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Top 7 Fall Day Trips to take in Minnesota

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Fall is one of the absolute best times to explore Minnesota. Crisp air, leaves crunching beneath your feet, the explosion of colors on the trees, a warm cup of tea/coffee in hand.  The season only lasts a few short weeks but that’s part of what makes so special.  Below are the Top 7 Day trips to take this Fall to make the most of this short season!

1. New Ulm

90 min SW of the Twin Cities

New Ulm is steeped in German heritage and a fall day trip is perfect to sample beers at the oldest brewery in Minnesota, walk around state parks, watch the town’s daily Glockenspiel performances and enjoy delicious food. Read more details here.

2. Northfield

60 min S of the Twin Cities

Northfield is a quaint smaller town set alongside a river. While the town itself may only take an hour to see, there is a lot to do in the surrounding area including a beautiful state park with a waterfall, pizza farm, biking trail and cider farm! Read more here.

3. Cuyuna

2 hr NW of the Twin Cities

I’ve only been in the summer but the turquoise spring-fed old mining pit lakes set within yellow and orange leaves would be a site to see! Perfect for an active day or weekend trip because the mountain biking trails are world class and you can paddle out onto the lakes. The town of Crosby has a great main street with a ton to do. If you are looking to make it a weekend stay, you have to stay at the gorgeous Cuyuna Cove boutique cabins! Read more here.

4. Stillwater

45 min E of the Twin Cities

A classic day trip, Stillwater is set along the St. Croix River and many of the local rooftop bars and restaurants offer great views. On your way into town, stop at Aamodt’s Apple Farm to pick apples and sample wine and cider. For a really fun outing, rent e-bikes and cruise the Brown’s Creek Trail or the loop trail that crosses the beautiful historic life bridge. Click here for more details of things to do in Stillwater!

5. Taylors Falls

60 min NE of the Twin Cities

Taylor’s Falls is a stunning area and my favorite fall day trip. You can hike, paddle the river and enjoy delicious food at the Drive In and other local spots. What more can you ask for in a day? Details are here!

6. St. Cloud

60 min NW of the Twin Cities

Between the Quarries, Munsinger Clemens Gardens and Milk & Honey Cider, St. Cloud and the nearby town of St. Joe have a ton to offer for a beautiful fall day trip! Read more about food stops to make and other sights to see here!

7. Red Wing

60 min SE of the Twin Cities

Last but not least is Red Wing! Set amongst bluffs and along the river, Red Wing is a beautiful small town. The hike at Barn Bluff offered my favorite view and is a fairly easy climb. Start the day at Hanisch bakery and grab a coffee/tea from Mandy’s across the street. After exploring and shopping, wind down your day at Scarlet Kitchen at the stunning and historic St. James Hotel. More details are available here!

For more ideas to do this fall, check out 22 Stops on the North Shore and the Top 8 Cideries to try or my other Minnesota guides!

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