No matter where you are in the United States right now, it’s fall — a season for sweaters and cider, plus tons of festivals, seasonal farm tours, hayrides, pumpkin decorating, and other adventures.
It’s likely you’re somewhat familiar with your local area’s offerings, but if you’ll be traveling or are new to an area, be sure to check out the celebrations below to keep you in the spirit of the season.
With crisp weather, farm-fresh produce like apples and pumpkins, corn mazes, and foliage are abundant. The Midwest offers a lot for fall activities and, in fact, your neighborhood may offer walking paths for admiring fall leaves or you might be able to sit on your own front or back porch. Even a short drive with family and friends may beckon you to take in all of the colors. US World News and Travel Report named spots in Michigan, Indiana, Minnesota, and Wisconsin among the top places to see fall foliage in 2023.
Corn mazes are a fall staple all over the U.S., but midwestern mazes are somewhat unique. Often manicured in the shapes of animals, such as the dinosaur-shaped maze at Exploration Acres in Lafayette, Indiana, you’ll want to keep your eyes open for hidden puzzle pieces like those located inside the corn maze at Treinen Farm in Lodi, Wisconsin, to show you a route to the exit.
As the weather cools, it’s time to plan home activities like pumpkin carving and apple bobbing because one thing’s for certain, winter is coming!
It’s been said that nothing beats a New England fall as forests and mountains erupt into a plethora of autumnal colors. Even if you’re a lifelong resident, a fall road trip past stone walls and quaint towns will renew your love of the area and lifestyle. You’ll also want to stop at local farms and roadside stands for apple picking and fresh cider.
While tourists may be out leaf-peeping along inland trails and roadsides, locals should consider a family trip to Provincetown, Massachusetts, where you’ll have the seaside charm, historic lighthouses and sand dunes all to yourself. There are plenty of scenic and family-friendly trails to enjoy the cool weather and fall leaves. If you’re based near Boston, it’s about a half-hour drive to the World’s End Reservation in Hingham or the Harold Parker State Forest in Andover. If you’re willing to go a bit further, visit the Tuckerman’s Ravine Trail on Mount Washington in New Hampshire.
If you are a bit more adventurous, many of New England’s ski areas offer zipline activities during the fall, including Gunstock Mountain Resort in the heart of New Hampshire’s Lakes Region or check out the region’s longest zip line (5,500 feet) at Catamount Mountain Resort in the Berkshires.
Of course, closer to home you can have your kids rake leaves to use in art projects or stuffed into orange bags as fall porch pumpkins. As Halloween nears, organize a scarecrow or ghost craft party or costume parade. There’s plenty to do in this scenic and festive region.
It’s fall, y’all. The air may be warmer and dryer in the South, but the season is just as active and full of tradition. Lots of southern counties hold their state fairs in the fall and there’s plenty of decorating, pumpkin carving and homestyle cooking (think: pecan pie) not to mention those Friday night football games.
Harvest festivals are a traditional fall season kickoff. If you're in Texas, check out 100,000 pumpkins, gourds and squash, hailing from Floydada, THE pumpkin capital of Texas, and 150,000 beautiful fall-blooming plants at Autumn at the Arboretum.
The South is filled with apple-picking opportunities, from Ayres Family Orchard in Kentucky to B.J. Reece Orchards in Georgia, and, of course, as the weather cools many farms transform their cornfields into winding labyrinths.
This is a great time to decorate your front yard in fall or Halloween themes, set up an apple cider stand, or just invite neighbors over to share spooky stories over a bonfire.
From sandy beaches to majestic stands of giant redwoods, the West Coast has a lot to see and do in the fall. In addition to the traditional drives to experience changing leaves and picking seasonal fruits and vegetables, the region pays tribute to its Hispanic heritage with the Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) celebrations. In Los Angeles, Dia de los Muertos at Olvera Street is the only celebration of its kind lasting nine days with nightly processions, community altars, and entertainment. In the weeks leading up to the holiday, several local institutions offer workshops on the crafts associated with the observance, such as face painting and sugar skulls.
If you travel north, you’ll pass some of the world’s most fertile growing regions with plenty of stop-and-pick options,hayrides, opportunities to see the redwoods (available in many spots), and several national parks. A perennial favorite for fall is Yellowstone National Park, which stays open through October. When it’s cool, you’re more likely to see elk and buffalo in the park.
Further north, there are several mid-fall cranberry festivals in Oregon and Washington; a Giant Pumpkin Regatta in Tualatin, Oregon, and lots of great places to pick your own pumpkin and enjoy fall activities like corn mazes on Sauvie Island, which sits in the Columbia River between Oregon and Washington.
Any of these destinations can spark creativity and fun at home as you recreate what you experienced and use photos and mementos to create family scrapbooks.
Wherever you live or travel to this fall, stay safe and enjoy the changing seasons!
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