Crisp air, the fresh smell of newly fallen leaves, the splendor of fall foliage, hot apple cider, and festivals are just some of the reasons fall is one of our favorite seasons. Autumn is a favorite for so many reasons, celebrating the harvest season with family and friends at a fall festival is at the top of the list for reasons to love fall. From major metropolitan cities to rural towns, fall festivals occur all over the country this time of year. From The Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze in New York to a fall festival celebrating Bourbon in Kentucky, here are some of the best fall festivals in the U.S.
The Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze
Hudson Valley, New York
Celebrate Halloween with the Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze on the grounds of Van Cortlandt Manor (make reservations in advance), where there are more than 7,000 pumpkins displayed each night, including the New York City Skyline, recreated with pumpkins. Stroll through the displays paired with lighting and synchronized music.
Albuquerque International Balloon Festival
Albuquerque, New Mexico
One of the most photographed and especially spectacular festivals, the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta makes Albuquerque one of October’s best places to travel. See hundreds of ornate balloons ascending during the exhilarating “Mass Ascension,” when all participating balloons ascend simultaneously. From Fireworks to music performances to nighttime balloon flights, you shouldn’t miss this fall festival.
Punkin’ Chunkin’ Festival
Ever seen a pumpkin fly, in particular from a catapult? If not, The Punkin’ Chunkin’ Festival is the place to witness it. Adult and Children can enter the Punkin’ Chunkin’ Contest to see how far their pumpkin can fly using trebuchets and catapults. Featuring a BBQ competition and farmers market all taking place along the shores of the St. Lawrence river.
Harvest on the Harbor
Portland’s annual Harvest on the Harbor fall festival showcases the local restaurants and regional cuisine. Some of the best distilleries in the world are located in Maine, enjoy samplings of local distilleries and breweries from around the area. Don’t miss the Oysterfest featuring local Oysters and beer. Spirits, Beer, Oysters, fall foliage, and so much more make Harvest on the Harbour a must-visit fall festival.
Kentucky Bourban Festival
Bardstown, Kentucky, is the Bourbon Capital of the World. What better way to celebrate Fall than a Bourban Festival. Sixty-nine percent of the world’s Bourbon is made in Bardstown and the surrounding areas. Learn about the Bourban making process, enjoy Bourban samples along and a Bourban barrel race.
Paw Paw Wine and Harvest Festival
Paw Paw, Michigan
Part of the lower Michigan Wine Country region, Paw Paw Wine and Harvest Festival is one of the best fall festivals in Michigan and the overall Midwest. Featuring grape stomping, a kayak race, live music, carnival rides, and fireworks. Enjoy regional wine and family-friendly fun a short drive from Chicago.
Kona Coffee Cultural Festival
The oldest food festival in Hawaii, The Kona Coffee Cultural Festival celebrates Hawaii’s rich coffee-growing history and culture. The festival includes farm tours, barista training, recipe contests, art exhibitions, and more. If you are unable to jet off to Hawaii, join some of their virtual events.
Applejack Harvest Festival
Nebraska City, Nebraska
Apples Everywhere! Apple cider, apple pie, caramel apples, and doughnuts, what better way to celebrate fall than with all things apples. The Applejack Harvest Festival includes a classic car show, extreme bull riding, and food trucks! Come on an empty stomach because sampling all of the apple delights will undoubtedly leave you full.
Egg Harbour Pumpkin Patch Festival
Egg Harbour, Wisconsin
Door County is one of the best places to visit in October, Egg Harbour Pumpkin Patch Festival is the perfect place to celebrate fall and all it has to offer. Enjoy live music, carnival rides, local crafters and artisans, and the perfection of fall foliage.