September 18, 2013

River Crossing Art Tour

September 24 or 25

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 second 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, if needed, 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 construction progress on the St. Croix River Crossing bridge as you head to lunch at Charlie’s Restaurant & Irish Pub in Stillwater. You can choose to eat inside the warmly paneled bar or, if the weather is good, outside on the deck and watch boats of all shapes and sizes cruise on the river.

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.

Don’t have a boat or would rather not rent one? This itinerary works just as well by car or motorcycle.


  • Afton Art in the Park, Town Square Park, Afton (Sept. 24 and 25, 10:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m., free admission)
  • Charlie’s Restaurant & Irish Pub, 101 Water St. S., Stillwater (Monday-Sunday, 7:00 a.m. to 1:00 a.m.)
  • Spirit of the St. Croix Art Festival, Lakefront Park, Hudson (Sept. 24, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and Sept. 25, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.; free admission)

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