Although summer winds down and the temperatures drop, Saint Paul showcases very well each autumn. The brilliant fall colors only enhance the European charm that we’re known for, and the brisk weather is refreshing if you know where to warm up.
Chill at Cathedral Hill
Dip out of work early and get to know Cathedral Hill. W.A. Frost's basement is the perfect place to hide from your boss. Grab a cocktail there before heading over to the Happy Gnome to try seasonal beers, The Commodore to step back in time or Red Cow for a solid burger when it's safe to blow your cover.
Eat Around Lowertown
Good morning, Lowertown. Grab a warm cup of coffee and walk down the street to the Farmers' Market. It’s the perfect time of year to grab pears, squash, ginger, broccoli and other in-season produce. If you need to work up your appetite, walk around Union Depot or CHS Field before heading toward downtown and Rice Park. If brunch is calling your name, Saint Dinette, Black Dog and The Buttered Tin offer up some pretty tasty mid-morning dishes. If you need more foodie inspiration, check out this complete list of our favorite Lowertown restaurants.
Plan some time to take a tour of Downtown's Landmark Center, Saint Paul’s former federal courthouse—you'll learn about the building's spectacular history, including its use as a federal post office, ties to some of America's notorious gangsters and role in Prohibition. If that's not up your alley, we also recommend seeing a matinee at the nearby Park Square Theatre or the Ordway Center for Performing Arts. You'll also want to pop in for a look at the glorious James J. Hill Center while you're in the neighborhood.
If you’re worried about a fall weather swing, this part of town is also close to the Science Museum of Minnesota, Minnesota Children’s Museum, Minnesota History Center and the Wabasha Street Caves—all great locations for indoor fun.
Explore Harriet Island
Cross the river to visit Harriet Island. Not only is the skyline stunning next to the fall foliage, but Harriet Island is the perfect place to run, bike, or read. For some adventurous time out on the water before it gets too chilly, plan a kayak adventure with Minnesota Adventure Company to catch the early color changes in September.
Walk Summit Avenue
After grabbing a great breakfast at French Hen Cafe, admire the Cathedral of Saint Paul before you start the Summit Avenue Walking Tour at the James J. Hill House. The leaves’ vibrant hues are incredible against the stretch of Victorian houses and you’ll see the homes of several prominent Saint Paulites.
At the end of the walk, consider touring the James J. Hill House itself. If you’re ready to move on, make your way down Grand Avenue—one of the best streets for local shopping in the city. You'll find plenty of restaurants, specialty stores, clothing retailers and gift options. You can also skip the shopping and take Grand Avenue to its end, where you’ll run into the Mississippi River Road trial. If you go that far, stop into Coffee Bene for a "Chaider"—a blend between a chai tea and an apple cider.
Check out the Green Line
To round off the day, grab dinner along the Metro Transit Green Line. From barbecue to pho and Ethiopian to Hmong cuisine, the train carves its way through one of the most diverse neighborhoods in the Twin Cities. Then, make your way to a Saint Paul brewery—there are nine conveniently located off the Green Line.
All of that exploring, biking, walking, touring, eating and drinking should just about wrap up the weekend. Of course, you might find a store or restaurant that’s perfect for fall that we didn’t mention. That’s why you should share your autumn weekend with us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter using the hashtag #MYSAINTPAUL.