Unique Things to Do this Fall
If you’re going to take a short day trip, don’t get stuck on the destination. Especially the Pacific Northwest, California, and New England are scattered with little towns and local unique food and stores to see along the way. Make sure to stop by these little towns that you’d never be able to see otherwise.
1. Attend the Seattle Winter Ciderfest to try all the spiced and barrel-aged ciders.
2. Visit the Washington Park Arboretum for a close-up of the changing leaves in the Woodland Garden and walk along Azalea Way.
3. Visit Kubota Garden for even more spectacular flowers and leaves. Make sure to see the Japanese maples and gingko trees during this season!
4. Bring a jacket for a day trip to Snoqualmie Falls.
5. Hike the Spruce Railroad Trail and see the reflection of the maple leaves, mountains and sun on Lake Crescent. Make sure to check out the Punchbowl.
6. Ride the Mount Rainier Railroad for an up-close look at the leaves. This is definitely a fall must-do.
7. You don’t have to leave the state for traditional Bavarian fests. Visit Leavenworth for Oktoberfest. Drive through the amazing foothills of the Cascade Mountains.
8. Take a fall ferry and venture to the San Juan islands for Savor the San Juans and Eat Island Grown and walk around Friday Harbor.
9. Attend the Northwest Chocolate Festival for the largest gathering of artisanal chocolate makers in the world. Chocolatiers come from many countries to show off their skills. Must try all the molten lava cakes and truffles.
10. Take a day trip to Vashon Island.
11. Hike to Larch Lake for the most spectacular views. Don’t forget to see Ewing Basin and Chiwaukum Lake.
12. Visit the amazing Volunteer Park Conservatory and check out the different climates. Word has it not all the plants were brought in legally, but the giant water lilies are a must! That is definitely my favorite room.
1. Attend the San Francisco Street Food Festival and try out all the different local flavors.
2. Visit a Harvest Festival anywhere in Napa or Sonoma County. Fall is a great time to visit these wineries. Napa’s St. Helena Harvest Festival or Sonoma County’s Harvest Fair are both great ways to experience these areas in during the season.
3. Visit Yosemite to get the most beautiful views in the area. Yosemite’s best time is fall, when the weather is warmer but not yet too cool make sure to stop by Tunnel View and hike to Glacier Point. My favorite is the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoia Trees at one of the southern points of the park.
4. Take the Napa Valley Wine Train. There’s never a bad time to take the Napa Valley Wine Train, but I love going most in the fall.
5. Catch the René Magritte Exhibit at SFMOMA
6. See the fall sunset and the sutro baths at Land’s End Trail.
7. Get your Lit on at the Litquake Festival.
8. Visiting Half Moon Bay where they grow pumpkins and have amazing fall activities. My favorite is Arata’s for it’s large mazes. Attend the Half Moon Bay Arts & Pumpkin Festival for even more fall fun.
9. Attend Candytopia in San Francisco this October.
10. Visit the Redwoods at Sequoia National Park and drive the Trail of 100 Giants.
11. If you can’t make the drive to Sequoia, just north of the Golden Gate Bridge is Muir Woods, known for its redwood trees. This is a great day hike!
12. Attend the Treasure Island Music Festival located in the tiny island between San Francisco and Oakland.
Austin Isn’t just ACL and SXSW. It has so many things to offer during autumn, especially hiking and springs. Here are some of the best things to do near Austin this fall.
1. Celebrate the 35th Annual Viva la Vida Festival & Parade.
2. Drink beers and celebrate at Banger’s Oktoberfest weekend.
3. Drive over to the Blue Starlite, Austin’s only drive-in movie theater to watch a movie under the stars. Starlite has classical and indie movies for a great, cozy fall night.
4. If you can make a reservation early enough (I’ve had to try months in advanced before!) it’s a great time to go to Hamilton Pool.
5. Take a trip to Barton Hill Farms. This amazing farm has huge corn mazes, games, food, and live music. Attend the Barton Hill Farms Fall Festival for even more fun.
6. Hike Enchanted Rock State Natural Park. I’m a big fan of climbing Buzzard’s peak to overlook the entire area. Bring plenty of water.
7. While you’re near Fredericksburg, celebrate a traditional Oktoberfest.
8. Go for a dip at Barton Springs Pool now that it isn’t so hot out. Still, bring some sunscreen!
9. Explore all that the Austin Steam Train Association has to offer, including the 66-mile roundtrip crossing the wooden trestle bridge over the South San Gabriel River and Short Creek Canyon.
12. Visit Jenschke Orchards for some great peaches.
13. Celebrate German Culture at the New Braunfels’ WurstFest.
15. Catch some autumn sunset views at Lake Travis.
16. Attend the Texas Book Festival and get inspired to read more!
18. Head to Sweet Berry Farm for some fun fall daytime activities!
19. Visit Krause Springs for some great swimming.
If there’s one thing that Chicago has…a lot of, it’s corn mazes, but that’s not all this amazing midwest city has to offer.
1. Have fun at the two-acre pop-up experience called Jack’s Pumpkin Nights near Goose Island.
2. Celebrate at Chicago Rare and Wild Beer Fest.
3. Trek over to Richardson Avenue Farms for the ‘world’s largest’ intricate corn maze. This large farm has more than 33 acres of fall fun.
4. Watch the battle at Bloody Mary Fest. Vote and find out who makes the best bloody marys.
5. Stock up on unique finds at Randolph Street Market Fair that offers crafts from more than 200 vendors.
7. Head over to Siegel’s Farms for more amazing Chicago corn mazes. Voted#1 Pumpkin Patch in the US.
8. Dress up for a Masquerade Ball at the Drake Hotel.
9. Head north to see the beautiful changing leaves in Lake Geneva.
10. Visit Maggie Daley Park for some amazing city park activities.
11. Visit the pop-up exhibit from Yayoi Kusama’s famous Infinity Mirror Rooms at wndr museum.
12. Celebrate Cider and Ale Festival at Morton Arboretum.
13. Visit the Chicago Botanic Gardens‘s extravagent autumn colors in its 27 gardens on 385 acres. Don’t miss the Night of 100 Jack-o-Lanterns.
12. Take a day trip to Holland, Michigan and check out their Fall Fest.
13. Really Celebrate German Culture with the German American Cultural Center at Stammtisch Open Haus Oktoberfest.
14. Take a day trip to Konow’s Corn Maze (that’s more than three miles long) and visit the Fall Fest that runs from September 17th to October 30th.
15. Head over to the Wheaton Haunted Halloween Flea Market and don’t forget to shop in costume!
16. Drive part of the Great River Road, considered the best drive in America.
17. Celebrate Oktoberfest at the Bavarian Bierhaus in Glendale, WI.
18. Take a day trip and head over to the Nicholas Conservatory & Gardens to see this multi-story conservatory that is definitely worth the drive.
19. Don’t miss out on the Treasures from the White City: Chicago World’s Fair of 1893 Exhibit at The Richard H. Driehaus Museum for the 125th anniversary.
20. Check out the 54th Annual Chicago International Film Festival running October 10th to 21st.
Miami doesn’t exactly scream fall festivities, but there are great happenings around the city this fall. And it isn’t just a countdown for Art Basel.
1. Visit Vizcaya Estate now that the temperature is actually going down and you can enjoy the gardens.
2. Celebrate Fall South-Florida style at the Coconut Grove Harvest Festival.
3. Visit Burr’s Berry Farms. Don’t forget to get a free Berry Ice Cream.
4. Celebrate 26th annual Kitetober Festival, where hundreds of brightly colored kites soar through the sky on October 20th and 21st.
5. Rally a few of your closest friends for HalloWYN.
6. Try out some of the best food Miami has to offer at the Coral Gables Food, Wine and Spirits Festival.
7. Take a day trip to Blue Spring State Park for some 72-degree perfect water along the St. Johns River.
8. Watch thousands of authors and readers will converge for the annual Miami Book Fair.
9. Take the time to enjoy the outdoors at the now-temperate Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden.
10. Kayak through mangroves at Oleta River.
11. Take a Day trip to Ginnie Springs.
12. Line up for homemade cinnamon rolls at Knaus Berry Farms, a South Florida yearly tradition.
13. Celebrate Beer at Grovetoberfest.
14. Try delicious plant-based food and wine at the Seed Food & Wine Week.
15. Dress up for the annual Vizcaya Ball.
No list could be complete without my LA. Here are some of the unique fall things to do around the city
1. Hike Trail Canyon Falls in Angeles National Forest.
2. Visit Forneris Farms in San Fernando Valley
3. Check out the Rooftop Cinema Club while it’s still warm enough to show movies.
4. Walk Descanso Gardens and get your tickets while available for Enchanted Forest of Light.
5. Watch leaves change color at the Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanic Garden and check out the Moonlight Forest.
7. Check out the 6th Annual Vegan Chili Cook-Off in Burbank.
8. Get spooked at the Los Angeles Haunted Hayride, with the production value you can only get near Hollywood.
9. Visit Mammoth Lake for a weekend getaway.
10. Add to your LA bucket list with a movie at Cinespia Cemetery Screenings.
11. Take a day trip to Solvang, a Danish little town full of charm in the Santa Ynez Valley.
12. See the Icons of Style: A Century of Fashion Photography, 1911–2011 at the Getty.
13. Check out 11 acres of corn, Big Horse Corn Maze in the Inland Empire.
14. Take a day trip to Temecula. Attend the Big Horse Corn Maze and Harvest Festival.
15. Visit Underwood Farms for some super fresh family fun.
16. Visit Tapia Brothers Farm in Van Nuys.
17. Walk around the Huntington Gardens and feel like you’ve entered a fairytale.
18. Check out Dark Harbor at the Queen Mary for some Halloween scares.
19. Go to the 19th Annual Dia de Los Muertos at Hollywood Forever Cemetery October 27th.
NEW YORK CITY
NYC isn’t just great during the Holidays. It also has so many unique things to do in autumn in and around the city.
1. Take a Day Trip to Sleepy Hollow to see the village that inspired the tale.
2. Get lost in Central Park and chill out on the lawn.
3. Watch the incredible changing leaves at the Circle Line: Bear Mountain Full-Day Cruise.
4. Walk around the New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx, which is absolutely stunning this time of year. Don’t miss out on Georgia O’Keeffe’s Visions of Hawai’i.
5. Attend the New York Coffee Festival. After all, New Yorkers can never have enough coffee.
6. Get ready for some chocolate at the Big Chocolate Show NYC.
7. Take a day trip to DIA: Beacon for an amazing collection of art.
8. Go to the Color Factory NYC for some serious color inspiration.
9. Head up to see the Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze with more than 7,000 illuminated jack o’ lanterns hand-carved on site on display.
10. Take a day trip to the Catskills for some serious views.
11. See the most beautiful New England leaves on the Adirondack Scenic Railroad’s Fall Foliage Train. This is a fall must-do this year. Don’t forget to stop at Utica.
13. Take a Ferry to Governor’s Island to forget you’re even near the city.
14. Visit Breakneck Ridge for a day hike.
15. Do Fall right at the Fall Foliage Brunch Cruise.
17. End up at the Cloisters and Fort Tryon Park for some Medieval architecture.
18. Take a long stroll through the Brooklyn Botanic Garden and enjoy all the plants and trees this garden has to offer.
19. Take the LIRR to see fall outside the city during Autumn Weekends.
20. Walk around the West Village and imagine living there.