Minnesota/Wisonsin trip

Old Aug 23rd, 2021, 08:24 AM
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Minnesota/Wisonsin trip

My husband and I are planning a week to finish our last three states the end of September! We plan to go to Fargo after we fly into MSP. From there we want to go to Duluth or Superior to then drive the north shore. Looking for suggestions for four/five more days. along the Mississippi river or other areas.
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Old Aug 23rd, 2021, 08:44 AM
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Mississippi River towns south of Mpls: Red Wing, Winona
On Lake Superior: Lutsen
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Old Aug 26th, 2021, 09:09 AM
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FYI: The Amtrak Empire Builder leaves the MSP station at 10:20PM every night. It gets into Fargo about 3:30AM. I don't know what you do in Fargo from 3:30AM until a car rental place opens.
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Old Aug 27th, 2021, 07:31 AM
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Your trip to Fargo is just tagging North Dakota. There is stuff to see in the state but more in the western half. The plain that makes up the Red River Valley that Fargo and Grand Forks sit in could hardly be less interesting geographically unless you like to see utterly flat sugar beet fields without many trees. You will smell the fermentation of beets into alcohol to blend with gasoline. There are places where the rise on the eastern edge of the valley makes a view over the valley-- but I-94 doesn't cross an area like that, and it isn't really worth a detour to find one. Kind of reaching here but there might be some interest in the ox cart trails that once connected the Mississippi River steamboats to the Red River in the mid-19th century, and all of the Canadian Prairies for that matter, before there were transcontinental railroads. Eastern and western Canada were effectively cut off from each other by the rough geography of the Canadian Shield north of Lake Superior so that's why the ox cart trails extended that far into Canada. Truckers from the Canadian Prairies still dip into the USA using I-94 to get to Toronto and avoid the slow drive north of Lake Superior.
Red River Ox Cart Trails?Our Early Highways | State Historical Society of North Dakota Blog

Getting to northern Minnesota the end of September is perfect for leaf color, I just hope that the severe drought doesn't cause the leaves to drop green. You will definitely want to visit Itasca State Park since you will be close. I would then head across the northern part of Minnesota, hoping for good leaf color, maybe stay at the casino on Lake Vermilion, Fortune Bay, there's a nice Chippewa museum there. The Soudan iron mine nearby is a good trip, a state park, you have to take an original elevator down about 2000 ft. You can then go to the North Shore via different ways, you will have to be flexible depending on the fire situation; fires may still be burning. The tip of Minnesota where the Grand Portage Indian Reservation is is gorgeous, there's a National Monument there that is neat and you could hike up one of the hills there (Like Mt. Rose) for a great view of the Susie Islands. Almost to Ontario there is a nice overlook on Hwy 61.
Duluth has a nice tourist area on the Lake in Canal Park but get reservations as it will be $250 and up for leaf season, maybe more, and try to avoid weekends for room availability.

Wisconsin will also be busy with leaf viewers, Bayfield is a nice to town to head for, or Washburn. Lots of people kayak around the Apostle Islands, not sure about the weather that time of year, you may be too late. The city of Superior is run down and not interesting.

Last edited by tom_mn; Aug 27th, 2021 at 08:00 AM.
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Old Aug 27th, 2021, 10:15 PM
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A somewhat bizzare attraction not terribly far off of your Wisconsin loop might be the House On The Rock. My mother's side of the family is from Viola/Soldier's Grove/Richland Center area and traveling the area with my parents growing up I always saw the signage advertising the place. I finally went as an adult with wifey on a trip to The Thumb. It was interesting in a kitschy sort of way, but one of those places that once you've been, that's probably enough. But it might be a quirky memory as you check off your last states.
I also recall some Amish communities in the Viroqua area.
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Old Aug 28th, 2021, 09:56 AM
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>> some Amish communities in the Viroqua area.

The one just south of Cashton is the largest, like visiting rural Switzerland in the 18th century since in a large area everyone is Amish. Groups of blond kids in handmade clothes playing with homemade wooden toys. Itís impossible to not feel like a gawker though.

Having just returned from the SE Adirondacks will say that unlike that part of NY there will be no flying Confederate flags or Nazi SS decals in rural ND, MN, or WI.
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Old Aug 29th, 2021, 01:14 AM
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Taliesin can be visited, reservations needed as it is all by guided tour.

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