Heading out on a solo weekend to recharge? Traveling with a partner that will be in meetings all day? Looking to check off your next bucket-list item? Greater St. Cloud encourages you to experience the truest form of self-care in traveling alone. Constrained by no one else’s timelines, agendas, or opinions, the time is all yours to explore and find your new favorite activities, recharge and indulge! Go ahead, eat dessert for breakfast, take an hour to admire that painting that speaks to you and let your desires be your guide. We are here to help inspire your next adventure to Greater St. Cloud and as always, feel free to reach out to us if there is anything we can assist you with while you plan your next trip.
Affectionately known as the Jewel of St. Cloud, this 21 acre flower wonderland located on the banks of the Mississippi River is a must-see in St. Cloud. Munsinger and Clemens gardens boast quaint cobbled walking paths, stunning, ornate water features, upscale landscaping art, and a huge variety of different types of plant life. There is no cost to come wander the paths but we highly recommend stopping in the Copper Pony Gift Shop located in the upper gardens (Near the public restrooms) for an ice cream treat or cup of coffee to accompany your trip to Munsinger Clemens Gardens. BONUS: Wander down the river to see the St. Cloud State Dam & Riverside Park – all in one place!
With miles of trail systems, Greater St. Cloud has no shortage of options when it comes to hiking and nature walks. Some iconic must-see trails include Beaver Island Trail & Extension, Quarry Park and Nature Preserve and the Lake Wobegon Trail.
Beaver Island Trail & Extension The Beaver Islands are a grouping of islands in the Mississippi River on the south side of St. Cloud near St. Cloud State that were named by the famous explorer Zebulon Pike due to the “immense signs of those animals, for they have dams on every island…” Located along the same stretch of the Mississippi is the Beaver Island Trail, five miles of paved walking, biking, and rollerblading paths. On this trail, scenic views of the Mississippi peak through natural wooded areas as this urban oasis opens up to downtown St. Cloud. Plus, the trail ends with an extension in downtown St. Cloud, that suspends over the river just below the River’s Edge Convention Center, with some of the best river views in the area!
Quarry Park and Nature Preserve. Quarry Park and Nature Preserve is a 684 acre park that is the site of 20 former granite mining quarries. Miles of trails wind through a wide variety of scenic nature areas, from woodlands and open prairie to wetlands and unquarried bedrock areas. At the entrance of the woods, you’ll find the Liberty Derrick and Derrick House, which pay homage to the history of the granite mining industry. Check out some of the tools and techniques that were used for mining granite in the early 1900s. This beautiful park gets busy in the summer with its swimming quarry and cliff-jumping locations, add this to your bucket-list, it’s a must see! BONUS: looking for more on granite mining and the history in the area? Check out the Stearns History Museum.
Grab a bike on the Lake Wobegon Trail. Located at the trailheads in Waite Park and in St. Joseph are bike rentals from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Grab a bike and make your way down the 60 mile asphalt trail. This trail was originally made famous by radio personality Garrison Keillor from A Prairie Home Companion, with his fictional town of Lake Wobegon in Central Minnesota. Small towns give way to wetlands, grassy plains, deciduous forests and cropland as you travel through rural Minnesota. Highlights include the longest covered bridge in Minnesota, located on the Holdingford stretch, and close access to the famous St. John’s University in St. Joseph.
Arts + History
The Greater St. Cloud Area is home to some majestic works of art ranging from architecture, statues, and monuments, to murals and memorials that can all be found outdoors. Grab a cup of tea from Spice of Life Tea Shop and hit the streets exploring some of these area hidden treasures.
Use some of the amazing resources available to take yourself on a self-guided historic downtown walking tour. Explore every block of downtown St. Cloud and learn about this history and heritage of every building along the way. This is a great way to get out and explore downtown, and perhaps do a little shopping and eating while you’re there! See the virtual and printable maps here.
A hub for live music, entertainment, and all kinds of fun! With weekly festivals in the summer, amazing stages that host regional acts all year, and great one-time shows at unforgettable venues, this is the place to come if you’re hoping to be entertained. Check out these amazing venues for shows happening: Pioneer Place on Fifth, Paramount Theater, The Ledge Amphitheater or head to our events calendar for a full listing of shows in the area.
Eat + Drink
All great trips involve indulgent foods, local eateries, crave-worthy flavors and hole-in-the wall treasures. Greater St. Cloud can offer some of the most diverse eateries and local staples to satisfy your taste buds and enhance your travel experience. With so many restaurants in the area, it can be hard to choose where to go but here are a few that we recommend for you as a solo traveler.
Brunch screams vacation to us, the best of all worlds, are you an early riser looking to start your day off with something substantial? Maybe you enjoy your extra hours of sleep in the morning before adventuring out? Whatever your morning entails, kick off your day with a custom breakfast pizza, craft coffee and cute views of downtown at Jules’ Bistro, indulge in donuts the size of your head, embrace Minnesota’s flavors with wild rice sausages and never leave hungry at Clearwater Travel Plaza – Nelson Bros Bakery, or get a loaded bloody mary that is packed with meal items, watch your favorite sports team and try your hand at Axe Throwing at Ultimate Sports Bar + Grill.
Dinner is a great opportunity to dive into your favorite flavors. If you are in the mood for Thai and Filipino, Arroy Restaurant is your must-visit, looking for Mexican? Let us recommend Mexican Village for a full sit down meal or La Perla Market for the street tacos for something a bit faster. Argentinian empanadas and Lomito from Patagonia & Gilibertos will leave you smiling. Looking for American? A burger, fries and a shake from Val’s Rapid Serv. is for you. We highly condone grabbing Val’s and bringing it to Munsinger and Clemens Gardens to eat along the Mississippi River and we don’t judge you for dipping your fries into your shake. Perhaps you are wanting some Mediterranean? Head over to Botor Village Cafe & Bakery in downtown St. Cloud or Cafe Renaissance in Waite Park for a fine dining experience. Indian eateries such as Star of India and Kohinoor Bar & Grill will give you goosebumps, the food is that good. Is selecting a restaurant just too much pressure? Let us help you, give the wheel a spin to choose for you.
Cocktails, mocktails and more
Home to the Hairy Buffalo, an iconic drink in the St. Cloud area, MC’s Dugout serves up the areas best-known drink. You can also find trivia there two nights a week and karaoke as well. With Breweries a-plenty, take a Brew-Cation and find your new favorite while winning prizes along the way. Hit up Silly Beaver Comedy at Beaver Island Brewery on Saturday nights for a few laughs and a craft beer or MN made soda. Hit a yoga class often found on Saturday mornings at Pantown Brewing Company and Beaver Island Brewing Co. or a crafting pop-up event and live music at Back Shed Brewing.
Looking for a great mocktail? Arroy Restaurant in Downtown has a whole list of seasonal mocktails, Jules’ Bistro has Kombucha on tap, Mexican Village offers N/A versions to most of their menu, and Olde Brick House has house-made mocktails and Italian Cream soda.
Bileisure traveling? Business and leisure rolled into one getaway can be the best way to extend a trip, we all have things that need to get done and sometimes a quaint coffee shop or drop-in office is just the place to do it. We don’t want to get too specific in telling you what to do… but if it were us looking for a place to get a project done we would grab our laptop and head to Korppi Coffee + Bakeshop, order a lavender lemonade and dill avocado toast and cozy into the garden vibes for a productive work session. Looking for something more private? Apiary Coworking space in downtown St. Cloud might be the perfect fit. With daily, monthly, and hourly rentals you can customize your stay to your exact needs. Of course your hotel offers a great place to get things off your to-do list as well but don’t forget to take a break to get out and explore!
Kick Back and Relax!
Paddleboard, hammock, kayak or hit the salt caves. Whatever your relaxation style is, we are here for it! Take some time to slow down, unplug and enjoy the beauty around you. Some of our favorite spots are paddle boarding at Warner Lake County Park, putting up a hammock at George Friedrich Park, kayaking on the Mississippi River with Clear Waters Outfitting, or spending a relaxing session at Bella Vita Salt Caves. We know the world moves fast and sometimes we all need a break. Embrace the beauty in the natural resources the Greater St. Cloud area has to offer like its granite, the Mississippi River and prairie land.
Don’t forget to book a hotel room and extend your stay in Greater St. Cloud!