Rivers, Rails & A Sneaky Pete (Beer & Wine)

From Itineraries Minnesota Summer Issue 2007

This itinerary is best in summer.

DAY ONE

11 – 1:00 pm
Begin in beautiful Taylors Falls, Minnesota with a combination boat tour and luncheon buffet on board an authentic paddlewheel riverboat. Relax for 2 hours and enjoy an outstanding luncheon as your riverboat pilot and tour guide point out the unique rock formations and history of the St. Croix River Valley. Keep an eye out for the huge stone cross and the Old Man of the Dalles – said to be the most outstanding rock face you’ll ever see.

1 – 1:30 pm
Travel the short distance to sister city St Croix Falls, WI. and the Chateau St. Croix Winery and Vineyard.

1:30 – 3:30 pm
Explore the old world charm of this winery with a tour and wine tasting. The Chamberlin’s loved their European wine experience so much they were determined to duplicate it in the Midwest. They created a European-style winery, complete with carriage house and formals gardens, in the rolling hills of the St. Croix Valley. Now you can sit by the fireplace (indoor or out) and enjoy a glass of wine with a cheese and cracker platter, and enjoy your own dreams. Top it all off with a mouth-watering truffle.

3:30 – 4:15pm
Take the short ride to the Dalles House Motel and check into your room and freshen up for the evening’s events.

4:15 – 4:45 pm
Travel thirteen miles northwest on scenic roads leading to beautiful Balsam Lake.

4:45 – 6:45 pm
Your dinner destination is beautiful Paradise Landing, offering an interesting story of luck, bad luck, more luck and even better food! Enjoy the food and the story of it all!

6:45 – 7:15 pm
Hop back on the bus to St. Croix Falls for the evening’s entertainment.

7:15 – 10:00 pm
Attend a performance at the Festival Theatre. You’ll find enchantment in this ninety year-old vaudeville house. The theater is intimate, warm, and friendly. Hear the smooth waters of the St. Croix whisper by outside. The Mezzanine Café with outdoor patio offers locally produced award-winning wine, gourmet desserts and a relaxing atmosphere to take it all in. Exceptional performances. Exceptional experiences. Exceptional memories.

DAY TWO

9 – 10:00 am
Rise and shine and enjoy breakfast at one of the local diners.

10 – 10:30 am
Take a short ride over to the historic Osceola, WI depot for a ride on the rails.

10:30 – 12:30 pm
Take a trip back in time! See the St. Croix River Valley the way it used to be seen – by rail – on a fully operational REAL railroad line. Head west ten miles to Marine on St. Croix, MN. This trip follows the beautiful St. Croix valley, crossing into Minnesota on the large Cedar Bend swing bridge. The view is awesome and includes a state park on the Minnesota side.

12:30 – 1:00 pm
Upon your return to the depot you will board the bus once again and head west on WI Co Rd 8 back in to Minnesota.

1 – 3:00 pm
Your last hurrah will be lunch (and a beer?) in the private dining loft at Eichtens Bistro. If you like classic food paired with the finest beers in the world, then this is the place to dine. Their chef is fabulous, the food is said to be incomparable to anything in the region, and the beer (specializing in Belgium beer) and wine is outrageously rare, delicious, and satisfying. You’ll find unique cheeses and bison to be among the items on their menu. Enjoy…

For more information on this sample itinerary contact your tour operator or Taylors Falls Chamber of Commerce, 800-447-4985.

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