River towns in the fall aren’t just inspiration for artists. They can also be the perfect setting for a romantic getaway. Stroll hand in hand with your significant other while you enjoy the fall colors, the clear blue river and some inspired art.
Start your weekend off on Friday night on the banks of the St. Croix River. “Heart of the River: Celebrating the First 50 Years of the St. Croix National Scenic Riverway” gallery exhibition at The Phipps Center for the Arts opens with a celebratory event. Meet the artists whose work was selected from a national call for artists, watch the short documentary “The Wild and Scenic St. Croix,” listen to live bluegrass music and participate in some hands on art activities. The reception, held in partnership with the St. Croix River Association, will take place 6-9pm.
A romantic getaway to the St. Croix Valley isn’t complete without an overnight stay at one of the beautiful bed & breakfasts in the valley. In Hudson, The Phipps Inn is a beautifully restored Queen Anne mansion where you can sleep in and enjoy a scrumptious breakfast before heading out for another day of art and togetherness.
On Saturday morning, head north out of Hudson and cross the new St. Croix River Crossing bridge into Minnesota. There you can start your day with off with a stroll through the historic village of Marine on St. Croix as it is transformed into a veritable arts wonderland. The annual Marine Art Fair features 150 artists and craftsmen from the St. Croix Valley and beyond. Marine’s reputation as an outstanding art fair and the natural beauty of this river town combine to make this a must see fall event.
Heading back south, be sure to stop at the idyllic Abnet Farm Art Show & Sale where you will find a quiet place to relax, meander the gardens and restored barn, chat with artists and purchase a painting, pottery bowl or piece of jewelry to remember your fall weekend together.
Stroll among the shops in historic downtown Stillwater and have romantic lunch along the river at Dock Cafe. You will both find something to your liking with a superb selection of fresh seafood, many chef-created specialties and an extensive wine list to choose from.
Interested in learning more about the river town that is the birthplace of Minnesota? The Stillwater Trolley takes you past the town’s landmark buildings, homes and churches while filling you in on the past in a humorous and entertaining fashion.
- Abnet Farm Art Show & Sale, 16885 Square Lake Trail, Stillwater (Sept. 15-16, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 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. and Sunday, 11:00 a.m.-8:30 p.m.)
- Marine Art Fair, Historic Downtown Marine on St. Croix (Sept. 15-16, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.; free admission)
- Stillwater Trolley, 400 E. Main Street, Stillwater (45-minute Historic Tour, $13.50 adults, $12.50 seniors and military, $17 youth; online reservations at stillwatertrolley.com)
- The Phipps Inn Bed & Breakfast, 1005 3rd St., Hudson, WI (reservations, rates and availability online at www.phippsinn.com)