Three Historic Places to Visit this Winter in Greater St. Cloud

Are you looking to learn more about Greater St. Cloud and delve into the history and beauty of your community? Check out this guide to learn more about the history of St. Cloud and all the winter fun it has to offer.

Although the winter months can be dark (and the cold seems to last forever) there are plenty of opportunities to get out and enjoy St. Cloud. Whether it be a performance at the Veranda, or a walk through Munsinger Gardens, St. Cloud has something for everyone.

Enjoy the Views at Munsinger Gardens

In St. Cloud, Munsinger Gardens is known for it’s beautiful flowers, enjoyable walking trails, and Instagram worthy views of the Mississippi River.

However, Munsinger Gardens wasn’t always a garden. In fact, it began as the location for a Sawmill that opened in 1890. The Sawmill was transformed into the gardens we know today in 1930 when Joseph Munsinger became the Superintendent of the Parks for the city of St. Cloud.

Thanks to Joseph Munsinger, and the hard work of the Work Progress Association (WPA), locals and tourists alike can venture out to enjoy the beauty of the gardens all year round, even in the cold winter months.

Although the flowers may not be blooming the snow and frost are just as pretty. Wander down the path to the park and take a minute to sit and enjoy the views of the iced over Mississippi River. Or if you’re feeling more adventurous grab a sled or some cross-country skis and head over to the hill at Riverside Park to have a thrill. Check out the green house on your way and enjoy the views of the St. Cloud Hydro Dam.

History Fact: Messipi in the Ojibwe language means Great River and is the origin word of what we now call the Mississippi River. 

Take a Stroll through Barden Park

Combine the best of history and the outdoors with a quick stroll through Barden Park. Located just across the road from The Miller Center at St. Cloud State University, Barden Park is in St. Cloud’s historic Lower Town and is the oldest park in the city! Barden Park was originally called Central Park and is a 2.5-acre lot that was donated by John Wilson in 1855.

Barden Park has a small granite bandstand and is a popular gathering place for students at SCSU. Barden Park was named after Charles Barden who was a member of the St. Cloud City’s Park board. He lived across the street from the park, and it was renamed in 1938, one year after his death.

If you’re looking for a place to warm up, take a walk through the library and make your way to the third floor for some epic views of SCSU and the surrounding neighborhoods.

History Fact: Barden Park was created before St. Cloud became a city.


Catch A Show at Pioneer Place on Fifth and Enjoy Live Music at the Veranda Lounge

If you’re more of the indoors-y type and are looking for a warm and inviting place to spend your evenings check out a show at Pioneer Place on Fifth or grab a seat next to the fireplace in the Veranda Lounge to enjoy live music from local musicians. Grab a beer or a mixed drink to warm up and immerse yourself in the liveliness of historic downtown and the company of all who stop by.

The Pioneer Place on Fifth is a staple in historic downtown St. Cloud. With its iconic façade and large outdoor balcony, it’s hard to miss. Originally built in 1913 as an Elks Club, the theatre has been home to many different businesses and groups, all while preserving the history of the building.  The main theatre was originally a ballroom and featured a balcony.

The building went through a major renovation starting in 1997 and officially reopened its doors in 1998 featuring a production of Shakespeare. This intimate venue now hosts an array of professional productions that draws people from Greater St. Cloud and beyond.

Want to see something a little quirky? Head upstairs and see “The King,” a turn of the century urinal that has been listed as one of the top 100 urinals.

History fact: The original hardwood floors are still intact.

Plan your winter trip to Greater St. Cloud!