There is still plenty of time to enjoy the summer so why not do it from a boat? You can enjoy beautiful scenery, music, and food based on your interests and what boat you decide to ride.
Most of us have enjoyed the water in Minnesota in one way or another. Summertime can bring up those fond memories of being on the water on a pontoon, fishing boat, sailboat, kayak, or maybe racing along on a speedboat. No matter the mode of travel being on the water can be refreshing, relaxing, or exciting–and possibly a great senior outing.
All aboard for a boat ride!
Taylors Falls River Boat Tours have been operating on the St. Croix River since 1906. Their two guided boats travel up and down the river allowing for a great opportunity to enjoy the beautiful sites and abundant wildlife. Among the formations you can see is the huge stone cross for which the St. Croix River was named. “St. Croix” means Holy Cross. Boat tours are in both the evenings and daytime. Check their website for details on times and events.
The Taylors Falls Scenic Boat Tours are handicap-friendly. Both boats are somewhat accessible, depending on a variety of factors. The boat’s lower level is accessible in a semi-limited capacity to most standard-size manual wheelchairs during normal water levels. The restrooms onboard are not handicapped accessible, but there are handicapped stalls in the restrooms next to the ticket window in the brown building. There is no elevator to the 2nd level of the boat. The staff and crew at the Taylors Falls Scenic Boat Tours are committed to assisting guests with accessibility whenever possible. If you have questions, please call their team, to get answers to your questions regarding the water levels and the type of handicap accessibility you are looking for at 651-465-6315.
Climb aboard the Padelford boats for a beautiful Mississippi boat excursion. On their 1.5-hour Sightseeing Cruise, they head toward Fort Snelling. On a 4-hour Lock & Lunch Cruise, they make their way through Lock and Dam No. 1, turn around by the Lake Street Bridge, and then come back downriver. All of their cruises provide the best viewing possible of St. Paul/Mississippi River National Park and Recreation Area. Generally, there are multiple cruises available daily during the summer, including evening opportunities. The sunset dinner cruises are very popular so book in advance! A bar and snacks are on board for when you just need a little something!
Caution–Because of their unique design and regulatory characteristics, these excursion vessels are not subject to the ADA Accessibility Guidelines for Buildings and Facilities (ADAAG). That said, they make every reasonable effort to assist and accommodate passengers with special needs. Providing ADA accessibility to their facility and vessels; however, Coast Guard regulations require water barriers (raised thresholds in doorways). All vessels are multi-deck and are not fitted with rail lifts or elevators. Restrooms on the Anson Northrup and Betsey Northrup are outfitted with grab bars and are useable by persons with special needs. The restrooms on the Jonathan Padelford, built-in 1969, are not large enough to accommodate wheelchairs.
Stillwater River Boats
One of the many advantages of joining a ride on a Stillwater River Boat is that all their public boat cruises from Stillwater, MN, include a delightful lunch or dinner. Cruises leave their docks daily and travel both up and down the beautiful river valley. Because Stillwater is so busy in the summer it’s recommended to arrive early to find parking. You can drop off passengers close to the docks and there is also a limited amount of handicapped parking nearby as well. Ramps lead up to the boats making access easier for wheelchairs or walkers. There are only stairs leading to the second and upper decks of the boats but bathrooms and food are located on the main deck. The main deck is also covered on their boats with some small outdoor access but no tables.
Getting out on the water in Minnesota is something to be enjoyed. We hope one of these options fits into your 2023 plans!