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Complete Autumn Traveler

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Summer heat is on the wane, but that doesn’t mean vacation season is over.

A growing number of people are extending their vacation well beyond Labor Day for a few different reasons: The weather is not too hot and not too cold (bonus that the mosquitoes are gone), the landscape is a gorgeous palette of greens, yellows, oranges, and reds, and there are smaller crowds and better bargains during the “off-peak” season.

We chose a few destinations that are picture-perfect during the autumn months.



Hudson’s Spirit of the St. Croix Days, held October 15-18, will combine family entertainment, education, and a national fishing tournament to celebrate the city of Hudson and the St. Croix River Valley. The Hudson Area Chamber of Commerce & Tourism Bureau created Spirit of the St. Croix Days to bring families to Hudson’s Lakefront Park and celebrate historic downtown Hudson. The national fishing tournament, the Professional Walleye Trail, will host two events—a three day catch and release walleye year-end tournament, and an exciting eight-hour tournament— the “Top 50 Anglers” in the U.S.— on October 18.

In celebration of the 40th Anniversary of the St. Croix River becoming a National Scenic Riverway, the Hudson Area Chamber of Commerce & Tourism Bureau is bringing Big Top Chautauqua to town on Thursday, October 16, for a free evening concert.  During this exciting fall event Lakefront Park will host a variety of food and beverage vendors, musical entertainment, The All American Lumberjack Show, the “Taste of Hudson Food, Beer & Wine Experience,” a boat show, and fishing presentations. October is the perfect time to visit this area.

Lutsen Resort

Lutsen Resort, set amidst a palette of blazing reds and brilliant yellows, is the ideal autumn getaway—whether you prefer relaxing on a lakeside deck, strolling along Lake Superior in front of the resort, or fishing in Poplar River. Join resort guides on some of the many complimentary fall activities such as guided hikes (don’t forget your camera to capture the spectacular vistas overlooking the forest) or guided kayak tours along the colorful shoreline. A backroad driving tour winds through the  forest where the birch and maples contrast with the dark green of pine trees. Lutsen Resort offers lodging options for every taste and budget, from historic lodge rooms to hand-crafted log cabins, luxury townhomes to seaside villas. Those looking for a romantic getaway will enjoy candlelit dinners in the lakeside dining room, quiet moments in front of a crackling fire, in-room Jacuzzis, and the solitude of Lake Superior. Fall highlights include the opening of Lutsen Resort’s new Massage and Wellness Center, and the Fall Color Getaway “Food & Wine Weekend” Oct. 31-Nov. 2.

Surfside on Lake Superior

Surfside on Lake Superior, a new luxurious waterfront retreat in the Lutsen/Tofte area, is surrounded by a kaleidoscope of fall color. Experience the charm of the North Shore during autumn by renting or buying one of nine completed coastal contemporary townhomes (there are 26 total planned).

After hiking, biking, fishing, or simply sitting outside with a book and cup of coffee, unwind at the Superior Waters Spa.

“At Superior Waters, nurturing you is our second nature,” says Lori Schaefer, marketing director. “Treatments and services are inspired by our surroundings, which are spectacular, pristine and holistic. Here, nestled between the Sawtooth Mountains, a forest of pine and birch, and the magnificent Lake Superior shoreline, we have created an oasis of tranquility for relaxing the mind, relieving the body and rejuvenating the spirit.”

Superior Waters Spa officially opens in late August. Guests are encouraged to “test the waters” with a Surfside Sampler Package, offering 25 percent off lodging, 25 percent off all spa services, and more. After enjoying a massage or body treatment, soak in the indoor pool or whirlpool overlooking the lake before retiring to your private townhome for a glass of wine.

Arrowwood Resort

Located on the shores of Lake Darling, beautiful fall scenery is worth a trip along I-94 to Arrowwood Resort and Conference Center in Alexandria. In addition to prime color viewing, Arrowwood guests have the option of biking down area trails, enjoying the Big Splash Indoor Waterpark, relaxing at the Darling Reflections Spa, playing a round on Arrowwood’s 18-hole course, horseback riding, or warming up (and roasting marshmallows) by an evening bonfire. Accommodations range from lodge rooms and suites with lakefront views to luxurious four bedroom townhomes.

Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada

Embark on a number of “autumnal adventures” in Thunder Bay, Ontario this fall.

Explore Marina Park through a lakeside barrier-free network of walking paths and boardwalks as they weave by boats and a beautiful landscape with unobstructed views of Canada’s No. 1 scenic wonder, the famous Sleeping Giant. Thunder Bay is also home to the world’s largest reconstructed fur trading post, Fort William Historical Park, where every weekend something exciting happens. Don’t forget to stop in at Thunder Bay Oak Cheese farm for award-winning Gouda cheese, an old-fashioned bakery, the Nolalu eco-straw house, and the Organic Café. Just outside the city is the magnificent thundering Kakabeka Falls (“Niagara of the North”); the beautiful Sleeping Giant Provincial Park, Thunder Bay Amethyst Mines (pick your own amethyst), fishing at Eagle Ridge Trout Ponds, and Eagle Canyon Adventures. 

Jackpot Junction

Morton—home base of Jackpot Junction Casino Hotel and Dacotah Ridge Golf Club—lies on the Minnesota river (off Highway 19 and US 71) where the fall color viewing is prime during the chilly autumn months. Minnesota’s first casino offers 325,000-square-feet of live gaming excitement (two floors) with video slot machines, fast-paced table games, live poker, live entertainment, four superb restaurants, and a 375-seat bingo hall, in addition to the Rees Jones-designed Dacotah Ridge Golf Club, rated as one of the state’s best by Golf Digest. The Lower Sioux Lodge, adjacent to the casino, is an AAA Diamond Rated hotel with deluxe accommodations. Next to the hotel is Kids Quest Childcare, ideal for children six weeks to 12 years old.

Northland Lodge

Nestled on the sandy shores of Leech Lake, Northland Lodge offers world-class fishing, solitude, luxurious amenities, and a family-friendly atmosphere (think beach-side volleyball and paddleboats) that has kept generations of guests returning year after year. Choose from over 18 custom-built lake homes each designed with an “Up North” experience in mind. The Lodge is only minutes away from golf courses, bike trails, antique shops, casinos, dinner cruises, fine dining, and beautiful autumn colors.

Grand Casino

Grand Casino Mille Lacs overlooks the colorful shores of Lake Mille Lacs in the heart of Minnesota’s finest vacationland. Go hiking, biking, walleye fishing, or boating during the day, than get ready for excitement, entertainment and plenty of casino action at night. Choose from more than 1,500 video slots, dozens of blackjack tables, and live bingo six days a week. See a country, comedy, rock or R&B performance. After you’re done playing, treat yourself to the comfortable, affordable luxury of the Grand Casino Mille Lacs Hotel. You’ll also enjoy on-site restaurants including the Grand Buffet, the Grand Northern Grill, and The Woodlands Steakhouse.


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