Vali-Hi Drive-In (Photo by Thomas Hawk)

Shopping locally around Washington County

One of the best ways to support the community you live in is to shop locally.  When you shop locally, you’re not only reducing your impact on the environment, but you’re also helping drive the local economy by supporting businesses who give back to the community, more money is kept in the community and you’re encouraging job growth in your hometown.

Washington County has a variety of businesses that you can support in the county’s many cities and townships, which includes Afton, Bayport, Baytown Township, Birchwood, Cottage Grove, Dellwood, Denmark Township, Forest Lake, Grant, Grey Cloud Island Township, Hastings, Hugo, Lake Elmo, Lake St. Croix Beach, Lakeland, Lakeland Shores, Landfall, Mahtomedi, Marine on St. Croix, May Township, Newport, Oak Park Heights, Oakdale, Pine Springs, St. Mary’s Point, St. Paul Park, Scandia, Stillwater, Stillwater Township, White Bear Lake, Willernie and Woodbury.

Local businesses were especially hit hard during the COVID-19 pandemic and they need your support now more than ever. There are a number of restaurants, businesses, and boutiques and more, you can support near the Wildflower at Lake Elmo community. Here are just a few of the many businesses you can visit:

Washington County has a number of shops to visit including the Shirt Factory, located at 232 Main St. S, Stillwater, where you can find a wide array of souvenirs, sweatshirts, dresses and t-shirts. The Shirt Factory can also do custom t-shirts the same day you order one. For more information on the Shirt Factory, call 651-351-0052.

Not far from the shirt factory is the men and women’s boutique Enchanté, located at 317 Main St. S, Stillwater. The boutique offers handcrafted jewelry, retro pieces, casual shirts for men and beautiful dresses – including a wide variety of fun party dresses. To view and shop Enchanté’s entire collection, visit or call 651-439-7232.

After you’re done shopping, grab a bite at the Lake Elmo Inn Restaurant that was named as one of the top places to eat in the Twin Cities by Mpls.St.Paul Magazine and Zagat scores the restaurant at a 28 out of 30 for food, calling the restaurant a “hidden secret.”

The Lake Elmo Inn Restaurant, located at 3442 Lake Elmo Ave. N, Lake Elmo, has a talented team of chefs that provide a memorable culinary experience. Be sure to try the inn’s signature dish, Minnesota wild rice and duck soup, or for your entrée try the chicken romesco (a pan seared chicken breast with burrata mozzarella, toasted almonds and house-made romesco sauce), roast duckling, prime rib, filet mignon or butternut squash ravioli.  Before you leave, don’t forget to order desert, especially the Sin of the Inn – a pecan crust filled with caramel, whit satin and chocolate ganache topped with white chocolate mousse.

The Lake Elmo Inn Restaurant also hosts a savory Sunday brunch and has an extensive beer and wine list and a wide array of cocktails.

To learn more about the Lake Elmo Inn restaurant or to make a reservation, visit or call 651-777-8495.

If you’re looking for a fun date night or are looking for something to do with your family, visit the Vali-Hi Drive-In located at 11260 Hudson Blvd. N, Lake Elmo.

The Vali-Hi Drive-In does movies the old school way where you drive-in and tune your radio to 90.1 FM to listen to the movie. Orville Redenbacher’s popcorn, candy, pop and nachos can be picked up the concession stand.

Now playing are two action movies both rated R: “Wrath of Man” starring Jason Statham and “Those Who Wish Me Dead” starring Angelina Jolie. Movies are shown regardless of the weather.

For more information on the Vali-Hi Drive-In, visit or call 651-436-7464.