Top Things to Do During the Fall in Beloit, Wisconsin
As a vibrant riverfront city, Beloit has something to offer everyone as the leaves change colors and the air cools. Fall is the perfect time for a getaway to this charming city. Whether you are looking for a romantic escape or a family getaway, Beloit’s exciting and unique events, natural attractions, downtown shops, and restaurants will make for an unforgettable Midwestern vacation.
Events and Festivals
Cardboard boat regatta, Knockerball and more exciting activities at Festival on the Rock
Preservation Park, 3344 Riverside Drive, Sept. 8-10
Food, beer and carnival rides are standards for any outdoor festival, but at Festival on the Rock, you can expect action-packed games like the cardboard boat regatta, Knockerball and Kubb Tournament. You’ll also enjoy the live music, boat rides and a spectacular fireworks show. With all the fun you’ll be having, safety is the most important. Sign up for the safe-ride program, where you can leave your vehicle at the park for no charge and get a ride home.
Enjoy free music at the Folk ‘n’ Blues Festival
Beloit College, 700 College St., Sept. 15-16
For 46 years, Beloit College has been hosting its student-led music festival—Folk ‘n’ Blues Festival. Take the time to stroll the grounds of the beautiful campus, which boasts winding walkways, green spaces, public art displays and ancient Native American effigy mounds. The concerts are free and open to the public.
Watch as boats speed by during the Thunder on the Rock Boat Races
Rock River, Sept. 16-17
It may be a bit chilly, but that doesn’t stop water enthusiasts from racing down the Rock River at 60 mph in a 120-pound wooden boat. Bring your lawn chairs and blankets to cheer during the races and meet the drivers by the pit. After the races are over, boogie on down to The Rock Bar and Grill for drinks at the tiki bar, delicious food and live music.
Check out the vintage cars at the Annual Beloit Autorama
3444 S. Riverside Drive, Sept. 17
The Beloit Autorama has been showcasing vintage cars since 1977, and this year more than 1,000 cars are going on display for your viewing pleasure. Car aficionados will love the mixture of automobiles at the show. Expect to see street rods, custom built cars, Corvettes, antique and classic cars, trucks, Chevrolets, street machines, muscle cars, and special interest cars this year. The event also features a parts swap and a flea market, with more than 200 vendors selling parts and collectible items. Ages 15 and older is $6; ages 8-15 is $2; and 8 and younger are free.
Celebrate German heritage at Oktoberfest
300 Block of State St, 500 Public Ave., Sept. 22
Raise your stein and stroll through the revitalized downtown area with a German beer during the 4th annual Oktoberfest. Dance, grab some food and enjoy live music with the locals. This year’s headliner is Cold Sweat & the Brew City Horns! Cold Sweat is Wisconsin’s premier show band featuring some of the area’s best musicians, multiple dynamic vocalists and the renowned three piece horn section, the Brew City Horns! will take the stage at 8:00 p.m. The event is from 5:30 to 11 p.m. Admission is $5.
Sip, shop, and stroll through historic downtown at Sip & Stroll
Downtown, Oct. 7
Taste a variety of wines at 14 venues throughout downtown Beloit! Advance tickets are $25 ($30 at the door) and includes a commemorative etched wine glass! Limited tickets available. Must be 21+.
Get into the Halloween spirit at the Beloit Halloween Costume Parade and Party
Grand Avenue, Downtown, Oct. 28
Kids will have a spooky good time when they go trick-or-treating at the downtown shops and market vendors during the last farmers’ market of the season. They will have a blast enjoying the face painting, live shows, storytelling, balloon creations, a bouncy house and more fun. The parade also includes live music, bounce houses and other fun activities for all ghouls and goblins. The excitement is from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Shopping and Dining
Stroll through the Historic Downtown
Stroll past boutique shops and art galleries in this revitalized downtown that placed No.16 on Travel + Leisure’s list of “America’s Greatest Main Streets” in 2012. The area boasts early 20th-century architecture, seasonal artwork and is all about charm and supporting local businesses. With more than 30 shops and 20 restaurants, including Merrill & Houston’s Steak Joint and Northwoods Premium Confections, an old-time candy shop offering homemade chocolates, retro candies and gourmet popcorn, you’ll have fun exploring this quaint town, If you’re in town on Oct. 7, between 1:30-4:30 pm, you can taste wines at 15 venues throughout the historic downtown at the Downtown Beloit Sip & Stroll. Tickets are only $35, and you get a commemorative glass to take home!
Snack on warm apple cider donuts and pastries at the Apple Hut Orchard
1718 W Walters Road
There’s nothing like indulging in warm apple cider donuts in the fall. At Apple Hut Orchard, you can pick from 17 varieties of apples, and shop at the store for apple pies, pastries, caramel apples, donuts, pumpkin bread, apple cinnamon bread, apple cider, jams and honey. Apple Hut Orchard is open Tuesday through Sunday until Halloween.
Meet your neighbors at the Taste of the Chamber
Eclipse Center, 3 Eclipse Center. October 25 5-8 pm
At the third annual Taste of Chamber event you’ll want to come hungry, as there will be plenty of tasty delights to sample and tasting of local brews. This event is also a great networking opportunity; so bring your business cards with you. Attendees will also get to vote for the best taste and best display. This event is from 5 to 8 p.m., and admission is $25.
Stop by on Saturdays for the Beloit Farmers Market
Historic Downtown, State and Grand Ave.
The second largest farmers’ market in Wisconsin is every Saturday, from now until October, in downtown Beloit. More than 100 vendors come to the heart of downtown Beloit to sell their local produce, fresh flowers. artisan crafts and more gems. While shopping, treat yourself to the food trucks serving a variety of ethnic foods and seafood. Live music will keep you entertained as you wander past the shops, and there are plenty of activities for the kids to enjoy as well.
Have a homestyle meal at Double B Farm Country Store/Cafe
2777 S Brostuen Road
Beloit’s best kept secret is this charming family-owned cafe and store located on a working farm. Enjoy homestyle country dishes like their famous biscuits and gravy sourced on-site. You will enjoy dining inside its bright, red barn decorated in a rural chic design for breakfast or lunch. Don’t be surprised when you pull up to find a menagerie of farm and domestic animals.
Sip on local wine at DC Estate Winery
8877 Stateline Road, South Beloit
Situated in the rolling countryside where Wisconsin and Illinois meet, this winery provides a romantic Tuscan setting to for you to admire the changing fall hues while savoring a delicious glass of wine. The outdoor pavilion, large welcoming tasting room and surrounding vineyards are ideal for special events and weddings. The tasting fee is $5 per person.
Make new furry friends at the Alpaca Farm Days
Pacesetter Alpaca, 5546 West Plymouth Church Road Sept. 23-24
Saturday 9 am-4 pm & Sunday 12-4 pm
You don’t need to travel to Peru to get up close to alpacas. On farm days at Pacesetter Alpaca, you will learn about alpacas and their fiber, meet the resident alpacas and enjoy demonstrations from local fiber artists who spin, weave and felt alpaca fiber. Alpaca clothing, rovings, beautiful yarns and fleece are available for sale. Proceeds from the event go to Friends of Noah-Wisconsin, an animal rescue.
Hike, kayak and explore Turtle Creek under the Tiffany Stone Arch Bridge
Spend a leisurely day kayaking the Turtle Creek that winds for miles from the oldest stone bridge in Wisconsin—the five-arch bridge, built in 1869. Originally built for the Union Pacific Railroad, the bridge was added to the National Register of Historic places 35 years ago. Hike the scenic parklands surrounding the bridge for opportunities to see wildlife and admire the beautiful scenery.
Take in the great outdoors at Big Hill Park
Big Hill and Afton Road
Hike one of the most scenic sites in Beloit at Big Hill Park, which lies north of the city on the bluffs of the river and offers spectacular views of the Rock River. This 190-acre park has plenty of nature and hiking trails, an environmental education center, sheltered picnic area and a playground. Get active and play softball, sand volleyball or simply take in the scenic autumn views.
Visit the historic Beckman Mill
11600 S County Road H
A visit to Beloit isn’t complete without taking in the historic Beckman Mill, an authentically restored operational grist mill from 1868. The Mill was added to the National Register of Historic places in 1977. It sits on 50 acres, and guided tours are offered in the afternoons and on the weekends. On the premises, you’ll find a new dam, mill pond, footbridge, saw mill display, 1840s cooperage, visitors center, gift shop, creamery, vintage garden, nature trails and more. Pick up a souvenir from the gift shop so you can take the Midwestern memories home with you.