While Minnesota’s natural beauty often makes any drive around the state one to remember, its scenic views become even better when the vibrant fall colors settle in. They’re so well loved, in fact, that the state has a fall color finder that tracks the seasonal change. Typically, that change starts in the north and moves down, so the Twin Cities usually see their fall colors peak around late September to mid-October. If you’re interested in taking a scenic drive while still staying close to the cities, here are some routes to take in all directions.
- Northwest: Highway 169/10 from Brooklyn Center to Big Lake. Follow the Mississippi River up north and stop by some charming Minnesota towns along the way.
- Northeast: Highway 61 from Hastings to Red Wing. A beautiful drive through the Mississippi River Valley with both cities offering local shops and dining when you take a break.
- Southwest: Highway 169 from Prior Lake to Belle Plaine. A winding drive that follows the Minnesota River and passes by the sprawling Valley State Recreation Area.
- Southeast: Highway 95 from Afton to Taylor Falls. Following the St. Croix, this beautiful byway passes through many charming towns and has a lot of natural beauty to admire.
To check out all of the state-approved scenic drives that go all over the state, this site lists all of the scenic byways. If you plan to take a long drive around Minnesota this fall, stop by Superior Service to make sure your vehicle is up to the task.