7 Outdoor, Socially-Distanced Activities For Fall
Can you believe it’s already fall?! Kids are back in school (albeit remotely in many places), pumpkin spice everything is flowing at your favorite coffee shop, and many travelers are now thinking about how best to participate in outdoor, socially-distanced fall activities.
While this year’s autumn may look different than most, there’s still a ton of fun fall activities that you can do to safely celebrate the season. Here are our top picks for great events around the US, all of which would make a great long weekend!
1. Pack a Camera and go Leaf-Peeping
The trees are often the first harbinger of the change of seasons, with vibrant greens melting into reds and golds. While many areas of the country offer great leaf peeping, we love the fall foliage of the Northeast the best. A visit to the Brandywine Valley in Pennsylvania’s Chester County is a great choice, where the spacious Longwood Gardens providing the ultimate viewing locale.
Where to Stay: Hilton Garden Inn Kennett Square
2. Pick your Own Fruit at a local farm or orchard
There’s nothing like the fun of picking your own apples, or getting to try the many home-baked goodies on offer at most orchards. Just an hour and a half outside the Big Apple, you’ll find all the different varieties of apples you could want at Fishkill Farms. They’re offering reservations for pick-your-own through October, to help ensure a socially distanced experience.
Where to Stay: Hampton Inn Fishkill
3. Enjoy a wine tasting at a vineyard
While wildfires in California have left much of that state’s wine region currently off-limits, there are many vineyards and wineries worth visiting across the country. Roughly halfway between Nashville and Atlanta, and in the shadow of the Appalachian Mountains, you’ll find one such locale: Morris Vineyards, which produces 19 different varieties.
Where to Stay: Hampton Inn Cleveland, TN
4. Support Local at an Outdoor Farmers Market
Farmer’s markets present an excellent opportunity to get to know a new area and learn the area’s cuisine. One of the largest farmer’s markets in the country can be found in Santa Fe, New Mexico, held at the historic Santa Fe railyard on Saturdays and Tuesdays. There you’ll find all manner of fresh and prepared foods, including the region’s signature spice: chiles.
Where to Stay: Hilton Santa Fe Buffalo Thunder
5. Visit a Drive-Thru State Fair
While many State Fairs have been forced to cancel or postpoint their 2020 dates, others like Texas and South Carolina have taken a more innovative approach: a drive-thru state fair. In Dallas, where the State Fair of Texas is held annually, your drive-thru ticket includes a photo with Big Tex, fair favorite food offerings, and a chance to drive by the many festive displays.
Where to Stay: The Statler, Curio Collection by Hilton
6. Pick out the perfect Pumpkin at a Pumpkin Patch
Ever since Charlie Brown discovered the Great Pumpkin, seeking your own perfect Jack-o-Lantern-to-be each autumn has become many a family’s annual tradition. At Siegel’s Cottonwood Farm, less than an hour outside of Chicago, guests can enjoy pumpkin-themed treats, carnival style games, and an epic hay maze — or stay until the evening when the farm shifts to host a haunted house.
Where to Stay: Home2 Suites by Hilton Joliet Plainfield
7. Go Stargazing with Someone You Love
This fall is also a great chance to look to the heavens, as October marks one of the best chances to view Mars in many years. According to Space.com, “The Red Planet arrives at opposition to the Sun on Oct. 13, in the zodiacal constellation of Pisces, visible from dusk to dawn and shining at an eye-popping magnitude of -2.6, a full three times brighter than Sirius; brighter than even mighty Jupiter!” Set up your telescope at one of the many International Dark Sky Parks just outside of Salt Lake City, Utah for an excellent view.