Minnesota has a lot to offer during the summer, but nothing beats the beauty of autumn in the Twin Cities. That sweet, crisp fall air like the first bite of a ripe apple, the vibrant hues of autumn leaves unfurling everywhere you look, the sparkling water of the Mississippi River only rivaled by the bright blue of the sky on a cloudless fall day. Minnesotans love fall, and it shows in the variety of fun autumn activities going on throughout the season. These are a few of our favorite ways to enjoy Twin City living in the fall.
Apple Picking – We make a trip to Minnetonka Orchards every year during apple picking season. There are many wonderful orchards in the Twin Cities area, but Minnetonka Orchards has always been our favorite because it’s so big, has a different apple variety ready for picking every weekend, and offers a full roster of other activities to do once your apple bushel is full. Visit the “Almost Famous” donut shop, take a hayride, or get lost in the corn maze.
Stillwater – Fall is the perfect time for a daytrip to Stillwater. The historic downtown and the banks of the St. Croix River are never more charming than in the warm light of autumn. Spend the day walking around, browsing boutiques on Main Street, hunting for gems in the many antique malls, and sampling the variety of delicious dining options. Enjoy a leisurely lunch on the deck at Dock Café for scrumptious seafood and unbeatable views of the St. Croix.
Wine Tasting – There are a number of great wineries within a two-hour drive of the Cities. Embark on a one-day wine adventure to visit 10 of them on the Great River Road Wine Trail in early November. Your ticket includes food and wine samples, a commemorative glass, and a wine tote. Beautiful fall views and local wine—it doesn’t get much more relaxing than that.
Drives – Sometimes the best way to soak up as much autumn beauty as you can is to take a scenic drive, and Minnesota has no end of them. If you don’t want to leave the city, the 55-mile loop of the Grand Rounds Scenic Byway will take you by many of the most scenic landmarks in Minneapolis, including the Mississippi riverfront, Old Stone Arch Bridge, the Mill City Museum, Minnehaha Falls, and many tree-lined neighborhoods. For a weekend getaway, we recommend heading up to the North Shore. The 150-mile route from Duluth to the Canadian border known as the “All-American Scenic Drive” is one of the most popular fall drives in Minnesota, and for good reason. It’s simply stunning.
image from flickr