Fall Foliage in Minnesota – Discover the Best Kept Secrets

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Whether you refer to the season between summer and winter as fall or autumn, there is one common denominator between both of them – spectacular scenery. It’s arguably the best time of the year to travel and explore the beauty around the world but perhaps there are certain places that are even more breathtaking during the fall season. Experiencing fall foliage in Minnesota is amazing, especially when you have the opportunity to admire such gorgeous colors as a backdrop to epic landscapes.

scenic byways in the fall

We have been fortunate to explore both Alaska and Minnesota during the fall season this year and I have to admit that both are breathtakingly beautiful. It’s difficult to compare both locations but one thing they both have in common are the awe-inspiring views across landscapes that we can’t wait to revisit.

We thought the drive from Anchorage to Denali National Park was spectacular but after visiting Minnesota, we were literally spoiled for choice.

fall foliage in minnesota

Focusing solely on Minnesota, we had the opportunity to explore the Twin Cities and beyond during our recent visit for the 2016 Ryder Cup tournament at Hazeltine National. Beyond the beauty of this golf course, Minnesota is blessed to have a myriad of amazing landscapes that will inspire everyone to get out and explore. Let’s take a look at some of the best places to experience fall foliage in Minnesota.

fall foliage in minnesota

The Sound of Fall

Waking up in the morning during the fall season offers an unmistakable sound that I’m sure you are all familiar with…the rustling of leaves! When you open your eyes and peer out of the window, there is nothing quite like the enchanting sound of those leaves blowing around in the brisk autumn breeze.

fall foliage in minnesota

Two sounds of autumn are unmistakable…the hurrying rustle of crisp leaves blown along the street…by a gusty wind, and the gabble of a flock of migrating geese (Hal Borland)

Our time in Minnesota offered the perfect opportunity to experience this. Staying at the gorgeous Comfort Inn and Suites in St. Cloud, we woke up to this sound of the leaves briskly flying around the fairways of the nearby Angushire Golf Club.

fall foliage in minnesota

Minnesota is a spectacular state all year round but there is something quite beautiful about the fall season in this part of the world. The journey from St. Cloud back to the Twin Cities offered more opportunities to appreciate the fall landscapes but when we arrived in the Mississippi Valley, that’s when the real beauty started.

fall foliage in minnesota

Mississippi River and The Twin Cities

Minneapolis and St. Paul and divided by the Mississippi River. Two gorgeous cities that combine to create “The Twin Cities”, undoubtedly the pinnacle of tourism throughout the state of Minnesota.

fall foliage by mississippi river

As we drove through the city of Minneapolis in search of some gorgeous fall foliage, we immediately realized that the divide between the two cities is actually the most spectacular part of both cities…at least during the fall season.

fall foliage in minnesota

The views along the banks of the Mississippi are beyond breathtaking. We literally could have spent hours just admiring the views here but the real beauty here is when we headed down to the very banks and appreciated the beauty of the river, the fall colors and the modern architecture that connects these iconic Twin Cities.

fall foliage in the twin cities

Minnehaha Park

For the waterfall aficionados out there, a short drive from the Mississippi River will lead you to the entrance of Minnehaha Park, home of the stunningly beautiful Minnehaha Falls.

fall foliage in minnesota

Even if the sight of a gorgeous waterfall doesn’t offer much intrigue, taking a stroll through this gorgeous park during the fall season will only give you more reason to believe that Minnesota is the ‘BEST’ place to be at this time of the year.

fall foliage in minnesota

Whether you want to take a seat and admire the beauty surrounding you or simply take a leisurely stroll around the park, this is the perfect setting to just get away and relax.

fall foliage in minnesota

The prevalence of parks in urban areas is becoming more and more prominent in today’s society as the desire for folks to enjoy moments of solitude. Minnehaha Park offers this perfect landscape and for a few moments, you can forget that you are in the heart of Minnesota’s Twin Cities.

Minnehaha Falls

Let’s take a look at why Minnehaha Falls is so spectacular. Standing at 53 feet at its tallest point, Minnehaha Falls may not have the height of some of the world’s leading iconic falls, but it certainly makes up for that with beauty.

minnehaha falls

Surrounded by gorgeous parkland in the heart of an urban setting, Minnehaha is a popular spot for locals and tourists to relax away from the hustle and bustle of life in the Twin Cities.

Trails are available on either side of the gorge and there are a plethora of viewing points to capture that perfect selfie with the waterfall as the beautiful backdrop. At the summit of the falls, you can walk across a bridge and then head down either side before crossing another bridge at the bottom. The more adventurous folks will get close to the waterfall though there are plenty of signs cautioning people to stay away from the edge.

minnehaha falls

Although the foliage around the waterfall doesn’t reflect the vibrant colors of fall that we all love, there is enough color here to suggest that we are in the fall season. The various blends of foliage around a destination will always determine the colors that we can expect to see but the beauty of Minnehaha Falls continues to inspire visitors regardless of the surrounding landscape.

Summary

If you are interested in exploring the gorgeous fall foliage in Minnesota, you can see from our brief insight that there are plenty of places to appreciate the natural phenomenon of leaves changing color. The Mississippi River valley was undoubtedly our favorite spot for capturing truly epic fall colors but we also stumbled across several hidden gems where the colors were vibrant providing picture perfect settings.

We barely touched the surface in terms of exploring Minnesota and as the title of this post goes, Minnesota “best-kept secrets” are waiting to be discovered. We have so much more to explore and we can’t wait to go back to experience more of this gorgeous state.

Do you enjoy experiencing fall foliage? Have you visited Minnesota during the autumn season?

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6 COMMENTS

  1. Hi Chris,

    What gorgeous snaps dude 🙂 That sound of leaves sweeping across the street via a light breeze – or more heavy gusts – is 1 reason I love being in NJ now. Fall is my fave season. Always has been. The brisk temps, generally sunny skies and unrivalled beauty, with the trees becoming a palette of brilliant hues, makes it fun and thrilling to be anywhere in the US where the temp drops. Thanks for the beautiful images and fab post!

    Ryan
    Ryan Biddulph recently posted…10 BS Blogging Limiting Beliefs about Money and How to Murder these Insidious LiesMy Profile

    • Happy New Year guys, don’t think we have spoken to you yet in 2017! Hope you are having a great start to the year…I am sure you probably noticed we just returned from an EPIC (and I mean EPIC!) RTW trip to UAE, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand and finally Hawaii (yep, we did it…reached all 50 states now!).

      Anyway, I’ll stop rambling and focus on your comments…as always, thanks so much, you are too kind! Minnesota in the fall is beautiful as you can see from the pictures. Stumbling across beautiful scenes in this state is easy especially if you wander close to the Mississippi River, the colors are so vibrant and make you want to stop and snap a few pictures.

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