For many Minnesotans, Stillwater is a quaint town you’ve passed through at least once on the way to Wisconsin that made your pup say, “Wow, I’d love to sniff that out someday.” And for good reason: this little St. Croix River town will surprise you with its natural beauty, rich history, and bounty of places to explore, shop, sip, and snack. Bring your pup along, cause he’s gonna be pretty impressed by the number of dog-friendly options.
Our guide to dog-friendly Stillwater highlights pup-approved hot spots within walking distance of each other. Leash up your bestie and frolic from place to place for the ultimutt weekday adventure or weekend afternoon!
St. Croix Boom Site
If you haven’t heard, Stillwater has great chow, so step one: wear comfy pants. Step two: rev up your appetite with a hike at St. Croix Boom Site. About two miles north of downtown, this 26-acre riverside park is actually a National Historic Landmark, and its above-ground cave is the perfect photo op (don’t forget to tag #SidewalkDog).
Valley Bookseller and The Daily Grind Espresso Cafe
Head to the north end of downtown to check out this sweet two-fur-one. Valley Bookseller will remind you of a library from your puppy years – wooden shelves, colorful posters, and that oh-so-good old book smell. It’s also home to coffee shop The Daily Grind. Grab a NYT bestseller and one of the shop’s famous breakfast sammies (or an ice cream ‘n coffee “grinder” if you’re feelin’ frisky) and head out to the back pawtio for gorgeous river views.
Maple Island Brewing
When it’s time to wet your whistle, Maple Island Brewing’s taproom is just paw-steps away. Lap up one of their super unique rotating craft brews (or yummy maple root beer) made with local ingredients while your pup makes new frens on yet another riverfront patio with stunning views of the historic lift-bridge. (You know how much she loves classic barkitecture).
Northern Vineyards Winery
If wine is more your jam, go next door to Northern Vineyards Winery, where the staff love four-legged customers the most. Chillax with a glass or a bottle of Rivertown Red from Minnesota’s oldest winery while Mr. Getsallthepets munches on free treats.
Bring some extra bones to spend, because with over 50 boutiques, Stillwater is a shopper’s paradise. One we ruv: 45 Degrees, where you’ll find all the clothing and gear you need to get outdoors, plus rentals fur things like paddleboards and snowshoes. If you’re lucky you’ll get to meet Tulear, the woofer on staff.
Smith + Trade Mercantile
If Minnesota-made stuff makes you drool, be sure to peep Smith + Trade Mercantile. This cute, doggo-welcoming store sells goods made by local artisans, including dog treats, bandanas, and handmade leashes so purdy you’ll howl.
Stillwater Minnesota Farmers Market
If you’re visiting on a Saturday in mid-June through October, you’d be puggin’ crazy not to check out the epic local farmers market, located across from the Historic Courthouse. Pro tip: The Sunshine Barkery sells nutrish homemade dog treats your pooch can try before you buy.
The Tilted Tiki
When bellies start to growl, strut your stuff to The Tilted Tiki fur tropical cocktails, creative small plates, and live music almost every night of the week. Fur the puppers: water bowls, umbrellas for shade, and the staff may even give your good boy or girl a lei!
Leo’s Grill & Malt Shop
Every pup deserves a treat now and then, and if you’re a Twin Cities Dog-Friendly Treat Pass owner, this one’s on us! Wolf down a classic malt or sundae at the legendary Leo’s Grill & Malt Shop while your floof licks up their free Leo’s Pup Cup.
Heaven is a place on earf for dogs at Lora, a magazine-perfect, pet-friendly hotel, restaurant, bar, and coffee shop set on the banks of the St. Croix. After a day spent enjoying the finer things in life with your furry boo, a comfy bed and room service is the cherry on the dog-friendly cake.
Still waters run deep, and the “1848 Birthplace of Minnesota” sure is full of wonderful surprises. What’s your favorite dog-lovin’ spot in Stillwater? Bark at us in the comments, or drop your suggestion here.
(Top photo by @leo_the_lionpup)
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