Afton was originally settled in 1837 by a French-Canadian voyageur. In the following decades Afton would become the home for a large concentration of Swedes and Germans. Today, Afton serves as one of the last stops in Minnesota before a traveler plunges into the harsh beauty of the Wisconsin countryside. It is a lovely community with nearly 3,000 fine individuals living inside the city limits.
From the capital city of Saint Paul potential visitors can easily reach Afton by traveling nine miles east on Interstate 94 before heading south on Minnesota State Highway 95, which is also known as Saint Croix Trail. The town of Afton lies directly in the path of this road and is no more than three miles south of the Interstate 94 exit/entrance.
The downtown area of Afton is compact enough to be easily traversable on foot. Still, as there is next to nothing in the public transit department access to a car is, like most of the United States, somewhat of a necessity. The only other option is to perhaps strap-on some Lance Armstrong spandex, brush the dust off your bicycle and take to the road. You will not be alone.
Afton State Park, 6959 Peller Avenue South, Hastings, 55033MN (From St. Paul, go 9 miles east on I-94, then 7 miles south on Highway 95 and 3 miles east on County Road 20.), ☎ 651-436-5391, . Established in 1969 this diverse and scenic State Park hugs the banks of the Saint Croix River. The park, which consists of nearly 1,700 acres, provides an excellent refuge from the more concentrated and suburbanized atmosphere of the inner-ring East-metro communities. With miles of trails, a plethora of campsites and year round access to the transcendent beauty of the Saint Croix River, Afton State Park is more than worthy of being integrated into the afternoon itinerary of any visitor to the Twin Cities area.
Afton Alps, 6600 Peller Avenue South, Hastings 55033 (From Twin Cities Hwy. 94 East to Hwy 95 (Manning Ave., exit # 253) take a right & follow to County 20 (70th St. the second 4 way stop) take a left on Cty. 20 follow to Afton Alps), ☎ 800-328-1328, . Afton Alps is a ski resort with something for everyone. With almost 50 different runs (of varying degrees of difficulty) and an area designated solely for tubing, it won't be long before you will wanna pull a Shaun White and shred some hills. Just don't dye your hair!
Squire House Gardens, 3390 St. Croix Trail South • Afton, Minnesota 55001, . Tuesday-Saturday 10 to 5 Sunday 11 to 5 Closed Monday. Trinkets and tools for your home and garden. Here you will find bulbs, finely crafted ornaments, botanical artistry, candles and holders and also delicious jams and butters.
Catfish Saloon, 3291 St. Croix Tr. S. PO Box 326 Afton, MN 55001. This little restaurant spot is a decent place to grab a quick bite, although don't go in looking for innovation or the latest in culinary artistry. Beers, burger, ribs and fries constitute a majority of the menu. The restaurant is located inside the Afton House Inn, so, if things get a little hazy you can always get a room and sleep it off.
Afton is perhaps one of the safest and most benign communities that you will ever visit -with non-existent levels of violent crime and a warm and welcoming atmosphere that is exciting and refreshing. The most significant threat to public safety comes from the high level of deer that are native to the surrounding forests. It is not uncommon to have a nighttime drive interrupted by a shocking jolt of adrenaline due to these impish mammals suddenly appearing on the side of darkened road. Constantvigilance is strongly suggested during the night in order to avoid a costly accident.