Top things to do in St Cloud

11 Top Things to do in St Cloud MN: Fun Day Trip

St. Cloud Minnesota is one of those small towns that are begging you to visit more than once. That’s because there are so many fun things to do in St Cloud MN, you can’t pack them all in in one day.

I’ve included this fun destination on my list of Family Friendly Day Trips because the kids can’t stop talking about the adventure. From hiking to biking to eating some amazing food. I’m sharing my top things to do in St Cloud MN.

I recently had the opportunity to spend a half-day in St. Could. The town has so many fun things to do, I ended up only getting through half my list.

Each destination was so much fun we spent longer than planned. While we Day Tripped here, you can easily spend a weekend or even a week exploring all the fun to do. If you only have a day, here is what we managed to do.

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Start off with a good breakfast

St. Cloud has two different bakeries to choose from for your morning donuts. Either Cold Spring Bakery or Dutch Maid Bakery. Both serve a large selection of doughnuts, treats, bread, and more.

They really know how to do their carbs. Cold Springs Bakery is minutes from Quarry Park.

We stopped in first thing for a wide selection of treats you don’t normally see. We ended up taking our box of breakfast and took them on our walk with us around Quarry Park.

St cloud Bakery

Being a true coinsure, we decided to stop on the way out of town and get some Dutch Maid treats for the next day.

My husband and I both left wondering how we managed to get so much stuff and only spend $11. It’s on the other end of St. Cloud but worth the trip.

Dutch Maid Bakery

Morning Hike at the Quarry

Quarry Park and Nature Preserve cover 683 acres. It is the largest in the Stearns County Parks system. In 1863, two Scotsmen started the first granite foundry in central Minnesota.

As far back as 100 years ago, the stone called Saint Cloud Red Granite was quarried in the park and used in both the Landmark Center and the James J Hill House.

Mining stopped in the mid 1950’s and nature has taken over the area. By 1998, the park opened to the public as a place for public recreation year-round.

The most popular activity during summertime is Swimming at either Quarry 2 or 11. Quarry #2 is the deepest pond with 11 being shallower and having a sandy beach.  

Throughout the park is plenty of places to hike and explore. The multi-use trail system is great for hiking or biking.

In the entrance area to the park is a Derrick Exhibit. This exhibits some of the equipment used during the mining days, like the Liberty Derrick. Rock Climbing is also permitted near the exhibit for those with a permit.

See Related: Minnesota Day Trips from Minneapolis to take this Summer

Bike in St Cloud

The Wobegon Trail in St Cloud stretches 65 miles long and is 10 feet wide. Starting out in St Could, riders can take this flat path north to Alexandria, or branch off towards Holdingford.

There you’ll see Minnesota’s longest-covered bridge. It was built in 2008 and crosses South Two Rivers.

The multi-use trail passes by several small towns and fun places to stop. You could easily spend a day exploring each one with its own unique charm.

My favorite stop was in Holdingford. Not only could we see the covered bridge, but they had a great restaurant on the trail.

See Related: Things To Do Along The Root River Trail in Southern MN

Longest Covered Bridge in MN

Lunch on the Trail at BoHo Cafe

Lunch, you must visit the BoHo Café. While this restaurant was intended with bicycles in mind, we found many people drove here because the food was that great.

Stop in for breakfast of rolls and specialty coffee. During lunch, they have creative sandwiches and salads that were out of this world.

Lunch on the Bike Trail

The café is also housed an art gallery and artist workshop. Half the building is dedicated to the gallery. Inside you can sit at high-top tables, enjoy a bite to eat, and listen to live music.

Outside on the patio, enjoy the outside breeze, while kids can use sidewalk chalk or stroll through the gardens.

BoHo Cafe

Best Desert in St Cloud

The Shaka Shack Hawaiian Ice is a fun feature outside the Crossroads Center Mall parking lot. Using an old shipping container, the shack has created a fun experience for the family.

Inside you can pick from an endless combination of flavors on monster-size portions of Hawaiian Ice. They have seating, and games to make the experience complete.

My kids absolutely loved this stop. Not only is this dessert practically allergy-free, there smallest portion was almost as big as their heads.

See Related: 5 Family-Friendly Day Trips from Minneapolis

Shaka Shack Shaved Ice

Afternoon Hike at the Sauk River Regional Park

Sauk River Regional Park is a fun place to explore in St. Cloud. The park has a series of different trails through the park, all with natural surfaces.

At the time I was there, all the links to maps were not working, so we had to take serious mental notes as to not get lost back there. The park has a beach area, dog park, and a sledding hill.

But my favorite was getting to cross the Sauk River Bridge.

Saulk River Bridge
Saulk River

Saved for another Trip

Clearwater Outfitting: A fun way to enjoy the Mississippi River. Clearwater Outfitting has multiple trips running on the gentler portion of the Mississippi River. Ranging from 5 miles to 13 trips down the river.

They handle all the details and have the gear waiting for you. Check it out.

Munsigner Clemens Gardens: The gardens are a stunning edition to St. Cloud. Open from Spring to Fall, you’ll want to check these out. The relaxed atmosphere sits alongside the Mississippi River. It should be on your list.

Summerland Family Fun Park: Treat your family to Go Carts & Mini Golf. This fun park is a great way to spend a cool afternoon night the family will love.

Lake George: Fun Park in St. Cloud. They have fun events happening, stage performances, festivals, a playground and you can even rent Paddle Boats.

Hemker Park & Zoo: just outside of St. Cloud is this family-friendly zoo. They have a variety of different animals. They offer experiences like hand-feeding giraffes, budgies, or toss fish into their Otter area.

Spring break

Did you know St Cloud made my list of great Spring Break destinations in Minnesota? That’s because they have an amazing selection of fun things to do. Find out who else made the list.

Would I go Back to St Cloud MN?

For us, this is when the temperatures were getting up to about 95 degrees out. Our energy levels were dropping and we needed to get home to our puppy waiting for us in her kennel.

We came back with full bellies and let plenty of fun for a return trip to St. Cloud.  I’m hoping to return in early fall to explore some of the things that time didn’t allow.

If you have a free weekend, I highly recommend visiting some of the fun things to do in St Cloud MN.

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