Taking MN-36 east from Minneapolis the 27 miles to Stillwater is like falling into a time machine that pops you out into 1950s small-town life. You might not find saddle shoes and poodle skirts, but you can have a burger and a strawberry, banana, or chocolate shake at Lily's corner malt shop downtown. And you can spend a chilly winter afternoon or lazy summer day rummaging through antique lamps, books, furniture, and records in a picturesque former logging town—one of the oldest cities in Minnesota—where brick buildings line the streets and church steeples rise up from the hillside. Linger over lunch on the expansive patio at Stone's Restaurant. Travel across the St. Croix River on the town's historic bridge and watch as red-and-white riverboats run upstream. The small town's magic seems to transcend seasons, and the short car ride there takes you to a place that seems much farther away.


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