It’s hard to visit the St. Croix Valley and not want to get in the river whether by cruise boat, pontoon or canoe. Luckily, the third weekend of Take Me to the River has an itinerary that allows visitors and residents to enjoy a beautiful fall day on the river and visits two amazing art fairs.
Begin your day at Afton, Minnesota’s, Art in the Park. The picturesque town square park is mere blocks from the St. Croix. Dock your boat, park your car or lock-up your bike and enjoy the work of more than 80 artists of all media including fine arts, pottery, woodworking, jewelry, photography, fiber arts and more. A small river town, Afton’s main street also offers a variety of unique shops and restaurants to meet the needs of visitors.
Cruise north to Stillwater and see the new St. Croix River Crossing bridge. It’s a great place to take a walk or bike ride if you have time as the views from the walkway are often described as breathtaking.
Head into Stillwater and enjoy lunch at Dock Cafe. Enjoy a beautiful fall day on their patio for the best al fresco dining experience in Stillwater. If you are seated at table inside, you will be treated to artwork by the building’s architect, Michael McGuire. McGuire doesn’t sell his work, so this is one of the few places you can enjoy it.
After your meal, relax as you make your way back south to Hudson, Wisconsin, and the Spirit of the St. Croix Art Festival. A collaborative effort between the Hudson Area Chamber of Commerce and Tourism Bureau and the Phipps Center for the Arts, this juried festival draws artists and visitors from the around the country. With acoustic music, living statues, performers and hands-on activities, visitors are immersed in a creative atmosphere.
- Afton Art in the Park, Town Square Park, Afton (Sept. 22, 10:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. and Sept. 23, 11:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m., free admission)
- Dock Cafe, 425 Nelson St. E., Stillwater (Monday-Thursday, 11:00 a.m.-9:00 p.m.; Friday-Saturday, 11:00 a.m.-9:30 p.m.; Sunday, 11:00 a.m.-8:30 p.m.)
- Spirit of the St. Croix Art Festival, Lakefront Park, Hudson (Sept. 22, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and Sept. 23, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.; free admission)