For locals and visitors to the Land of 10,000 Lakes, being by the water is a must. From lake swimming to river jet skiing, Minnesota is home to an abundance of opportunities to interact with water. Taylors Falls, about an hour north of Minneapolis, is home to scenic boat tours, a perfect way to get outside and see the stunning landscape of the North Star State from the steady current of the St. Croix River. And with private charters available to rent aboard the Taylors Falls Queen or Princess, it’s a perfect add-on to any event.
Family owned and operated since 1906, Taylors Falls Scenic Boat Tours is now run by fourth-generation siblings Amy and Dan Frischmon, and Amy’s nephew is now a licensed boat pilot and the fifth generation to work in the business. The two paddlewheel boats in operation, the Taylors Falls Queen and the Taylors Falls Princess, are both authentic and are the first to float this far north along the St. Croix since 1924, says Amy Frischmon.
“Daily excursions are offered [from the first weekend in May to Minnesota Educators Academy (MEA) weekend in mid-October] to the public and are 80 minutes or 45 minutes long,” Amy says. “They include a narration about the history of the river, the boat, [and point] out natural rock formation[s] and the wildlife you see during the trip.”
Sundown Cruises and Twilight Cruises are additional options during the summer, offered on most Friday and Saturday evenings. The Twilight Cruises are 21-plus and include complimentary wine tasting from Winehaven Winery, as well as live music. The private charters offered include complete use of the riverboat along with a delicious catered meal and can host a range of events from employee appreciation parties to birthday celebrations.
With fall fast approaching, the change of season is a perfect time to go on a boat and see the trees change from fresh summer green to bright, colorful foliage in hues of red, orange, and yellow.
“Fall is a fabulous time to enjoy an authentic paddlewheel boat ride,” Amy notes. “Typically, the leaves start to change in mid- to late-September and peak sometime around Oct. 10, but every year does change slightly.”
Upon departure in Taylors Falls, the boats head south along the St. Croix and offer nonstop views of east central Minnesota.
“My favorite part of the boat tour is the natural beauty. No matter the time of year, time of day, or the weather, the St. Croix River in Taylors Falls is gorgeous and unchanged. It makes me happy to think that my grandparents and great grandparents enjoyed the same view that I enjoy now,” Amy says.
All daily excursions, Sundown Cruises, and Twilight Cruises are available to book online 24/7. Private events are available for booking over the phone or via email inquiry.