Considering heading to Minnesota this fall, and want to know what’s what? We don’t blame you. One of the northernmost countries in the United States, Minnesota is known for its brutally cold weathers and gorgeous summers … but there’s something in between, you know!

Fall. Full of clear sunshine-y days, brisk breezes and plenty of activities, this season makes for an affordable and unforgettable trip. Best to get planning now!

So without further ado, here’s the 411 on our grand state’s autumnal delights.

1. It’s Perfect for Fall Drives

If you love nothing more than a hot cup of cocoa and a warm car, Minnesota in the fall is your go-to. With some of the brightest leaf displays in the entire country, this cold state both turns fallish early and keeps its leaves on well into the season. Make sure to pack a great mixed tape.

2. You’ll Definitely Need Layers

Minnesota’s falls are known for cold snaps, surprisingly hot summer weather and everything in between. Pack a thick coat and a tank top or two, and plan for crisp evenings and sunny days.

3. The Lakes Are Still Beautiful

Although autumn does bring a bite in the air, Minnesota’s many waterways are still gorgeous this time of year. In fact, so long as you’re dressed warmly, you may even find fall the best time to visit, with glorious leaves of red, orange and gold blazing along shorelines and creating a daytime fireworks show.

Boat rides, river cruises and even a simple canoe trip can turn a ho-hum fall day into an unforgettable experience for singles, couples or the whole fam.

4. Autumn Produce Is in Full Swing

Love apple-picking, wine tasting or late corn on the barbecue? Check out one of Minnesota’s many farm stands, dotting side roads and highways across the state. Gear the kiddos up for taffy, kettle corn and train rides at pumpkin patches too.

If you’re in for a lower-key experience, check out your destination’s farmers market calendar. If you’re staying in an AirBnB or VRBO, plan to bring plenty of delightful comestibles home for cooking, and if you’re in a hotel, source snackish items like locally cured salami and homemade cheese.

5. Indoor Activities Rock Too

Minnesota isn’t shy about its rain and even snow in the fall months, so best to plan for some indoor time. Luckily, the Land of 10,000 Lakes has plenty to do in the warm. If you’re a music buff, you’ll love learning that Minnesota is the birthplace of Bob Dylan, Prince and Mason Jennings, among others.

You can also check out a museum – the American Swedish Museum in Minneapolis is a cool little slice of culture, for instance – or catch a flick in any of its many small, quaint towns. And of course, let’s not forget the food!

6. Hike to Your Heart’s Content

The outdoors is your playground in Minnesota. It has an impressive amount of wild country, state parks and urban greenways. Plan a quick in-city jaunt one morning or strap on your full gear and head out for a long day at Voyageurs National Park, picnic included.

7. Go Backcountry

If hiking isn’t your thing but you still like being in the outdoors, check out the backcountry. Pitch a tent or rent a cabin and settle in for some fishing, grilling and camping fun. If you like being a little closer to town but still want an outdoor experience, may we recommend golf?

8. Minnesota Has Some Awesome Fare

Want the best possible combination of farm-to-table delicacies, good old American grub and European cuisine, all rolled up into one amazing state? You’ve found it.

From fresh-caught trout to home-cooked burgers, classics like ice cream and cinnamon rolls, and all the state fair … uh, fare you can imagine, your taste buds will never lack for interest. If you’re having trouble picking, check out this best-of lists for inspiration.

9. Also … It Has Cheese Curds

Cheese curds are so dang delicious we thought they deserved their own mention. With its abundant pastureland, Minnesota is not short on cows. And what’s the best dairy product in the whole wide world? As we know, it’s cheese curds. Come munch to your heart’s delight, enjoying orange, yellow and white cheese delicately seasoned with herbs, spices, garlic and more. Call it dinner … no one will blame you.

10. It’s Never Too Early to Schedule Activities

You want your trip to be a success, so get a jump on putting those fun activities in place. We’re talking carnival visits, fancy prix fixe dinners and boat rides. Anything that might get sold out between now and your vacay, be sure to pin down.

For instance, might we recommend that you book your Paradise Charter Cruises experience today? Enjoy the glory of Lake Minnetonka or the Mississippi River with friends, family or all by yourself if you’re in need of a little Me Time. Just be sure to jump on it before it’s too late … see you soon!