The crisp feel of the Minnesota air right now can only mean one thing, the changing of the seasons is here. As the days of September tick away and the first official day of fall grows closer, the signs of autumn are hard to miss.

With this changing of the season comes the changing of the leaves. Reds, oranges, golds and yellows burst forth with vibrancy make the Minnesota scenery come to life. What better way to enjoy this beautiful time than with a leisurely drive through some of the state most breathtaking countryside? We have compiled a few of the best Minnesota drives to take full advantage of the fall foliage.

St. Croix Scenic Byway

280 miles of classic Minnesota scenery await you on the St. Croix Scenic Byway. This route edges along one side of the St. Croix river and then comes back down the other side. The River is one of the things that makes this byway so beautiful. The colorful trees reflect in the river’s waters creating a watercolor landscape of autumn hues. The beautiful views from late September to early October are only enhanced by the fun and charming river towns that you will find along the way.

Minnesota Landscape Arboretum

Located in Chaska MN, this hidden gem is home to more than 1,000 acres of varied landscape. Really coming to life late September to mid-October this mixture of fall gardens, woodlands, wetlands, and prairies offers you nestled away have of fall color.

Historic Bluff Scenic Byway

This curvy route follow hills, valley, twisting roads and everything in between, What makes this 88-mile route so unique is that the scenery is quite unlike anywhere else in the state. Beginning south of Rochester and following the Root River, this picturesque route features stops like the church Laura Ingalls Wilder used to attend, Mystery Cave State Park and Preston Apple and Berry Farm. In addition to the vibrant autumn leaves you are likely to spot an Amish buggy or two along the way. You can even buy crafts of butter made by Amish farmers at the weekly Saturday morning farmer’s market in Lanesboro.

Lake Mille Lacs

Turns out the, “Walleye Capitol of the World” is good for more than fishing. Minnesota’s second largest lake is also home to some of the state’s most magnificent fall color.  Since the lake is so large there is plenty of shoreline for you to explore and numerous towns to stop in along the way. While you are there be sure to checkout Mille Lacs Kathio State Park for viewing as well, with peak colors appearing between late September and early October.
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