On a lovely day in fall, the 52-mile stretch between Taylors Falls and Prescott has everything a tourist could want shops, historic houses, theaters, train excursions, boat cruises and scenery.
Details: For more, see Autumn along the St. Croix.
Past fast plans: Fall in the Dells, Fall on Minnesota's North Shore, Swiss in New Glarus, Exploring Michigan's Porkies, Exploring La Crosse
Cranberry Festival in Warrens, Wis. There'll be marsh tours, a pie-eating contest, a huge market and a parade at 2 p.m. Sunday. Sept. 2224.
Latino Heritage Festival in Des Moines, This festival at Western Gateway Park features Latino music, dancing, arts, cultural booths, children's activities and a corn-eating contest. Sept. 2324.
Civil War Weekend in Greenbush, Wis. Battles are reenacted at this festival at the Wade House historic site near Sheboygan. There's also a traveling medicine show, court martials, a sutler's row, period concerts and appearances by Abraham Lincoln. Sept. 2324.
Doors Open Milwaukee in Milwaukee. More than 150 historic buildings theaters, breweries, mansions, cathedrals, hotels, museums are open to the public, and many offer free guided tours. Sept. 2324.
For more, see our Events Calendar.
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.
When fall arrives, we get a sudden urge to hoist a stein of beer, eat a grilled bratwurst and listen to red-cheeked men in little felt hats play the accordion.
Fall belongs to the Germans, who streamed into the Upper Midwest in the 1850s and still are the largest ethnic group in every state. Which is a good thing, because Germans like to have fun.
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.
Predictions always are chancy. What experts look for are summer rains that give trees plenty of moisture, and sunny days that are warm but not hot enough to stress trees.
Throw in a few chilly nights in the first part of September, and you've got the recipe for vivid and long-lasting color, with luminous orange maples and deep-scarlet oaks that can last right up to November.
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.
In fall, you don't need to limit yourself to seeing the colors while speeding by in a car or even at a snail's pace from a hiking trail.
You also can watch the show on horseback, by boat or from a train. Or try a different kind of conveyance say, covered wagon, dog team or gondola.
The important thing is get out there and see as much as you can while it lasts. Here are 10 cool ways to view the hues.
During harvest time in a vineyard, turning purple has nothing to do with the Minnesota Vikings.
is what you'll be if you get into a wooden tub of grapes and try to
turn them into juice with your bare feet.
Vineyards don't get their juice that way anymore, but many still offer a grape stomp, and there's nothing goofier to do on an autumn day.
There are prizes for
those who extract the most juice and those who show the most "style,''
so wearing a creative costume helps.