A Fall Foliage Trip Where Trees Explode with Color

Photo Credit: Thanawan Chanttasahawat/Shutterstock

I don’t believe I have ever looked forward to a fall as much as this one. I think we can all agree that it has been more than a tough spring and summer. And while this next season might not bring as many changes as we would like, at least it will bring the fun that autumn is known for, namely beautifully vibrant fall leaves. In fact, I am going to share the best place to see fall leaves in Duluth, Minnesota. Because I just can’t stop thinking about anything and everything fall-related lately. I’m serious. Pour me a pumpkin spice latte, stat!

So why Duluth? Well, that story begins with a young Florida girl meeting a very cute young Minnesota boy. And one of the things I immediately loved the most about that boy was his Minnesotan accent. Being from Florida, I have that indistinct kind of accent that you can’t really nail down. My husband’s accent was definitely hard to miss. He’s been here long enough now that his once-thick accent is mostly gone, but once in a while, it comes back out with a certain word or phrase. I still think it’s just as adorable as I did a decade ago.

Magic That Can't Be Duplicated

Now, once upon a time, when I knew I was serious about this fella, I decided that I wanted to visit where my soon-to-be-husband was from. My first trip to Minnesota, and his charming hometown of Duluth, just so happened to be in the fall. He really couldn’t have picked a better season to introduce me to the place where he grew up. Duluth is a beautiful place anytime, but autumn gives it a certain kind of magic that simply can’t be duplicated. The trees virtually explode with color.

And, hands down, the most scenic route to take in the fall leaves is to drive along Highway 61, otherwise known as the North Shore Scenic Drive. The shore is referring to majestic Lake Superior, which you will also see plenty of as you take in the fall foliage. Luckily, you can see the best colors right on into October. In some parts of the country, the leaves have already fallen by that time.

If you decide to take this drive, I recommend you give yourself the whole day and really take your time. There are lots of hiking opportunities, waterfalls and charming roadside shops, restaurants, and attractions along the way. We love to pick up picnic fixings and settle in for a nice, leisurely lunch al fresco after a hike. Sitting there, surrounded by all those beautiful trees, is fall at its best.

And if you can’t get enough of this scenic drive, you can always return in the summer for Duluth’s famous Grandma’s Marathon, which runs along Highway 61. A bunch of our family members have run it several times. As marathons go, it’s an especially good one if you’re going for a personal record, because it’s mostly flat. Plus, the weather is nice and mild in June.

I may be biased, but Minnesota is a great place to visit most of the year, just not necessarily in the winter. I’m not cut out for those below-zero temps. I think I will stick to fall trips. That being said, we might have to plan a trip for next summer, since airplane travel isn’t in the cards for us this fall. My husband has run a slew of marathons but somehow hasn’t run Grandma's yet, so I’d say he’s due. And we will at least get to experience the North Shore Scenic Drive again, even if it’s not quite the way we’re used to experiencing it.


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