The best thing to do in every state this fall

The best thing to do in every state this fall

apple picking coupleApple picking is a classic fall activity. asife/Shutterstock

The INSIDER Summary:

  • Fall is not only beautiful to look at, it's filled with fun, seasonal activities.
  • For example, over 500 balloons participate in the annual Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, held every fall in New Mexico.
  • Walt Disney World in Florida is a fun and festive place to celebrate Halloween.
  • See 1,300 buffalo get rounded up by cowgirls and cowboys in South Dakota.

From visiting corn mazes to going apple picking, fall is full of fun activities all over the country. The season may look a little different in every state, but there are plenty of ways to celebrate no matter where you are.

From Germany-approved Oktoberfests to stunning Balloon Fiestas, keep reading for the absolute best thing to do in every state this fall.

Original Post

ALASKA: Denali National Park

ALASKA: Denali National Park
Denali National Park and Preserve stretches over 6 million acres.
Shutterstock/ eyeCatchLight Photography

Visitors can quite literally view six million acres of fall foliage at this national park in Alaska, which has tons of birch and aspen trees bursting with yellow every fall.

ARIZONA: The Annual Arizona Taco Festival in Phoenix

ARIZONA: The Annual Arizona Taco Festival in Phoenix
Get some tacos at Arizona's annual taco festival.
Arizona Taco Festival

Fall is arguably Arizona's best season, because it's no longer unbearably hot. Taco lovers also get the chance to eat an abundance of their favorite food at the Phoenix Taco Festival (October 14-15), where more than 50 teams enter a taco-making challenge, while others get to devour their creations. The best part: each taco is only $2, so come with an empty stomach.

ARKANSAS: Pinnacle Mountain State Park

ARKANSAS: Pinnacle Mountain State Park
Fall colors at Pinnacle Mountain State Park.
mnapoli/ Shutterstock

Located 30 minutes from Little Rock, Pinnacle Mountain is an iconic landmark in central Arkansas that features more than 40 miles of hiking trails. Once you make it to the top, it is one of the best places in the state to view fall foliage.

CALIFORNIA: The Annual Half Moon Bay Art & Pumpkin Festival in Half Moon Bay

CALIFORNIA: The Annual Half Moon Bay Art & Pumpkin Festival in Half Moon Bay
A giant pumpkin at The Annual Half Moon Bay Art & Pumpkin Festival.
Facebook/ Half Moon Bay Pumpkin Festival

What better place to celebrate fall than in the World Pumpkin Capital of Half Moon Bay, California? The annual festival has an abundance of pumpkin patches, harvest-inspired crafts, pumpkin carving, a parade, and more! Don't forget the main event a giant pumpkin weigh-off with some pumpkins coming in at over 1,000 pounds.

COLORADO: September Splendor in the Rockies in Crested Butte

COLORADO: September Splendor in the Rockies in Crested Butte
Crested Butte has some of the best hiking in the state.
Adam Springer/Shutterstock

Colorado's aspen are famous for their fiery colors. See some of the best transformations at September Splendor in the Rockies (weekends through September) by heading to Crested Butte, which is home to some of the state's largest aspen. Weekends here see self-guided tours, farmers' markets, art walks, and a harvest festival.

FLORIDA: Walt Disney World in Orlando

FLORIDA: Walt Disney World in Orlando
Fall makes Disney World even more magical.
erin leigh mcconnell/Flickr Creative Commons

Going to Disney World in the fall means you get to miss out on the summer crowds and beat the heat. There are also a lot of cool Halloween festivals including Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party, where kids of all ages can dress up and head to the Magic Kingdom after dark.

IDAHO: Boise River Greenbelt in Boise

IDAHO: Boise River Greenbelt in Boise
This 46-mile trail is the area's most popular.
Facebook/ Boise River Greenbelt

Known as the "Ribbon of Jewels," the Boise River Greenbelt is the area's most popular trail and connects several local Idahoan landmarks, as well as eight parks that honor civic leaders. Boise is known as the City of Trees, and the Greenbelt is the perfect place to enjoy the city's natural beauty especially when it's filled with 46-miles of fall color.

ILLINOIS: Morton Arboretum in Lisle

ILLINOIS: Morton Arboretum in Lisle
Morton Arboretum in the fall.
Wildnerdpix/ Shutterstock

The Morton Arboretum was founded in 1922, hoping to become a "great outdoor museum" of trees. What better place to see the fall foliage than that? The 1,700-acre arboretum is home to more than 222,000 live plants, as well as a children's garden, a maze, nine miles of roads for biking, and 16 miles of hiking trails.

INDIANA: Holiday World’s Happy Halloween Weekends in Santa Claus

INDIANA: Holiday World’s Happy Halloween Weekends in Santa Claus
The entrance to Holiday World’s Happy Halloween Weekends.
Facebook/ Holiday World & Splashin' Safari

Holiday World's Happy Halloween Weekends include 12 acres of corn mazes and hayrides, Halloween themed shows, and a costume party. Located in Santa Claus, Indiana, the theme and water park is divided into four sections — Christmas, Halloween, Thanksgiving and the Fourth of July, each featuring rides and attractions that will get you into the spirit of each holiday.

IOWA: Eagle Point Park in Dubuque

IOWA: Eagle Point Park in Dubuque
Eagle Point Park offers up a tri-state view of Iowa, Illinois and Wisconsin.
Flickr/ SD Dirk

This stunning park is dubbed "one of the most outstanding parks in the Midwest." With 164 acres of trails to explore, the lookout point at the top offers breathtaking views of the Mississippi River, the Lock and Dam No. 11, and a tri-state view of Iowa, Illinois, and Wisconsin.

KANSAS: Kansas State Fair in Hutchinson

KANSAS: Kansas State Fair in Hutchinson
The Kansas State Fair.
Facebook/ Kansas State Fair

The Kansas State Fair (September 8-18) is a fall staple, and one of the biggest events in Kansas, attracting approximately 350,000 people annually. There's music, livestock, rides, and, of course, tons of deep-fried snacks, as well as locally beloved moink balls (meatballs wrapped in bacon).

KENTUCKY: Cumberland Gap in Middlesboro

KENTUCKY: Cumberland Gap in Middlesboro
An old Hensley Settlement structure at Cumberland Gap.
anthony heflin / Shutterstock

A narrow pass through the Cumberland Mountains, the Cumberland Gap was used by Native Americans and pioneers. With 70 miles of hiking trails and tours available of remaining structures from the 20th century Hensley Settlement, the park allows visitors tons of space to roam and explore.

LOUISIANA: Red River Revel in Shreveport

LOUISIANA: Red River Revel in Shreveport
The Red River Revel hosts over 100 artists.
Facebook/ Red River Revel

The small town of Shreveport, Louisiana, truly comes alive in the fall by hosting one of the biggest art festivals in the US, the Red River Revel (September 30-October 7.) The festival features over 100 artists, four performance stages, 24 food booths, a children's arts education area, and three arts education programs.

MAINE: Harvest on the Harbor Festival in Portland

MAINE: Harvest on the Harbor Festival in Portland
Fresh, local produce at the Harvest on the Harbor Festival.
Facebook/ Harvest on the Harbor

Portland's annual Harvest on the Harbor (October 16-22) is one Maine's best festivals for foodies. The festivities take place every fall to celebrate local food and drink, and feature award-winning chefs, presentations, and live entertainment. There's even an entire day dedicated to Maine lobster, and to crowning the Maine Lobster Chef of the Year.

MARYLAND: Historic Annapolis in Annapolis

MARYLAND: Historic Annapolis in Annapolis
Colorful homes in Historic Annapolis.
Albert Pego/ Shutterstock

Fall is the most delightful time of the year to explore the charming streets of Annapolis' historic district. A designated National Historic Landmark District, visitors can visit national landmarks such as the Maryland State House, St. Anne's Church, and William Paca House.

MASSACHUSETTS: Halloween in Salem

MASSACHUSETTS: Halloween in Salem
The Salem Witch Museum.
Pierdelune/Shutterstock

Explore Salem's mystical history by visiting the Salem Witch Museum, or, if you're brave, participating in a ghost tour of the many allegedly haunted spots around the city. Halloween is celebrated throughout October, although the holiday is particularly festive in Salem thanks to its ties to witchcraft and the famous Salem Witch Trials.

MICHIGAN: Frankenmuth Oktoberfest in Frankenmuth

MICHIGAN: Frankenmuth Oktoberfest in Frankenmuth
A scene from Frankenmuth's Oktoberfest.
Facebook/ Frankenmuth Oktoberfest

The mayor of Munich once officially sanctioned the Frankenmuth Oktoberfest celebration. As the only event outside of Munich to receive such an honor, it's one of the most authentic Oktoberfests in the US. It takes place between September 14-17, and allows visitors to enjoy German music, food, and, of course, prost with authentic Hofbräuhaus München beer.

MINNESOTA: Sever's Fall Festival in Shakopee

MINNESOTA: Sever's Fall Festival in Shakopee
You can play in a pit of corn kernels at Sever's Fall Festival.
Facebook/ Sever's Fall Festival

Now in its 21st year, the Sever's Fall Festival (weekends from September 8 - October 27) is home to the second oldest corn maze in the United States, and the oldest in the Midwest. The festival features live music, pig races, hay rides, a petting zoo, a maze, and a corn pit.

MISSISSIPPI: Natchez Trace Parkway

MISSISSIPPI: Natchez Trace Parkway
Fall foliage along Natchez Trace.
Anton Foltin/ Shutterstock

This scenic drive is one of the best in the state for seeing the fall foliage. Running from Natchez, Mississippi, to to Nashville, Tennessee, it features plenty of rest stops and hikes along the way, like the Natchez Trace Parkway Rest Stop, which is rated the number 1 hike in Mississippi according to Foursquare.

MISSOURI: Missouri Botanical Garden in St. Louis

MISSOURI: Missouri Botanical Garden in St. Louis
Missouri Botanical Gardens.
Karen Bahr/ Shutterstock

The Missouri Botanical Garden, nicknamed Shaw's Garden for founder and philanthropist Henry Shaw, is one of the oldest botanical gardens in the US, and a National Historic Landmark. With 79 acres of greenery, it is the perfect place to escape the hustle and bustle of St. Louis to enjoy the mild fall weather and stunning fall foliage.

NEVADA: RiSE Lantern Festival on the Moapa Indian Reservation

NEVADA: RiSE Lantern Festival on the Moapa Indian Reservation
Lantern release at the RiSE Festival.
Rise Festival/Facebook

Las Vegas may be known for its bright lights, but the RiSE Festival's (October 6-7) annual lantern release takes it to the next level. Located a little over an hour outside of Las Vegas on the Moapa Indian Reservation, the festival is dedicated to bringing people together through music and the gorgeous display of thousands of lanterns filling up the night sky.

NEW MEXICO: The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta in Albuquerque

NEW MEXICO: The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta in Albuquerque
Over 500 hot air balloons participate in the festival every year.
Reuters/Lucas Jackson

Every October, people flock to Albuquerque to witness hundreds of hot air balloons fill up the sky during the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta. The annual event has been a staple in New Mexico for almost 50 years.

NEW YORK: The New York Film Festival in New York City

NEW YORK: The New York Film Festival in New York City
Robert Pattinson, Sienna Miller, Tom Holland, Agnus McFadyen and Edward Ashley attend the Closing Night Screening of 'The Lost City Of Z' for the 54th New York Film Festival on October 15, 2016.
Jamie McCarthy / Getty

The New York Film Festival (September 28 to October 15), founded in 1963, is one of New York's most anticipated events, allowing visitors to enjoy films screenings, panels, and other events celebrating the year in film. This year's 55th edition will feature the world premiere of Richard Linklater's "Last Flag Flying," and Woody Allen's "Coney Island."

NORTH CAROLINA: The Brushy Mountain Apple Festival in North Wilkesboro

NORTH CAROLINA: The Brushy Mountain Apple Festival in North Wilkesboro
Candy apples are a delicious way to celebrate fall.
Brushy Mountain Apple Festival/Facebook

The Brushy Mountain Apple Festival (October 7), now in its 40th year, is a quintessential small town fall festival. As the name suggests, the festival celebrates all things apples, and features the appropriately named "Apple Jam," a music festival with local performers.

NORTH DAKOTA: Potato Bowl USA in Grand Forks

NORTH DAKOTA: Potato Bowl USA in Grand Forks
A parade celebrating North Dakota's annual Potato Bowl.
Potato Bowl USA/Facebook

Every fall, the University of North Dakota and the community of Grand Forks celebrate both football season and the state's potato industry with the Potato Bowl. The festival includes parades and other festivities, capped off by a University of North Dakota Fighting Hawks football game.

OKLAHOMA: P Bar Farm's Corn Maze in Hydro

OKLAHOMA: P Bar Farm's Corn Maze in Hydro
There's no better way to celebrate fall than exploring a corn maze.
P Bar Farms/Facebook

P Bar Farms' annual corn maze opens to visitors on September 16, although those looking for a more festive fall experience can visit the farm's haunted corn maze after dark. Every year, the farm uses a new design for the maze, such as the Oklahoma City Thunder's logo, an outline of the shape of Oklahoma, or a picture of the Route 66 road sign.

OREGON: The Spirit of Halloweentown festival in Saint Helens

OREGON: The Spirit of Halloweentown festival in Saint Helens
The Spirit of Halloweentown festival in St. Helens, Oregon.
Spirit of Halloweentown/Facebook

If you're a fan of the 1998 Disney movie "Halloweentown," Saint Helens, Oregon, needs to be on your bucket list. The town where the Halloween classic was filmed hosts an annual festival in October, celebrating the spooky holiday throughout the month.

Kimberly J. Brown, who starred as Marnie Cromwell, has even made an appearance at the festival in recent years.

PENNSYLVANIA: Ricketts Glen State Park in Benton

PENNSYLVANIA: Ricketts Glen State Park in Benton
Fall is the perfect time to explore Ricketts Glen State Park and its breathtaking waterfalls.
Delmas Lehman/Shutterstock

Central Pennsylvania is known for its farmlands and rolling hills — Rickett's Glen is a perfect example of the beautiful scenery the area has to offer.

Hikers can explore seemingly never-ending waterfalls on a visit to the state park. The fall foliage is an added bonus.

RHODE ISLAND: The Roger Williams Zoo Jack-o-Lantern Spectacular in Providence

RHODE ISLAND: The Roger Williams Zoo Jack-o-Lantern Spectacular in Providence
These are not your average Jack-o-lanterns.
AP Photo/Charles Krupa

If you're hoping to gain some inspiration for your own pumpkin carving, look no further than the Roger Williams Zoo's Jack-o-Lantern Spectacular. Every year, over 5,000 beautifully carved pumpkins are put on display at the zoo in October and November.

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