For Minnesotans, the stretch of Lake Superior they call the North Shore is hallowed ground. The cobblestone beaches, the dramatic river gorges and the panoramic views of a vast inland sea all make their hearts beat a little faster, especially in fall.
When to go: Right now through the last week of September in inland maple forest (pictured).
Events to catch: Sept. 25-Oct. 4, Art Along the Lake: Fall Studio Tour.
Past fast plans: Exploring La Crosse, Cooling off on the lake in Duluth, Breezy in Bayfield, Exploring the Keweenaw Peninsula, Staying cool in Grand Marais
Art and Artists Celebration in Taylors Falls, Minn. The 43-acre Franconia Sculpture Park is holding its annual celebration, with bands, food trucks and sculpture tours, as well as the grand opening of its Franconia Commons Building. Sept. 26.
Fermentation Fest from Sauk City, Wis. This fest in the scenic hills of southwest Wisconsin features the 50-mile self-guided Farm/Art DTour and the Food Chain marketplace of food, art and ideas. Sept. 26Oct. 4.
Greenway Glow Arts Festival in Minneapolis. This festival along the 5-mile-long Midtown Greenway bicycle trail includes a puppet parade, live performances, art installations and craft beer. It's from 3 to 9 p.m. Sept. 26.
All-State Barn Tour in Iowa. It's the Iowa Barn Foundation's annual free, self-guided tour of restored historic barns. Sept. 2627.
Blue Ox Music Festival: Campout in the Pines in Eau Claire, Wis. This family-friendly acoustic festival features Big Wu, Pistol Whippin Party Penguins, Lindsay Lou and Buffalo Gospel. There's camping onsite. Sept. 2526.
As anyone whos ever planned a fall trip knows, peak leaf color can be elusive.
Betting on a burst of spectacular color is like plugging nickels into a slot machine. To win, all of the figures have to line up: the right number of warm days and cool nights, the right levels of sugar produced, the right amounts of moisture.
On a crisp, sunny fall day, we all get the urge to go for a drive.
The countryside is alight with color, and there's a lot going on art-studio tours, corn mazes, hay rides and harvest festivals in every little town.
And you'll be chasing the colors, of course.
You probably could throw a dart at the map and find a pretty spot, but here are 15 routes that we think are especially beautiful.
We always get a little frantic in fall, trying to make the most of a too-brief window of opportunity.
Fall is the best time for a lot of things: hiking, after frost has knocked off the bugs; road trips, when the countryside is at its loveliest; and wildlife-watching, when birds and beasts are on the move.
Plus, it's gorgeous. Most people try to catch the reds and oranges of maples at peak, but tamaracks, tallgrass and oaks keep things glowing through October.
Here are our picks for the best things to see and do this fall.
An autumn Saturday dawns, sunny and mild. Its a perfect day for hiking but where?
This time of year, you could walk down the street and see something nice.
But if you're looking for the kind of hike that makes you marvel at nature and feel glad to be alive, you'll probably have to look a little farther afield.
Here are 30 of our favorite fall hikes. A few require a little huffing and puffing, but most are easy strolls. And they all showcase fall at its finest.