Woodbury, Minnesota, is located just nine miles east of bustling St. Paul, but it feels like a different world entirely. The medium-sized city of 62,000 is home to 45 parks, all within 36 square miles. Those living in and visiting Woodbury can enjoy over 3,000 acres of nature year-round.
During the warm months, golfers take to the fairways at Woodbury’s Prestwick Golf Club, on the southeast side of town near Colby Lake. Recently given a 4-star rating by Golfer’s Digest, Prestwick is an 18-hole, par-72 paradise for more than just those sporting cleats and clubs—its welcoming habitat has also been recognized by the National Audubon Society.
After an afternoon spent birdie-ing and bird watching, golfers dine on delicious fare at David’s Chophouse, located within the Prestwick clubhouse. David’s Hereford steaks are hand cut and prepared to your liking, with extras such as Delmonico-style wild mushrooms.
Another great local destination in summer is Carver Lake Park and Beach, on Woodbury’s south side. The 150-acre park is its own entertainment complex, with a sandy beach and swim area, picnic-dining area and playground, as well as a boardwalk for sightseeing. Players and spectators can enjoy the sand volleyball courts and archery range. Mountain bikers can have fun on the five-mile off-road cycling trail.
One of the top attractions in Woodbury in summertime is Woodbury Heritage House and Garden, located at the heart of the city in Marsh Creek Park. Visitors can tour the 1870 homestead on the second and fourth Sundays of the month, July through September. Surrounding Heritage House are beautiful gardens that reflect the crops of Woodbury’s first settlers. Here, horticulturists and green thumbs find over 100 different kinds of plants, vegetables, herbs and a butterfly garden.
In winter, Minnesotans frequent Ojibway Park. Those visiting Woodbury should bring skates and skis and join locals at the park’s outdoor skating rink or along two miles of cross-country trails that are excellent for beginners.
Another two-mile cross-country trail cuts through 150-acre Tamarack Nature Preserve, a rare and diverse eco-system. From there, snowshoes or skis can be replaced in moments by the warmth of nearby Brix Coffee. A five-minute drive northeast from the preserve, Brix offers crêpes, sandwiches and signature steamy drinks like the Turtle Mocha that are sure to melt the icicles.
Shoppers delight at upscale Woodbury Lakes Shopping Center on Hudson Road, a popular stop for east-side Minneapolis and St. Paul residents. Here, old Main Street merges with elegant design—and sidewalk benches and fountains invite window shoppers to linger. Name-brand stores such as Express, Banana Republic and H&M co-exist with locally owned businesses.
An indoor Woodbury attraction that kids love is Wooddale Fun Zone, on the city’s west side. Children 10 and under shuffle, crawl, climb and dive on the multi-level, soft indoor playground, the Playzone. Older kids enter the Gamezone, where they can play arcade games and collect tickets to exchange for prizes, while Skatezone provides a full-sized indoor roller and in-line skating rink for the whole family to enjoy.