We have a bad habit, as humans, to take certain aspects of life for granted until we’re forced to slow down and really appreciate what’s right in front of us. Some people have a tendency to do this with their health; I tend to do this with really cool cities that I’ve traveled through a billion times without taking the time—or making the effort—to stop and check ‘em out.
I can’t even begin to count how many times I’ve powered through Taylors Falls on my way to or from different points of interest in Wisconsin. My brain registered it like this:
“That was such a cool windy, wooded road. Oh, look! There’s Taylors Falls, that cute little city on the St. Croix! And there it goes! Oh well. Maybe we can stop next time.”
A few weeks ago, we actually did stop and explore the area, and what a cool little town it is.
Not only did we check out historic downtown, but also enjoyed a good, reasonably-priced lunch at Romayne’s Sports Bar and Grill—on their outdoor patio. I highly recommend this restaurant if you’re in town. Word has it that they may even host bonfire parties when weather permits.
My good friend Jamie grew up in Taylors Falls, and recommends doing the following if you’re in the area this fall, especially breathtaking when the leaves are changing:
• Visit Interstate State Park and the giant glacial potholes.
• Rent a kayak and see the colorful landscape from a different vantage point on the water, or—if you’d rather let someone else do the work of navigating the waterway—learn more about the area on a boat tour.
• Tour the historic Folsom House (open from Memorial Day through September).
• Get a malt at the back-to-the-50s themed Drive In Restaurant, on the edge of downtown.
• “Maybe just find a quiet spot in a park and watch the raging river roll by,” Jamie says. “It really is a beautiful spot to do some deep thinking and inner contemplation.”
Taylors Falls is around 60 miles from the Twin Cities metro. During the autumn months, the drive can be part of the experience. For the scenic route, drive from Stillwater north on Highway 95 to Highway 8 before turning north and winding your way down into the valley.