Day Trips in St. PaulEdit This
St. Paul is well positioned for daytrippers to easily take advantage of some of the most spectacular scenery in the Upper Midwest. Water sports - fishing, boating, and swimming - abound on the rivers and lakes in the region. Railroad beds turned into trails carry bikers and skiers out into the suburbs and countryside. Several casinos within an hour's drive attract big name entertainment.
East of St. Paul
Directly east of the city are two scenic river valleys - the St. Croix, part of the National Wild and Scenic Rivers network, and the Mississippi. The St. Croix River passes through towns such as Taylors Falls and Stillwater before joining the Mississippi at Osceola, WI. Interstate Park at Taylors Falls offers superb rock climbing on the rugged cliffs overlooking the river as well as canoeing, picnicking, and fishing. Glacial potholes, some 80 of them, comprise the largest collection of such ancient configurations anywhere in the world. Stillwater, a picturesque old fashioned river town full of antique shops and restaurants is a part of an exclusive club of some 25 "book towns" throughout the world that specialize in antiquarian book shops.
North of St. Paul
Though Duluth, the most interior port on the Great Lakes, is a little far for a day trip, the I-35 corridor out of St. Paul quickly transforms from exurb to farm land to forest. Along the way are several state parks, Wild River, St. Croix, and Banning, a casino, and a 74-mile long bike trail.
South of St. Paul
Corn fields extend from St. Paul south to the Iowa border, but along the Cannon River Valley, about 40 minutes out of the city, the uniformity is broken with a 20-mile stretch of water for canoeing and kayaking. A trail paralleling the river takes bikers and skiers from Cannon Falls to Red Wing on the Mississippi or vice versa. Further on, Rochester is the site of the world famous Mayo Clinic. The Mayowood Mansion where one of the Mayo brothers lived just outside of town is open for tours and special events.
West of St. Paul
The western suburbs of the Twin Cities, especially the area around Lake Minnetonka, make an easy day trip from St. Paul. The lake has been a summer resort area since before street car days and can be reached directly on I-394. The resurrected steamer Minnehaha makes lake crossings during the summer and a plethora of restaurants, shops, parks, and bike trails can be found on the 125 miles of irregular lake shore. A little to the northwest out of St. Paul on I-94 toward St. Cloud, shoppers can find a complete compliment of outlet stores at Albertville.
September 04, 2009 new by kimerly