Nature is changing its colors and the air is becoming cooler and crisp. It’s that time of year again—autumn.
As we wave goodbye to summer, we begin to embrace cozy nights by a fire, hot apple cider, warmer clothes, and the onset of the holidays to come. (And maybe a pumpkin spiced latte or two).
It’s also time to embrace fall foliage festivals, which is why we’ve compiled a list of the best ones in the United States for you to check out. Keep reading to learn more.
What Are Fall Foliage Festivals All About?
There’s more to autumn than pumpkin spice things and Halloween scares.
Fall foliage festivals, otherwise known as harvest festivals, are all about welcoming the change of season. This welcoming includes embracing all of the flavors of fall, along with the changing colors and activities.
These fall festivals are the best way to enjoy the new season. They’re jam-packed with family fun, contests, events, vendors, adult beverages, local traditions, and a whole new slew of seasonal foods.
Here are seven of the fall festivals you just can’t miss:
#1 Harvest on the Harbor
Did you know that October is the peak time for fall foliage festivals in Maine? It’s the perfect time for the shores of Portland to host their Harvest on the Harbor fest.
During this four-day festival, thousands of people make their way up the North East to enjoy locally-sourced foods prepared by top chefs, as well as the local beers and wines. So, if the beautiful foliage isn’t enough to get you there, perhaps the breweries, fresh lobster, and barbeque extravaganza will
You can find more info here.
#2 German Village Oktoberfest
Your fall festival circuit wouldn’t be complete without an Oktoberfest. And, luckily, you don’t have to travel all the way to Germany to attend one. You’ll find everything you’re looking for in Colombus, Ohio.
This three day Oktoberfest happens in a 100,000 square-foot pavilion—just enough room for a stage for live music, a dance floor, and of course, beer. But beer isn’t the only thing this festival has to offer. There will be plenty of vendors selling their artisan goods in the Giant Eagle Marketplaz as well as a German parade and kids’ events.
All accompanied by traditional German food favorites!
You can find more Oktoberfest info here.
#3 The Pumpkin Show
Nothing signifies the autumn season like thousands of pumpkins lining the streets—which is why the Circleville, Ohio Pumpkin Show attracts over 400,000 visitors each year.
Starting in 1946, the traditions of this festival include the world’s largest pumpkin pie as well as plenty of giant pumpkins. There are street fairs, live music, contests, parades, and a wide variety of pumpkin-flavored treats. There’s even a “Little Miss Pumpkin” pageant.
If you plan on going to just one fall festival this year, make it the Pumpkin Show.
You can find more info here.
#4 The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta
This nine-day extraordinary fall festival is for the non-traditionalists. We’re sorry to inform you that you probably won’t encounter any cider, pumpkins or pumpkin-flavored things, but you will become immersed in New Mexico’s incredible cultural traditions.
During the International Balloon Fiesta, you’ll experience over 500 hot-air balloons taking to the sky. There are contests, dawn patrol, fireworks, a special rodeo, live music, and more. And trust us, the sights of the Rio Grande Valley in October will give you a whole new meaning to autumn sunrises and sunsets.
You can find more Fiesta info here.
#5 The National Apple Harvest Festival
In case you needed a little break from pumpkins, this festival is all about apples. The National Apple Harvest festival takes place on Red Delicious Dr, in Biglerville, Pennsylvania. It’s held during the first two full weekends in October, and it has something for everyone.
For 50 years and counting this festival provides beautiful artisan crafts, live music, contests, demonstrations, antique car shows, and wonderful food. Oh, and lots of apples!
There’s no on-site parking here, so it’s best to stay in the area over the weekend. And you’ll want to practice bobbing for apples before you go.
You can find more Apple Harvest info here.
#6 The Jim Thorpe Fall Foliage Festival
The Poconos are always a good idea, especially in the fall. The Jim Thorpe Fall Foliage festival IS autumn in all of its splendor.
Every Saturday and Sunday during the month of October you can come to the unique town of Lehigh Gorge, Pennsylvania and experience scenic train rides, free live music, contests, great food, handmade arts, and crafts, children’s activities, shops, galleries, and best of all—spooky ghost tours.
You can find more Fall Foliage festival info here.
#7 The Wine and Chile Fiesta
Here’s another one for the non-traditionalists and all the wine lovers out there.
The Wine and Chile Fiesta is a five-day festival that celebrates the traditions and culture of Santa Fe, New Mexico. And yes, these traditions involve a lot of chiles.
Not to worry if you can’t stomach spicy foods. This festival features Santa Fe’s best restaurants along with 90 national wineries. Here you’ll experience cooking demos, food, and wine tastings, live auctions, music, films, and more.
Sorry, but you’re going to have to leave the kids at home for this one—the festival is 21 and older.
You can find more Chile Fiesta info here.
Ready, Set, Fall Festival!
There are plenty of fall foliage festivals to go around, so you’ll always somewhere new to explore each year. Don’t forget to check back with us daily for useful articles on travel, lifestyle, and more.