On Friday, I shared photos from our anniversary trip along Minnesota’s North Shore. We had a wonderful time exploring state parks, but that was only half of our trip. On Saturday, we piled into my brother’s car for a scenic road trip to Bayfield, Wisconsin and the annual Bayfield Apple Festival!
My brother Kristian lives in Duluth, and he knows the city and surrounding parks better than anyone else. Originally, we planned to take Kristian with us on our state park adventure and he would show us his favorite places and trails. Our plans changed when Kristian discovered our weekend up north coincided with the Bayfield Apple Festival. We didn’t know what to expect- only that my brother went with friends the year before and had a great time.
We met at my brother’s house in Duluth early Saturday morning and were on the road by 9. The drive from Duluth to Bayfield is just under two hours, but the drive was gorgeous, winding along the shores of Lake Superior on one side, and acres of farm land on the other. The fall colors were at peak, and we couldn’t have asked for a sunnier fall day. Bayfield is a small town of about 400 people, but there were crowds everywhere for Apple Fest! Last year, USA Today named the Bayfield Apple Festival one of the top 10 fall festivals in the nation, and people travel from across Minnesota and Wisconsin. Even though we arrived early, we had to park several blocks away and walk down a steep hill to the festival in downtown Bayfield.
Luke and I had a chance to go to the North Shore for our anniversary a couple weeks ago, and we leapt at the opportunity. The North Shore is one of our favorite places, and the fall colors up north are breathtaking. The fall colors were near peak and though it was cold, it was sunny and glorious. Visiting the North Shore in the fall was on our list of adventures for 2016, and I’ve been looking forward to this weekend for months. We couldn’t have asked for a better weekend, and I’ve been dying to share some photos from our trip!
Overlooking Lake Superior, the world’s largest freshwater lake, the North Shore stretches from Duluth to the Canadian Border. The North Shore is saturated with state parks, and with stunning vistas, rocky beaches, raging rivers and waterfalls, it is easy to see why. Lace up your hiking boots- you’re in for an adventure.
Happy New Year! 2015 was an amazing year for us, and we are looking forward to many more adventures in 2016. Here is our list of 16 adventures we’d like to take in 2016. Most are in Minneapolis, Saint Paul, or a few hours north of the cities. An added bonus- many of the adventures on our list are free!
If I had to choose, I would say fall is my favorite season. I love watching the leaves change from green to yellow, orange and crimson. I like wearing boots and scarfs, and bundling up in my favorite peacoat. There are so many great things to do in Minnesota in the fall, like hiking, or going to a football game. And of course going to an apple orchard.
Last weekend, we were treated to summer-like weather when temperatures climbed into the 70s and low 80s after a week of chilly fall days. Luke and I spent every minute we could outside, soaking in the beautiful weather. We decided to take advantage of the weather and head to an apple orchard. There are several apple orchards around the Twin Cities, and we chose Afton Apple Orchard because my grandmother lives along the way and we had already planned a visit. The apple orchard is located in Hastings, Minnesota, about 40 minutes from Minneapolis, but much closer for those in the southeastern suburbs.
Today we venture outside of the Twin Cities, across the Saint Croix River and into Wisconsin. Located just outside Hudson, Willow River State Park is only 30 miles from the cities. Willow River has been on our list all summer, and we finally got a chance to visit this past weekend.