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Things to Love About St. Cloud, MN: A Treasure Trove of Natural Splendor and Urban Charm

Things to Love About St. Cloud, MN: A Treasure Trove of Natural Splendor and Urban Charm

Nestled in the heart of the Midwest lies St. Cloud, MN—a city that weaves together the tranquility of nature with the vibrancy of city life, creating the perfect tapestry for residents and travelers. St. Cloud offers opportunities, whether you long for peaceful parks or a bustling downtown. Here are things to love about St. Cloud, MN, that spoke to me during my visit.


A Breath of Fresh Air: St. Cloud’s Natural Escapes

St. Cloud is a haven for those who hear the call of the wild, with over 30 parks and 100 miles of trails to satisfy your craving for outdoor adventure. The options are boundless—hiking, biking, kayaking, or reeling in the day’s catch—each activity is a chapter in your story of exploration.

Munsinger and Clemens Gardens: Picture yourself strolling through a kaleidoscope of botanical wonders, where the hum of the Mississippi River sets a serene backdrop. The Munsinger Gardens unfurl in a dance of vibrant annuals and perennials.


At the same time, Clemens Gardens bloom across the street in a testament to love—with gardens named after the cherished memories of Bill and Virginia Clemens.

Stroll along the red brick paths and discover the stunning sculptures, fountains, flowers, and trees. A few benches are tucked around the area, where you can soak up the scenery.


Rest Area Garden’s beguiling Renaissance Fountain stands tall, boasting one of Minnesota’s tallest outdoor water fountains—an ode to the town’s artistic spirit.


St. Cloud’s Cultural Canvas

Art and history flourish side by side in St. Cloud, from historical treasures at the Stearns History Museum to enthralling performances at the Paramount Theatre—a gem I had the pleasure of visiting during the Midwest Travel Conference. The magic of the theater breathes life into a mosaic of performances, enveloping audiences in a world of musical serenades, dramatic tales, and hearty laughter.


Murals in St. Cloud, such as the ‘Be The Change’ Butterfly and the vibrant ‘St. Cloud Attractions’ add splashes of color to the cityscape, making for picture-perfect memories. The whimsical Write On pencil sculpture stands outside the Paramount, an invitation to scribe your own St. Cloud narrative.


Warm Hearts and Welcoming Smiles

An undeniable warmth permeates St. Cloud, embodied by its friendly locals. Engaging conversations aren’t hard to come by, nor is the occasional lifelong friend. This warmth embraced me during my visit to Mantra Salon & Spa, a place where my stylist immediately made me feel like family.


Eateries across St. Cloud echo this same welcoming tune, from the delightful French fusions (the Shakshuka breakfast is fab!) at Jules’ Bistro to the scrumptious giant portions served up at Dolsie’s Lunchbox Grille—a testament to gastronomic diversity and generosity. 


And if you seek the timeless, the legendary Val’s Hamburgers(since 1954) feeds both stomachs and souls with its classic diner charm and irresistible milkshakes. I loved the cherry cheesecake!


Serenity Along the Mississippi

The Mighty Mississippi River is a lifeline of St. Cloud. It beckons visitors to wander its banks or glide upon its waters, each ripple a story, each breeze a whisper of the past.

But St. Cloud’s wonders stretch beyond its natural allure. The city’s downtown is a delightful confluence of quaint boutiques like Books Revisited or whimsical Baby’s on Broadway. Indulge in salt therapy at the enveloping haven of Bella Vita Salt Cave or savor the simple joy of a chips-and-salsa duo at Mexican Village.


Sips of St. Cloud

Discover liquid craftsmanship at Beaver Island Brewing Company or raise a teacup to the elaborate concoctions from Spice of Life Tea Shop—one of the most impressive establishments I’ve encountered in my travels. The beverage artisans here masterfully elevate a simple drink into an experience—a toast to St. Cloud’s refined palate.


Summertime Bliss in St. Cloud

Summer unfurls its glory in St. Cloud with activities that invigorate the soul. Lake George Park’s ‘Summertime by George‘ Concert Series, sponsored by the Rotary Club of St. Cloud, becomes a weekly carnival of sound and spirit, bringing together a symphony of food trucks, artisans, and music by local bands and national headliners.

Be on the lookout for ODB’s Meat & Greet food truck. Super yum!


The Best Western Plus Kelly Inn awaits when the day slips into night, offering rest and an ambiance rich in local character—from the polished lobby decor and trinkets to the fragrant lilac trees bordering the lot. This is easily one of the best places to stay in St. Cloud and doesn’t carry a hefty price tag. 


St. Cloud, MN, is a narrative of endless moments, ready for you to pen your own chapter within its pages. This guide is but a recommendation of things I enjoyed, and I hope you might, too. Will you visit this charming Midwestern city?

Read more about Midwest towns we love at these posts:

A Rural Kansas Road Trip (You Won’t Want to Miss)

Fun Things to Do in South Dakota

Awesome Things to Do in Omaha, NE

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