Woman hiking at Gooseberry Falls State Park

Must Views in Northeast Minnesota

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Get your boots dirty on a fall hike at Gooseberry Falls State Park / Micah Kvidt

Must Views in Northeast Minnesota

By Minnesota Arrowhead Committee

Whether you’re looking for a wilderness adventure, an exciting new city or just a quiet place to sit and think for a while, these "must views" are perfect destinations for your next Minnesota fall getaway.

Fall in Northeast Minnesota is filled with beauty and excitement—nature, national parks, charming towns and, of course, spectacular fall colors. If you listen, you can hear it calling to you every year about this time. Choose your favorites and create your own autumn adventure.

  1. Cook County
    Lake Superior Tettegouche State Park

    Lake Superior, Tettegouche State Park / Michael Treloar

    Cook County

    It's not typical to plan a trip around the hope of inclement weather. However, when a Nor'easter hits the northern shores of Lake Superior, there is no experience like it. The Gales of November are when the lake turns aggressive with swells that can reach up to 20 feet high before crashing into the shore.

    In Cook County, celebrate this wild weather season at the annual Lake Superior Storm Festival. Events include Lake Superior Facts sheet, shipwreck stories, the annual Lake Superior wave dash and more.

  2. Crane Lake
    Crane Lake

    Hop on your ATV and ride the trails in the Crane Lake area! Visit the new 185-foot bridge that spans the Vermillion River, connecting a major trail system or visit the newly constructed Pelican River Overlook. Local business hours may be limited in the off season, so please call ahead for lodging and dining options.

  3. Grand Rapids
    Grand Rapids downtown shops

    Grand Rapids downtown shops / Lisa McClintick

    Grand Rapids

    Come be entertained in Grand Rapids. Here you will find live music, art and professional productions in relaxed venues that allow for an intimate experience. Experience Minnesota musicians at local craft breweries and other nightlife establishments. Enjoy art at the MacRostie Art Center, Reif Center and monthly First Friday Art Walk. Take in a professional show at The Reif Performance Center.

  4. Duluth
    Looking toward downtown Duluth from Canal Park

    Looking toward downtown Duluth from Canal Park / Ty Miller


    Anytime is a wonderful time to visit Duluth. With a variety of lodging options, you can relax in comfort and rest up for your next day’s adventure. And the city’s thriving cuisine and brew scene will keep you going all day long. Come midweek and discover the same great, adventurous Duluth while enjoying deals around town and quieter trails and streets.

  5. Ely
    Ely storefronts main street

    Ely storefronts / Lucy Hawthorne


    In Ely, the last of the leaves falling marks the transition to another beautiful season in the Northland. With plenty of time for a final trip into the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness from one of the local entry points, a local guide says that "with good preparation, cooler temp trips can be the most enjoyable."

    Cooler indeed, Ely's historic downtown will soon be filled with Wintergreen Northern Wear and Steger Mukluk-clad enthusiasts. The only ones looking forward to winter more than Elyites and our visitors are the sled dogs! 

  6. Mesabi Iron Range
    Ironman Memorial Statue

    Iron Man Statue at Minnesota Discovery Center / Jesse White

    Mesabi Iron Range

    Escape rooms, symphony performances, planetarium shows and craft fairs are just some of the fun activities happening on Minnesota's Mesabi Iron Range. When you head north, make sure to check the calendar for events the whole family will enjoy.

  7. International Falls
    Smokey the Bear Statue in International Falls

    Smokey the Bear Statue, International Falls / Jim Hoffman

    International Falls

    In the International Falls area, migrating birds start heading south in the fall, and as leaves drop, many are easier to spot. Miles of trails both within and outside of Voyageurs National Park provide excellent access. There are also upland birds and raptors that stay here all year. Trails outside the park are open to small game hunting, with thousands of acres of prime habitat for ruffed grouse.

    Fall ends with the annual Christmas Parade in downtown International Falls on Black Friday. After that, expect to see snow and access to snowmobile, ski and snowshoe trails opening up.

  8. Proctor
    Bentleyville Tour of Lights Duluth

    Bentleyville Tour of Lights, Duluth / Dennis O'Hara


    America’s Largest Free Walk Through Lighting Display, Bentleyville invites guests to stroll under the glow of over 5 million lights in a 20-acre park situated on the shores of Lake Superior, while enjoying complimentary hot cocoa, cookies, popcorn and roasted marshmallows!  And Proctor makes this magical experience incredibly easy. 

    Proctor is a proud sponsor of Bentleyville, and will once again partner with Road Trip Limo to offer hotel guests personal shuttle service on Friday and Saturday nights. Call hotels directly to book your room and shuttle service—space is limited.

Minnesota Arrowhead Committee

Minnesota Arrowhead Committee is a coalition of travel/tourism and commerce organizations working together to promote the Arrowhead region of northeast Minnesota as a vacation destination.