We often think of summer as the season of doing; school’s out and we cram as much activity as we can into a few months. But some people will tell you fall in Minnesota and western Wisconsin is as close to paradise as can be found.
Pull on a sweater, grab some coffee and enjoy an outing without the humidity and mosquitoes!
- Unwind from the work day with a round of golf. Many golf courses offer special fall pricing, so it will be easier on your wallet than in the summer. Just be sure to call your favorite course to make sure it’s still open for play.
- Minnesota is famous for the signature apple varieties bred at the University of Minnesota, including the Honeycrisp, SweeTango and Zestar. Search MinnesotaGrown.com to find an orchard.
- While it may be well-known for brewing beer, nothing pairs with Dairy State cheese better than Wisconsin wine. There are several wineries on the western side of the state for you to tour and taste—find one at wiswine.com.
- One weekend is not enough to contain all the fun at New Ulm’s Oktoberfest, which has been voted one of the best Oktoberfest celebrations in the country. Celebrate the season with local beer, music, food and good company Oct. 6-7 and 13-14.
- The family-friendly Halloween celebrations in Anoka are believed to be the longest-running in the country, dating back to 1920, when locals wanted to give youth a diversion from Halloween pranks. Today, activities include a parade, 5K run, pageant and more.
- Nights up north can be chilly, but the scenery during the day is totally worth it. Experience the brand-new campground that opened in September at Lake Vermillion-Soudan Underground Mine State Park. Facilities include campsites with electricity, screened picnic shelters, modern showers and Wi-Fi.
- If you have a train enthusiast in your life, a ride on the Osceola and St. Croix Valley Railway may be just the ticket. Take a fall color ride Sept. 30-Oct. 15, or take the Pumpkin Express Oct. 20-22 and tour the haunted depot, take hay rides and more.
- Eau Claire has been making a name for itself as a haven for arts and culture in western Wisconsin. Check out new films, including a screening of the documentary Cheeseheads, at the Eau Claire World Film Festival Sept. 28-Oct.1.
- Several zoos have Halloween events, including “HowlZooWeen” at the Minnesota Zoo, “Boo at the Zoo” at Lake Superior Zoo in Duluth and “ZooBoo” at Como Zoo in St. Paul. Enjoy a day at the zoo and celebrate Halloween in a not-too-spooky atmosphere.
- Roadside attractions can be a highlight of any road trip. While you’re on your fall color tour up north, stop at the Big Fish Supper Club in Benafor a bite to eat and a photo op in front of the giant muskie that made a cameo in National Lampoon’s Vacation.