Home > WI > Hudson > Connected Communities > Hudson, WI, a Quaint River Town Just a Stone’s Throw From the Twin Cities

Hudson, WI, a Quaint River Town Just a Stone’s Throw From the Twin Cities

By Livability on April 3, 2023

Boats in the St Croix River on a summer day

Less than 30 minutes from the Minneapolis-Saint Paul metropolitan area, the Town of Hudson, Wisconsin, is a friendly river community with historic homes, beautiful parks and a wealth of recreational opportunities. It epitomizes a quieter Midwestern small town lifestyle while enjoying the convenience of high-speed fiber internet. 

Hudson is located along one of America’s iconic National Wild and Scenic Rivers. On the graceful bluffs of the tree-lined St. Croix River, Hudson residents can stroll past eclectic shops and amazing downtown restaurants. Many other rivers, lakes, waterfalls and hiking trails are just a short drive away. And with several golf courses nearby, there’s plenty of links to be tested, too.

Located just 20 miles from big-city attractions in Saint Paul, and a few more to Minneapolis, Hudson’s historic downtown has grown into a tourist destination with hotels and a bustling business district just off Interstate 94. This gives Hudson residents the best of all worlds — life in a lovely Midwestern river town with an authentic small town atmosphere, with easy access to the cosmopolitan vibe and many amenities of two great cities. 

Though it’s a small town, Hudson’s residents and businesses have access to fiber internet. Baldwin LightStream, a regional telecom, provides the advanced fiber-optic network that keeps Hudson connected and competitive with its neighbors. And because Baldwin LightStream’s fiber internet is state of the art, residents can feel confident that their internet is as fast and reliable as any major city’s.

Keep reading to learn more about the Town of Hudson, and see why it just might be the ideal Midwestern small town for you!

A Small Town on the St. Croix

The Town of Hudson is a classic river town — that is, the great St. Croix River, which divides Wisconsin from Minnesota, simply dominates the community. Originally called Willow River by its first settlers and later named Buena Vista, or “beautiful view,” the town was formally renamed “Hudson” due to its similarity to Upstate New York’s famous Hudson River. 

The beauty of the St. Croix has long been recognized. Indeed, Congress declared it a Wild and Scenic River in 1972, granting protections for the St. Croix that have helped preserve its splendor. Today’s residents can walk along its bluff among leafy town parks, observing the birds and other wildlife that depend on the river habitat. Many also enjoy canoeing, kayaking and fishing the St. Croix, too. Indeed, Hudson offers a host of river related activities that have attracted tourists from all over the country. 

Over the centuries, stately homes have been built near the bluff overlooking the river. These homes and other historic buildings, many dating from the mid-to-late 1800’s, can be toured on a leisurely walk. One particularly fascinating and memorable home is the Octagon House, which is now a museum with many 19th century artifacts on view. Also known as the John S. Moffat House, the Octagon House Museum is on the National Register of Historic Places.

Given the majesty of the St. Croix River and the historic neighborhoods near it, it’s easy to see why a genuinely charming and vibrant downtown area has flourished in Hudson. Many restaurants can be sampled, as can boutiques and specialty shops. There’s even a vintage downtown trolley, which is a relaxing way to take in the town. Other highlights include the Phipps Center for the Arts, a regional performing arts center that also features a dance company. 

Spectacular Scenery and Outdoor Recreation

Beyond the natural beauty of the St. Croix River, Hudson residents are fortunate to have 11 parks in or near the town to enjoy. One of the finest nearby parks is Willow River State Park. Located about 5 miles from downtown Hudson, Willow River State Park is extremely popular with residents and visitors alike. 

The park’s highlight is a striking waterfall — Willow Falls — which cascades 200 feet into a deep gorge. It’s a site that just cannot be missed! Willow River State Park offers loads of outdoor recreational opportunities including camping, boating and fishing, as well as a nature center for environmental education and several miles of hiking trails. 

Golfers will find several nearby golf courses to keep up their game. Two courses are located in town, the White Eagle Golf Club and Troy Burne Golf Club. But with courses and clubs well established on both sides of the St. Croix, there are numerous options to choose from in either Wisconsin or Minnesota. Several courses are noted for having designs that brilliantly capture the scenic beauty of the area. 

Saint Paul and Minneapolis Are Just Minutes Away

Though there is plenty to keep you busy in the Town of Hudson itself, when you need the excitement and amenities of a major metropolitan area, Saint Paul and Minneapolis are within easy reach. These two great cities are home to major colleges and universities, one of the country’s busiest international airports, and an outstanding hospital system. Several acclaimed museums make for compelling cultural and educational outings, as well. 

The “Twin Cities” are noted for their diverse communities — and the breadth of choices among restaurants proves how wonderful that diversity can be! You can find just about any kind of cuisine you can imagine in the greater Minneapolis-Saint Paul area. And of course the cities are outstanding sports towns, fielding major baseball, basketball, football and hockey teams. 

Fiber Internet Keeps Hudson Connected

Hudson residents can count on lightning-fast internet connectivity for work or play from Baldwin LightStream internet. Offering internet service at nearly the speed of light through fiber optic cable, Baldwin LightStream offers connection speeds of up to 1 gigabit per second for no-interruption service for gaming, streaming, or working in your home office or at your business. 

You’ll experience streaming without pixilation, buffering, lag or other delays that plague inferior kinds of internet. Higher speeds from Baldwin LightStream’s fiber internet means that more people can stream TV and movies, conduct video conference calls, upload or download videos, or do just about any other online activity all at the same time. 

From its location on the spectacular St. Croix River, to its historic and thriving downtown, and its small-town vibe, Hudson, Wisconsin, truly stands out among Midwestern towns. And given its fiber internet connectivity and proximity to Minneapolis and Saint Paul, many Hudson residents feel they’ve found the perfect place to call home. Perhaps you’ll come to feel the same way!

Newsletter Sign Up

Keep up to date with our latest rankings and articles!
Enter your email to be added to our mailing list.