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St. Cloud offers a wide variety of activities and things to do for those visiting the area. The scenic upper Mississippi River cuts its way through the center of town and provides an excellent place for fishing, walking, biking and just sitting back. World famous Munsinger/Clemens Gardens on the east side of the river across from St. Cloud State University lives up to its reputation as a "not to miss" tourist destination in the city.
On the west side of town, the dramatic Quarry Park provides visitors with a unique look at the granite industry that was the founding backbone of the region. The park has preserved the old granite quarries that provided much of the nation's granite over the past century. This park is now a mecca for rock climbers, cross country skiers, runners, fishing enthuiasts and swimmers. The swimming quarry (over 100 feet deep) is line with steep granite walls that provide daring swimmers and divers and chance to take the cool plunge on a hot day in the summer.
In the winter, the action really heats up on the campus of St. Cloud State and in particular the University's National Hockey Center. Long recognized as having one of the best game day environments for college hockey in the country, St. Cloud State University hockey is the top sporting event in the region. The NHC packs in over 5,500 fans for each game, as the Huskies play a full schedule of games in the always rugged Western Collegiate Hockey Association. A breeding ground for NHL talent, St. Cloud State has seen several of its alumni make the move to the NHL including Mark Parrish, Bret Hedican, Matt Cullen, Tyler Arnason, Jeff Finger, Frank Brimsek, Joe Motzko, Ryan Malone, Duvie Westcott and Mark Hartigan.
The fan friendly National Hockey Center puts spectators close to the action, and the price is very reasonable when compared to the big city pro counterparts. Located on the south end of the SCSU campus, the National Hockey Center is close to St. Cloud's vibrant downtown - which includes three hotels and numerous restaurants and clubs. In facts, several area establishments provide free shuttle bus service to the games. The campus is also located close to the town's west end retail district and is just a short drive to I-94 and the Twin Cities - making this a great destination for those sports fanactics looking for a unique weekend trip (since college hockey games are always played on Friday and Saturday evenings). If you can wrangle a ticket, the annual showdowns between SCSU and nearby rival Minnesota are always a fan favorite.