Now that the heat of summer has left Minnesota, it’s time to start planning some fall activities. But don’t let the lower temperatures keep you inside. There’s plenty of time to curl up under a blanket this winter. This time of year, it’s time to take in the crisp weather by exploring Minnesota through its many fall activities. From pumpkin patches to scenic drives, these beautiful day trips are picture perfect for when you crave some fall fun.
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life. While we continue to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, please take proper precautions or add them to your bucket list to see at a later date. If you know of a local business that could use some extra support during these times, please nominate them here:
1. Pick your own pumpkins at Tweite's Family Farm.
Of course, there are many pumpkin patches to choose from in Minnesota. but Tweite's Family Farm is home to a large variety of attractions. They have a corn maze, a fun park, and plenty of food. But the main attraction is probably their large pumpkin patch. These home-grown pumpkins are available pre-picked, or visitors can walk out to the patch to pick one right off the vine. It's a fun excursion that will help you kickstart your fall. In 2017, Tweite's opens on September 23.
Address: 1821 Frontier Road Southwest, Byron.
2. Take a gorgeous fall foliage road trip.
Admittedly, this road trip will probably take more than a day. But why not choose one or two destinations from it? It spans north to south, visiting many of Minnesota's most incredible state parks. These prime places to spot fall foliage are ideal for a long day or two of fall fun.
Click here to read about the complete trip.
3. Take a hike - preferably up north.
The entirety of Minnesota will experience gorgeous fall colors, of course. But it's the northernmost areas that seem the most special during this time of year. With thick northern forests giving way to serene lakes - often with not a soul in sight - it makes sense to take a hike up north in the fall. Anywhere from Lake Itasca State Park to Grand Portage State Park would be a good choice. Check out the
fall foliage map
to plan the best time.
4. Get lost in Sever's Corn Maze.
The granddaddy of Minnesota corn mazes, Sever's never disappoints. This year, the huge maze is Australia themed. When you've found your way out of it, there are loads of other activities to try. The Sever's Fall Festival also features a petting zoo, a corn pit, lots of climbing activities, and more. In 2017, t starts on September 8.
Address: 1100 Canterbury Road South, Shakopee.
5. Go apple picking at Aamodt's Apple Farm.
Sure, you can buy apples at the store. But there's something special about reaching up to pick one for yourself. And because Minnesota is the birthplace of the world's tastiest apple - the honeycrisp - it is our duty to partake in fall apple festivities. Among the many apple orchards in Minnesota, Aamodt's stands out as one of the best. It's a popular spot with lots of fall fun. When you're done picking your apples, you can buy cider, apple donuts, and other goodies.
Address: 6428 Manning Avenue North, Stillwater.
6. Celebrate Oktoberfest in New Ulm.
With New Ulm's German heritage, it's no wonder they celebrate Oktoberfest. In 2017, the celebration spans two weekends, taking place on October 7, 6, 13, and 14. There will be tours of the historic Schell's Brewery, live music, food, and plenty of beer.
7. Keep the party going with Wabasha's Septoberfest.
If you can't get enough of New Ulm's Oktoberfest, just pop over to Wabasha. This little town brings it with an entire month of fall activities it calls Septoberfest. There are parades, carriage rides, animals, foods, live music, and a
lot more at this monthlong festival. In 2017, it runs from September 8 to October 21 - plenty of time to join in on the festivities.
8. Explore small-town Minnesota.
Which one will you choose? There are plenty of good options in every corner of the state, but a personal favorite is Lanesboro. This small town is nestled in Minnesota's hilly southeast. The beautiful Root River runs through town, with the Root River hiking trail running right alongside it. After you're done exploring the scenery, the town has many interesting shops, restaurants, and hotels where you can hang your hat for the night.
9. Take part in La Crescent Applefest.
As the Apple Capital of Minnesota, it should come as no shock that La Crescent hosts an annual apple festival. Applefest is a chance for apple lovers to come together to celebrate their favorite fruit. There is an apple-themed 5K, a parade, and plenty of live entertainment during the four-day festival. In 2017, it takes place from September 14 to September 17.
10. Take a colorful riverboat tour.
Taylors Falls is gorgeous already, but when you add in a boat tour? Taylors Falls Scenic Boat Tours offer up-close views of the fall foliage surrounding the St. Croix River. You'll have a chance to see the season's colors mingle with the tall cliffs and sparkling water of the St. Croix. It's a beautiful experience that is well worth the drive.
Address: 155 South Street, Taylors Falls.
11. Pile into the car for a colorful scenic drive.
There are lots of scenic rides to choose from, but the most famous is probably Highway 61. That's for good reason. This road follows along the North Shore from Duluth to Grand Portage, offering breathtaking views of Lake Superior. But in the fall, your attention may be diverted to the red and orange trees that will mark your way. Couple that with all of the incredible stops along the way - from Gooseberry Falls to Black Beach - and you have one of the best fall day trips you can take.
Will you do any of these fall day trips? Do you have any other favorite places to visit in the fall? Let us know in the comments.