, Interstate Park-St. Croix Falls, WI
The recently renovated swimming beach at Lake O’ the Dalles in Wisconsin’s Interstate Park offers a great opportunity to cool off while taking in the stunning beauty of glacial rocks and towering trees. A beach house, constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corps, offers users a convenient place to change. If you feel the need to explore, slip on your shoes for a one-mile loop hike around the lake.
Three local outfitters offer canoe and kayak rental, with shuttle service, so visitors can experience the majestic St. Croix River up close. View towering basalt cliffs and a wide variety of wildlife while the sun warms your arms and back as you paddle this federally protected riverway. Stop along the natural shoreline or rest on a sandbar and enjoy a snack and cool beverage.
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.
St. Croix Falls is known as the City of Trails for good reason. There are more than 25 trails within the city designated for hiking and/or biking, and St. Croix Falls is proud to be the western start point of the 1,200-mile Ice Age Trail across the state of Wisconsin! Many spur and connector trails make traversing the City of Trails easy and fun.
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.
Forget about your smartphone and enjoy rustic farm life for a day.
Horsemanship Lessons & Events 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.
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. Whether you and your girls like to hit the dance floor or show off your artistic side with a paint brush, you’ll find an event to suit your needs!
Chateau St. Croix, St. Croix Falls, WI
Dancing Dragonfly, St. Croix Falls, WI
Winehaven, Chisago, MN
Wild Mountain Winery, Taylors Falls, MN
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
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!
This article was written by Karen Lawrence, updated/edited by Rebecca Stenberg, 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.