With incredible natural views, a sculpture park and three scenic wineries, there’s almost too much fun to be had on a day trip to Taylors Falls

Photo of Chateau St. Croix by Anna/Flickr

By Claire Noack

Venture northeast of Minneapolis and St. Paul to Taylors Falls for breathtaking scenery and three scenic wineries to sample. To make a day trip out of it, start out bright and early in the morning at Franconia Sculpture Park before visiting the wineries. This free to enter 43-acre park is home to an ever-changing array of intricate and zany creations. Filling up on creative energy can be hungry business, so make a beeline for the famous Taylors Falls Drive-In where waitresses serve up homemade root beer and delicious burgers right to your car in true 1950s fashion. There’s also 18-hole mini golf behind the restaurant if you have some spare time or want to squeeze in a kid friendly activity.

Indulge in the mountainous views of the St. Croix River Valley and a smattering of rustic wines at Wild Mountain Winery. Then follow your way back down the St. Croix River to Interstate State Park, a beautiful park that lies on both sides of the Minnesota-Wisconsin border. Take a hike under the brilliantly colored trees and explore the geological wonders that make this park so unique, including lava flows and glacial potholes.

Cross over the Wisconsin border and step into a castle at Chateau St. Croix Winery & Vineyard to sample European-inspired wines, including 2017 gold-medal winning Wisconsin red and Zinfandel port. Finish off your day trip to Taylors Falls at Dancing Dragonfly Winery where they have wines with delicate flavors that dance on the tongue, a menu including panini sandwiches, flatbreads and pizzas, and a welcoming atmosphere that leaves you feeling full in more ways than one.

Wild Mountain Winery: open (fall hours) Friday 2-7 p.m., Saturday noon-7 p.m., Sunday noon-6 p.m.
Chateau St. Croix Winery & Vineyard: open (May-Oct.) Thursday-Monday 11 a.m.-6 p.m.; (Nov.-April) Thursday, Friday & Sunday noon-5 p.m., Saturday 11 a.m.-6 p.m.
Dancing Dragonfly Winery: open daily, check website for seasonal hours.


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