Start your first fall day at one of Minneapolis' cozy cafes for a delightful cup of locally-roasted coffee and mouthwatering pastries. Try one of Gray Fox Coffee's three downtown locations for a unique seasonal latte spruced up with housemade concoctions—like maple spice syrup or cashew creme drizzle—or stop into North Loop's Backstory Coffee Roasters for a fall-fruited sweet danish and a cup of their featured brew. Once you're well-provisioned (and caffeinated), take your second coffee to go and head to the world-renowned Minneapolis Sculpture Garden. Explore the monumental artistic marvels, including the iconic Spoonbridge and Cherry sculpture, set against the backdrop of red, orange, and yellow fall foliage.
Once you've snapped oodles of selfies in front of the sculptures, take the blue and yellow Irene Hixon Whitney Bridge from the eastern edge of the garden over to neighboring Loring Park. There you'll be able to spy turtles basking in the pond, enjoy the children's play area, and let your four-legged friend off leash at the dog park. After working up an explorer's appetite, grab lunch without heading indoors at one of Minneapolis's restaurants featuring all-season patios. The Butcher's Tale offers a seasonal patio and year-round heated beer garden along with house-smoked meats, and laid-back Lago Tacos in Uptown features a fire pit and firecracker shrimp tacos on their great all-weather patio.
We couldn't mention things to do outside in Minneapolis without suggesting you catch a Minnesota Twins game at Target Field (with regular home games stretching into late September) when you're ready to take a seat but stay outdoors. The open-air baseball stadium is exposed to the elements, so bring plenty of sunscreen and cozy blankets, weather depending! No matter the fall temperature, you won't go hungry thanks to Target Field's epic concessions offerings featuring local flavors like Kramarczuk's sausage, Red Cow's bacon burger sliders, Mac's fish and chips, and fresh pies from Pizza Lucé. If college football is more your speed, enjoy a Minnesota Gophers game at the outdoor Huntington Bank Stadium located on the University of Minnesota Campus. Home games are scheduled through late November!
If you’re more of a farm lover than a sports fan, head to a local orchard for some apple picking, fresh cider donuts, pumpkin patches, petting zoos, hay rides, and corn mazes for that quintessential Upper Midwest fall feeling. There are dozens of apple orchards within a short drive of Minneapolis—some of our favorites include Afton Apple Orchard in Hastings, Fall Harvest Orchard in Delano, and Pine Tree Apple Orchard in White Bear Lake. At most regional orchards, fall festivities begin in late August/early September and last all season long.
Apple lovers will also delight in the offerings at the University of Minnesota AppleHouse, located near the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum about 30 minutes from downtown. Known as the home of the Honeycrisp (which was developed in the late 70s by UMN’s Horticultural Research Center), the AppleHouse is the place to go to be among the first to sample little-known and brand new varieties from the university’s research orchards.
After the day’s activities, enjoy a nightcap Old Fashioned at Hewing Hotel's year-round rooftop lounge, complete with outdoor seating, fire pits, and stunning views of the Minneapolis skyline decked out with fall leaves.