Fall Color Guide
There’s a misconception that you need to leave the Twin Cities to see the best fall colors, but in fact you can see some of the most scenic spots in the state without ever leaving the metro.
Our fall color tour is a blend of stunning scenery in the heart of the city, and parks so secluded you won’t realize you’re only a few miles from downtown.
When is the best time to go? Peak time in our area is late September to mid- October. For the most up to date color report, use the DNR’s Fall Color Finder.
Your home base for the fall color tour.
This enormous park will have you feeling worlds away from civilization. Walk or bike nearly 13 miles of paved trails covered in satisfyingly crunchy leaves during the fall.
Wander the secluded and heavily wooded paths on the west side of the river to get up close to the fall colors. Or enjoy panoramic views of the Mississippi from the dam’s walkway.
The only inhabited island on the Mississippi, Nicollet Island is located right next to downtown. A stroll around the quaint island is about 1 mile long and features pretty foliage, spectacular views of the skyline, and of the Stone Arch Bridge.
5. Aster Cafe
Stop for lunch in the courtyard at nearby Aster Café, on the oldest street in Minneapolis.
6. Chain of Lakes
Hike the Pike Island loop (3 miles), located at the confluence of the Mississippi and Minnesota Rivers. You’ll be surrounded on all sides by river bluffs bursting with yellows and oranges.
Not to be missed, the Landscape Arboretum is worth the drive out to Chaska. It has the widest variety of trees you’ll find anywhere in Minnesota: orange-leaved sugar maples; yellow elms and ash; fiery red viburnums, dogwoods, sumacs and more.
9. Have dinner overlooking Lake Minnetonka at Maynard’s in Excelsior.