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It's an indisputable fact that certain months and seasons of the year are more conducive to vacations. Summer is the obvious one, as kids are out of school and great weather abounds. Winter, on the other hand, is a popular season to escape from the northern chill to a more temperate climate. But what about fall? Arguably the most beautiful of the seasons, fall in the Midwest is bursting with color, flavor, and pizzazz. These resorts and lodges are the best of the best in showing guests what a Midwestern fall getaway is all about.
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Deep in the lush wilderness of Brainerd, Cragun's Resort and Hotel is a tranquil destination that is perfect anytime of year, yet it shines especially bright in autumn.

Fall in Brainerd is a sight to... read more

Deep in the lush wilderness of Brainerd, Cragun's Resort and Hotel is a tranquil destination that is perfect anytime of year, yet it shines especially bright in autumn.

Fall in Brainerd is a sight to behold. A veritable cornucopia of different species of trees paint a pretty picture, with vibrant hues of red, orange, and yellow, swirled throughout the landscape. Cragun’s is an amazing place to take it all in, while relaxing in unparalleled comfort and serenity. Hit the links on one of the three jaw-dropping golf courses, or head over to the marina for some boating fun. Observe nature’s handiwork among the countless colors and trees from the comfort of a personal kayak. It’s not a dream- it’s Cragun’s!

Address

11000 Craguns Dr, Brainerd, MN 56401

Highlights

Dining options include a low-key steakhouse and a poolside buffet!

Related activities

There is over 22,000 feet of dock space located throughout the entire one mile shoreline.

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2

Crystal Mountain Resort & Spa

Thompsonville, Michigan

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+1 (855) 773 - 7957

Finding the perfect fall getaway with a family in tow can be arduous. Close quarters and a lack of things to do can result in bickering and squabbles for even the most tight-knit of families. But make your... read more

Finding the perfect fall getaway with a family in tow can be arduous. Close quarters and a lack of things to do can result in bickering and squabbles for even the most tight-knit of families. But make your destination Crystal Mountain and your family will hardly be able to contain their excitement!

As the self-proclaimed premier four-season family resort in the Midwest’s, Crystal Mountain offers some of the finest accommodations in northern Michigan. Each of their 295 guest rooms and suites smell of rich mahogany and are filled with all the modern comforts you’d expect, including rich décor, terry bathrobes, and panoramic views. But Crystal Mountain really excels when it comes to things to do: 36 holes of championship golf, 30km of cross-country trails, the award-winning Crystal Spa, and the Michigan Legacy Art Park are all fantastic autumn options for couples and families alike. But if you REALLY want to impress, take your family to The Crystal Coaster Alpine Slide! They’ll cruise down one of two parallel 1,700-foot-long curved tracks, controlling their own speed the whole way. It’s the experience of a lifetime!

Address

12500 Crystal Mountain Dr, Thompsonville, MI 49683

Getting there

Located in Benzie County, Crystal Mountain is only 1.1 miles from Thompsonville Airport.

Fun facts

This family-run mountain resort was established in 1960.

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3

Stout's Island Lodge

Birchwood, Wisconsin

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+1 (877) 738 - 8918

When you hear Wisconsin, you probably don’t think of an island paradise. Allow Stout’s Island Lodge to challenge all of your preconceptions and treat you to an incredible fall retreat surrounded by some of... read more

When you hear Wisconsin, you probably don’t think of an island paradise. Allow Stout’s Island Lodge to challenge all of your preconceptions and treat you to an incredible fall retreat surrounded by some of mother nature’s finest (and water).

Romantic to a fault, few resorts in Wisconsin can truly enrapture couples the way that Stout’s Island Lodge. Perhaps it’s due to their amazing hospitality, ever eager to please. Or perhaps it’s because of that “island lifestyle”, where relaxation is first and foremost. Or maybe, just maybe, it’s because of the incredible variety of activities available to you. Badminton, bocce ball, canoeing, fishing biking, tennis, and lawn jenga will entertain, while a ride around the river on a paddleboat to observe the parade of colors will inspire awe. Of course, if you want ultimate relaxation, get a couples massage, or eat an amazing dinner at Stout’s Island Club, the on-site restaurant.

Address

2799 27th St, Birchwood, WI 54817

Population

Wisconsin's population was 5.758 million as of 2014

Fun facts

In 1900 land acquisition for Wisconsin's first state park began. The park became Interstate State Park located in St. Croix Falls.

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+1 (866) 940 - 1284

The first words you see on the Blue Harbor website are “It's Better At The Blue". After a fall getaway here, you’ll understand exactly what they mean by that.

The palace-like exterior of Blue Harbor... read more

The first words you see on the Blue Harbor website are “It's Better At The Blue". After a fall getaway here, you’ll understand exactly what they mean by that.

The palace-like exterior of Blue Harbor exudes luxury and relaxation, a feeling that will only be reinforced upon entry into your sizable room or villa. When it comes to recreation, a diverse array of options are available to you. Go swimming in the year-round indoor waterpark, play some mini-golf course, or a just take relaxing stroll on one of the many eco-friendly lakeshore trails. Just a short drive away, the town of Sheboygan offers shopping, golf, watersports and charter fishing. You’ll find it nigh impossible to cram all of that into a weekend, but you might still want to try!

Address

725 Blue Harbor Dr, Sheboygan, WI 53081

Total area

Lake Michigan has a surface area of 22,400 square miles.

Fun facts

The word "Michigan" originally referred to the lake itself, and is believed to come from the Ojibwa word mishigami meaning "great water".

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Eaglewood Resort & Spa

Itasca, Illinois

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+1 (866) 452 - 6591

Just outside of Chicago sits one of the most lauded resorts in the nation. Owner of the prestigious AAA Four-Diamond Award, Eaglewood Resort & Spa offers a luxurious spa retreat and fantastic getaway... read more

Just outside of Chicago sits one of the most lauded resorts in the nation. Owner of the prestigious AAA Four-Diamond Award, Eaglewood Resort & Spa offers a luxurious spa retreat and fantastic getaway destination for couples and families alike.

Vacations are about relaxing, right? Eaglewood certainly believes so, and has the 10,000-sq.ft. European designed spa to prove it. With eight treatment rooms and customized spa experiences, your body will feel so good that you might forget you even have one. If you’d prefer something a little more intense, the championship golf course might be right up your alley. You obviously can’t forget the glorious 106 acres of beautiful fall landscape, a painting come to life. But if the weather isn’t cooperative (it is the Windy City, after all), stay indoors and have a blast at the indoor pool or private bowling alley!

Address

1401 Nordic Rd, Itasca, IL 60143

Total area

106 acres

Getting there

Only 11.2 miles from O'Hare Airport!

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+1 (866) 552 - 1914

Bluefin Bay is a superior destination for anyone interested in a naturally gorgeous autumn escape!

With immaculate Lake Superior for a backdrop, Bluefin Bay could be a rickety shack and still offer guests... read more

Bluefin Bay is a superior destination for anyone interested in a naturally gorgeous autumn escape!

With immaculate Lake Superior for a backdrop, Bluefin Bay could be a rickety shack and still offer guests superior (pun intended) natural beauty. Lucky for you, it's much more than a shack! Bluefin Bay's rooms are cozy, elegant., and filled to the brim with amenities. When you aren't out on the lake, enjoy the dozens of amenities offered, including (but not limited to) en suite wood fireplaces, whirlpool baths, and undeniable hospitality. Outside, go for a hike in the nearby Sawtooth Mountains or Superior National Forest. Just remember to tell 'em who sent ya!

Address

7192 MN-61, Tofte, MN 55615

Related activities

The resort lies 1.3 miles from Temperance River State Park and 8 miles from Lutsen Mountains Ski Resort.

Related Onsite Offerings

There's also an indoor pool, heated outdoor pool, sauna, spa and private beach with fire pits.

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+1 (866) 939 - 2504

A fall getaway along the shores Lake Superior is an ideal destination whether you're looking for a romantic rendezvous, or a fun family vacation. Superior Shores Resort & Conference Center perfectly combines... read more

A fall getaway along the shores Lake Superior is an ideal destination whether you're looking for a romantic rendezvous, or a fun family vacation. Superior Shores Resort & Conference Center perfectly combines comfortable accommodations with amazing to offer a one-of-a-kind getaway regardless of when you travel.

With an absolutely astounding variety of activities, accommodations, and natural attractions, Superior Shores can entertain even the pickiest people indefinitely. Rooms and cabins are plentiful and comfortable, all rustically decorated and and full of northern Minnesota charm. The main attraction here, of course, is Lake Superior. Superior Shores is situated on 60 wooded acres with over a mile of Lake Superior coastline, including a 2000-foot pebbled beach. Go for a brisk walk and enjoy the fall colors, or go for a refreshing dip in the cool waters.

Address

1521 Superior Shores Dr, Two Harbors, MN 55616

Population

3,745 at the 2010 census

Fun facts

In the early years Two Harbors consisted of two separate communities called Agate Bay and Burlington.

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8

Kapilana Resort

Osage Beach, Missouri

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+1 (877) 796 - 4915

The Lake of the Ozarks makes for a stunning backdrop, and dozens of resorts have sought to capitalize on this throughout the years. But few, if any, have even approached the level of success achieved by Kapilana... read more

The Lake of the Ozarks makes for a stunning backdrop, and dozens of resorts have sought to capitalize on this throughout the years. But few, if any, have even approached the level of success achieved by Kapilana Resort.

Fall at Kapilana is much like any other season. Families enjoy staying in the exquisitely designed cabins and suites, and spend the day on the lake or exploring the area. The Ozarks are a sight to behold in the autumn, as radiant colors and vibrant hues make for a sensational spectacle. Go out and enjoy it by the BBQ, or grab a boat and some roads to catch your dinner. Of course, you could always take a break in the swimming pool or play in the sun on the swim beach (which includes a lake swim platform!). Whatever you do, make sure it’s surrounded by the sights and sounds of the Lake of the Ozarks.

Address

793 Winn Rd #6a, Osage Beach, MO 65065

Mountain range

The highest point in Missouri is Taum Sauk Mountain (1,772 feet)

Highlights

The Ozarks are rich in lead and zinc, and fruit-growing areas are prevalent.

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9

Big Cedar Lodge

Ridgedale, Missouri

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+1 (866) 306 - 1647

The aptly-named Big Cedar Lodge is deep in the Ozarks, and in fall is surrounded by countless of the towering, colorful behemoths. Whether you want to get active or simply enjoy a walk through mother nature’s... read more

The aptly-named Big Cedar Lodge is deep in the Ozarks, and in fall is surrounded by countless of the towering, colorful behemoths. Whether you want to get active or simply enjoy a walk through mother nature’s annual masterpiece, Big Cedar can accommodate you.

While constructed to take advantage of the Ozark’s stunning hills and valleys, Big Cedar Lodge certainly doesn’t skimp on the luxurious amenities and lodgings. Here you’ll find three unique lodges in addition to a multitude of cozy cottages and beautifully-crafted log cabin, cared-for with meticulous attention to detail. If you want to get active, test your skill against the Top of The Rock Golf Course, the first Par 3 course to bear Jack Nicklaus’ name. Or you could tour eight onsite waterfalls and more than 29 hand-built stream crossings. Fall’s stunning colors will only serve to enhance your experience.

Address

612 Devil's Pool Rd, Ridgedale, MO 65739

Highlights

Kansas City has more miles of boulevards than Paris and more fountains than any city except Rome.

Fun facts

Missouri is known as the "Show Me State".

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10

Grand View Lodge

Nisswa, Minnesota

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+1 (866) 758 - 4381

Grand View Lodge claims dominion over Nisswa, Minnesota, where its regal splendor and penchant for family fun are the toast of the town. Hopefully you can get a room with a balcony, because it really offers a…... read more

Grand View Lodge claims dominion over Nisswa, Minnesota, where its regal splendor and penchant for family fun are the toast of the town. Hopefully you can get a room with a balcony, because it really offers a… wait for it… Grand View!

Bad puns aside, fall is an incredible time at Grand View. The historic Main Lodge, while always beautiful, simply feels right surrounded by the sights and smell of the waning seasons. Perhaps it’s your pilgrim ancestors deep in your psyche, or perhaps it’s just the natural human yearning to be inside of something made out of wood, but whatever it is only serves to further the incredible experience Grand View offers. Anything you’d think to do in a Minnesota Autumn is available to you, from golf and spas to boating and wine tastings. Go and have the time of your life, then return to your superbly cared-for room, villa, or cabin so you can rest up and do it all again the next day.

Address

23521 Nokomis Ave, Nisswa, MN 56468

Population

2,004 as of 2013

Total area

18.34 mi²

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11

Spicer Green Lake Resort

Spicer, Minnesota

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+1 (866) 560 - 2767

There is simply no better place to reconnect with family and friends than on the shores of Green Lake. Don't believe us? Let the friendly staff at Green Lake Resort show you!

Regardless of the season you... read more

There is simply no better place to reconnect with family and friends than on the shores of Green Lake. Don't believe us? Let the friendly staff at Green Lake Resort show you!

Regardless of the season you visit, Green Lake has it all. But fall is perhaps the best time, as the naturally spectacular surroundings are at their absolute peak. Meanwhile, the nearby town of Spicer is filled to the brim with craft breweries and plenty of local events and festivals, so rest assured there will never be a dull moment. The resort is the perfect combination of luxury and affordability, letting you feel like royalty without breaking the bank. Go enjoy the great outdoors, relax by the cozy indoor fireplace, or take a dip in the indoor pool!

Address

100 Lake Ave. North, Spicer MN, 56288

Population

The population was 1,167 at the 2010 census.

Fun facts

Spicer was platted in 1886, and named for John M. Spicer, the original owner of the town site.

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