Fall in Love with These 5 Autumn Cities
If you’re like me, fall doesn’t last long enough – there’s just too much to do! Between pumpkin patches, football games, corn mazes, and scenic drives through the woods, it can be difficult to do everything in just a few short months.
For the autumn-obsessed, a change of scene could be a great idea – a fall lover in Phoenix will never be fully satisfied. Instead, look for cities with a long autumn season, great fall foliage and strong pumpkin culture (yeah, I said “pumpkin culture”). If you’re always eager to don a sweater and wait all year for the return of pumpkin spice, here are five cities worth checking out.
The northeastern United States is famous for its colorful autumns and Vermont is no exception. Vermonters are so into the season that the state releases regular fall foliage reports, which are even reported on by the local papers. If you’re equally obsessed with colorful leaves, Burlington might be the place for you because great fall foliage can be found just about anywhere you go.
Though Vermont has a small population, there’s no shortage of harvest festivals, Oktoberfest celebrations, and of course, corn mazes. Just two hours away, locals can find the Great Vermont Corn Maze, which is regularly ranked among the best in the country.
Although Chicago is known for its brutal winters and sometimes-scorching summers, its fall is pretty mild. Situated on the shores of Lake Michigan, areas on the coast even enjoy warmer temperatures as the lake retains heat from summer longer. Along with Chicago’s change of season come some awesome destinations for fall lovers.
Just an hour southwest of the city in Lockport is Siegel’s Pumpkin Farm, which hosts giant pumpkins and a “pumpkin smash” that I hope features said giant pumpkins. The farm also sells apple cider donuts, buckets of corn, and funnel cakes to really help you taste the season. And just an hour and a half north of Chicago you can find Richardson Corn Maze, which boasts 10 miles of trails winding through 28 acres of corn.
But Chicagoans don’t need to venture too far if they want to take in the fall foliage. The city hosts a number of parks and gardens where you can watch the leaves change.
If you live for those cooler post-summer temperatures, Seattle may be right up your alley. The nearby Puget Sound keeps the city cool and temperate, which means Emerald City features sweater weather basically all year round.
Fans of season festivities can also get their fill in Seattle, which is awash with pumpkin patches and corn mazes. Indeed, Craven Farms, located just an hour north of the city was rated one of Travel Channel’s top 10 pumpkin patches in the country. And for those in the throes of a pumpkin spice latte addiction, Seattle is frequently rated the best city in America for coffee lovers, so you’ll never be far from that foamy goodness.
Located just south of Salt Lake City in a booming tech center, Lehi is central to many of the best fall activities on the Wasatch Front. Lehi is home to non-profit farm/museum/garden, Thanksgiving Point, which puts on everything from a Scarecrow Festival to a Pilgrim 5K.
Driving an hour north or south provides a slew of haunted houses, corn mazes, and pumpkin patches. Nearby Cornbelly’s Corn Maze is the headquarters for MAiZE, a corn maze company that’s made over 3,000 mazes across seven countries. So they definitely know their corn mazes.
Sitting on the foothills of a mountain range, Lehi locals can also drive up one of the dozens of canyons to enjoy the leaves changing colors. Up one of those canyons is Park City, which USA Today noted has one of the longest seasons of color change of any U.S. mountain town.
Like Lehi, Albany is right in the middle of a variety of great autumn destinations. For those who like to get into the woods during fall, Albany provides quick access to the Catskill Mountains, Green Mountain National Park, and the Finger Lakes, to name a few. High precipitation from the Atlantic and nearby lakes ensures that upstate New York is green all summer and extremely colorful throughout the autumn.
Albany provides all sorts of traditional northeastern fall fare, including apple picking, balloon festivals, and of course, a Chowderfest. With orchards and farms galore, it’s easy to find a fun fall afternoon in Albany.