Whether you’re on the search for the perfect autumn-themed date, or you’re just looking for an adventure with your friends, there are so many gorgeous places in Minnesota to experience fall. So throw on a scarf, snag a latté, and check out this list for some of the best places in our state to soak in our most colorful season!
Minnesota Landscape Arboretum
The Minnesota Landscape Arboretum is truly one of the Twin Cities’ hidden gems. This area is full of charming gardens, forests and grasslands stretched over nearly 1,200 acres of land. There are many options for walking, biking and even driving through the arboretum, so explore the fall scenery however you prefer! Also, these gardens are owned and operated by the University of Minnesota, so there’s FREE admission for students if you bring your U-Card!
St. Anthony Main
Besides campus itself, St. Anthony Main is one of the most scenic areas near the University of Minnesota, especially in the fall. There’s so much to do there — you and your friends can take a stroll across the Stone Arch Bridge, catch a cheap movie at the theater, or soak in the last few weeks of patio dining. If you do end up in the area, make sure you take the totally cliché picture with the Minneapolis skyline in the background. Every Gopher needs at least one.
Check out Grand Ave. for some seriously cute fall vibes. The street’s lined with cozy coffee shops, cafés and great stores for window shopping. Summit Ave. is known for its historic Victorian mansions and churches. Grab some apple cider or your favorite fall beverage at Coffee Bené and stroll down these streets with some friends just taking in the scenery of St. Paul.
The North Shore
If you have the time and access to a vehicle, take a weekend and head up north! It’s only about a two to three hour drive up to Duluth and from there you have access to so many gorgeous state parks and about a billion hiking trails that follow Lake Superior’s shoreline. The Split Rock River Loop is one of my favorite day hikes and it’s totally Insta-worthy.
Minnesota River Valley
If heading south suits your fancy, check out all that the Minnesota River Valley area has to offer. In addition to the breath-taking views of the woodlands and River Gorge, there are a ton of fall-themed activities in the South Metro. Attractions like the Renaissance Festival and ValleySCARE are extremely popular this time of year. And the Info Desk in Coffman typically has discount tickets for seasonal activities like these!
Chain of Lakes
Just a short drive or bike ride from campus, the Minneapolis Chain of Lakes is a natural oasis within the city limits. The parks and lakeshores in this area have some of the most perfect spots for a fall-themed picnic! Pack up a hammock, a thermos full of hot cocoa and some of your favorite autumn snacks and explore a quaint spot to relax and enjoy the weather.
One of the most beautiful cities located on the St. Croix, this historic waterfront town has it all. From boutique shopping to river boating, there’s something for everyone to do while taking in the impressive fall scenery. On your way there, make a pit stop at Pine Tree Apple Orchard for some warm cider and apple donuts!
Don’t think that you have to travel in order to experience the beautiful fall colors! Our campus is located in one of the most stunning areas of the Twin Cities, and we’re lucky enough to be able to experience the best parts of fall just during our walk to class. This fall semester, make an extra effort to study outside while the weather is warm, and leave for class a few minutes early so you have time to take in the scenery around you. After all, even Mother Nature loves maroon and gold. ;)
Before you get bummed thinking about the long winter ahead of us, get out there and experience everything that autumn has to offer. The season doesn’t typically last too long in Minnesota, so enjoy it while you can. To find out where colors are currently at their peak, check out the Minnesota DNR’s Fall Color Finder before you head out! Our state is truly one of a kind and we’re so fortunate that we get to experience the exciting change of the seasons.