River towns line this lesser-known 287-mile drive through south-central Minnesota. In Belle Plaine, pick apples at Emma Krumbee’s orchard and restaurant. Look for eagles around Le Sueur (home of the Jolly Green Giant) and St. Peter (a vibrant college town). In German New Ulm, toast the harvest at Schell’s Brewing Company or Morgan Creek Vineyards, which serves wood-fired pizzas.
Secret falls: Near Mankato, waterfalls hide on both sides of the river: Minnemishinona Falls along Judson Bottom Road and Minneopa Falls in the state park off State-68 on the south side.
For maps and trip planning