St. Cloud invites your groups to learn about the cultural significance of central Minnesota. Discover how a variety of cultures and ethnicities have shaped the history of this storied region.
9 – 10:00am
Explore the famous grasshopper plagues of the 1870s with a visit to the Assumption Chapel—also known as the Grasshopper Chapel—located on the outskirts of Cold Spring. The original chapel was named Maria Hilf, meaning “Mary’s Help” in German. The chapel was reconstructed in 1952 and is still used today for mass ceremonies on the hill, celebrating a safe planting season and good harvest.
10:00am – 1:00pm
Travel to Waite Park and visit Quarry Park & Nature Preserve. Granite—formed by intense heat within the earth—was the foundation of a major Minnesota industry. The first granite quarry in central Minnesota was opened in 1863 by two Scotsmen. This specific land is where a type of stone known as “Saint Cloud red granite” was quarried. The land has gradually reverted back to a more natural state, but features remnants of the old days of quarry mining and many beautiful trails to explore.
1 – 3:00pm
Your next stop is right next-door in St. Cloud. The Stearns History Museum is located in a 100-acre nature park in the middle of a bustling city. View the many historical exhibits that feature Stearns County’s past, such as the Pan Motor Company Exhibit, Flowing Through Time Exhibit (showing the impact of settlement in Stearns County as the area expanded), and the On Solid Ground Exhibit—a newly renovated display about the granite industry. Before you leave, watch the Jewel of St. Cloud Munsinger & Clemens Gardens film in the Pantown Theater to learn the history of your next stop!
3 – 4:00pm
Travel back to the public works era at Munsinger & Clemens Gardens! These beautiful gardens are adjacent to each other, along the banks of the Mississippi River. Munsinger Gardens is an informal garden that dates back to 1915 when the city purchased the former site of a sawmill as a park. Clemens Gardens is a formal European-style garden donated by Bill and Virginia Clemens in the 1990s.
4 – 6:00pm
Take a short trip to the heart of St. Cloud. The Downtown Historic District continues to expand, with new boutiques and restaurants springing up each year. Take a self-guided walking tour among the quaint shops and view art sculptures along the way.
6 – 8:00pm
Continue your evening downtown with a stop at Beaver Island Brewing Co. for a craft beer and learn the history of the Beaver Islands of the Mississippi River. Then enjoy an authentic Irish meal at the Olde Brick House, featuring delicious entrees and Irish décor.
Enjoy an evening of entertainment at the Paramount Theater or Pioneer Place on Fifth. Both venues feature concerts, plays, musicals, and comedy throughout the year.
11:00am – 2:00pm
Take a short drive along I-94 to Sauk Centre and visit the Sinclair Lewis Interpretive Center/Historic Site. Sinclair Lewis was the first American to win the Nobel Prize in Literature and your groups can visit his boyhood home right here in central Minnesota. His novel Main Street was inspired by the small-town life of Sauk Centre and led to his worldwide fame. The restored home features antiques and furnishings from his era.
For more information or to customize this sample itinerary for your group, contact the St. Cloud CVB at 320-251-4170 or visit them online at www.visitstcloud.com.