Updated: Dec 22, 2022
The St. Croix Valley is made up of St. Croix Falls, WI, Taylors Falls, MN, and their surrounding communities. It’s full of natural beauty and small town charm. Here’s how you can explore, taste, and enjoy what this area has to offer in a weekend getaway!
(In this itinerary, I suggest going back and forth between Minnesota and Wisconsin a few times, but just know it’s only a 2 minute drive from Downtown St. Croix Falls to Downtown Taylors Falls!)
Accommodation: If you are traveling with your pup, this Airbnb is a must! We stayed in the Artist Loft and it was so cozy and every detail was exquisite. If this is a pup-free trip for you, the Holiday Inn in St. Croix Falls came highly recommended to us as well.
Upon arriving in St. Croix Falls, head straight to Overlook Park and stretch your legs. The park is right in town and you can walk along the river for some nice views of the dam. Next, walk (or ride) down the road to the St. Croix National Riverway Visitors Center. Stop in to learn about the area’s history, get your national park passport stamped, or do one of their family friendly activities.
Now that you’ve seen the town and learned about the area, you’re ready to taste what the valley has to offer! Head over to the Taylors Falls Drive In to fill your belly with a burger and locally made root beer. Make sure you get a chocolate malt– it’s worth every delightful sip! The Drive In is a true old school drive in with car-side service and lots of outdoor seating. The patio is fully dog-friendly, and they even have a pup cup on the menu. And if you’re looking for some after dinner fun, the restaurant is right next door to a mini golf course!
Now that your belly is full, get cozy and rest up for tomorrow's adventure!
Start your day with 3 Arrows Coffee. They’ll brew up something tasty for you to pair with their delicious scones. The inside space is beautiful, and there’s also a dog-friendly patio. Sip your fuel and then make the short trip over to Interstate State Park. Head to Pothole Trail for a short, easy loop along the river. If you’re looking for a longer, slightly more challenging hike, head out on the St. Croix Segment of the Ice Age Trail. This trail also starts on the Pothole Trail– where the Western Termains is located.
Once you have worked up an appetite hiking, head back into town and place an order at Be Wild Burgers. They are carryout only, but have picnic tables on site where you can relax and eat with pup by your side. I really enjoyed the Cowboy Burger, and the crispy tots were the perfect side!
Alrighty! Now that we’ve had lunch, it’s time to take in the scenery from the water. Head over to Taylors Falls and get a seat on a Taylors Falls Boat Tour. Once you board, you can grab a glass of wine and head up to the upper deck to take in the views along the bluffs. As the boat cruises out and back, your guide will point out cool rock formations and share some history of the valley. (I highly recommend booking these tickets in advance–our boat was very full. There is limited parking at the boat dock, but you can park at MN Interstate State Park for $7. That fee will also allow you to stroll the Minnesota side of the state park afterwards. They have a bunch of overlooks to take in stunning views of Wisconsin.)
Once you disembark, head back to the Wisconsin side of the valley and check out the stores in downtown St. Croix Falls. Stop into Valley Sweets for something yummy (like an ice cream maybe!) and check out The Unique Boutique for the cutest women’s accessories and clothing.
After all that exploring, it’s time to relax! Head over to Dancing Dragonfly Winery. It’s a gorgeous space with large indoor and outdoor dining areas. Sadly, their patio is not dog-friendly, but they definitely make up for it with their impressive flights! Each flight comes with 5 wine samples, a small food pairing, and a wine glass to take home with you. They have an extensive food menu, and I loved their pizza. Once you’ve had your fill, purchase a bottle of wine to take back to your room with you, and relax and reminisce on your fun filled day!
Check out of your room and head over to Juneberry Cafe in Taylors Falls. They have great breakfast and lunch options as well as some outdoor bistro tables so you can dine with your doggo. The last stop of the trip is Chateau St. Croix. This winery is a stunning, super-Instagramable castle! They have tons of outdoor dog-friendly tables, so grab a glass and take in the beautiful building and scenery. They have so many good wines to choose from, but definitely be sure to check out the Cheesehead White if you’re a Packer fan. If you need a snack before hitting the road, the onsite deli will definitely provide.
Looking for more in the area? Check out Raarup Adventures: A GUIDE TO THE ST. CROIX VALLEY, MINNESOTA/WISCONSIN
I hope you have the best trip to the St. Croix Valley, and as always, make sure to reach out if you have any questions!
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