Autumn is a much-adored season for many reasons…cool nights around a campfire, pumpkin patches, cozy sweatshirts, and of course the beautiful vibrant colorful leaves during a Minnesota fall. Couple all that with some fun activities in the heart of lakes country and you have the recipe of a perfect autumn getaway! Alexandria is located an easy two hours out of Minneapolis, just off I-94. Summer lake fun has put Alexandria on the map, and winters provide plenty of snowmobiling, skiing, ice fishing and more, but you don’t want to miss autumn. It’s part of why Alexandria was voted Minnesota’s Best Town!
Part of why the Alexandria area is such a great spot for fall colors is because of the variety of trees, enhancing the multitude of colors and extending the season from mid-September into late October. There are tons of things to do and great places to stay in the Alexandria Lakes Area, where all of these colorful hues are set amid more than 300 lakes. Douglas County is also home to more than 2,300 acres of park land. Lake Carlos State Park has more than 14 miles of hiking trails across deep woods, grasslands and along the shores of Lake Carlos. Hikers will also enjoy Kensington Runestone Park and its 304 acres of wooded, gently rolling land with trails for hiking, mountain biking and horseback riding. Meandering through glacial hills, lakeside views, diverse woods and open prairie, the Central Lakes Trail provides 55 miles of paved riding. Find a complete list of fall color hot spots here!
For golfing, you’ll have nine golf courses to try within 20 miles of Alexandria on what’s called the Chain of Links Golf Trail.
A visit to a grape vineyard, apple orchard or pumpkin patch is a must! Bold North Cellars and Country Blossom Farm will fill your autumn senses with all their fun fall activities. Bold North Cellars is one of the larger establishments with a winery, brewery and event center. They host numerous weekly events each year including their well-attended Grape Stomp Festival in the middle of September. At Country Blossom Farm guests enjoy their bakery, apple orchard, corn maze, pumpkin patch, woodland walk, outdoor fall activities and more.
Autumn is also a time for some excellent fishing. Although walleye fishermen love this time of year, plenty of other species like bass, northern pike, muskie and panfish seem to make it into the boats of many. Douglas County has more than 60 public accesses for you to launch your boat, or you can rent one from a number of places.
Come this fall and see for yourself why Alexandria continues to get praise from writers across the upper Midwest. The fall colors, outdoor activities, autumn events, Downtown shopping, trails and hundreds of lakes makes for a great autumn getaway! Be forewarned, after one visit, you may want to make it an annual trip or a permanent home.