Hudson, the Spirit of the St. Croix

I was out in the northwestern part of the state and followed the St. Croix River from its source all the way to Prescott, where it meets the Mighty Mississippi River. Part of that trip brought me into the town of Hudson, seen by its people as the "Spirit of the St. Croix," and the "Western Gateway to Wisconsin." It is the westernmost city in Wisconsin. It surely is a delightful town, on the St. Croix River, and about 16 miles due east of St. Paul, Minnesota.

May 20, 2017

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Hudson is on the St. Croix River and you'll need to get off I-94 to Hwy 35N or you'll cross the St. Croix directly into Minnesota. As I was on a mission to explore the river, I did not stay. But I am going back for sure and will stay there to enjoy the town and its environs. Hudson is seen by its people as the "Spirit of the St. Croix," and the "Western Gateway to Wisconsin." It surely is a delightful town. The Wisconsin side of the St. Croix is wonderful. Try it sometime.

I'll walk you through the town. I'll start with 2nd Street, which is also Hwy 35.


Barker's Bar & Grill in this historic river town. It boasts, "Our 'bistro of a tavern' is famous for our ever-changing draft beer selection, the best burgers in town, hand-cut, skin-on Barker’s Fries, now-famous chicken wings, and exceptionally friendly service. It is in a 1900 vintage building that has been renovated, a renovation that retained its original tin ceilings, English brick façade, and red oak woodwork."


Dragon Pearl Restaurant serves authentic Chinese food, fresh Japanese sushi, Japanese style beverages and beers. It also serves wine, Japanese saki and beers for your selection. People seem to really love its sushi. The building is marvelous.


To the left is the Agave Kitchen, a casual Tex-Mex restaurant with an upstairs sports bar overlooking the St. Croix River. Next to it is the Abigail Page Antique Emporium. Abigail Page has a large collection of vintage finds, including a wide array of vintage clothing, jewelry and accessories. It also sells a variety of antique house wares and other decorative items.

Here we have a beautiful old building with a set of stores in it. I'll start left to right.


This was constructed in 1875. One of its occupants, the Stone Tap, which I will mention below, wrote, "Its history has been uncovered layer by layer, from a restored exterior brick façade to resurrected hand-laid limestone and cream city brick walls. Every detail of the renovation was carefully considered within the plans to accommodate a craft beer gastropub, while maintaining and emphasizing the building’s underlying character, having been constructed in 1875.

First comes etcetera, which offers uncommon gifts and home accessories, and much, much more. It will be soon celebrating its 20th anniversary.

Next is the
Viva Voce Salon. Its services include consultation, relaxing scalp massage, cleansing, conditioning, paraffin dip, and a finishing style. It also has a bridal suite, built exclusively for wedding parties. This is a place for the bride-to-be to get pampered for her important day, with hair styling and makeup application by Viva Voce Salon.

Then comes
Suri Oaks, a most interesting business. The owners operate Grace Ranch which. among other things, hosts a herd of Suri and Huacaya Alpacas. They raise them to produce the finest Alpaca fiber and finished fleece products.

Next is
Rue Marche, which offers women's clothing, footwear and accessories. The store offers a wardrobe consulting service to help you assemble what you like and what looks good on you, as the store says, that which "accents your natural beauty."

Then comes
Stone Tap, at last after all this shopping. a cool one or ten! It combines quality food with craft beer in a gastropub that maintains and emphasizes the building’s underlying character, having been constructed in 1875.

Now that you've wet your whistle, you can go to the next place,
Grapevine Interiors "At Home", which will provide you a full array of products and design services. The shop offers expert interior design and consultation for furniture, art work, mirrors, lighting, wallpaper, bedding, flooring and area rugs, window treatments, upholstery, countertops, cabinetry, kitchens and bathrooms, and much more. Barbara Dahl is the owner. She says her motto is, "“A house is a home when it shelters the body and comforts the soul.”


I was drawn to the colorful vegetation the owners have placed on the building. Here is a look form the sidewalk.


This is the Ultimissimo, a boutique salon in the oldest standing building in Hudson, 1857, and the only survivor of the Great Fire of 1866. Rebecca Erickson, owner/stylist designed and created Ultimissimo to be her final destination to practice her craft. A very accomplished Stylist, with over 30 years of experience, Rebecca wants the opportunity to spend more time with the clients.


It turns out while I was "sailing" through Hudson tracking the St. Croix by car, replicas of two of Christopher Columbus' seafaring ships, the Nina and Pinta sailed into Hudson harbor on July 12, 2016 for a 12-day port call. This is a photo of the Pinta. Both ships were open daily for public tours. Kevin Giles did a nice story for the Star Tribune on their visit.


This is the Grand Duchess of the Afton*Hudson Cruise Lines. The cruise lines has several different ships for different occasions, ranging from catering to weddings, corporate events, and public cruises on the St. Croix River. Catering is prepared by the Afton House Inn restaurant in Minnesota. Dinner is served buffet style, there is a full service bar available, and special sit down dinner arrangements can be made.


A nice view of the Hudson Harbor.


I'll finish with this shot, taken near the corner of Walnut and 1st Streets, close to the river, across 1st Street from the Old Toll Bridge Road and park, and across Walnut Street from the Pier Five Hundred Restaurant, which serves a classic American fare, indoors or outdoors with a view of the St. Croix River.

That flag says it all about the way this town's people feel.