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FastPlans/Halloween in Chicago

Skull at a farmers market.

In Chicago, Halloween is the biggest holiday of the year after Christmas.

The city puts on a big cultural party in and around Millennium Park. Navy Pier has a party over two weekends. And everybody dresses up.

Events to catch: Oct. 20, Arts in the Dark Halloween parade. Oct. 28, Day of the Dead Xicago.

What to do: Go on a ghost tour or "Devil in the White City" tour. Tour Graceland Cemetery

Details: For more, see Halloween in Chicago.

Fall hikes at Devil's Lake

Devil's Lake State Park in fall.

In fall, there's nowhere more spectacular than Devil's Lake State Park, the most-visited park in Wisconsin.

The Ice Age National Scenic Trail loops around it atop 500-foot quartzite cliffs, giving hikers one great view after another.

What to do: Hike the West Bluff and East Bluff trails around the lake. Go to nearby Parfrey's Glen natural area. See all 15 species of cranes at the International Crane Foundation. Visit Circus World Museum in Baraboo.

Nearby events to catch: Oct. 12-13, Autumn Harvest Fest in Wisconsin Dells. Oct. 19-21, Southwest Wisconsin Fall Art Tour around Baraboo.

Details: See The divine Devil's Lake and Baraboo's gilt complex.

Fall colors in Door County

In fall, Door County produces plenty of pumpkins.

In fall, Door County's many apple orchards, pumpkin patches and vineyards provide eye candy for tourists, who flock in on weekends.

What to do: Hike in five state parks, 18 county parks and 28 natural areas. Shop at orchard markets and dozens of galleries. Go to a fish boil. Tour wineries and lighthouses, even haunted lighthouses.

Events to catch: Oct. 6-7, Townline Art Fair in Ephraim and Pumpkin Patch Festival in Egg Harbor. Oct. 12-14, Fall Festival in Sister Bay. Oct. 26-28, Jack O' Lantern Days in Fish Creek.

Details: See Fall in Door County.

The Cornish of Mineral Point

Cornish Fest in Mineral Point.

In the 1830s, miners from Cornwall county in England arrived to work the lead-mining boom in Mineral Point, Wis. 

The stone cottages they built were restored and now are part of the state historic complex Pendarvis and Shake Rag Alley arts center. 

What to do: Learn about the town's Cornish heritage at Pendarvis. Take a class at Shake Rag Alley. Shop in the galleries on High Street. 

Events to catch: Sept. 28-30, Cornish Festival. Oct. 19-21, Southwest Wisconsin Fall Art Tour.

Details: For more, see Cornish in Mineral Point.

Autumn in the St. Croix Valley

A paddlewheeler on the St. Croix.

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.

Events to catch: Sept. 22-23, Art in the Park in Afton and Spirit of the St. Croix Art Festival in Hudson. Sept. 22, Art and Artists Celebration at Franconia Sculpture Park near Taylors Falls.

What to do: Ride the Osceola & St. Croix Valley Railway. Take a paddlewheeler cruise from Taylors Falls. Shop in Stillwater or Hudson.

Details: For more, see Autumn along the St. Croix.