Minnesota (MN)

Top 15 Things to Do in St. Cloud, MN

Did you know that St. Cloud, Minnesota is named after the suburb in Paris with the same name?

While St. Cloud isn’t a European getaway, it’s still a vibrant city with many exciting things to see and do! You’ll find this city just 70 miles north of the Twin Cities, so you can always add in St. Cloud as a stop if you’re in the local area.

So what is there to do here? What should you add to your itinerary for a great trip? In this article, we’ll cover 15 interesting things to do in St. Cloud, MN!

1. Quarry Park and Nature Preserve

One of the first things you should know is that St. Cloud is known for its granite quarries. So of course, you should take a look at them for yourself!

Photo Credit: Keith Ewing/Flickr

At the Quarry Park and Nature Preserve, you’ll get to explore over 680 acres from dawn until dusk. There are a total of 20 quarries, where you can participate in several activities. For instance, you can swim and even scuba dive in many of them!

In this nature preserve, you can also cross-country ski and rock climb in designated areas. Whatever you decide to do, you’ll gaze upon incredible plant life all throughout the area!

2. Beaver Island Trail

While St. Cloud is known for its granite quarries, you might’ve gathered from the previous section that the city also has tons of nature to offer. For this reason, you might be excited about the choices you’ll have to get out there and explore.

You should consider going on a brisk walk along Beaver Island Trail. It actually runs across former railroad routes for the Northwestern Railway Company.

Photo Credit: JP Newell/Flickr

You’ll have 2 choices for your walk. You can either take the shorter route that goes behind the St. Cloud River’s Edge Convention Center or the longer one (5 miles) that starts near St. Cloud State University campus and takes you along the Mississippi River.

3. Munsinger and Clemens Gardens

Built in the 1930s, this 21-acre garden first started as just Munsinger Gardens, which spanned 14 acres. Then, in the 1980s, the 7-acre Clemens Gardens was added while the grounds were refurbished.

Photo Credit: Munsinger and Clemens Gardens

In the Munsinger and Clemens Gardens, you’ll get to see beautiful flowers, shrubs, and trees. The gardens are located right next to the Mississippi River, so you’ll get a fantastic view as you stroll through.

Make sure you visit the Perennial Garden and Virginia Clemens Rose Garden, which have some amazing sights to behold, including a stunning pre-Civil War-era cast-iron fountain and various blooming roses.

4. Stearns History Museum

Whether you’re considering moving to the local area or you just love history, the Stearns History Museum is a worthwhile visit.

Photo Credit: Sterns History Museum

This museum was founded in 1936 by the Stearns County Historical Society but didn’t actually become a museum until 1972. You’ll find it located in an outdoor nature park where you can enjoy yourself across 80 acres. There are floral gardens, many walking trails for people of all fitness levels, and even a skateboard park if you’ve got little ones who want to get some practice in!

Otherwise, inside the Stearns History Museum, you’ll get to see various exhibits that tell St. Cloud’s tale. There are 2 floors where you can see permanent exhibits, as well as some temporary ones that come through.

5. Paramount Center for the Arts

This Performing Arts Center is located in the renovated historic Paramount Theatre. If you’d like to catch a performance or two while in St. Cloud, then this is the place to be.

Photo Credit: YUPPY PHOTO

Not only can you enjoy comedy acts and theatrical performances, but you can also view many works of art inside this space. Roam through the Theater Lobby Gallery, Studio C Gallery, and the meeting space to see some breathtaking art. There’s also an auxiliary exhibition space that’s nearby in Gallery St. Germain.

If you’re sticking around for longer, you should consider trying out some public art courses that the studios have on sometimes.

6. Pioneer Place on Fifth

This is another performing arts space in St. Cloud, so it’s another place to put on your to-go list if you’re an arts and music fan. You’ll get to enjoy performances put on by local musicians and bands!

The building was first built in 1913 and used as an Elks Club facility. If you look closely, you’ll still see some of the original features on the building for the Elks.

Photo Credit: Pioneer Place on Fifth

When you’re inside, you’ll want to check out the urinals (if you’re a guy). This building is home to one of the top historic urinals, as it’s a turn-of-the-century porcelain floor urinal!

Pioneer Place on Fifth also has many free community music events, so you don’t always have to spend money to indulge yourself here.

7. Crossroads Center

Do you love to shop? Then you’ve got to visit Crossroads Center! This is actually the largest mall you’ll find in the state outside of the Minneapolis-St. Paul area.

Photo Credit: Crossroads Center

The anchor stores you’ll find here are Sears, Target, Macy’s, JCPenney, and Scheels All Sports. You’ll also find other shopping favorites like Victoria’s Secret, H&M, American Eagle Outfitters, Bath and Body Works, and Payless ShoeSource.

If you get hungry while shopping, not to worry, as there are many fast food options, as well as full-service restaurants.

8. Joe Faber Field

Joe Faber Field is part of the Municipal Athletic Complex (MAC) and was built in 1998. It seats over 2,000 people and is home to the St. Cloud Rox.

Here, you’ll find full-service concession stands, but that’s not all! In fact, there’s an all-you-can-eat (and drink!) sports deck, which you can visit 1 hour before the game starts.

If you’ve got kids under 14, consider bringing them on a Sunday, as they’ll be invited to run the bases!

When the field isn’t in use for baseball games, there are many events hosted here. So make sure to visit for the annual CiderFest!

9. Old Capital Tavern

Need to rest up and refuel after doing all these activities? Then head over to Old Capital Tavern (which is technically in Sauk Rapids, which is perfect if you’re looking for things to do near St. Cloud, MN).

Photo Credit: Old Capital Tavern

Why’s it called this? Well, the story goes that Sauk Rapids was set to become the capital of the state, until a tornado destroyed it in 1884.

Here, you’ll get to chow down on pub food done up in a contemporary way. Not just that, but you’ll quench your thirst on various craft beers, whiskeys, bourbons, and scotches. 

10. Ultimate Sports Bar and Grill

Looking for another place to rest up, but want to catch up with some games? Then you need to go to Ultimate Sports Bar and Grill!

Photo Credit: Ultimate Sports Bar & Grill

They have an impressive 75 widescreen TVs where you can watch any sports game you want, whether it’s college or pro. You’ll also get tabletop speakers so you can hear every detail of the game.

Satiate your hunger by biting into the best wings in town, or wraps, burgers, salads, etc.

Not only does this bar and grill have 16 beers on tap, but you can order the “smaller” 16 or 25 oz mugs or you can go big with beer pitchers, 88 oz tower dispensers with taps, or the 240 oz bladder buster!

11. Territory Golf Club

For those of you who’d like to visit golf courses all around the world, you won’t want to miss out on Territory Golf Club. It’s a public golf course, but it’s so well maintained that you’d think it’s a private club!

Photo Credit: Territory Golf Club

You’ll get to tee off in some beautiful settings where you’ll see natural wetlands and a river, as well as water features and different elevation changes throughout the course.

While locals can buy season passes, you’ll be pleased to know that Territory Golf Club is a daily-fee club, so you can pay by the day.

12. Coyote Moon Grille

While you’re at Territory Golf Club, why not head over to Coyote Moon Grille? It’s a wonderful place to have dinner after you’ve played the whole course. You can also have lunch if you visit between April and September.

Photo Credit: Coyoto Moon Grille

This restaurant overlooks the course, which gives you a fantastic view of the whole green. But the course isn’t the only impressive thing you’ll see; Coyote Moon Grille is inside a 12,000 square foot lodge!

The food here is good too. And if you want to host an event here, you sure can with the 2 private rental rooms and large banquet hall.

13. Downtown

Some of the fun things to do in St. Cloud, MN are located right in its heart. Downtown St. Cloud is home to many boutiques and is very close to the Paramount Center for the Arts, which means you can cram these 2 activities together if you want.

Photo Credit: City of St. Cloud Minnesota

Take a leisurely walk through downtown to visit its many stores with unique finds. You just might be able to find a special souvenir that’ll remind you of St. Cloud for years to come!

And when you get tired and/or hungry, there won’t be a lack of choices when it comes to food. Take your pick at the various tantalizing restaurants that are sprinkled along Downtown.

14. Lake Wobegon Trail

This is definitely one for nature lovers, as Lake Wobegon Trail spans 63 miles! The good news is, it’s a bike trail, so you won’t have to spend all day walking or jogging.

Photo Credit: Lake Wobegon Trail

As you bike through the charming trail, you’ll pass by many small towns where you can rest up at. For instance, stop at Freeport for some delicious pie or at Bad Habit Brewing for some cold beers!

15. Lake George

Lake George is actually a manmade lake, but it’s so gorgeous that you’d never be able to tell! Not only can you take a nice stroll on a beautiful day, but you can also get a breathtaking view of the Catholic Cathedral in the distance, as well as Downtown St. Cloud.

Photo Credit: Summertime by George

If you want to get in the water, then you can jump in for a swim! Or you can get on a paddleboard or rent a paddleboat or canoe.

You can also bring the little ones to play on the nice playground and splash pad.

In the summer, there are free concerts and festivals put on by the Rotary Club of St. Cloud called Summertime by George!

FAQs

Do you have some additional questions about St. Cloud, MN? Then hopefully we can answer them for you here!

What Is There to Do in St. Cloud for Free?

There are plenty of things to do in St. Cloud for free! Visit the many nature trails and parks to avoid spending even a dime. And there are some free summer concerts in Lake George too!

What Is There to Do in St. Cloud at Night?

Thankfully, there’s plenty to do in St. Cloud at night! Visit one of the many restaurants and breweries to grab yourself a nice meal and a cold beer. There are also several bars and clubs if you want to go dancing!

Is St. Cloud Safe?

The city has an overall crime rate of 14 per 1,000 residents. When you break it down into the different types of crimes, St. Cloud’s rates are much lower than the national averages, which makes it a safe city.

 Experience These Things to Do in St. Cloud, MN Yourself

If you were wondering about things to do in St. Cloud, MN, then we hope this article has given you plenty of ideas. From hiking at the many trails and visiting museums, to catching a concert at one of the performing arts centers and having a tasty meal and beer at a restaurant, there are so many things to do in this beautiful city.

So if you’re looking for a new area to explore, consider this city. There are plenty of St. Cloud events and attractions to see!

If you’re thinking of visiting other places in the US, then check out the rest of our site for some helpful tips!

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