Last weekend we roadtripped up to the Twin Cities to celebrate our soon-to-be sister-in-law Carley! She’ll be marrying our brother in March, though, to be honest, it feels like she’s been a part of the family forever. Still, it gave us a great excuse to celebrate and make a girls day trip to nearby Stillwater, Minnesota: the perfect place for a girls day getaway!
About 30 minutes east of St. Paul, Stillwater sits along the St. Croix River, opposite of the Wisconsin border. The town is especially busy during the summer months, thanks to beautiful weather ideal for a day on the river, but offers an old school American main street vibe year-round. Home decor shops, crafting studios, and chic restaurants all line St. Croix Trail, the town’s main street, while the river is just steps away. We were surprised to see how busy the town was, even on a cold January weekend. With the storefronts still decked out from the holidays, it was feeling quite festive!
Brick Alley Studio
We started our girls day at Brick Alley Studio, a massage studio inside the historic Brick Alley building. Complimentary wine and snacks kept us content while we waited to being pampered, spinning cut paper flowers that Carley will be using for her wedding decor (she so crafty!).
Next it was off to JJ Nails, an unfussy and totally no-frills nail salon on the main street. Don’t let the lackluster decor deter you; I received one of the fastest (and, well done, might I add) pedicures ever! It’s good they were so quick too, because we had to wait extra time for our toes to dry before our warm boots could go back on. (winter in Minnesota is no joke!)
The Wedge & Wheel
Next, after all that pampering, was time for some noshing. We headed into The Wedge & Wheel, a trendy cheese shop owned by Chris Kohtz. Chris left his radio day job to live the dream and open his own cheese shop. He put together one of the most beautiful charcuterie and cheese boards I dare to say I’ve ever seen, but what really impressed me was how he knew the story and technique behind making every item on the board!
For a heartier lunch, the Wedge & Wheel also serves several kinds of what can only be described as “fancy grilled cheese sandwiches”. And after smelling a few in creation, I have no doubt they’d be equally amazing. Next time we’re in town, I’d love to join one of their Cheese 101 classes or wine tasting events.
St. Croix Trail Shopping
We spent the next couple of hours doing what girls do best, shopping! All along the main street, crafters and antiquers will find plenty of must-need items to take home. Some of our favorite stops were Cooks of Crocus Hill (the Minnesota version of Sur La Table, with on-site cooking classes), Stillwater Farm Store, Mama’s Happy, My Sister’s Cottage, and Forget Me Not. Antiquers will be in heaven at the 2-story Midtown Antique Mall. Though we didn’t join any, there are lots of crafting studios in town too, like Sawdust Savvy, where you can make your own Pinterest inspired wood projects.
Northern Vineyards Tasting Room
With some time to kill before dinner, we decided to stop into Northern Vineyards Tasting Room to warm up with an aperitif. If you’ve tasted wines from the Midwest, then you know there’s just no comparing them to the real deal, but hey, we like to be adventurous. And after a few tastes, the wines at Northern Vineyards definitely confirmed my views on Midwest wines. Let’s just say we were ready to get back to Napa cabs at dinner. 😉
Domacin Wine Bar
With the sun down and the temperatures dropping, we high stepped our way over to Domacin Wine Bar to end the night. Everyone we’d told we were going there said we’d made a wise choice, so expectations were high!
And, we loved it! Our waiter gave us great recommendations, the wine was on point and not overpriced at all, and the restaurant, while rather small inside, felt quite cozy on this chilly night! Domacin is apparently well known for their beef tartare, and let me tell you, it did not disappoint. I would order it again and again.
The wine bar & restaurant also has a retail side, so if you find a wine you like, you can take it an extra bottle home with you. Score!
Well fed and thoroughly wine’d up, it was time to return to the city. Here’s to the Odens girls and many more girls days!
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