On the St. Croix River, Stillwater always has held a prominent place in Minnesota first as a lumber town, and now as a favorite weekend destination.
What to do: Ride the new Brown's Creek State Trail from downtown. Shop on Main Street, especially for antiques. Take a trolley tour. Have a picnic in Pioneer Park overlooking the river valley. Sample wine at Northern Vineyards and beer at Maple Island Brewing.
Details: For more, see Summer in Stillwater.
Past fast plans: Duluth boat-watching, A ball in Milwaukee, Spring in Galena, Eagles on the river, Circling Lake Pepin
Cinco de Mayo in St. Paul. This fiesta on the West Side (just south of downtown) features a 10 a.m. parade, low-rider car show and lots of food, music and dancing. May 2.
Dutch Days Festival in Fulton, Ill. This Mississippi town, across from Clinton, Iowa, celebrates its heritage with Dutch dancing, windmill tours, street scrubbing and a 3 p.m. Saturday parade. May 12.
Maifest in Amana, Iowa. There's a lot going on in this former communal society a 10 a.m. Saturday parade, polka music, keg-tapping, artisan demonstrations and pony rides. May 23.
Festival of Nations in St. Paul. Sample food, music, crafts and dance from 90 different ethnic groups at the downtown RiverCentre. April 30May 3.
For more events, see our Events Calendar.
It's a beautiful spring day finally. The trees are budding, the birds are chirping. What do you do?
Road trip! Somehow, the call of the highway is especially strong in spring. We want to feel the wind on our face and see something new and unusual.
There's a lot to do along the way: Walk through bluebells, spot birds, visit artist studios, sample cheese, watch a parade.
Here are 15 of the best spring drives around the region.
By April, the harbingers of spring are on the move.
"The spring migration is well underway!'' comes the report from wildlife refuges. "Eagles and swans, Canada geese, robins, sparrows, sandhills cranes have arrived!''
are birds, there are birders and bird festivals. Those are especially
nice for beginners, who dont yet have the skills to find and identify
If theres a bird-banding demonstration, dont miss it; its a good chance to see identifying markings of a bird close-up.
Below are a few of the best festivals in 2015. Space on field trips and tours goes fast, so sign up early.
It's hard to imagine life without the Germans.
When they crossed the ocean, they brought hot dogs, potato salad and beer gardens. Thanks to them, we have kindergartens, Christmas trees and fairy tales.
Their traditions now are woven into the fabric of Upper Midwest life. To paraphrase the words of John F. Kennedy, we are all Germans.
Germans are fun folks at least, they like a party. Thanks to them, we have Oktoberfests all fall, Christkindl markets over the holidays and, to welcome spring, Maifests.
Here are just a few of the best places to look for wildflowers.
For more, see Spring in full glory.
Nature Conservancy sites host many interesting plants. Wildlife refuges, nature preserves and environmental learning centers also are good places to look.
For more, see our Facebook album of 50 spring wildflowers.
Up north, all of the snow that brought you great skiing just keeps on giving when spring arrives.
That's when it turns into waterfalls, roaring down river gorges and misting awed onlookers.
One of the easiest places to see lots of big waterfalls is along Minnesota's North Shore, where dozens of rivers roar down into Lake Superior. Where there's water, there's a waterfall.
When's the best time to go? As soon as ice melts, of course.
Here are some of the most spectacular falls.
What's so great about hiking in spring? That's easy there's so much to see.
Move your feet in any direction and you'll run across wildflowers, waterfalls and, best of all, sweeping views that last only until the trees leaf out.
Head out before summer makes its brash appearance, with walls of greenery and fleets of bugs.
Here are 20 great places to go hiking in spring.
Again, winter is lasting way too long. When it finally retreats, we'll need to move fast to enjoy spring before summer arrives.
Go on a spring drive, see fiddlehead ferns unfurl and surround yourself with that delicate shade of chartreuse that seems to tint the air green.
Canoe through sloughs, stalk morel mushrooms and watch colorfully attired folks dance around a maypole.
Here are our picks for the best things to do in spring 2015.
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