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The fall weather brings cooler temperatures and a good reason to get outside and explore your surroundings before the winter chill arrives.
There are many beautiful spots across the United States that offer an autumn blast of color mixed with tasty adventures.
In the state of Texas, we are eager to leave the summer heat behind us. The cooler weather of the fall brings us outdoors to enjoy the sights and smells of the season. It is a chance to enjoy the local countryside with an outing that welcomes the changing landscape.
During the months of September and October there are several tasty events throughout the state of Texas to choose from:
Salado’s Chocolate and Wine Weekend in Salado Texas (about an hour north of Austin) is an annual event held on Sept 19-21th. A whole weekend designed to indulge your taste buds. There is even a "chocolate trail" that leads you through the village of Salado, making 12 stops for a variety of shops and sweets. Check the link above for directions and tickets for different events. There are cooking classes and some events for children. Live jazz music is planned for Saturday evening. This is small town America so take a slower pace and enjoy.
Texas Craft Brewers Festival in Austin is held at Fiesta Gardens in Austin on Sept 27th. This is one for the beer lovers, the ticket cost includes six sampling tokens to enjoy a variety of flavors. A fun time to support the local brewers and there will be plenty of food selections to complement the suds.
Fredericksburg Texas is community north of San Antonio and in a region called the Hill Country. It is well known for the many Texas wineries in the area. The town offers an annual event in the fall called the Fredericksburg Food and Wine Fest that is held on Main Street, this year on October 25th. General admission will get you a ticket with six wine tastings. In addition to the wine and food, there is live music, an auction, cooking demonstrations and of course, a grape toss. The cooking school is "Grape Expectations". Check the schedule of activities and map on the link above.
Best places for fall festivals
Across the U.S. there are many locations that offer a variety of fall celebrations. Most people think of the fall tours in the Northeast or to see the Aspen trees in Colorado, where they can get a dramatic view of the autumn colors. But there are other events to consider during this season of color.
In Ohio, they honor the pumpkin with an annual showing held in Circleville, Ohio. Circleville Pumpkin Show gives Ohio a reason to go gourd crazy in October with the show held over the weekend of October 15th to 18th this year. It is always held the 3rd Wednesday through Sunday of October and Circleville is about 25 miles south of Columbus Ohio. See the link for more details on the weekend activities such as parades, dance groups, contests, live music, parades and of course pumpkin carvings.
If you are close to New Mexico, head to Albuquerque for the annual Balloon Fiesta on October 4th to 12th. This is a premier annual event and a wonderful place for photographers to capture the sky full of colors with the hundreds of balloons. This event started back in 1972 and is now the largest balloon event in the world filling over 78 acres. The link above will provide information on the tickets and tips for visitors. Expecting huge crowds, there is a shuttle ride system for the convenience of park and ride. Over 500 balloons will take about two hours to launch. And look for balloon rides with a $30 off discount online for "Rainbow Ryders" with the link above. You can get a real sense of the surrounding beauty looking down from a hot air balloon in New Mexico.
What to bring
As you plan your adventure, pack your camera and a picnic for the road trip. Stop to take some scenic photos of the changing colors or explore a new place to eat along the way. Bring back some local produce or recipes to try later. Get creative with pumpkin dishes and enjoy the fall season.