Filled with artists, poets, musicians, handcrafters and makers, the urban village dubbed “Lowertown” sits at the edge of downtown St. Paul. Warehouses, railroad, banking and distribution buildings that were the hub of Minnesota’s largest manufacturing district from the 1870s through the 1920s are now trendy lofts, galleries and restaurants ready for exploring.
A perfect blend of historic and modern is on display in this exceptionally popular spot. Originally the port of entry for the Mississippi River in the 1800s, Lowertown exemplifies “cool” for plenty of reasons. Its proximity to downtown St. Paul’s attractions is the most obvious; another is the easy access to the Green Line light rail from Union Depot, a renovated transportation hub that contains public spaces, a restaurant and numerous events. Another gem of Lowertown is Mears Park. Residents love the natural beauty of the park and visit it routinely for entertainment or a simple Sunday afternoon stroll. In the summer, the outdoor stage is often used for Music in Mears, a free concert in the park series, and the free Twin Cities Jazz Festival. You can grab a bite to eat at the aptly named Faces Mears Park restaurant and get a beautiful view of the park during any season.
This 18-block historic district has become one of the area’s most buzzed about, fastest growing neighborhoods, and it’s expected to continue growing. The housing in Lowertown ranges from refurbished warehouses to chic condos, lofts, simple studios and living-working apartments. Here you can enjoy amazing American bites and more than 30 craft beers at Ox Cart Ale House & Rooftop, grab a coal-fired pizza at Black Sheep, bite into a burger at The Bulldog, or shop for farm fresh goods at the year-round farmers’ market. Be sure to also try Black Dog café and restaurant—a favorite hangout for local artists and jazz musicians.
With the minor league Saint Paul Saints’ CHS Field located here—although it might be hard to spot as it blends seamlessly into its surroundings unlike most ballparks its size—you might even see the team’s co-owner Bill Murray who has been known to work the ticket booth on occasion. When you check out the area, be sure to end your day with one of the amazing cakes, pies and breads that line the cases of The Buttered Tin, a local cafe and bakery. You’ll be glad you did.