September 5, 2013

Romantic Weekend Getaway

September 16-17

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 with off with a stroll through the historic village of Marine on St. Croix. The town is transformed into a veritable arts wonderland for one weekend each year. The annual Marine Art Fair features more than 100 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.

Above the general store, you will find Mary Jo Van Dell Fall Studio Sale. The acclaimed St. Croix Valley artist recently relocated her studio to this historic building, and she is inviting some of her artist friends to join her open studio. In addition to Van Dell’s striking oil paintings, you will find pottery, textiles and other works of art.

Want to get even closer to the river? Take a relaxing cruise with the Taylors Falls Scenic Boat Tours in Taylors Falls, Minnesota. See the beauty of the renowned Lower Dalles first hand and witness the breathtaking beauty of the fall colors and crisp blue skies reflected in the clear waters of the Wild and Scenic St. Croix River.

Have you ever had a picnic among larger than life stature? No? Then you want to head over to Franconia Sculpture Park. New sculptures are added every summer. Maybe you will find a new favorite.

A romantic getaway to the St. Croix Valley isn’t complete without an overnight stay at one of the beautiful Inns of the Valley. Whether you choose an historic inn like Water Street Inn in Stillwater or a beautifully Queen Anne mansion like The Phipps Inn in Hudson, sleep in and enjoy a scrumptious breakfast before heading out for another day of art and nature.

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.

Be sure not to cut your weekend short. A stop at the idyllic Abnet Farm Art Show and Sale will serve as a quiet place to relax, meander the gardens and restored barn, chat with artists and buy a painting, pottery bowl or piece of jewelry to remember your fall weekend together.


  • Abnet Farm Art Show & Sale, 16885 Square Lake Trail, Stillwater (Sept. 16-17, 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.)
  • Franconia Sculpture Park, 29836 St. Croix Trail, Shafer, MN (free and open to the public, dawn to dusk, 365 days a year)
  • Inns of the Valley, 10 locations throughout the St. Croix Valley (more information, rates and availability online at
  • Marine Art Fair, Historic Downtown Marine on St. Croix (Sept. 16-17, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.; free admission)
  • Mary Jo Van Dell Fall Studio Sale, 101 Judd Street, Marine on St. Croix (Open studio: Sept. 15, 12:00 to 8:00 p.m.; Sept. 16-17, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.)
  • Taylors Falls Scenic Boat Tours, 155 South Street, Taylors Falls (Weekend and weekday cruises, excursions vary by day and duration, full schedule and ticket information)

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