The Bold North.
That’s who we are. That’s what we are. The Bold North was not just the rallying cry for 2018’s Super Bowl in Minneapolis, it’s a sentiment that the entire state can get behind. Especially in this 4ish-month-long holiday we call Winter.
Here in Minnesota, we laugh in the face of wind-chill. When the temperature drops below freezing, we head out to frozen lakes, peaceful forests, and magical downtown streets. When the snow flies, we wax our skis, gas up our snowmobiles, and lace up our skates. Basically any cold-weather verb you can think of, we’re doing it from December – March.
So to to anyone who is curious about our snowy oasis called Minnesota, we encourage you to bundle up and Go North-er to visit Greater St. Cloud. Because, as it just so happens, winter is kind of our thing. Let’s take a tour, shall we?
What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think winter? Snow, right? Good thing we’ve got that taken care of, no matter what Mother Nature has planned. Powder Ridge is a hot-spot for snow tubing, skiing, and snowboarding. With many runs that cater to any skill level, fun for the whole family can be found on the slopes – that will be covered with snow, no matter what.
More snow, you say? Okay, how about we head over to Quarry Park and Nature Preserve, where there’s no day like a snow day. From cross country skiing to snowshoeing, you are only limited by your imagination when it comes to ways to enjoy the powder at the Quarries. The same can be said for the Sand Prairie Wildlife Management Area, full of wintery hiking trails & native creatures at every turn. What’s that? You’re more into driving on the snow instead of walking/skiing? Check out this list of snowmobile trails in the Greater St. Cloud area and satisfy your need for speed! Or for a full list of snow trails in the Greater St. Cloud area, click here!
Okay, after snow, what’s next? Ice, perhaps? Hard water is in no shortage in our Land of 10,000 you-know-whats – and fortunately we know what to do with it in Greater St. Cloud. Drop a line at Watab, Grand, Pleasant, Clear, Middle Spunk or one of our other area lakes, and you’ll discover what lies beneath (hint: it’s fish). Ice fishing is kind of a big deal to us – and when you reel up your first walleye, you’ll understand why.
What else is hard water good for (besides a fresh cocktail at the end of your winter adventure)? You got it – skates. Figure skaters and hockey players rejoice –we have skating rinks all across the city, with the most prominent on Lake George in Downtown St. Cloud. This was the site of Hockey Day Minnesota in 2018, and if you visit it you’ll understand why. Don’t worry – they also offer skate rentals* if you’re newer to the game. If you’re more into spectator sports, you need to check out a St. Cloud Norsemen hockey game at the MAC for some action packed fun on the ice!
Let’s be honest, after snow and ice, the next winter word that comes to mind is probably: cold. Yeah. It gets cold here. No denying that. It’s a good thing we’ve learned to adapt, by providing numerous fun and exciting indoor adventures* around the Greater St. Cloud area. Release your inner shopaholic at Crossroads Center or in our historic downtown area. Bounce your bum off at Airmaxx Trampoline Park. Roll a strike (or gutter ball, we don’t judge) at Southway Bowl. Try a different kind of skating in the winter at the Skatin’ Place. Test your knowledge (and possibly friendships) at Riddler’s Escape. Challenge your friends to laser tag or a virtual reality game at Blacklight Adventures. Cozy up for a date night & a show at Paramount Theater, Pioneer Place Theater, or Marcus Parkwood Cinema. Shall we keep going? You get the picture.
And honestly, what’s the best way to warm your frozen soul? Eating. & drinking. And you guessed it: we’ve got you covered. No matter your craving, there’s something in the Greater St. Cloud area to satisfy it. Depending on COVID-19 restrictions, these restaurants might be takeout-only – which is still delicious! Just remember to plan accordingly.
Indulge in authentic Indian cuisine at Kohinoor Bar and Grill. Unleash your Greek curiosity at Greek Cravings. Stuff your face with Mexican favorites from Bravo Burritos. Get fancy with noodles and wine at Café Renaissance. Get sweet & saucy at Lily’s Wings & Things Heat things up hibachi style at Fuji Steakhouse. Get on a (sushi) roll at Hajime. Wish you were Irish with a reuben at Olde Brick House. Or sink your teeth into a good ole’ burger at 7 West Taphouse. And when you’re done stuffing your tummy with food, cap it off with a fresh brew from Beaver Island Brewing Co., cuppa Joe from Rock Creek Coffeehouse, or a glass of Merlot from The Veranda.
Since we’re playing this word game, we’ll take a turn. The first word that comes to our minds when we think winter, is FUN! Whether you’re embracing the elements outdoors or celebrating hygge-style, there is no reason to dread this frosty time of year. Yes, it’s cold. Yes, driving can be tough. And yes, it’s not always as sunny. But when you live here, you learn that there is so much to love about winter that those things don’t seem to matter anymore. So this winter, we challenge you to be bold, and go north-er to visit Greater St. Cloud. We’ll give you a warm welcome, borrow you some mittens, and keep the you-betcha’s to a minimum (or not, if that’s your thing).
*Many indoor activities and bars/restaurants are available pending COVID-19 restrictions. Please call ahead before making plans to check on availability.