With all those day-trippers and antiques buffs jostling for elbow room, downtown Stillwater can get awfully crowded. Next time you take a road trip to the birthplace of Minnesota, do yourself a solid and point your hood uphill, toward a legitimately scenic parking lot. Dozens of spaces surround the Stillwater Veterans Memorial, a glorious steel spire that was built early this century but looks like a remnant from the (non-existent) 1952 Stillwater World’s Fair. Parking is free, and once you’ve secured your spot you can pay your respects to the vets while strolling among carefully landscaped flower beds. Gaze over the roofs and treetops of Stillwater, or cast an appreciative glance upward at the historic Washington County Courthouse. Then, use your best “keep on trucking” stride to make your way downhill. Later, the climb back up will help you work off that salt-water taffy.