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Stillwater Lift Bridge

Stillwater is a city in the Twin Cities region of Minnesota. It is the county seat of Washington County.


Stillwater is one the oldest towns in Minnesota, being settled not long after the US government signed treaties with the local Ojibwa and Dakota nations in 1837. The town was the site of a territorial convention in 1848 that led to the establishment of Minnesota Territory as an organized territory in 1849, paving the way to statehood a decade later. Stillwater incorporated as a city on March 4, 1854, the same day Saint Paul incorporated. Today Stillwater is a popular day trip and weekend getaway destination for Twin Cities residents, who come to stroll the historic downtown with its shops and restaurants, and stay at one of the local bed and breakfasts.

Get in[edit]

By car[edit]

From Minneapolis or Saint Paul, go east on Minnesota Highway 36, which leads to Main Street in Downtown Stillwater. If approaching Stillwater from the north or south, you can take Minnesota Highway 95 into town, which follows a scenic route along the St. Croix River. From Wisconsin, take Highway 64, which runs right into the Stillwater Lift Bridge.

By bus[edit]

Public transit access to Stillwater is unfortunately pretty lacking. The sole option is Metro Transit's Route 294, an express bus service linking Stillwater to Downtown Saint Paul, which only runs during weekday rush hours.

Get around[edit]


  • 1 Stillwater Lift Bridgeat the foot of Chestnut St. Built in 1931, this is one of only two vertical lift bridges in Minnesota (the other one is the Aerial Lift Bridge in Duluth). The bridge connects Stillwater and Houlton, Wisconsin.
  • 2 Stillwater Public Library224 N 3rd St +1 651 275-4338. M-Th 10AM-8PM, F-Sa 10AM-5PM, Su 1PM-5PM (seasonal, check website). One of the Carnegie public libraries, the building was expanded in 2007. There is free wifi available throughout the library and a patio providing picturesque vistas of the St. Croix River. Free.
  • 3 Washington County Courthouse101 W Pine St (at 3rd St),  +1 651 275-7075. Self-guided tours M-Th 8AM-3:30PM, F 8AM-10:45AM; guided tours (mid-Apr to mid-Oct) M-Th 11AM, 1PM, 3PM, F 10:45AM, plus Sa 10:45AM year-round. The oldest standing courthouse in Minnesota, dating from 1867. The building ceased to function as a courthouse in 1975 after the opening of the Washington County Government Center on the south side of town. The courthouse now contains exhibits on Washington County history and also operates as a venue for cultural events. Free.


  • St. Croix River. Lounge on the beach where there is always tons to see.


Downtown Stillwater


  • 1 Marx Wine Bar & Grill241 S Main St +1 651 439-8333.
  • 2 Domacin Wine Bar102 S 2nd St.
  • 3 Freight House305 S Water St.
  • 4 Nelson's Ice Cream920 W Olive St (at Greeley St),  +1 651 430-1103. M-F 2:30PM-9PM, Sa 11AM-10PM, Su noon-9PM. An ice cream shop that has been in business since 1964, although it can trace its history to a grocery store that opened at the same site in 1923. Over 40 ice cream flavors available.


  • Cesares Wine Bar102 S. 2nd Street +1 651-439-1352, e-mail: . A really nice wine bar where you can taste more than 350 wines from all around the world. If you don't know much about wines, then you can attend their wine tasting classes as well.


  • 1 The Elephant Walk Bed and Breakfast801 W Pine St +1 651 430-0359. Check-in: 4PM, check-out: 11:30AM. Each room has a different country's theme. Guests are offered a bottle of wine with a picnic basket of homemade crackers served with a variety of cheese and fruit. Fireplaces, whirlpools, in-room refrigerators filled with complementary waters and soft drinks. Sound systems with iPod audio in, blue tooth input and wifi access. $139+.
  • 2 Aurora Staples Inn303 N 4th St +1 651 351-1187, toll-free: +1-800-580-3092. Check-in: 4PM, check-out: 11AM. All rooms have double whirlpool tubs, complementary robes, fireplaces, and private baths. Rooms $119-$199, Suites $119-$229, Carriage House $159-$245.
  • 3 Water Street Inn101 S Water St +1 651 439-6000. Spacious 41-room inn overlooking the St. Croix River with views of the Stillwater Lift Bridge. Rooms feature queen sized beds, double whirlpool baths, gas fireplaces, and balconies. Breakfast, wine dinners, and American cuisine offered at the on-site restaurant and Irish pub.


Go next[edit]

  • St. Paul (25 min by car)
  • Minneapolis (45 min by car)
  • Duluth (2~3 hrs by car)
Routes through Stillwater
Saint PaulOakdale  W MN-5.svg E  END
Minneapolis via I-35W.svgRoseville  W MN-36.svg E  → becomes WIS 64.svgNew RichmondBloomer
Saint CloudTaylors Falls  N MN-95.svg S  BayportCottage Grove
ENDWhite Bear Lake  W MN-96.svg E  END

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