Summer — it’s way too short in our dog-friendly state. To help you take advantage of these precious days, my friends, let me make a close-to-home recommendation: a road trip to Stillwater, Minnesota.
Stillwater is just 35 minutes outside of Minneapolis, which makes it a convenient getaway for tail-waggers like you. While some visit this charming city as a day trip, I’m barking to encourage an overnight because of everything there is to sniff, eat, and explore.
Here’s why I give Stillwater, the birthplace of Minnesota located on the waglicious St. Croix, two paws up and a basenji-tail wag:
Don’t overlook the Super 8 for your dog-friendly lodging needs. It’s located just up the hill from the main tail of Stillwater and is exactly what you need it to be: clean, cozy, comfortable, canine-friendly – and of course – run by courteous staff. It’s accessible to everything, and humans will enjoy the morning breakfast and coffee and reasonable rates. Canines enjoy the comforts of home right at our paw tips, a good night sleep, and the spacious grassy area on the side of the hotel (if you know what I’m sayin’).
Other Dog-Friendly Stillwater Hotels: Crossings by Grandstay Inn & Suites, America’s Best Value Inn, The Lexington Inn and Suites
In my humble hound opinion, Stillwater offers a triple threat of dog-friendly patio treateries — and I think you should hit up all three in one night! First, I recommend that your humans bring you to Luna Rossa to enjoy mighty fine wine and appetizers.
From there, cross the street and head to the very friendly Smalley’s Caribbean Barbeque – pirate admiration is a bonus, but not required of canine visitors. Smalley’s has amazing, punch-packing grub for humans and the crispest, coldest water for you! Bonus? You can ask your human caretakers to snap a photo of you near the Smalley’s pirate himself!
Finally, find your ride and head to Nelson’s Ice Cream where humans will be dog-lighted to see the gigantic child-sized portions (and odds are good they’ll let you lick a bit of vanilla).
At Valley Bookseller, you’ll be offered a treat almost immediately upon arrival and if you’re thirsty, there’s a big water bowl on the deck out back. While you’re there, don’t forget to check out the canine-themed books for the intellectual in you.
At Stillwater Farm Store, there are two water bowls outside and two treat containers (yep, counted ‘em). Inside you’ll meet the friendly resident dog “Cash” and his mom Rebecca, who owns the store.
A visit to Stillwater wouldn’t be complete without stopping by Betty June’s, a pawsitively delightful store with a water bowl out front and the special “Fido’s Closet” in back – where you’ll be happy you were born a dog.
Make sure you swing by Alfresco Casual Living too, where the dog beds are enough to make you want to sit, stay, and lie down.
You can’t visit Stillwater without walking and sniffing all over creation – saunter around the famous Lift Bridge, along the trails, and through the town. Humans: allow extra time for this mutt-nificent sensory overload.
If you’re a well-behaved pooch who loves other dogs, expand your social circle with a trip to the Stillwater Dog Park. Make sure to check the website first for vaccine, permit, and behavior rules – and as you courteous canines are already aware, make sure your humans clean up after you and bring water along.
There’s a reason Stillwater is regularly named a favorite Midwestern town. Check it out for yourself, if you haven’t already, and tell them your pal Kramer Canine, Investigative Reporter, sent ya!