Originally founded by Native Americans, then home to Swedish, Irish, Italian and Mexican immigrants—many of whom were the merchants and bankers who helped establish St. Paul—Dayton’s Bluff today is a neighborhood rich in history and tradition. Indian Mounds Park, a 2,000-year-old burial ground on the Mississippi River bluffs, offers residents a poignant and picturesque place from which to view downtown St. Paul. Swede Hollow Park is a historic forest within the neighborhood. The Swede Hollow Café, perched above the park, serves coffee, pastries and sandwiches to a loyal clientele. The area also includes a community garden, the original Hamm’s Brewery—now home to Urban Organics—and the Strip Club steak and seafood restaurant.
The neighborhood encompasses the several smaller communities: Mounds Park Neighborhood, Swede Hollow Neighborhood, Lower Bluff Neighborhood and Margaret Recreation Center Neighborhood, as well as the Johnson Parkway area. Homes in Dayton’s Bluff date from the 1950s to the present, with housing styles ranging from side-by-side doubles, ramblers, split levels, bungalows and foursquares to Victorians and Dutch Colonials. Metro State University, with its striking modern architecture, is located here along with several public and private schools. The Bruce Vento Nature Sanctuary, with its mix of forest, prairie and oak savanna, has walking, biking and nature trails.