Top Spots for Leaf Peeping
360-Degrees of Fall Colors
Embrace the natural beauty of Saint Paul by visiting these top spots for leaf peeping.
There’s no need to drive north for hours to see beautiful trees ablaze with oranges and reds. Saint Paul is central to exciting destinations where the leaves are on full display—and they do not disappoint. Try these local spots for a day of outdoor fun, good food, and other fall activities.
Head north of Saint Paul to Como Regional Park for a day of fun, exploration, and even some learning. Start the day with breakfast at Colossal Café and energize with the Greek Frittatas, Sage Pork and Bison Biscuits and Gravy, or a classic breakfast sandwich. Take your coffee to go and walk the 1.67-mile path surrounding Como Lake for a beautiful autumn scene on the water. Stop for lunch at Cozy’s Pub at Como Golf Course, where you can look over the rolling greens and surrounding fall color while sitting on the patio or with a seat next to the towering windows.
Next, continue your walk on the trails through the park, or make your way to the Como Zoo & Conservatory, where leaves aren’t the only plants on display. The Fall Flower Show dazzles in the Sunken Garden at Como Zoo, where visitors can gaze at perfectly cultivated chrysanthemums. Dinner is served on the water at Dock & Paddle in the Como Lakeside Pavilion, featuring daily happy hours and mouthwatering house specials.
Experience Fort Snelling
Experience a piece of Minnesota history at Fort Snelling State Park. Located between Minneapolis and Saint Paul where the Minnesota and Mississippi Rivers converge, visitors have the opportunity to see a plethora of changing leaves along the hiking trails. When you get hungry, Agra Culture Kitchen in Highland Park is ready to welcome you with elevated breakfast bowls and burritos along with raw juices and smoothies.
Start your day of leaf peeping by exploring the loop around Snelling Lake, or taking in river views on a 1-, 2-, or 3-mile loop around Pike Island on the Big Rivers Regional Trail. Cyclists also enjoy hitting the trails that start at Fort Snelling and connect with the 51-mile long Grand Rounds Scenic Byway. Historic Fort Snelling is a sight to see in the fall, particularly because of its storied location near the rivers. Continue to learn about Saint Paul’s history with dinner at DeGidio’s, a cozy, Italian restaurant and bar founded by Joe “Kid Bullets” DeGidio—a bootlegger who at one point operated 12 stills in the Saint Paul area.
Stroll Summit Avenue
The tree-lined streets of Saint Paul are the perfect setting for a fall stroll. The hilltop neighborhood of Summit Avenue in autumn is like something out of a movie, so walk the historic streets and take in the extravagant houses. The best part of Summit Avenue is that it can be toured on foot, in the car, on a bike, or by guided tour.
For all things pumpkin spice, Nina’s Coffee Cafe is located in a historical building and offers baked goods plus an assortment of savory options. Dinner needs to be at Red Cow, a city staple on Selby Avenue. The two levels provide a cozy space to enjoy cocktails, brews, and gourmet burgers.
A leisurely day is also an option with Padelford Cruises. Float along the Mississippi while enjoying food or drinks and unobstructed nature views.
Take a (fall) Hike
Start your day on the river with breakfast and coffee at Claddagh Coffee. The Salted Maple Latte and Triple Ginger Cookie are part of the current specials and scream fall. Not only can visitors enjoy colorful and vibrant leaves at Crosby Farm Regional Park, but river views, trails, and access to two lakes as well. The trails go alongside the Mississippi River and Crosby Lake.
Less than 10 minutes away, North High Bridge Park is located at the end of the Smith Avenue High Bridge and offers scenic views and public art. Adjacent to the bridge, visitors can make the hike up to Capitol View Park, named as such for the its beautiful views of the Minnesota State Capitol and the surrounding trees. For Dinner, Foodsmith Bistro Pub is a chef-driven spot with inspired meals from Chicken Schnitzel to Hand-cut Bistro Steak. It’s also a wonderful spot to get a drink with friends and tuck into any of Foodsmith’s “shareables”.
There’s truly no better way to celebrate fall in Saint Paul than spending a day to be one with nature. Crisp fall air and changing leaves paired with the city’s history, architecture, and top-tier food scene create the perfect backdrop for a fall day. No matter which direction you go, there’s fun to be had. Share that fun with us by using #MySaintPaul - we love to see your fall adventures!
Best Dining for Post-Leaf Viewing
Colossal Café — Como
2315 Como Avenue Saint Paul, Minnesota 55108 (651) 797-4027 St. Anthony Park Website >
Como Park Zoo & Conservatory
1225 Estabrook Dr Saint Paul, Minnesota 55103 (651) 487-8201 Como Park Website >
Dock & Paddle
1360 LEXINGTON PKWY N ST. PAUL, Minnesota 55103 (651) 330-8872 Como Park Website >
Historic Fort Snelling
200 Tower Ave, Fort Snelling History Center Saint Paul, Minnesota 55111 (612) 726-1171 West 7th Website >
Historic Fort Snelling200 Tower Ave, Fort Snelling History Center
Saint Paul, Minnesota 55111
DeGidio’s Restaurant & Bar
425 W. 7th St. Saint Paul, Minnesota 55102 (651) 291-7105 West 7th Website >
Nina’s Coffee Café
165 Western Avenue Saint Paul, Minnesota 55102 (651) 292-9816 Cathedral Hill Website >
393 Selby Ave Saint Paul, Minnesota 55102 (651) 789-0545 Cathedral Hill Website >
Harriet Island 205 Dr. Justus O’Hage Blvd Saint Paul, Minnesota 55107 (651) 227-1100 Downtown Website >
Padelford RiverboatsHarriet Island
205 Dr. Justus O’Hage Blvd
Saint Paul, Minnesota 55107
459 W 7th Street Saint Paul, Minnesota 55102 (651) 600-3400 West 7th Website >