One of my favorite things about living in San Francisco was that there were so many bed and breakfasts in the area. Especially in wine country. So, when I moved back, one of the first things on my list was to check out what Minnesota’s bed and breakfast situation looked like. And after a little research, I was pleasantly surprised!
After finding the gorgeous Cotton Mansion in Duluth, I stumbled on the New Victoria Mansion Bed & Breakfast in St. Paul that was much closer to home. The best part was that it was near a street in St. Paul that’s near and dear to me – Selby Avenue – where I used to live before I moved out to San Fransisco.
So you can imagine my excitement when I got the opportunity to stay at the beautiful B&B in the my old stomping grounds – the historic Cathedral Hill neighborhood.
Welcome to the New Victorian Mansion
When you drive up, you’ll be wowed by the beautiful red-bricked 1881 mansion that has Renaissance and Gothic architectural features. There’s also a cozy porch area out front that’s a perfect spot to relax in the evening on a warm fall day.
Inside, you’ll find massive fireplaces, old antiques, cozy seating areas, beautiful wallpaper, and more.
I loved the combination of modern chic mixed with old world charm that resonated throughout the house. And I especially loved my beautiful room.
I loved the cozy seating area that welcomes you upon entry. The wallpaper, fireplace, and beautiful burnt orange sofa were my favorite.
Side note: There’s also a little table with fresh cookies waiting for you as you check-in, which I definitely dived into a few times.
There are four rooms in the mansions; one is located on the main floor and the other three are on the second floor.
Upstairs, after climbing the pretty staircase (look at that beautiful woodwork), you’ll find another little spot to curl up with a book.
And just down the hall you’ll find the lovely room that I booked for the night – the Storybook Room. What caught my eye was the pretty lilac color of the room. It really does make you feel like a princess out of a fairytale.
The room features a King-sized bed, a small breakfast nook, and a balcony with a cozy day bed with St. Paul Cathedral views.
The bathroom adds luxury to the room with heated tile floors (so nice for winter!) and a walk-in shower with complimentary shampoo, conditioner, and body wash for your use.
But the most surprising thing about the room was the gorgeous hand-painted tile that surrounds the fireplace.
The tiles depict traditional nursery rhymes. All original besides one tile that was a custom piece created for the owners of the inn depicting their children. It’s not shown here, so you’ll just have to find it and see it for yourself. 😉
But I thought the tiles were so beautiful and unique, do you think?
As far as ambiance: For the most part the bed and breakfast was very quiet and relaxing. The only downside I experienced was just before bedtime. There must be a family living in the unit above, because there were multiple loud steps on the wooden floor, especially from a child that was running and jumping around. There was also music playing, that I could clearly hear from my room below.
But thankfully it all quieted down around 9pm, which I was so thankful for, because I’m such a sensitive sleeper!
Additional perks for staying that the bed & breakfast:
- You’ll get a gourmet breakfast in the morning.
- Coffee, tea, water, and soda are available all day in the formal dining room.
- Cookies and sweet treats will greet you during check-in.
- A private parking lot, so you don’t have to worry about street parking.
The New Victorian Mansion Bed & Breakfast is a great spot for a romantic getaway, or simply if you’re looking for a unique spot to stay while on a business trip. There’s inn is so welcoming, and there’s so much in the area, so you won’t be disappointed.
Things To Do In St. Paul, Minnesota
Check out the beautiful State Capital building. On Sundays, you can also take a tour (for free!). The building is rich in history and is quiet beautiful on the inside.
Explore Selby Avenue. It’s just a block from The New Victorian Inn, so you’re very close to a lot of great restaurants and shops (my recs below). Plus, it feels very residential, so on a warm day, it’s nice to take a long stroll down the street.
Head to the Como Zoo and Conservatory. It’s a great spot for a family outing. The zoo, of course, is great for kids, but I especially loved the conservatory. The Sunken Garden is so beautiful.
Head to downtown St. Paul. Similar to Selby Avenue, you’ll want to take a walk along 7th Street, where you’ll find more great shops and restaurants to explore.
Book a tea service at the St. Paul Hotel. Trust me, you’ll love it! Every year, around Christmas, I go with my mom and sisters for afternoon tea. But you can book year-round as well. Plus, beautiful Rice Park is just across the street from the hotel.
Tour the St. Paul Cathedral. If there isn’t a mass going on, you can head over to the church for a quick peek into the beautiful cathedral. The best part: It’s in walking distance from the New Victorian Inn.
Check out the Science Museum of Minnesota. It’s right near downtown, with plenty of parking in the underground garage. You can check out the current exhibits here.
Tour the historic mansions on Summit Avenue. You can do a formal tour or just walk the street on your own. You’ll miss some of the history, but you’ll still get to see all the beautiful homes. You can also take a tour of the gilded-age James J. Hill house on Summit Avenue.
Where To Eat During Your Stay
Here are a few of my favorites:
- W.A. Frost – They have an awesome outdoor patio. You’ll also have to checkout the downstairs, which feels like a hidden speakeasy with all the nooks and crannies.
- Forepaugh’s Restaurant – This is another favorite of mine, especially in the winter. It’s not your typical restaurant because it feels like you’re dining in an old mansion. But get reservations early, because you’ll definitely want to get one of the spots next to the fireplace.
- The Happy Gnome – If you’re a craft beer lover, this is the spot for you. Not only do they have great drink options, but the food is also exceptional. And in the summertime, they, too, have an awesome outdoor patio.
- Moscow on the Hill – This traditional Russian restaurant and vodka bar was recommended to me by a local. I haven’t been yet, but it’s on my list.
- Mango Thai Cuisine – If you’re craving Thai food, head to this cozy place for noodles, curries, fried rice, and all your other favorites.
- La Grolla – Or if you’re in an Italian mood, this cozy eatery is a great option. Here you’ll find all the classic pastas your heart could want, along with a charming garden patio.
- The Liffy Irish Pub – This is an old school Irish pun where you’ll probably spot from Minnesota politicians from time-to-time. But the ambiance can’t be beat with its tin ceiling, horseshoe bar, and rooftop deck with awesome downtown St. Paul views.
- Revival – This was another recommendation given to me. And it looks like the spot if you’re looking for classic Southern comfort food.
That’s a wrap! I hope, like me, you’ll see the charm the comes with the historic Cathedral Hill area of St. Paul, along with this beautiful B&B that’s in the heart of a neighborhood that has so much to offer.
Let’s go places,
All photos on this blog are mine. Feel free to share but please credit me with a link back to the blog. Much appreciated and thank you for your support!
I have collaborated with the New Victorian Mansion Bed & Breakfast for this post, but all opinions are mine.