NOT YOUR TYPICAL FALL FOLIAGE ACTIVITIES
IgoUgo editors search near and far to find new ways to celebrate the changing of the seasons
NEW YORK – August 21, 2008 – Fall foliage – most of us have been there and done that. This year, editors at IgoUgo® have pulled together a list of autumn activities that are beyond the usual. Don’t spend fall getaways in the car; check out the leaves while navigating a giant corn maze, or sipping wine at the vineyards in Napa Valley and beyond.
“Fall is a perfect time to enjoy the changing leaves, but leaf peeping isn’t the only way to experience the autumn glow,” said Michelle Doucette, content manager at IgoUgo.com. “There are a number of fall activities where the foliage can be enjoyed while experiencing something new.”
IgoUgo editors, with the help and recommendations of their savvy members, have pulled together some unique and fun alternatives for welcoming the changing season:
Fall is one of the best times to visit vineyards, as they are busy gathering the year’s crop of grapes. While the leaves are changing, wineries are harvesting and crushing grapes and blending the wines from the harvest. There’s usually a lot more to see than fermenting barrels; check local wineries to see if they have any special activities surrounding the grape harvest season – there might even be a chance to participate in the harvest itself.
IgoUgo editors note that vineyards are taking root across the nation, and almost every one offers some sort of harvest festival. A favorite IgoUgo pick? The 25th Annual Napa Valley Harvest Festival – an IgoUgo member recently noted: “Wine country in general is absolutely a great place to visit, even if you don't like wine all that much. Napa Valley’s autumn color was so beautiful we will be going back—and I'm from New England.”
Corn is not just something for cookouts – this year there are corn mazes popping up in almost every state of the country, providing endless hours of fun for those not afraid to get a little lost!
IgoUgo members recommend the Amazing Maize Maze in Huntersville, NC, which takes place from September through November. “Every two years, thousands of people descend on Rural Hill Farms to get lost in a corn maze. One nice thing is you make new friends, as you will be certain to pass the same people over and over again who are as lost as you are.”
Another great place to check out is the Amish Farm and House Corn Maze in Lancaster, Pa. From mid-July to October 2008 is the best time to visit. One IgoUgo member says, “In operation since the early 1700s, the Amish Farm and House offers an intimate look into the simple lifestyle of the Old Order Amish. And the corn maze is able to confuse the wits of anybody.”
Typically a summer activity, fall is also a great time to experience balloon festivals. The International Balloon Fiesta in Albuquerque, NM, lasts from October 3 -12, 2008, and one IgoUgo member suggests, “Come in the fall. The weather cools down, the foliage turns the city to gold, and the International Balloon Fiesta fills the sky with thousands of balloons.”
Editors also suggest checking out the Adirondack Balloon Festival in New York State, which begins on Thursday, September 18th and lasts four days.
While the birds are heading south for the season, look north to experience some of the most amazing hawk- and bird-watching. The fall is the best time to spot exquisite birds that are hard to find in other seasons. IgoUgo members recommend Lynchburg, Va., and the Appalachian Mountains: “If you come in fall, you can see the hawks as they make their way from north to south. Take a drive up or down the Blue Ridge Parkway, and pull off at many of the roadside areas to eye the terrific views.”
Editors also recommend checking out the many spots along the Mississippi Flyway – one of the routes used by millions of birds to fly south for the winter. Horicon Marsh in central Wisconsin is one of the largest cattail marshes in the world, and a stopover for millions of migrating Canadian geese each fall.
Pumpkin Picking and More
There are “pick your own” farms across the country for all kinds of fruits of the harvest such as blueberries, blackberries, peaches and apples. IgoUgo members note that a trip to pick apples near Syracuse is “worth the drive to the country on a crisp fall day.”
But it would not be fall without at least one pumpkin-picking activity. IgoUgo editors suggest taking the activity to the next level and finding a festival.
The Pumpkinfest in Mishicot, Wis., “is a celebration of harvest with a parade, free petting zoo and hay maze, pumpkin-carving contest, hayrides and costume contest. The downtown area of Mishicot becomes a sidewalk bazaar with many local stores and craftsmen participating. The Fox Hills Resort hosted a bonfire just after sunset and we were given all the s'mores we could eat amid scary stories,” says one IgoUgo member.
Unlike summer’s often sweaty affairs, the straggling state fairs of autumn offer pleasant weather and a colorful backdrop to their even more colorful midways. Arizona’s state fair (October 10-November 2) embraces the season with kids’ harvest activities, while adults enjoy the dynamic show outdoors. As one IgoUgo member divulged, “Phoenix is a wonderful and unknown place to enjoy the changing of the seasons and the fall colors.”
Other IgoUgo editor picks include the October fairs of Texas, Arkansas, Virginia and North Carolina, which one member loves so much he goes “almost every year.”
For more fun fall activity ideas, go to www.igougo.com.
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