Fall is an Incredible Season in Minnesota
Fall might be the most beautiful season in Minnesota. With cooler temperatures, and colorful leaves, pumpkins, and hot apple cider, the only disappointment is that the season seems to pass by so quickly. Although, perhaps that just makes us appreciate this magical season even more. There are many ways to celebrate this season! Read on for the fourteen best things to do for fall in Minnesota.
1. Pick Your Own Apples
Not many things say fall like apple orchards. Picking your own apples is a great activity for adults and children, and it’s an opportunity to spend the day outside enjoying the cool weather. Most apple orchards offer pies for sale and additional activities like a hayride or walking through sunflower fields. Some highly recommended apple orchards are:
2. Take a Hike and Go Leaf Peeping
Hiking is one of my favorite things to do any time of the year, but it’s especially stunning during the fall. In Minnesota, we are spoiled because we have so many incredible hikes with breathtaking views. From the North Shore and Lutsen Mountains to Bluff Country and the Great River Drive, it can be hard to determine where to go first. It’s best to use the DNR’s fall color tracker so you can go hiking where fall colors are at their peak. You could spend roughly six weeks chasing the colors from Grand Marais to Winona. Here are a few of the best spots for incredible fall hikes.
- Arcola Bluffs in Stillwater
- Barn Bluff in Red Wing
- Bean and Bear in Silver Bay
- Cascade River State Park in Lutsen
- Interstate State Park in Taylors Falls
- Johnson Overlook in Silver Bay
- Lutsen Mountains in Lutsen
- Oberg Mountain in Tofte
- Pincushion Mountain Grand Marais
- Sugar Loaf in Winona
- White Sky Rock in Lutsen
3. Visit a Pumpkin Patch
Who doesn’t love a pumpkin patch? Just like apple orchards, these are great places to bring friends, family, and children. Often these types of places have additional things like corn mazes, hayrides, pies, and ciders for sale. One popular spot near the Twin Cities is Peter’s Pumpkins in Shakopee, Minnesota.
4. Ride the Gondola at Lutsen Mountains
Riding the gondola at Lutsen Mountains may be one of the most unique things to do in the fall! Enjoy the five-minute ride to the top for breathtaking views of Lake Superior and the endless sea of colorful trees. You can also enjoy many hiking trails around the mountain before taking the gondola back down to your car. It’s $29/per person and truly worth it! It’s one of the most beautiful things I’ve seen!
5. Take a Scenic Drive
While hiking is my favorite way to see fall colors along the bluffs and rivers, a scenic drive can be great if you want to cover more ground. We are so spoiled in Minnesota to have incredible scenic byways with jaw-dropping views. Some of the best include:
- Arrowhead Loop and Rengo Road in Hovland
- Historic Bluff Country Scenic Byway
- Honeymoon Loop in Lutsen/Tofte
- Gunflint Trail and County Road 60 in Grand Marais
- The North Shore All-American Scenic Byway
- Richey Lake Loop in Schroeder
- The St. Croix Scenic Byway
6. Grab Drinks on a Patio
We love checking out new breweries, and we really love sitting on a patio, grabbing a snack from a food truck, and trying a flight of new beers or ciders. A lot of breweries have fire pits to keep you warm as the cold weather rolls in. Some of our favorite patios and rooftops are the Hewing Hotel in Minneapolis, Imminent Brewing in Northfield and Bald Man Brewing in Eagan.
7. Visit a Pizza Farm
Picnics in general are a fun way to be outside, but why not do it at a pizza farm? When we went to the Red Barn Farm in Northfield, we brought our own chairs, blanket, wine, and dessert. There are also horses and chickens, visitors are encouraged to walk around and enjoy the property.
8. Go Camper Vanning
Camper vanning in the fall can be a great time to go because it’s not too hot or too cold at night. I recently went on my first camper van trip with my dog, Ole and it was a really fun and unique experience! Being able to hit the road and go wherever you want and then wake up with an incredible view inside a state park, or with views of Lake Superior is the best part of the camper van experience.
9. Visit the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum
The Minnesota Landscape Arboretum is a great place to visit during the fall. They create several incredible pumpkin displays that make for a great photoshoot. They also have the AppleHouse where you can buy apple cider donuts, pies, freshly picked apples, and mums.
10. Sip Hard Apple Cider
We only recently started visiting cideries and have really come to appreciate the wide variety. Number 12 Cider in Minneapolis has a large outdoor patio with fires and heated lamps. And they even have a pizza truck onsite. In Duluth, we love visiting Wild State Cider and Duluth Cider! There seem to be so many cideries around Minnesota as they become more and more popular!
11. Go to a Sporting Event
Fall is a great time to enjoy outdoor sporting events! Catch a game at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis and watch the Vikings, or head to Allianz Field in St. Paul and catch a United FC soccer game. I’ve been to a handful of games over the years and it’s always a great time.
12. Go Fishing
Fishing is a great fall activity. Not only is the weather beautiful, but the fish are extra hungry as they prepare for winter. That means you’re more likely to get a bite! Be sure to get your fishing license from the Department of Natural Resources before heading out.
13. Go Camping
Like most activities in the fall, it’s the weather that makes it so enjoyable. If you’re sleeping outside, why do it when the nights are hot and humid in July, or you’re shivering in February? Minnesota has a plethora of camping sites so there is no shortage of places to go!
14. Visit a Museum
Museums are great year-round, but they can be an especially great fall activity on those cold windy days. Some of the museums we visit most often are the Museum of Russian Art and the Minneapolis Institute of Art. Both have great exhibits that are updated regularly. We also really love the Minnesota Marine Art Museum in Winona, which has Monet, Van Gogh, underwater photography, and furniture from the Titanic.