Fall Drives 2006

Best Fall Drives in the Midwest

A drive over the river, around the lakes and through the woods uncovers the true colors of the area. Advance 2 spaces and get set to GO!

Anyone who has lived in the Midwest for more than a year knows we deal with crazy weather. We freeze in the winter, sweat in the summer, and never know quite what to expect in the spring. In the autumn months, however, we are truly spoiled.

For a few weeks from mid-September through October, the Midwestern landscape is ablaze in fiery hues of yellow, orange, gold, red and purple.

What better time to plan a leisurely drive? The game of life is a journey, and it’s a lot more fun if you take the scenic route.

Northeastern Minnesota

Duluth

www.visitduluth.com
Changing hues of maple, pine, aspen, and birch border the sweeping, rocky shoreline of Lake Superior–the largest freshwater lake in the world–as you drive north from the Twin Cities to Duluth. The popular North Shore Drive along U.S. Highway 61 starts in Duluth at Canal Park, part of the city’s revived waterfront.

Some area attractions include the Glensheen mansion, Maritime Museum, Hawk Ridge Nature Reserve, and Jay Cooke State Park. Don’t forget to stop at the refurbished Fitger’s Brewery Complex before heading north.

Once leaving the city, stay along the scenic route (rather than the expressway) to get the full effect of Mother Nature’s seasonal display of color.


Larsmont Cottages on Lake Superior

www.larsmontcottages.com
There are several pull-off areas and picnic sites along the drive to Two Harbors, approximately 30 miles north of Duluth. In this charming city you will find the newest resort on the North Shore, Larsmont Cottages on Lake Superior. These upscale cottages are tucked away in 40 acres of private woods for the ultimate scenic paradise. There are opportunities to hike, bike, paddle, fish, shop or just stay put and unwind. Dine at the full-service Ledge Rock Grille and Lounge (offering an extensive wine list), swim in an indoor pool, soak in an outdoor whirlpool, and relax in the wood-fired sauna and massage cottage.

“The many moods of Lake Superior make wonderful photos,†says Larsmont Cottages Marketing Coordinator Melissa Dressely. “There are days when she is calm, like a layer of glass, and days when the waves are so fierce you’ll think you’re on the ocean.â€


Superior Shores Resort and Conference Center

www.superiorshores-resort.com
Less than one mile north of Two Harbors is Superior Shores Resort and Conference Center, situated on 60 wooded acres featuring over a mile of Lake Superior shoreline. Cozy guest rooms, luxury suites and lakehomes are available for every budget. The lakehomes, located along the shore, feature full kitchens, fireplaces, and decks. On-site amenities include indoor and outdoor pools and hot tubs and Kamloop’s Restaurant, serving breakfast, lunch, dinner and Sunday brunch.

Those looking for frame-worthy fall photos should check out the waterfront at Two Harbors, suggests Superior Shores General Manager Darrin Young.

“Take a walk along the breakwall when the ships enter or leave the ore docks,†he says. “You can’t get much closer to the thousand-footers.â€

Some of the best fall colors around are off the well-traveled roads to Silver Bay, Ely, and Finland.

“You will be rewarded with spectacular colors and less traffic,†Young comments. “It’s well worth the few extra miles.â€


Grand Superior Lodge

www.grandsuperior.com
Just 10 miles from Two Harbors is Grand Superior Lodge, an inland sea port with Northwoods lodge rooms, log cabins, and lakeside log homes available to couples, families, or large groups. Most accommodations have a fireplace and whirlpool, full kitchens, and fabulous views of Lake Superior, says Melissa Dressely, marketing coordinator. Guests can enjoy excellent dining on-site at the Splashing Rock Restaurant and Lounge, and take advantage of the fall foliage season with a hiking package available through October.

“It’s the perfect way to get out on the renowned Superior Hiking Trail,†she comments. “It includes a Superior Hiking Trail map, boxed lunches for two hikers, two water bottles, a compass, and lodging.â€

The Superior Hiking Trail, located in Superior National Forest, was ranked by Backpacker magazine as one of the best hiking trails in the country. It runs along the shore of Lake Superior.

Just a few miles away is Gooseberry Falls State Park, known for dramatic waterfalls, and Tettegouche State Park, with trails that overlook the glacier-carved Sawtooth Mountains.


Split Rock Lighthouse

www.mnhs.org/places/sites/srl
About 20 miles northeast of Two Harbors on Highway 61 is Split Rock Lighthouse, one of the state’s best-known landmarks.

The lighthouse, originally built by the U.S. Lighthouse Service in 1910, was restored to its 1920s appearance and is now operated as a museum by the Minnesota Historical Society. The site includes the original tower and lens, the fog signal building, the oil house, and the three keeper’s houses.

Stop by on a weekday if you want to avoid the crowds, says Kathryn Grimes, marketing director for the Minnesota Historical Society. She also suggests visiting the website for Split Rock photo tips.

One highlight this fall will be the “Beacon Lighting and Commemoration of the Sinking of the Edmund Fitzgerald,†scheduled November 10 and 11 from noon to 6 p.m. A film will shown throughout the afternoon, and the lighthouse will close temporarily at 4:30 while the names of the 29 lost crewmembers will be read to the tolling of a ship’s bell. This is the only time during the year to see the lighted beacon from inside the lighthouse. Visitors should dress appropriately for possible inclement weather, and bring a flashlight if they plan on staying for the beacon lighting.


Bluefin Bay on Lake Superior

www.bluefinbay.com
A great place to enjoy the fall scenery is the always-romantic Bluefin Bay on Lake Superior, located along Old Highway 61 in the Lutsen-Tofte area. Because of the two climate zones created by Lake Superior, there are actually two seasons for watching the fall colors change on the North Shore. The first sweep of color occurs along the ridge of the Superior National Forest during the last two weeks of September; the second occurs the first few weeks of October, when the leaves along Lake Superior paint the landscape in vibrant hues.

After admiring the fall color, warm up at Bluefin Bay. Amenities include fireplaces, Jacuzzis, saunas, a year-round outdoor hot tub, an indoor pool and spa, bonfires on the cobblestone beach, three award-winning restaurants, and spa services at the Superior Waters Wellness Center.

The area is also a biker’s paradise.

“In addition to biking down the Gitchi-Gami Trail, riders can go on logging roads and back-country trails,†says Bluefin Bay founder and co-owner, Rob Buntz.

The resort is only 10 minutes from the Lutsen Mountain Ski Area–with excellent terrain for mountain biking and amazing Mountain Tram views of the changing leaves.


Lutsen Resort and Sea Villas

www.lutsenresort.com
Just a few miles from Bluefin Bay in a beautiful, picturesque little cove sits Lutsen Resort and Sea Villas.

“Hike along the rivers or up on the ridges to immerse yourself in spectacular colors,†says Nancy Burns, owner of Lutsen Resort. “Fall color drives into the back country are a favorite, while the more adventurous can join a resort guided sea kayak tour on the lake to admire the leaves.â€

Bordered by the expanse of Lake Superior on one side and mountains of fall color on the other, kayakers and canoers have one of the most unique vantage points in the state.

Another favorite fall activity is candlelit dining in the resort dining room, followed by a quiet moment at the beach campfire, Burns says.

Two popular fall packages at Lutsen Resort include the Romance Package and the Bed and Breakfast Package.


Caribou Highlands Lodge

www.caribouhighlands.com
Caribou Highlands Lodge in Lutsen is all about scenic beauty. Once you’re at Caribou Highlands, “the photo options are endless,†says Melissa Dressely, marketing coordinator. “From the balcony of your unit, you can get a shot of the colorful Sawtooth mountainside with Lake Superior as the backdrop.â€

The gorgeous Superior Hiking Trail is within walking distance of the resort. Venture up the Caribou Trail in Lutsen, then travel on The Grade to get to the North Shore’s inland lakes, the perfect spot for seeing wildlife and fall colors. Lodging options range from cozy rooms and condos to townhomes and log homes. Most units have fireplaces, whirlpools, full kitchens, and great views of the Sawtooth Mountains. Starting in late August, the website will offer a weekly fall foliage report, complete with a live webcam.


Giants Ridge

www.giantsridge.com
Giants Ridge Golf and Ski Resort is just three hours north of the Twin Cities, east of Biwabik on County Road 138. The ski lifts at this resort are put to good use in the fall, offering guests a bird’s-eye view of the beautiful maple ridges.

When the air turns crisp and the bugs disappear, “Mother Nature is in all of her glory at Giants Ridge,†says Linda Johnson, general manager.

The epitome of autumn brilliance can be found in surrounding lakes, streams, and the nearby Superior National Forest.

Giants Ridge is home to two of America’s best public golf courses, The Legend at Giants Ridge and The Quarry at Giants Ridge, both listed in Golf Digest’s “Top 100 Public Courses.â€

Guests can stay on-site at The Villas at Giants Ridge (luxury condos and cabin-style villas) or The Lodge at Giants Ridge (93 charming suites), where the Alchemy Medicinal Spa is located.

Bikers and hikers will have plenty to explore along the 100-mile paved Mesabi Trail, and those who like to ride off-road will find the perfect playground at the Iron Range OHV Recreation Area. While staying at Giants Ridge, visit the Wolf Center in nearby Ely or the Soudan Underground Mine for a truly unforgettable fall getaway.


Bayfield

www.bayfield.org
Located 220 miles north of the Twin Cities at the furthermost tip of Wisconsin, Bayfield becomes a kaleidoscope of color in the fall months. Situated along Lake Superior’s shoreline, this quaint harbor town is home to a number of pumpkin patches, apple orchards, and berry farms–prime for picking in the brisk autumn months.

From September 15 through October 31, Bayfield will be celebrating the Bayfield Scarecrow and Orchard Tours, a fun harvest festival. There will be over 100 scarecrows located throughout the city and area orchards. Besides finding your favorite scarecrow, go on the Ghost Walking Tour, do some apple and berry picking, sample wine, go antique shopping, biking, sailing or golfing, and visit a multitude of fascinating art studios and galleries. While in the city, make sure to see a show at the Big Top Chautauqua center for performing arts, “the Carnagie Hall of outdoor tent shows.â€


The Inn on Madeline Island

www.madisland.com
Unforgettable scenery is only part of the experience at The Inn on Madeline Island, in La Pointe, Wisconsin, a 20-minute ferry ride, across the big lake from Bayfield. While on the island, hike through wooded trails canopied in red, yellow, and gold, view sandstone bluffs, and stroll along the beach. For a unique perspective of the area, rent a bike, moped, canoe, sailboat, or fishing boat.

The Inn on Madeline Island, a full service resort, offers home, cottage and condo rental, a restaurant, a hot tub and sauna, tennis courts, and a private beach on the majestic shores of Lake Superior.


Thunder Bay Charity Casino

1-877-656-4263
Thunder Bay Charity Casino in Ontario, Canada is only 45 minutes from the Pigeon River U.S. border crossing off Highway 61. Located in a Lake Superior harbor just minutes from Marina Park, this casino was designed around the rich shipping history of Lake Superior and Thunder Bay. Ante up for exciting game action in an authentic northwestern Ontario setting. Try your luck on 452 of the hottest slot machines. Take a break from the action at the Rendezvous Bar & Restaurant, and rest your head at one of several area hotels. Thunder Bay is a city for all seasons, and autumn is a great time to visit our friendly neighbor north of the border.


North Central/West

Arrowwood Resort & Conference Center

www.arrowwoodresort.com
Located just two hours from the Twin Cities on the shores of Lake Darling, beautiful fall scenery is worth a trip up I-94 to Arrowwood Resort and Conference Center in Alexandria. In addition to prime color viewing, Arrowwood guests have the option of enjoying the Big Splash Indoor Waterpark, unwinding at the Darling Reflections Spa, playing a round of golf on Arrowwood’s scenic 18-hole course, going horseback riding, or warming up (and roasting marshmallows) by an evening bonfire. Stay in a lodge room or suite with lakefront views or a luxurious four bedroom townhome.

“Nature created a year-round playground and we built Arrowwood right in the middle of it,†says Amy Parod, director of sales.


Kavanaugh’s Sylvan Lake Resort

www.kavanaughs.com
Fall color seekers will not be disappointed at Kavanaugh’s Sylvan Lake Resort, located off Highway 10 and 371 in the heart of the Brainerd Lakes Area.

“We have some of the best fall colors,†says Tom Kavanaugh, co-owner and manager of the family-owned and operated resort. “You can take an absolutely fantastic drive around the lakes to see the changing colors. They typically peak at the end of September and first week or two of October.â€

Recreational options include 108 holes of golf less than a mile away, extensive bike trails, and superb fishing (with boat rentals available).

Not only can guests rent a cozy unit at Kavanaugh’s, now they also have the opportunity to purchase and own a unit as part of a rent-share program. All of the units in the rental program are individually owned, yet the owners can still enjoy the resort’s many amenities (an indoor pool, whirlpool, exercise room, game room, swimming beaches, a playground, volleyball and tennis courts).

“Being part of a rental pool is a great way to own a place up north without all the hassles,†Kavanaugh says. “It also helps people subsidize some of the expenses.â€

Worry-free property management includes rental management, housekeeping services, check-in services, resort maintenance, landscaping, snow removal and refurbishing. Owners can use their home up to 60 days per year–including the prime season–and still participate in the program.

When the renovation is complete, there will be 75 premier vacation homes available. For details and reservations, visit the website.


Breezy Point Resort

www.breezypointresort.com
Pelican Lake sparkles amid the changing fall colors, and the best spot to appreciate the view is Breezy Point Resort. Located east of Pequot Lakes in the Brainerd Lakes Area, Breezy Point has been a family-favorite for more than 80 years.

The resort features two 18-hole golf courses, a complete boat marina, a swimming pool, a Children’s Recreation Program, excellent casual and fine dining, and entertainment in the Marina Lounge.

Hikers, bikers, and in-line skaters can utilize the nearby Paul Bunyan Trail, and those who like to fish won’t be bored on Pelican Lake. There are more than 250 lodging units available at the resort, ranging from shore-side accommodations to golf chalets with hot tubs that look out on one of the championship courses. Because of the variety of activities and lodging available, Breezy Point is a popular destination for weddings, large group get-togethers, and family reunions.


Settlers Ridge at Minnesota National Golf Course

www.minnesotanationalgolfcourse.com
The unique development of Settlers Ridge at Minnesota National Golf Course is central to the Brainerd Lakes Area, approximately 8 miles north of McGregor, near Big Sandy Lake. This secluded, gated community is just minutes from attractions, shopping, dining, and recreational opportunities such as fishing, bird watching, and miles and miles of nature trails. The development features a 9-hole executive course with junior tees; an 18-hole, 7,200-yard championship course (opening next summer); and a clubhouse with a swimming pool, spa, tennis court, and restaurant.

“We’re building an expansive clubhouse that will resemble the Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort [in Naples, Florida],†says Bill Korner, one of several owners involved in the project.

He adds that they will also be building a marina, convenience store, exercise facility, indoor and outdoor pools, a golf pro shop, restaurants, bird stands, and a unique exhibit of a 200-year-old native village.

When complete, there will be over 300 single-family homes and townhomes Settlers Ridge, with prices starting at $250,000.

“Compared to other homes in the area, the value is really exceptional in terms of what people get for their dollar,†Korner says.

Visit the website for more details.


Detroit Lakes

www.visitdetroitlakes.com
The best of the fall season is showcased in Detroit Lakes, three hours northwest of the Twin Cities off Highway 10.

“Besides autumn colors, fall fishing is particularly good in the Detroit Lakes area,†explains Cleone Stewart, Detroit Lakes Tourism director. “With less boats on the lake and hungry fish, you’re in for a fun day on the water. Pan fish and game fish are popular, as well as trophy-sized muskie.â€

Hiking and biking in Detroit Lakes are other popular pastimes. Fall is a good time to visit because the city is less crowded with tourists, and local golf courses offer late-season rates.

For a fall color tour map, visitors are encouraged to call 1-800-542-3992. The map details outstanding viewing routes.

“The Detroit Lakes area is in a transition zone of prairie and two types of forests. With the change from prairie to forests, the variety of grass and tree colors are spectacular!†Stewart says. This ecosystem is a prime breeding ground for more than 250 species of birds, including the elusive ruffed grouse.

Fall events include the Dick Beardsley Half Marathon and 5K Race September 9, and the Tamarac National Wildlife Refuge Fall Festival on September 30.


Hinckley

www.hinckleymn.com
During September and October, the air is cooler, the sky is a deeper shade of blue, and the fall colors are breathtaking in Hinckley, just one hour north of the Twin Cities off I-35. Hinckley’s relaxed small town atmosphere and big city amenities compliment the towering pines and rolling hills, making this city the ideal place to visit.

While in the Hinckley area, explore nature at St. Croix State Park, bike down the Munger State Trail, visit the Hinckley Fire Museum, see if Lady Luck is on your side at Grand Casino Hinckley, or enjoy a round of golf at Grand National Golf Club.

There are more than six hotels and 15 restaurants in the area, with a little something for everyone.


St. Croix Valley

Rivertown Inn

www.rivertowninn.com
Every fall the St. Croix River Valley is awash in shades of yellow, orange, and red. Take a colorful drive along the scenic St. Croix and enjoy historic river towns–such as Stillwater–along the way. Stillwater is known for dramatic riverfront scenery (and is especially pretty in the fall), in addition to excellent outdoor recreation, one-of-a-kind boutiques, antique shops, galleries, wineries, restaurants, and B&Bs.

One of these B&Bs, the Rivertown Inn, transports guests back to the Victorian splendor of the nineteenth century. Perched high upon historic Chestnut Hill, with amazing views of Stillwater and the St. Croix River Valley, the luxury guest rooms offer every amenity for romance and comfort. Enjoy a double whirlpool, private bath, gas fireplace, a library with over 400 book titles, a 24-hour self-service pantry, lavish chef-prepared breakfasts, a Sunday brunch with champagne, and daily social hours with complimentary wine and hors d’oeuvres.


Eichten’s Bistro and market

www.eichtensbistro.com
While heading north to view radiant autumn colors in Taylors Falls, make a quick detour at Eichten’s Bistro, just 45 minutes from the Twin Cities metro area off Highway 8 in Center City. This family-run business offers a quaint atmosphere and personalized European dining experience on a 150-acre bison and cheese ranch. In addition to hosting regular theme dinners, wine and beer-tastings (Eichten’s carries over 40 beer selections, many from Belgium), Eichten’s Bistro offers nightly “World of Taste†entrees, prepared by talented chef Michael C. Selby.

The retail store carries homemade, imported and domestic cheese, specialty foods, and organic bison meat raised right on their ranch.

“We are a gem among the giants,†explains owner William Hoefler.


Chateau St. Croix Winery & Vineyard

www.chateaustcroix.com
For a fun and memorable fall drive, continue on along Highway 8 into Wisconsin to Chateau St. Croix Winery and Vineyard. Chateau St. Croix is located seven miles north of beautiful downtown St. Croix Falls–the dividing point between the upper and lower St. Croix River Valley. Fall is an excellent time to visit the winery and sample wines, take a tour, or hold a private party in the art gallery and tasting room. Don’t miss Chateau St. Croix’s Fall Harvest Festival September 16-17. Two days of scheduled activities include a Polocrosse match, medallion hunt, live music, “I Love Lucy†look-alike contest, and grape stomping. Wine tasting, local gourmet food, and carriage rides will be offered throughout the day. Visit the website for more details.


Afton House Inn

www.aftonhouseinn.com
Cruise along Highway 95/County Road 18 south of Stillwater for a memorable autumn trip along the Lower St. Croix River.

“Stop by the local apple orchards,†suggests Afton House Inn owner Kathy Jarvis. “Bring your camera. You’ll want to stop for some scenic pictures.â€

Once arriving in the lovely historic village of Afton, hike through Afton State Park, shop on Main Street, and dine at the casual Catfish Cafe or more intimate setting of the Wheel Room at Afton House Inn.

Those who plan ahead can make reservations now for the “Sixth Annual Vineyards of the St. Croix Cruise†September 13 and 14. Spoil yourself with a gourmet dinner and wine-tasting cruise aboard the Grand Duchess. Visit the website for specials and last-minute availability lodging.


Stout’s Island Lodge

www.stoutslodge.com
Fall colors will surround you as you drive through the beautiful St. Croix River Valley onward to western Wisconsin on your journey to Stout’s Island Lodge, a lumber baron’s romantic 1903 estate on a wooded island in the middle of Red Cedar Lake, northeast of Rice Lake. Accessible only by ferry, Stout’s Island Lodge has accommodations in the Main Lodge, Shore Lodge, and rustic cabins, many furnished with period antiques and most with a wood-burning fireplace. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, this resort is a rustic yet refined oasis. In the crisp fall months, guests enjoy gourmet meals in the Main Lodge dining room, croquet, bocce ball, tennis, sailing, bird watching, hiking, kayaking, and evening bonfires.

Visit the website for mid-week discounts and specials.


Southern Minnesota

Treasure Island Resort and Casino

www.treasureislandcasino.com
Drive south to Red Wing to visit Treasure Island Resort and Casino. In addition to excellent gaming, enjoy fall cruises from September 1 through October 29 aboard the elegant cruise liner Spirit of the Water. Escape the autumn chill at the tropical-themed hotel, complete with a central swimming pool, and hot tubs set in a lush rainforest environment. While staying at Treasure Island Resort, schedule a tee time at the 18-hole Mount Frontenac Golf Course, perched atop the Mississippi River bluffs. Colorful views of Lake Pepin and the Mississippi River Valley absolutely can’t be beat. Shop in the Historic Downtown District, and a few blocks away, check out the Historic Pottery District.


Historic Forestville/ Mystery Cave State Park

www.mnhs.org
Take the less-traveled County Road 1, rather than the popular Highway 63, for a scenic drive to Historic Forestville/Mystery Cave State Park, located 30 miles south of Rochester between Preston and Spring Valley. “Historic Forestville is a beautiful, interesting place for tourists, and a welcome respite from always heading north to the lake,†says John Grabko, site technician. Forestville, once a rural trade center, is now a living history program operated by the Minnesota Historical Society. Visitors are guided through interpretive stations that include the store, house, kitchen, garden, granary, carriage barn, barn and cornfield, where they meet a variety of characters from the town. In each area, the costumed interpreters talk about their characters’ lives. Visit Historic Forestville for Harvest Day October 7, 2006 and learn how crops were grown back in the late 1800s. Pack a picnic lunch and eat among the changing leaves. Belowground, take a guided tour of Mystery Cave, the state’s longest cave open to the public. Feel like a spelunker as you discover unusual cave formations and natural water pools. Visit the website for hours and more details.


Marshall

www.marshallmn.com
Recently named a “Best Small Town in America,†Marshall is a small community with a big future. If you’ve never been to this charming city, just a three hour drive from the Twin Cities, you should definitely plan a trip. Go camping at Camden State Park, hike along the wooded river valley, climb the Dakota Valley Trail, and admire the mural of colors while canoeing in Brawner Lake. Nearby is the 700-acre Garvin Park (13 miles south on Highway 59), an excellent bird habitat for woodland species, and Lake Shetek (33 miles south near the city of Currie). Lake Shetek, the largest lake in southwest Minnesota, offers great fishing and pelican watching.

With an increasing number of retail stores, antique shops, restaurants, hotels, and city parks, Marshall is the perfect location for a fun fall getaway.


Northern Plains Indian Art Market

www.npiam.org
While heading south this September, continue on to neighboring South Dakota. Start your adventure in Sioux Falls, located in the southeast corner of the state. The Northern Plains Indian Art Market will take place in Sioux Falls September 21-24, with gorgeous handcrafted items representing the history, heritage and legends of the area. This is the largest Native American art show in the Northern Plains, presented by Sinte Gleska University. The event includes a juried art show and reception, public market days, and a traditional Wacipi (Pow Wow). After immersing yourself in Native American culture, see what else Sioux Falls has to offer. Go on a walking tour through a historical neighborhood, visit the restored 1800s Old Courthouse Museum, spend some time at Falls Park, and see The Outdoor Campus nature museum and butterfly garden before heading west along I-90 where popular attractions such as the Crazy Horse Memorial, Mount Rushmore, Deadwood, and legendary Black Hills and Badlands scenery await you.


Twin Cities Area

The Depot

www.thedepotminneapolis.com
Spend a day or weekend at The Depot, a beautifully restored Minneapolis train station landmark featuring a Courtyard and Residence Inn Depot by Marriott. Stay in a unique historic suite with sweeping views of the downtown skyline and the Mississippi River. It’s easy to see why so many guests rave about the indoor waterpark and seasonal indoor skating rink, two unique amenities loved by kids of all ages.

Exceptional fall color viewing is within walking distance along the Mississippi riverfront, with photographic points of interest including the Stone Arch Bridge, St. Anthony Falls, and the Mill City Museum. Check the website for overnight waterpark packages, holiday specials, and banquet information.


Minnesota Zoo

www.mnzoo.org
Located on the south side of the Twin Cities in Apple Valley, the Minnesota Zoo is home to hundreds of Minnesota animals, tropical animals, marine wildlife, farm animals, and creatures found north of the 45th parallel (such as the Siberian tiger). The zoo is open 363 days a year, with new exhibits open on a regular basis. Get a birds-eye view of the fall colors from the monorail, where you can see camels, musk oxen, moose and Siberian tigers roaming down below. Each naturalist guide’s narrative is structured, yet spontaneous, taking advantage of animal activity and seasonal changes. Don’t forget to see an educational and entertaining show at the IMAX Theater while visiting.


Minnesota Landscape Arboretum

www.arboretum.umn.edu
If you’re looking for a different way to spend an autumn day, visit the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, 20 miles southwest of the Twin Cities on Highway 5 in Chaska (nine miles west of I-494). Don’t miss the “Secret Gardens Exhibition†from now through September 10. This juried exhibit includes 20 unique Secret Gardens located throughout the 1,047-acre arboretum grounds. Visitors are also encouraged to submit entries for “Scarecrows on Parade,†a juried exhibit of original, one-of-a-kind creations of scarecrows and other garden folk that capture the wonderful flavor of the harvest season. Entries are due September 1 and will be on display from September 16 to October 31. Application forms are available online.

For more details on destinations and byways throughout the state, visit Explore Minnesota Tourism online at www.exploreminnesota.com or National Scenic Byways at www.byways.org.

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