St. Croix River Valley
On the eastern edge of the Twin Cities area is the beautiful St. Croix River Valley. This scenic river has jagged, pine-studded rocks at Interstate State Park, and quieter, broad waters farther south. Enjoy river views and trails at Wild River, William O'Brien and Afton state parks. Several boat excursions can get you out on the river. Apple orchards and historic sites are other popular stops in the valley. In the winter, two downhill areas draw skiers and snowboarders.
Stillwater, Hastings, Taylors Falls and other charming rivertowns along the St. Croix River have distinctive Main Streets known for their antique, gift, and book shops. Historic inns throughout the valley make great getaway destinations. West of the St. Croix river is the community of White Bear Lake, with a classic downtown of great shops and restaurants. The Chisago Lakes area to the north is known for its Swedish heritage and Running Aces Harness Park, a harness racing track near Forest Lake.