100 Best Midwest Small-Town Getaways
The timber of the St. Croix River Valley on the Minnesota/Wisconsin border built the fortunes behind Stillwater's Victorian mansions, and the forest and craggy river valley still supply scenery visitors love. The town (population: 17,200) about 20 miles east of Saint Paul lures travelers with an irresistible mix: a dozen inns and a historic downtown sprinkled with antiques shops and bookstores that bring collectors from all over the world.
Shore drives lead to notable towns, including Marine on St. Croix and Taylors Falls. Train and riverboat tours are staples. Plus, Stillwater offers one of the region's most surprising boat tours: St. Croix cruises in a gondola built in Venice.