Last updated on November 26th, 2018
Driving through Taylors Falls and the Saint Croix River Valley the first time was a little overwhelming. At the same time, we drove through it so quick I questioned what the big deal was. But what I soon realized was that it’s was built for someone just like me. The things to do in Taylors Falls and Saint Croix River Valley are everywhere, I just didn’t know where to look.
Since my first adventure, I keep finding myself coming back there to explore some more. It helps that it’s a short drive from Minneapolis. The town is an outdoor lover’s playground, with so many different ways to take advantage of the national landscape. Here is my list of favorite things to do in Taylors Falls, Mn, and the Stain Croix River Valley in WI.
*Wild Mountain in Taylors Falls and the Holiday Inn in St. Croix Falls hosted me this weekend. As always, my thoughts are entirely my own.
The Taylors Falls Itinerary
1. Taylors Falls Hiking in Interstate Park
This park is located in both Minnesota and Wisconsin. They are home to some of the largest glacial potholes in the world adding to the Taylors Falls Hiking experience. After finding a parking spot, walk on the paved trail towards the river and meet up with one of their nature guides. They will make sure you find all the must-see formations, including the giant pothole you can walk into. Or explore on your own and go boulder hopping. There is so much to explore, and you do not even have to be in shape to do any of it.
Through the Minnesota State Parks, “I Can” program, you can experience what it is like to climb some of the rock faces. They provide all the equipment, just schedule a time and bring some shoes. Children as young as seven can take part. I have done this climb before, and it is excellent for beginners. All along the cliffs of the river, you will see climbers challenging themselves on the rock face.
2. Wild Mountain Taylors Falls
Cool off on a hot summer’s day at Wild Mountain Taylors Falls. They have 2 Alpine Slides, 4 different water slides, a Kid’s Adventure Island, a Lazy River, Go Carts and a Free Fall experience into a giant airbag. Everyone will find something fun to do there. To get a preview of what to expect, check out: Wild Mountain Waterpark | Family Fun
Get a look at the river from a new perspective. The Taylors Falls Boat Tours run multiple times a day and even offer a dinner cruise. On the boat, your drive will point out some of the different rock formations formed by the glaciers. Find out how the logging industry shaped the town. For a full review of the boat, experience check out Taylors Falls Scenic Boat Tours | A Ride Down the St. Croix River
4. Visit a Winery
The St. Croix River Valley provides excellent soil to grow grapes. The growers have taken full advantage of this based on the number of wineries in the area. There is Wild Mountain Winery, the Chateau St. Croix and Dancing Dragonfly Winery all minutes from Taylors Falls Minnesota.
My favorite is the Chateau St. Croix just because of its unique design. They also offer live music, free tours, and snacks. Their vineyard is in its early stages right now, but soon a good portion of their wine will be made from the grapes grown on site. For more info, check out Chateau St. Croix Winery | Wine, Tours, Music and More
5. Get some Milkshakes
The best milkshakes you’ll ever find are at The Drive-In. In this 50s-style restaurant, you can pull up your car, and the services come to you. Serving old fashion favorites like onion rings and burgers, they will have something for everyone.
6. Miniature Golf
The Drive-In also features a Miniature Golf course. This 18 hole golf course has waterfalls, ponds, and streams to provide some added challenges. It a great way to spend an hour. If you purchase a kids meal at the Drive-in, you might even get a coupon for a free round of golf. Check it out!
7. Franconia Sculpture Garden
Just west of Taylors Falls, is the Franconia Sculpture Garden is a great way to relax. The 43-acre outdoor sculpture garden is operated by a non-profit artist’s organization. Open year-round and free to the public, this garden includes over 40 different artists work.
8. Ride the Osceola Saint Croix River Train.
The Osceola Saint Croix River Train travels from Wisconsin over to Minnesota again. They use historical trains to take passengers on this round-trip journey. The train’s cars all have a different look and feel so make sure to explore.
9. Find the Waterfalls
One of the best waterfalls you’ll see is on the in Osceola Wis. Located off Cascade Street, this waterfall will have you wanting to jump right in the water and start playing. Bring some sturdy sandals, pack a picnic and don’t forget the camera. There is a bunch of stairs to get down to it, but it’s worth it.
10. Eat Right
The best dining in the area is at Mango’s Mainstreet Eatery in Osceola. They offer freshly made foods with a taste of Island flavors. Things like Hawaiian Pork, Lobster Mac and Cheese and Ahi tuna are all fantastic.
11. Paces to stay in Taylors Falls
Holiday Inn in St. Croix Falls Wisconsin. Just a few minutes from the border. They have great rooms, swimming pool and a continental breakfast in the morning. If you are looking for something a little more rustic, check out Interstate Park, in either Minnesota or Wisconsin.
There so much more to do in Taylors Falls Minnesota too. You can charter out Kayak Rentals, visit the Fawn-Doe-Roasa Wildlife Park and even take a bike ride up the Wisconsin border. They are also the start of the Ice Age Trail. It’s a backpacking trail that goes across the entire state. Taylors Falls is one of my favorite getaways and Day Trip from Minneapolis. With just one tank of gas and a short drive, you can have a weekend full of memories.