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Designed exclusively for couples, Canoe Bay—the only prestigious Relais and Chateaux member in the Midwest—is a gorgeous, unspoiled, secluded fall retreat located in northwestern Wisconsin. Explore miles of hiking trails on the 280-acre country estate, admire the beauty of the changing leaves from your private deck, or go canoeing, kayaking, or fishing on quiet Lake Wahdoon. While you’re unwinding, why not treat yourself to an hour-long massage in the hotel’s spa, cuddle in front of your private fireplace, or relax in a two-person whirlpool? In the evening, head over to the lakeside dining room to enjoy a glass of wine (there are over 500 domestic and imported vintages to choose from) and an excellent four-course meal prepared by a talented chef. Lodging options include guest rooms in the lodge, new deluxe cottages, or Edgewood, a 2,000-square-foot villa, complete with a 1,500-square-foot wraparound deck.
There are plenty of reasons to visit Duluth in the fall, and Nokomis Restaurant and Bar is one of them. Located about 20 minutes from downtown Duluth on the shores of Lake Superior, Nokomis Restaurant serves both classic and new cuisine.
The changing menu features mouth-watering seasonal items (chef and co-owner Sean Lewis promises diners an interesting menu of fish, meats, pasta and salads) and a superb selection of over 130 carefully-selected wines.
Caribou Highlands Lodge is in a prime North Shore location for enjoying fall’s flashy fashion show. Nestled in Lutsen’s Sawtooth Mountains on the shores of Lake Superior, this family-friendly vacation Mecca offers colorful views of the changing leaves. Take the gondola ride up and the vista view from the backside of the mountain on the way down will take your breath away. The area offers exceptional hiking right out the door along leaf-covered trails, as well as excellent birding, canoeing, and mountain biking opportunities. For those who prefer to tee it high and let it fly, fall golf on the North Shore is a must.
Visit the website for details about the Superior National Golf Package.
The Minnesota Zoo is a beautiful venue in the fall. Gorgeous autumn colors can be appreciated all around the zoo, located in Apple Valley. Another reason to visit? The much-anticipated $23.6 million exhibit, “Russia’s Grizzly Coast.” Get eye-to-eye with grizzly bears Sadie (rescued near a landfill in Alaska), Haines (an orphan cub found roaming in Haines, Alaska), and Kenai (an orphan cub found along the coast near Seward, Alaska), as well as four sea otters, three Amur leopards, and ten wild boars. This is the first exhibit of its kind featuring the region, landscapes, and animals of Russia’s Far East. Watch the massive bears roam among steaming geysers and bubbling mud-pots, a land of stunning scenery including a rocky coastline, erupting volcanoes, and dense forests.
Larsmont Cottages on Lake Superior is located just 30 minutes north of Duluth. The Scandinavian-style cottages are tucked away in 40 acres of private woods for the ultimate in privacy and fall colors. Guests enjoy modern conveniences in upscale cottages, equipped with TVs and DVD players, home theater systems, full-service kitchens, quality goose down comforters, and cozy gas fireplaces in select cabins. Outdoor enthusiasts will enjoy opportunities to hike, bike, paddle, fish, or golf, while those wanting to stay put and unwind will appreciate the full-service Ledge Rock Grille and Lounge (offering an extensive wine list), heated indoor pool, and wood-fired sauna and massage cottage.
Grand Superior Lodge sits on 1,500 feet of pristine Lake Superior shoreline, with the Superior National Hiking Trail just across the highway and Gooseberry Falls State Park almost next door. Fall guest activities include charter fishing on Lake Superior (special guest rate), complimentary bikes (ride in Gooseberry Falls State Park or down the Gitchi Gami bike trail), and free use of canoes. This authentic log lodge is on the water’s edge and features a renowned restaurant with lakeside deck. A free Minnesota State Park day pass is available online with two-night reservation.
Immerse yourself in autumn’s splendor at Leech Lake’s newest family resort, Trapper’s Landing Lodge, featuring spectacular three-bedroom lodges on 1,600 feet of lakeshore. The newest addition to the resort, the Hudson Bay Cabins, offers the ultimate in luxury lake home living combined with a beautiful scenic location. Hike or bike in the nearby Chippewa National Forest, or go canoeing, kayaking, or fishing in Leech Lake. The resort features a sandy swimming beach and full-service marina. A winery, golf course, museum, riding stable, and casino are close to the area.
Gold, scarlet, and auburn leaves create a mosaic of rich colors in Grand Marais from mid-September through late-October. Travelers come for amazing scenery, wildlife viewing (the area is home to 155 bird species, as well as moose, wolves, lynx, bears, deer, and fox), excellent fishing, unique shopping (Grand Marais is the only North Shore community whose downtown is right on the lake), inspired art galleries, over 30 designated hiking trails, 2,000 miles of biking trails, and a plethora of lodging and dining options.