Pumpkin Spice and Everything Nice: Girlfriends’ Getaway Guide to Minneapolis Northwest in Autumn
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 some of 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 weekend getaway with the girls.
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 Minneapolis Northwest autumn experience by visiting one of the nearby apple orchards. At Apple Jack Orchards and Minnetonka Orchards, the 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 like honey, maple syrup and caramels to take home.
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, and you all can explore one of Elm Creek’s delightful Fall Color Tram Tours. Another park to visit is Coon Rapids Dam Regional Park, which has more than 150 acres of trails, lakes and wildlife reserves. Take a leisurely bike ride through the forest or hone your paddling skills with a kayak ride on the Mississippi River. Later in the season, your crew can also enjoy a snowshoeing or cross-country skiing adventure.
Go for a climb and get your stretch on with the girls at the 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 Minneapolis Bouldering Project’s complimentary introductory classes, and then perfect your form on 20,000-square feet of climbing terrain. It even has a Treadwall, a rotating climbing wall, and it also 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 brand-new Topgolf location. 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 try to hit 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. Take advantage of generous happy hour specials at popular restaurants like Brick & Bourbon in Maple Grove, Osseo’s NOLA Bistro & Lounge and Patrick’s Bakery & Café in the Shoppes at Arbor Lakes. (Don’t leave without trying a cone of its delicious fries!) Pittsburgh Blue is also famous for serving creative cocktails like its Watermelon Pisco Sour, while the margaritas at Teresa’s Mexican Restaurant are simply out of this world.
For some locally brewed libations, plan a trip to one of the nearby breweries or wineries. Pryes Brewing has won awards for its citrusy Miraculum IPA and ridiculously smooth Dublin Dry Stout. While 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. The breweries aren’t just about the beer. 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 of the best cover bands in the region.
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 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.” Or enjoy a bowl of rolled ice cream at Wonders Ice Cream. You also don’t want to miss the yummy doughnuts, including Texas doughnuts the size of your face, at Hans’ Bakery in Anoka. This family run bakery has been crafting its famous sweets since 1973.
Finally, for an event your friends will never forget, enjoy afternoon tea at The Mad Hatter Restaurant & Tea House. You all will have an Alice in Wonderland moment with its Queen of Hearts tea service that includes a variety of traditional English treats like lemon blueberry scones and classic cucumber sandwiches. It’s not just the tea that will get everyone talking. The restaurant is located in the historic Woodbury House on the Mississippi River. Built in 1857, the house is the second oldest in Anoka County.
Retail Therapy and Pampering
No girlfriend getaway is complete without a little rest and relaxation. Enjoy some retail therapy at popular malls 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 ambience 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.
If you’d like some more fun fall inspiration check out our list of festivals, orchards and wineries in Minneapolis Northwest. And for more fun adult adventures, take a look at our guide for exciting adult nights out.
About the Author
- Minneapolis Northwest CVB
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