Taylors Falls

Forget the Twin Cities, This Small Minnesota Town Has 17 Unbelievable Attractions

Are you planning a trip to Taylors Falls, MN, and the St. Croix River Valley but are unsure where to start? The area is a playground for outdoor enthusiasts and has plenty of activities to keep you busy.

The first time I went, we drove through it so quickly that I questioned what the big deal was. But what I soon realized was that they built it 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 to Taylors Falls MN to explore. It helps that it’s a quick day trip from Minneapolis.

The town is an outdoor lover’s playground, with so many ways to take advantage of the national landscape.

During the summer months, the town explodes with fun! Here is my list of favorite things to do in Taylors Falls, MN, and the Saint Croix River Valley in WI.

*Wild Mountain in Taylors Falls and the Holiday Inn in St. Croix Falls hosted me on one of my many weekend trips to Taylors Falls, MN.

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Things to do in Taylors Falls MN

Taylors Falls Hiking in Interstate Park

Interstate State Park is 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 toward the river and meet up with one of their paved paths.

This will lead you to 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.

If you are completing the MN State Park Hiking Club, make sure to check out my full Hiking Club Trail review.

Hiking in Interstate Park

Rock Climbing

On a nice day, you’ll see a lot of ropes hanging from the cliffs. That’s because it’s an excellent spot for Rock Climbing.

Climbers line the cliffs because there are great climbing routes for beginners to advanced climbers.

If you want to give it a try yourself, check out the offerings from REI and Vertical Endevors. They frequently have classes and trips to the area.

St. Croix Scenic Boat Tours

Wild Mountain Taylors Falls

Cool off on a hot summer’s day at Wild Mountain in Taylors Falls. The park offers two Alpine Slides, four water slides, a Kid’s Adventure Island, a Lazy River, Go-Carts, and a Free Fall experience with a giant airbag. Everyone will find something fun to do at the Taylors Falls Water Park.

During winter, Wild Mountain is an epic skiing hill. They start making snow earlier in the season than most. These two fun things to do in Taylors Falls are so much fun!

Wild mounting is so much fun, make sure to check out: Wild Mountain Waterpark | Family Fun for a full review. Don’t forget your Tote Bag to keep everything organized.

Wild Mountain Waterpark

Taylors Falls Scenic Boat Tours

Get a look at the river from a new perspective. The Taylors Falls Boat Tours are a perfect way to explore another fun side of Taylors Falls. They run multiple times a day and even offer a dinner cruise.

On the boat ride, your captain will point out some of the unique rock formations formed by the glaciers. You’ll also find out how the logging industry shaped the town’s history.

Taylors Falls Scenic Boat Tours | A Ride Down the St. Croix River is so much fun. Get all the tips and tricks before you go!

Taylors Falls
Face in Rock on the St Croix River

Rent a Kayak and float down the St. Croix

It’s not quite tubing, but it’s not exactly a hard workout either. That’s because the river does most of the work. For a relaxing trip, head down the river on a kayak.

Taylors Falls Canoe has canoe rentals and kayak rentals. They handle all the logistics of the trip. In most cases, no experience is necessary.

They offer quick trips down to Osceola or continue on for an all-day trip to William O’Brien State Park. The river is calm, making it a great way to explore the St Croix River.

Kayaking the St Croix

Visit a Winery or Two

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, and the Chateau St. Croix all minutes from Taylors Falls, Minnesota. Winehaven Winery is about 30 minutes west of Taylors Falls and has a Honey Wine you have to try!

My favorite is Chateau St. Croix, just because of its unique design. It looks like it was plucked right out of France.

They also offer live music, free tours, and snacks. Their vineyard makes a good portion of their wine from the grapes grown on-site.

Make sure to bring an insulated wine cooler and take our purchases to a picnic spot around town.

For more info, check out Chateau St. Croix Winery | Wine, Tours, Music and More right near Taylors Falls in St Croix Falls.

Wine at Chateau St. Croix

Miniature Golf

The Drive-In has its own miniature golf course. This 18-hole golf course has waterfalls, ponds, and streams to provide some added challenges. It is 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! This family-friendly activity is a favorite thing to do in Taylors Falls.

Franconia Sculpture Garden

Just west of Taylors Falls is the Franconia Sculpture Garden. A non-profit artist’s organization operates the 43-acre outdoor sculpture garden.

Open year-round and free to the public, this garden includes over 40 unique works from local artists. Take your time and explore the Franconia Sculpture Park.

I recommend visiting when it’s overcast or a little cooler as there is little to no shade. Or do what I do and carry an umbrella when it gets too bright out.

Recycling old items at Fanconia Sculpture Park
Frontinac Sculpture Garden

Ride the Osceola Saint Croix River Train

The Osceola Saint Croix River Train travels from Wisconsin to Minnesota and back again. They use historical trains to take passengers on this round-trip journey.

The train cars all have a distinct look and feel, so explore them all. Get there early as the train leaves promptly and parking can be a little tricky.

Tickets to the Osceola and St. Croix Valley Railway
Train Ride

Find the Waterfalls

One of the best waterfalls you’ll see is in Osceola Wisconsin, located off Cascade Street. This waterfall named Wilkie Glen and Cascade Falls will have you wanting to jump right in the water and start playing.

To get to the park along Depot Road and head towards Sodie’s Cigar Shops. To the left of the shop is a series of wooden steps, taking you right to the falls.

You can walk in the stream to cool off and even go right under the 25 ft waterfall. Bring some sturdy sandals, pack a picnic, and don’t forget the camera.

Taylors Falls Waterfall

Take a Historic Walking tour of Taylors Falls

The city is filled with historic properties. Before you leave, watch their YouTube series learning about all the city’s origins, history, and photos from the past.

Then see what Downtown Taylors Falls looks like today. Plus the tour gives a lot of wonderful insight into how Taylors Falls came to be.

Love small towns like these? Make sure to check out some of my favorite MN Road Trips! 16 of the Best Day Trips from Minneapolis You Need to Take

FAWN-DOE-ROSA Wildlife Park

Fawn-Doe-Rosa Wildlife Park is a unique experience your kids will love. This small wildlife park has deer, elk, geese, wolves, and a mountain lion. You can see them all from a path through the woods.

When you are done walking around the park, stop in at their petting area. There you can meet the newest members of the wildlife park in Taylors Falls.

Almost all the animals were born on the property and taken care of by hand, making them friendly. Stop in and check it out!

Miracle at Big Rock Holiday Lights

During winter, make sure to check out the Holiday Lights over at Miracle at Big Rock. They have a huge display over their beautiful grounds.

Make sure to dress warm, bring a sled for the kids, and be ready to have some fun!

This is a great Christmas Light Display. I was shocked at how close it was to Taylors Falls. I highly recommend visiting. Click here for more information.

Miracle at Big Rock Enchanted Forest

Ice Age Trail

There is also the trailhead for the Ice Age Trail, a backpacking trail that goes across the entire state of Wisconsin.

The Ice Age Trail is a 1,200-mile-long hiking trail that follows the edge of the last glacier in the state. The trailhead near Taylors Falls is for the Minnesota portion of the trail.

If you want a taste, do a day hike along the trail. It offers a variety of terrains and scenic vistas for hikers to enjoy.

Where to Eat in Taylors Falls

Juneberry Café

When you need a quick sandwich, you gotta check out Juneberry Cafe. On Bench Street, just across from Interstate State Park. The café makes your food to order.

With indoor seating and a few tables outdoors, for guests. If you can’t find anything, take it to go and head over to the park and picnic cliffside. Don’t forget to get your sweet treats too.

Tangled Up In Blue

Looking for an excellent dinner? Tangled Up in Blue is where it’s at. They serve fresh fish & seafood, hand-selected beef fillets, and desserts made to order.

Call ahead or get there early because, on a weekend, this place will fill up fast. They are also along Bench Street, making them really easy to find.

The Drive-In

The drive-in is most recognizable by the large rotating root beer mug out front. 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 servers come to you. Serving old fashion favorites like onion rings and burgers, the Drive-In all in the trademarked poodle skirts. They even have gluten-free items.

The food is amazing. I’ve stopped in multiple times for quick service. Plus, if you get a kid’s meal, you often get a free round of mini-golf!

The Drive In serves the best milkshakes in Taylors Falls

The Watershed Café

Just outside of Taylors Falls, in Oscello is the Watershed Cafe. They serve simple comfort foods with fresh, locally sourced ingredients.

The food is delicious, but the best reason to go is to sit on their deck overlooking the river valley. Below the deck is the trail to the waterfall I mentioned earlier.

Watershed Cafe Dinner

Places to stay in Taylors Falls

Holiday Inn in St. Croix Falls in Wisconsin is just a few minutes from the border. They have great rooms, a swimming pool, and a continental breakfast in the morning.

If you are looking for something a little more rustic, check out Interstate State Park, in either Minnesota or Wisconsin. There is also some private campground just outside of Taylors Falls to stay at too.

Taylors Falls hotel stays and camping fills up fast. Make sure to book your vacation in advance by clicking here.

Back for more fun things to do in Taylors Falls MN

There is so much to do in Taylors Falls, Minnesota. It’s impossible to squeeze it in one weekend.

I’ve been there four times now for DayTrips and a few more times passing through.

Take your time and enjoy everything there is to do. Plus it’s close enough to the Twin Cities to visit as much as you want.

Taylors Falls is one of my favorite getaways and a Day Trip from Minneapolis. With just one tank of gas and a short drive, you can have a weekend full of memories.

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Things to do in Taylors Falls Minnesota. Filled with relaxation and family activities. Day Trip | Road Trip | Minnesota | Twin Cities | Waterpark | Boat Ride | State Parks | Outdoor | Wine

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