Come fall, instinct draws many Minnesotans to the Grand Rounds National Scenic Byway in Minneapolis. The 50-plus-mile loop follows the Mississippi River southeast from downtown before snaking back to the green spaces on the city's west side. Locals tend to visit separate segments of the route—a hike here, a bike ride there—so many never realize they're enjoying pieces of the country's only official urban scenic byway. But seeing the route in small doses means you miss out on its continuous, magnetic beauty. The Mississippi cuts through Minneapolis and Saint Paul, and huge parks, such as the 760-acre Theodore Wirth, offer 360-degree fall color. The byway's lakes have personalities as different as sibling's—showy Calhoun, introverted Cedar and family-oriented Harriet.