When I hear a place is underrated, I am immediately intrigued. Underrated means it's a lesser-known hidden gem and not necessarily full of crowds. It can feel like having a secret all to yourself sometimes.

The DIY experts at Today's Homeowner describe underrated places as "treasures hiding in plain sight" and have curated a list of the most underrated towns in America.

Their Minnesota pick is a solid one; a quaint medium-sized town on the St. Croix River and part of the Twin Cities metro area.

Before we get into Minnesota's most underrated town, let's look at which town was named the most underrated on the other side of the cheddar curtain in Wisconsin.

What is the Most Underrated Town in Wisconsin?

Beloit, WI (Canva)
Beloit, WI (Canva)

Today's Homeowner named the town of Beloit, about 50 miles south of Madison on the Illinois border, the most underrated in Wisconsin having this to say:

Beloit is an eclectic city bursting with art, culture, and flavor. This town sits on the midway point of the Rock River Trail, which is a 320-mile course spanning Wisconsin and Illinois.

Sounds lovely.

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Traveling back to Minnesota, the town named the most underrated in the North Star State is an adorable town I've visited once, and will most definitely go back to.

Stillwater MN
Stillwater, MN (Photo by Holly Landkammer on Unsplash)

Stillwater Named the Most Underrated Town in All of Minnesota

Previously named one of the most picturesque towns in the country, Stillwater has now been named the most underrated town in the entire Land of 10,000 Lakes. Today's Homeowner says:

Today, Stillwater’s rich and vibrant history is evident everywhere you look. Explore the St. Croix River by taking a walk over the St. Croix Crossing Bridge or walk Stillwater’s streets with self-guided tours or podcast videos. Mixed with modern amenities, restored historic mansions, and over 100 owner-operated shops and restaurants, Stillwater is the ideal Midwest getaway.

Stillwater is often called the birthplace of Minnesota because the first convention to begin the process of establishing Minnesota as a state was held there in 1848. It gets its name from the calmness of the St. Croix River as it passes by the town.

stillwater mn
Stillwater, MN (Getty Images)

Things To Do in Stillwater, Minnesota

I visited Stillwater for the first time with family and friends last October during the Rivertown Fall Art Festival and it was a lot of fun. Aside from the regular dining and shopping downtown, the Stillwater Chamber of Commerce had a plethora of activities and art booths set up along the river.

RELATED: Huge List of Free Things To Do in Minnesota

It looks like the local chamber puts on many different riverside events throughout the year, like the 2024 art opener at the end of May, the Food Truck Extravaganza in mid-June, and Cruisin' On the Croix, a Hot Rod & Vintage Car Show in September.

You can also walk across the St. Croix River on the historic Lift Bridge, or you can take a trip down the river on one of Stillwater's River Boat tours. Other attractions include Gondola tours on the river, tons of great city parks, the William O'Brien State Park, and Afton State Park.

Food and Drink Recommendations in Stillwater, MN

Two places for food and drinks I recommend are Brick and Bourbon, a full-service restaurant with great food. We had the Duck Bacon Wontons and the best buffalo mac and cheese in Minnesota.

Brick and Bourbon Stillwater MN
Duck Bacon Wontons/Buffalo Mac and Cheese (Aaron Galloway)

For drinks, we stopped at the 45th Parallel micro-distillery, a craft cocktail lounge highlighting the spirits distilled at the 45th Parallel distillery in New Richmond, Wi location.

During the winter, Stillwater hosts the World Snow Sculpting Championships, with 50,000+ spectators and competitors from all over the world.


So, there you have it! Stillwater, Minnesota truly is Minnesota's most underrated treasure that deserves a lot more love. From its charming historic downtown to the stunning views of the St. Croix River, this town offers a perfect blend of natural beauty and rich history.

All 37 Minnesota Restaurants that Have Been Featured on the Food Network

Many Minnesota restaurants have been featured on the Food Network over the years. Some have closed now, but I checked out the Food Networks website, the Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives website, and TVFoodMaps.com to find all of the Minnesota restaurants that have been featured on their channel in the past and found these 37 (in no particular order) that are still open.

Gallery Credit: Carly Ross

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