23 Best Things to Do in Saint Cloud, Minnesota
By VacationIdea Staff on January 25, 2023 - Updated
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St. Cloud, Minnesota is named after the French city of the same name and serves as the county seat of Stearns County. The city sits along the Mississippi and Sauk Rivers and is home to more than 30 undeveloped river islands that are part of a 12-mile stretch of protected wild riverfront, serving as a popular site for kayaking and canoeing.
1. Munsinger and Clemens Gardens, Saint Cloud, Minnesota
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Munsinger and Clemens Gardens showcase St. Cloud’s historic 14-acre Munsinger Gardens, which date back to the 1930s and were constructed by the Works Progress Administration. The gardens were refurbished in the 1980s and incorporated with the seven-acre Clemens Gardens in the 1990s. They are located overlooking the Mississippi River and are a popular spot for nature lovers and photographers, beloved for sites such as their Perennial Garden, featuring a replica of a pre-Civil War-era cast iron fountain, and their Virginia Clemens Rose Garden, which showcases more than 1,100 roses, including shrub and tree variants. A gift shop sells a variety of nature-related and gardening items, and public special events include a Music in the Gardens concert series on Sundays.
1515 Riverside Dr SE, St Cloud, MN 56304, Phone: 320-257-5959
2. Stearns History Museum, Saint Cloud, Minnesota
© Stearns History Museum
Stearns History Museum is the flagship project of the Stearns County Historical Society, which preserves the history of the St. Cloud region and Stearns County and encourages visitors to discover their own place within its historical stories. The museum is part of an outdoor nature park that encompasses more than 80 acres, featuring walking trails, floral gardens, and a skateboard park. Two floors of permanent exhibits are showcased, including the Flowing Through Time retrospective, the On Solid Ground examination of the region’s granite industry, and a profile of noted area figure Alice Wheelock Whitney. A children’s room also features activities for visitors under the age of five.
235 South 33rd Avenue, St Cloud, MN 56301, Phone: 320-253-8424
3. Beaver Island Trail, St Cloud, MN
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Beaver Island Trail spans a former route of a charter railroad belonging to the Minneapolis and Northwestern Railway Company, known as the Tileston Mill Spur, which connected the mill town of Tileston to Minneapolis and Clearwater. Two large segments of the former railroad route are open as part of the trail today, including a five-mile stretch along the Mississippi River near St. Cloud State University and a shorter segment that connects to the St. Cloud River’s Edge Convention Center. The trail connects to the pedestrian River Walk, which offers direct downtown access, and is a popular site for runners, bikers, inline skaters, and cross-country skiiers during the winter months. Photo opportunities abound, especially in the fall when the trail’s trees are covered in spectacular autumn colors.
Beaver Island Trail, St Cloud, MN 56301
4. Quarry Park and Nature Preserve, Saint Cloud, Minnesota
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Quarry Park and Nature Preserve is the largest nature preserve overseen by the Stearns County Parks system, spanning an area of more than 680 acres. The park is open to the public year-round from dawn to dusk and showcases a wide variety of plant life throughout its prairie, woodland, wetland, and bedrock ecosystems, including oak and aspen trees, Indian paintbrush, yellow ladyslippers, and prickly pear cacti. Two unsupervised quarries have been designated for swimming, with picnic areas and restrooms offered nearby, and three have been designated as scuba diving areas for certified divers. Rock climbing and cross-country skiing are also permitted in areas throughout the park.
1802 Co Rd 137, Waite Park, MN 56387, Phone: 320-255-6172
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5. Old Capital Tavern, Saint Cloud, Minnesota
© Old Capital Tavern
Old Capital Tavern is a popular Sauk Rapids hangout, offering a wide variety of craft beers, scotches, bourbons, and whiskeys. The tavern is named for the local legend that the town was originally in the running to be Minnesota’s state capital prior to an 1884 tornado that wiped out much of its infrastructure. A full-service kitchen serves a variety of elevated contemporary pub fare, with menu options changed quarterly to cater to locals and tourists alike. Menu options include creative bar appetizers, chicken and steak entrees, and a variety of unique taco dishes. Brunch is served on the weekends, and catering is available for private special events.
2 N Benton Dr, Sauk Rapids, MN 56379, Phone: 320-291-4541
6. Crossroads Center, St Cloud, MN
© Crossroads Center
Crossroads Center is Minnesota’s largest mall outside of the Minneapolis-St. Paul region, offering five anchor stores, including Macy’s, JCPenney, Target, Sears, and Scheels All Sports. The center serves as a major regional shopping and entertainment destination, featuring a variety of mall favorite clothing and accessory retailers such as American Eagle Outfitters, Francesca’s, Hot Topic, and Victoria’s Secret. Other stores include Bath and Body Works, Kay Jewelers, LensCrafters, and Men’s Wearhouse. Food options include national chains such as Caribou Coffee, Chick-Fil-A, Sbarro, and Subway, along with full-service restaurants such as Red Robin Gourmet Burgers. A children’s play area, free wireless internet, and a nursing lounge are also offered.
4101 W Division St, St Cloud, MN 56301, Phone: 320-252-2856
7. Joe Faber Field, Saint Cloud, Minnesota
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Joe Faber Field was constructed in 1998 as a part of the Municipal Athletic Complex and is the home today of the collegiate summer baseball team the St. Cloud Rox, a member of the Northwoods League. It offers seating capacity for more than 2,000 attendees, along with full-service concessions stands and several exclusive dining areas, including the all-you-can-eat-and-drink Sports Deck, which opens 60 minutes prior to each game. Private group seating is also offered at the stadium’s Your Home Improvement Company Lodge, Third Base Terrace, and Westside Liquor Wine Suite. Complimentary admission is available for children under four years with paying adult admission, and children under 14 are invited to run the bases following every Sunday home age. The stadium is also home to a number of annual public special events, including its annual hard cider CiderFest.
5001 Veterans Dr, St Cloud, MN 56303, Phone: 320-240-9798
8. St. Cloud River's Edge Convention Center, Saint Cloud, Minnesota
© St. Cloud River's Edge Convention Center
St. Cloud River's Edge Convention Center was opened in 2014 and showcases more than 180,000 square feet of event space today, including a 16,000-square-foot ballroom and 60,000 square feet of exhibit space. The convention center is managed by the city’s government and showcases public exhibits such as its Natural Life on the Mississippi two-story feature wall, an artistic celebration of the region’s flora, fauna, and natural geography, and a number of arts cabinets presenting works by local artists. It also presents the Minnesota Amateur Baseball Hall of Fame Museum, which displays artifacts related to the state’s baseball history. The center is available for event rental for public and private special events and offers full event catering and liquor service.
10 4th Ave S, St Cloud, MN 56301, Phone: 320-255-7272
9. Ultimate Sports Bar and Grill, Saint Cloud, Minnesota
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Ultimate Sports Bar and Grill is a longtime favorite St. Cloud sports bar hangout, offering 42 televisions showcasing all major regional and national sporting events. The locally-owned restaurant and sports bar offers an extensive menu of classic American pub fare, including shareable appetizers, creative burgers, wrap sandwiches, personal and large pizzas, and chicken wings tossed in a variety of sauces. Light fare and a children’s menu is also available, along with more than a dozen taps of domestic and craft beers. Table top speakers are offered for listening to games, and a seasonal sports deck offers outdoor seating. Regular public special events include cash bingo nights and weekly Texas Hold-’Em events.
1101 Division St, Waite Park, MN 56387, Phone: 320-251-5580
10. Paramount Center for the Arts, Saint Cloud, Minnesota
© Paramount Center for the Arts
Paramount Center for the Arts is a community performing and visual arts center housed within the renovated historic Paramount Theatre in the city’s downtown district. A wide variety of regional and national touring concerts, theatrical performances, and stand-up comedy acts are showcased at the theater throughout its season, which offers individual and season tickets. Two public exhibition spaces offer a variety of annual art exhibitions, including the Theater Lobby Gallery and the Studio C gallery and meeting space. An auxiliary exhibition space showcasing the Minnesota artist-focused Gallery St. Germain is also operated out of the downtown Regency Building, supported by a grant from the McKnight Foundation. As a community arts resource, the center also offers a variety of public art courses and studio spaces for artists of all skill levels.
913 W St Germain St, St Cloud, MN 56301, Phone: 320-259-5463
11. Pioneer Place on Fifth, Saint Cloud, Minnesota
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Pioneer Place on Fifth is located within St. Cloud’s downtown district in a regal building originally constructed in 1913 as an Elks Club facility. The building’s facade still showcases original features, including two stone-carved clocks permanently set to 11:00 to honor fallen Elks and The King, a turn-of-the-century porcelain floor urinal that has been listed as one of the top historic urinals in the world. Since 1998, the historic building has been operated as a professional performing arts company, presenting eight touring productions each year. A concert series is also presented, showcasing local musicians and bands and offering free community music events throughout the year. The theater’s Veranda Lounge wine bar offers a full spirits menu, seasonal outdoor seating, and weekly jazz and acoustic music events.
22 5th Ave S, St Cloud, MN 56301, Phone: 320-203-0331
12. White Horse, St Cloud, MN
© White Horse
White Horse is a contemporary American-style bar and restaurant that was opened by Brian Lee in 2008 as an answer to the high number of corporate chain restaurants within the city. The restaurant, which is named after a locally famous turn-of-the-century downtown bar, showcases an all-scratch kitchen and is a popular hangout for St. Cloud State University students and professors. It has been honored by local publications as one of the city’s best restaurants and is dedicated to supporting the city’s local arts and culture scene, display the works of local artists and hosting live music performances from regional bands. Signature dishes include the restaurant’s Black and Bleu steak, miso chili glazed tuna, Thai peanut curry salmon, and Thai steak salad. Other menu items include build-your-own burgers, wrap sandwiches, and vegetarian options.
809 W St Germain St, St Cloud, MN 56301, Phone: 320-257-7775
13. Star of India, Saint Cloud, Minnesota
© Star of India
Star of India is one of St. Cloud’s premiere Indian restaurants, offering a wide variety of authentic traditional and contemporary Indian dishes crafted from scratch with fresh ingredients. The restaurant’s menu is centered around family recipes that have been perfected across several generations and incorporate as many locally-sourced ingredients as possible. A lunch buffet is served daily during the morning and afternoon hours, with full meat and vegetarian entree options available at dinner, including favorites such as chicken tikka masala, palak paneer, dal makhani, and lamb vindaloo. Catering is also offered for private special events, including weddings and corporate functions.
2812 W Division St, St Cloud, MN 56301, Phone: 320-281-3388
14. Things to Do in Saint Cloud, Minnesota: Coyote Moon Grille
© Coyote Moon Grille
Coyote Moon Grille is located on the campus of St. Cloud’s Territory Golf Club, overlooking its 18-hole championship golf course, which has been named as one of the best public golf courses in the state. The restaurant is open year-round for dinner, with lunch service offered seasonally between April and September. It is housed within a 12,000-square-foot lodge which showcases a pub-style bar, casual dining room, and two private rental rooms accommodating up to 70 guests apiece. A large banquet hall is also available for private special event rentals. A wide variety of classic American entrees are offered for dinner, including steak and seafood options. Sunday brunch options also include a homemade soup and salad bar and favorites such as Eggs Benedict, sausage gravy and biscuits, and homestyle pancakes.
480 55th Ave SE, St Cloud, MN 56304, Phone: 320-257-6500
15. Granite City Food and Brewery, Saint Cloud, Minnesota
© Granite City Food and Brewery
Granite City Food and Brewery opened its doors to the St. Cloud community in 1999 and since has expanded its operations to offer 32 restaurants located within more than a dozen states. The award-winning restaurant and brewery serves its handcrafted microbrews on tap, brewed onsite at a brewhouse visible from the main dining area. Signature brews include its Duke Pale Ale, Bennie Bock, Batch 1000 Double IPA, and Northern American-style Lager. Its open-style kitchen offers made-from-scratch menu options, including creative bar appetizers, artisanal flatbreads, signature steakburgers, and seafood entrees. A private dining room is also available within the restaurant for large groups and private special events.
3945 2nd St S, St Cloud, MN 56301, Phone: 320-203-9000
16. Things to Do in Saint Cloud, Minnesota: Olde Brick House
© Olde Brick House
Olde Brick House is the central Minnesota region’s only traditional-style Irish pub, opened to the public in January of 2017. The casual-style tavern offers a wide variety of menu options at lunch and dinner, including traditional Irish favorites such as Guinness-battered fish and chips, shepherd’s pie, and Celtic-style meatloaf. Sandwich and salad pairs are offered at lunch, along with soup favorites such as the restaurant’s house seafood chowder. At dinner, a full pub menu is offered, including classic sandwiches, burgers, and bar appetizers. All day happy hour specials are offered on Sundays, including drink specials and shareable Irish recess food plates. Several meeting rooms are available for private special event rental, including corporate functions and wedding rehearsals.
102 6th Ave S, St Cloud, MN 56301, Phone: 320-774-3770
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17. 7 West Taphouse, Saint Cloud, Minnesota
© 7 West Taphouse
7 West Taphouse is located within downtown St. Cloud’s former Electric Fetus music shop building, offering a variety of classic American bar fare in a casual, intimate setting. The small Minnesota chain, which originally opened to the public in 2012 in Duluth, operates four locations throughout the central Minnesota region today. It offers more than 50 domestic and craft beer taps, along with a large menu of cheap, casual pub entrees, including creative bar appetizers, innovative taco options, and signature burgers such as the chain’s brown sugar Sugar Daddy and One Eyed Jack pepper jack cheese burgers. Fresh house chips and fries are also available with a variety of customizable sauce and topping options.
28 5th Ave S, St Cloud, MN 56301, Phone: 320-774-2936
18. Things to Do in Saint Cloud, Minnesota: Mongo's Grill, St Cloud, MN
© Mongo's Grill
Mongo's Grill is a casual Mongolian grill-style restaurant offering several locations throughout the Minnesota and Manitoba regions, including a downtown St. Cloud location. Meat and vegetarian options are offered at the build-your-own-bowl restaurant, which allows diners to choose from a wide variety of protein, noodle, sauce, and add-in topping options. Each bowl is personally grilled at the restaurant’s wok-style grilling station and served with a choice of rice, wraps, or tortillas. After watching dishes prepared by the restaurant’s grillmasters, visitors can enjoy their own-of-a-kind creations paired with a variety of unique beverages and desserts. Takeout and catering is also available.
3701 W Division St # 103, St Cloud, MN 56301, Phone: 320-253-2695
19. Things to Do in Saint Cloud, Minnesota: RJ's American Grill
© RJ's American Grill
RJ's American Grill is a relaxed bar and grill located along the city’s southern edge, offering a wide variety of creative fare in a location with a neighborhood hangout vibe. The restaurant offers a number of domestic and import beer taps, along with a large menu of hand-selected wine and spirits. Unique menu options include the restaurant’s signature Mediterranean-style baked dip, artisanal specialty pizzas, and a variety of steak, seafood, and pasta entrees. Hand-breaded sandwich options include craft burgers and fish sandwiches, and shareable appetizers highlight twists on bar favorites, such as jalapeno cream cheese wontons. Dessert and children’s menus are also offered. Private dining accommodations may be accepted for parties of up to 45 with advance reservations.
4221 Clearwater Rd, St Cloud, MN 56301, Phone: 320-257-7757
20. Things to Do in Saint Cloud, Minnesota: Beaver Island Brewery
© Beaver Island Brewery
Beaver Island Brewery was founded by homebrewers Matt Studer and Nick Barth and strives to create memorable beers with thoughtful twists that engage and unite the St. Cloud community. Year-round brews offered at the brewery include their Ripple German Ale, ‘39 Red IPA, Revival Coast-to-Coast IPA, and Sweet Miss Chocolate Oatmeal Milk Stout. Limited releases focus on unique style and flavor profiles, including releases such as the brewery’s Soaked Revival Spanish Orange Ale and releases within the River Hopper Expedition IPA series. Well-behaved pets are welcomed on the brewery’s taproom patio, and private special event rentals are available for corporate and community events. Brewery tours may also be scheduled upon request.
216 6th Ave S, St Cloud, MN 56301, Phone: 320-253-5907
21. Lake George-Eastman Park
Located just a short walk from the hustle of downtown Saint Cloud, Lake George offers residents and visitors an urban lake surrounded by public green space. This popular recreation area boasts its own Boathouse where you can rent a variety of water sport equipment including paddle boats, canoes and SUP as well as fishing equipment. If water sports are not for you, why not take advantage of the beautiful walking paths, water features and benches which surround the lake. Younger visitors can have hours of fun at the Eastman Park Playground and the Lake George Splash pad. During the summer months everyone heads to the Summertime by George concerts which are staged on the lake shore every Wednesday.
1101 7th Street South, St. Cloud, MN 56301, 320 257 5959
22. Riddler’s Escape
If you love puzzles and riddles, Riddler’s Escape is sure to be a hit. Round up your friends and family and book the escape room of your choice for an entertaining hour of lateral thinking. At Riddler’s, each of the 4 escape rooms is completely unique and has its own theme – try one and you will definitely be back to try the others. Themes range from Detective Lockwood Room (self explanatory) to the mystical and scary Spellbound Room where you will have to fight for your immortality. What all the rooms have in common is that you need more than one person to unlock the riddles and save the day. If you and your team work closely together you should succeed within the time limit.
510 25th Ave North, Saint Cloud, MN 56303, 320 316 0297
23. AirMaxx Trampoline Park
Providing hours of fun and great exercise for all ages, AirMaxx Trampoline Park is a must on your family-to-do list in St. Cloud. A sea of wall-to-wall trampolines is just perfect for showing off your jumping skills, while teams or groups can head to the Dodge Ball section to test their skills. Younger visitors will love the foam pit and there is a special jumping area for under 5’s called the MiniMaxxer’s court. The AirMaxx facility is an ideal place for children’s birthday parties with all the necessary fun and games under one roof. Various Birthday Party packages are available to suit the size of your party.
3900 Roosevelt Road, St. Cloud, MN 56301, 320 281 5599