A Guide to Some of the Most Appealing Fall Destinations in the Midwest

Ozark Mountains | Connor Wilkins

The Midwest boasts numerous charming towns, cities, and regions that serve as ideal havens for those seeking an autumn escape. To make the most of your next seasonal retreat, read on as we explore some of the most appealing fall destinations in the Midwest.

Overland Park, KS

Overland Park, a principal city in the Kansas City metropolitan area, offers plenty to explore, especially during the fall. You can witness gorgeous fall scenery at renowned attractions such as the Overland Park Arboretum and Botanical Gardens. Also, Overland Park hosts excellent autumn celebrations, including the Overland Park Fall Festival, which features farmers markets, seasonal snacks, and more. For a family-friendly experience, head to the Deanna Rose Children’s Farmstead, a lush farm with animals, playgrounds, seasonal events, and more. 

Overland Park Arboretum and Botanical Gardens | Chris Ryser

Ozarks Region, MO

Although the Ozarks region is best known as a summer destination due to its spacious summer homes on the shores of sparkling lakes, there is still plenty to do there in the fall.  You can enjoy fishing, unwinding on world-class golf courses, or hiking among stunning fall foliage, all without having to navigate the summer crowds. Also, many of the Ozarks’s pleasant towns and cities, including Osage Beach, Ozark, and the Village of Four Seasons, provide plenty to explore and top-notch dining options with tasty fall treats. 

Ozarks | Gabrielle Corley

Dubuque, IA

Dubuque is a charming Iowa community along the Mississippi River. The city showcases some of the most jaw-dropping fall foliage in the Midwest. Visitors can admire the magnificent scenery at outdoor locales such as Eagle Point Park, which overlooks the Mississippi River. Searching for that classic autumn experience? Head to Schuster’s Pumpkin Patch to pick your pumpkin and navigate their corn maze, or Czipar’s Apple Orchard, where you can dine on savory treats and pick some apples. Also, Dubuque hosts a fantastic farmers market.

Eagle Point Park

Des Moines, IA

Des Moines, Iowa’s thriving capital, stands as a cultural epicenter of the Midwest, renowned for its delectable food scene and numerous shopping destinations. Autumn brings many ways to appreciate this bustling metropolis. Des Moines’s entertaining seasonal events include the city’s spin on Oktoberfest and the World Food and Music Festival. To appreciate Des Moines’s scenery, head to Jester Park. This sprawling park covers over 1,660 acres and features postcard-worthy fall colors. 

Des Moines | Niko Vassilopoulos

Allamakee County, IA

Allamakee County is an expansive but sparsely populated county in Iowa. It serves as an idyllic autumn destination slightly off the beaten path. Allamakee County is known for its quaint little towns surrounded by nature, and when autumn arrives, the brilliant fall colors only enhance their irresistible charm. Waukon, Lansing, and Harpers Ferry are all great bases for exploring this county. Walk along trails among red and orange foliage in the picturesque Yellow River State Forest, or sip wine at a local winery, such as Empty Nest Winery.

Lansing | Christopher Osten

Lincoln, NE

Lincoln, Nebraska’s busy state capital, houses world-class zoos, captivating museums, and a renowned food scene year-round. But autumn brings plenty of fresh excitement. This bustling city is a must-visit destination in the Midwest, offering an array of delightful fall attractions. The Roca Berry Farm is a traditional autumn staple, with corn mazes, haunted attractions, and pumpkin patches. And Lincoln’s many breweries offer tasty autumn-themed beverages, so don’t miss out. If you want to immerse yourself in the city’s lively culture, be sure to catch a thrilling Cornhuskers fall football game at the University of Nebraska.

Lincoln | American Public Power Association

St. Charles, MO

St. Charles is a historic suburb along the Missouri River. Autumn attracts an abundance of visitors to this community. Downtown’s Main Street is the heart of St. Charles’s renowned historic district. Its historical architecture, antique stores, and one-of-a-kind setting are made even more vibrant with the season’s colors. Fall is a busy time in St. Charles, and you can immerse yourself in the spirit of the season by engaging in spooky activities, including Legends & Lanterns, a tour that details the city’s ghostly past. Also, the Katy Trail, which meanders through the city, is perfect for leaf-peeping enthusiasts.

Charmed by the Midwest? Check out these incredible spacious homes in Missouri and Iowa.

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