Around Town

Kids scurry between cars in their socks. Others perch on top of minivans, pillows stacked up around them. In hatchbacks—bungee-corded down slightly to keep views clear—blankets and toes stick out. Friends chat around still-hot grills, lawn chairs flanking cars and coolers.
 

Summer’s here, and with the rising temps comes an inescapable urge to plan a getaway. You can add a dose of the interesting and exotic to your week—with nary a sideways glance from co-workers or stress of packing a suitcase—with these close-to-home experiences.

Ashleigh Harris firmly believes things happen for a reason—and if we stop to notice them, sometimes the unexpected, little things turn out to bring the most joy.

All aboard for an evening full of fireworks. Celebrate the Fourth of July with dinner on the St. Croix River and watch fireworks burst overhead in Stillwater and Hudson. For dinner, hop on the Grand Duchess. This cruise offers herbed, baked chicken and barbecue ribs.

When there’s ice cream involved, it will never rain on your parade. Or, at least, it won’t be as bad if it does. For a good time, check out the 30th Annual Lake Elmo Fourth of July parade put on by the city of Lake Elmo.

Seeing a food truck parked on the side of the road is a true sign of summer. But what about 32 food trucks all in the same place? Stillwater is bringing back their Food Truck Extravaganza for the second year, featuring more than double the vendors they had last year.

Thanks to charming details like vaulted ceilings and natural light, plus their beautifully rustic settings, barns have quickly become a popular place to get married. For the soon-to-be-wed here in the St.

Presented by Chateau St. Croix Winery & Vineyard this event begins with a car show and contest. Featured cars from different genres, from retro to sports, can win awards. While the festival is free to the public, car entries are $5 each.

Strawberry lovers, get set: the annual Afton Strawberry Festival is just around the corner. Swing by and see over 60 vendors selling a wide array of products. Enjoy live music and eat delicious food.

A late 1800s brewery will turn into a 40-room hotel early this summer. Stillwater’s newest hotel, Lora, has a lot to offer guests: history, charm and a location right on Main Street.

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