Don’t let the year end without taking some personal time to enjoy the beauty of fall with a girlfriends’ getaway to Minneapolis Northwest. We’ve gathered our favorite ways to experience this wonderful season to help you plan the perfect fall trip with your gal pals. From apple picking and rock climbing to wineries and spas, here are our top recommendations for a fun girls weekend in Minneapolis Northwest.
Explore the Outdoors
As the leaves change from emerald green to blaze orange and bright red, and the temperature starts to cool, fall becomes the best time to get outdoors and enjoy the crisp air. Gather your friends and have a true autumn experience by visiting one of the nearby apple orchards. At Apple Jack Orchards and Minnetonka Orchards, your group can pick apples, navigate a corn maze and search for the perfect pumpkin. Both orchards have gift shops where you can shop for handmade candles and baskets, baked goods (mmmm, apple pie) and local delights to take home, like honey, maple syrup, and caramels. Did we also mention apple cider mini donuts?
To get even closer to nature, consider a group trip to Elm Creek Park Reserve, Hennepin County’s largest park. Your friends will love the colorful fall foliage and the park’s miles of hiking trails through both wooded and prairie landscapes. Another park to visit is Mississippi Gateway Regional Park, which has more than 150 acres of trails, lakes and wildlife reserves. Take a leisurely bike ride through the forest and check out views of the river from the Coon Rapids Dam. Check out the best spots to get fall photo opps with your friends with our guide to the Most Instagrammable Fall Spots in Minneapolis Northwest.
Retail Therapy and Pampering
No girlfriend getaway is complete without a little rest and relaxation. Enjoy some retail therapy at popular shopping areas like the Shoppes at Arbor Lakes and Albertville Premium Outlets. Or plan a relaxing group retreat at one of the local spas. The Woodhouse Day Spa’s Woodhouse Experience is a full-day spa session that offers the best of everything, including an aromatherapy bath cure, massage, facial and pedicure. Your crew will leave feeling rejuvenated and on cloud nine. The Zen ambiance at Simonson’s Salon & Spa will help ease your tension before the massage even begins. And finish your weekend retreat with manicures and pedicures at Taj Salon & Spa. While its talented technicians are working their magic on your fingers and toes, you and your friends can start planning your next trip to Minneapolis Northwest.
Everyone loves a good fall scent like cinnamon and pumpkin or campfire and crunchy leaves. Enjoy a unique experience when you and your friends blend your very own fall fragrance for a candle or body spray at Olfactory Scent Studio. Browse the many scents available, then work with a Scent Stylist to blend what you like best. The studio works with groups all the time and can set up you up with a perfect afternoon of making candles - and memories!
Go for a climb and get your stretch on with the girls at Minneapolis Bouldering Project. This expansive bouldering gym offers classes and climbing experiences for everyone, from “gumbies” (climbing newbies) to accomplished boulderers. Start your journey with one of the gym’s complimentary introductory classes, and then perfect your form on 20,000-square feet of climbing terrain. Minneapolis Bouldering Project even has a Treadwall, a rotating climbing wall, and features a fully equipped weight room! When it’s time to decompress, center your mind and body with a restorative yoga class.
For some friendly competition, bring the group to the only Topgolf location in Minnesota. No matter your skills, Topgolf is the kind of place where anyone can play and, more importantly, win! The high-tech, climate-controlled facility features more than 100 hitting bays where your group can chip, swing and aim for the giant targets on the green. All of the balls are equipped with microchips making it fun to tally up points or yardage!
Speaking of bars, there are plenty of places in Minneapolis Northwest where you and your girlfriends can enjoy delicious cocktails, local brews and regional wines. Make a reservation at the swanky Skaalvenn Distillery & Cocktail Lounge in Brooklyn Park with an impressive, eclectic cocktail menu. Each drink is expertly crafted and it shows in the presentation and taste. Take advantage of generous happy hour specials at popular restaurants like CRAVE American Kitchen & Sushi Bar and Brick & Bourbon in Maple Grove. Pittsburgh Blue is also famous for serving creative cocktails like its Watermelon Pisco Sour.
For some locally brewed libations, plan a trip to one of the nearby breweries or wineries. Blue Wolf Brewing in Brooklyn Park serves German-style beers that are the perfect sips for craft beer newbies; its Wolf Cry Rye Ale and Summer Sunshine are light and refreshing. At OMNI Brewing Co. and Wicked Wort, you and the girls can get centered with a yoga class, join a taproom trivia group or sing along with some great cover bands.
If your group prefers wine to beer, we’ve got you covered. Take an excursion to popular wineries nearby like Buffalo Rock (its LaCreDa is a delicious alternative to Chardonnay) and Two Rivers Vineyard & Winery. At Schram Vineyards Winery & Brewery, you and your friends can relax and reconnect over a glass of its delicious Bumbley wine, a refreshing mix of honey and raspberry flavors.
Time to Indulge (or Treat Yourself)
After rock climbing, wine tasting and apple picking, you and the crew are bound to be hungry. Enjoy a relaxing lunch at Daily Dose Café and Espresso and order its delicious pesto turkey panini or spinach artichoke flatbread. Or head to Mi-Sant Banh Mi in Brooklyn Park to taste its authentic banh mi sandwiches, spring rolls and noodle bowls. Save room for a delicious old-fashioned milkshake at 50’s Grill in Brooklyn Center.
Satisfy your sweet tooth at Nadia Cakes, a premier cupcake shop and custom cake studio that was featured on the TLC show “Fabulous Cakes” and Food Network's “Cupcake Wars.” You also don’t want to miss the goodies at Nothing Bundt Cakes. The little bundtinis are the perfect size for a single serving!
Show us your girlfriend adventures by posting your photos on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag #WeLoveMNW.