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When autumn makes its appearance, many a Minnesotan starts planning day trips to take in the fall colors.

The typical fall colors season starts in northern Minnesota in mid-September, and continues in southern Minnesota until mid-October.

But where to go to get a glimpse of orange, red, and yellow? Here are five Minnesota cities you should consider:

Red Wing

Fall is a beautiful time of year to take a trip to Red Wing, whether it’s for a few hours or a weekend.

A great place to take in the fall foliage is on a hike up He Mni Can-Barn Bluff, a 350-foot cliff along the Mississippi River.

Want to take a trip that encompasses nature and art? Attend the Red Wing Arts Fall Festival held every October. Visitors can purchase art, listen to concerts in the bandshell, watch live painting and enjoy snacks.

Red Wing's famous St. James' Hotel also suggests nearby Frontenac State Park and Mississippi River Valley drive for fall colors spotting.


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The North Shore is one of the most spectacular places to see fall foliage in Minnesota and Duluth is definitely one of the places to stop.

A great place to observe the colorful leaves is from the Enger Park tower. Each level of the tower offers unbeatable views of the lake and leaves.

Hiking Ely’s Peak is another great destination in the fall. It is 1,133 ft. at its tallest point, giving hikers a beautiful view of the surrounding trees.

Duluth has plenty of options for visitors who are looking for a seasonal beverage. Try an apple pie cider from Wild State Cider or a darker ale from Bent Paddle Brewing Co. or Hoops Brewing.


There’s nothing quite like strolling along the St. Croix River in Stillwater. Fall is a great time to do just that.

Don’t forget to walk across the St. Croix Crossing Bridge or the famous Stillwater Lift Bridge and take in the seasonal colors.

A fan of giant pumpkins? Visit the Stillwater Harvest Fest to see the weigh off, pumpkin regatta, live music, beer and wine garden, vendor market and a pumpkin drop from a 100 ft. crane.

If you’re looking to make a weekend of it, Stillwater offers several quality hotels such as Hotel Crosby, Lora and the Lowell Inn.

Related: Native gardening in the Midwest

Taylors Falls

Taylors Falls fall colors

Taylors Falls is a quaint city to visit for a day trip. It’s the perfect place to get a glimpse of the surrounding bluffs and striking trees.

Hike around Interstate State Park and enjoy the view of fall foliage from its high rock cliffs.

While you’re there, check out the glacial potholes, which are some of the deepest in the world.

If you’re looking for a unique way to enjoy the fall colors, take a cruise with the Taylors Falls Scenic Boat Tours on the St. Croix River. Tours include narration of the history and rock formations along the river.


Another remarkable city to see the fall colors along the North Shore is Lutsen.

Lutsen is packed full of leaf peeping locations. The views from Oberg Mountain are unmatched, where you can look over a colorful array of maple, oak, poplar, aspen and birch trees.

Take a ride on the Summit Express Gondola that brings you to the top of Moose Mountain. From there you can see amazing views of maple trees, the Poplar River Valley, peaks of the Sawtooth Mountains and Lake Superior from 1,000 ft. above the ground.

Related: 7 Wineries to visit within an hour of the Twin Cities

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