10 Things To Do This Fall
Friday, September 24, 2010
For many Rhode Islanders, fall takes top honors as their favorite season, and when lucky, its mild temperatures and crisp air can stretch late into November. There are only so many weeks to take full advantage of the season, so here’s our top 10, in no particular order, to make room for before Old Man Winter comes knocking at the door!
1. Escobar's Highland Farm Corn Maze
Find your way out of 8 acres of double overhead corn stalks, sip some cider and embark on a hay ride. This weekend is the annual pumpkin festival, and next month welcomes Harry Potter Day (10/17) and a Halloween Party (10/30). Visit www.escobarshighlandfarm.com for details (and a discount coupon).
2. Ghost Tours
You, me and the paranormal make three! Get spooked at a haunted haunt in your neck of the woods or explore new territory. Pawtucket’s Slater Mill Ghost Tours (featured on Ghost Hunters); the Ghost Walks and Ghost Tours of Providence, Newport’s Fortress of Nightmares at Fort Adams and downtown Ghost Tours explore the ghosts, graveyards and the unexplained of the Ocean State.
3. Apple pie, apple strudel, apple cider, apple mania!
Apple picking is quintessential autumn in Rhode Island. Check out our apple-picking guide and find the farm for you.
4. Wine your way through Rhode Island
Our coastal viticultural appellation combined with idyllic spring and summer weather has yielded what local winemakers are calling one of the best grape-growing seasons in a long time. While those robust beauties won’t find their way to a bottle soon, they do make for a stunning wine-tasting backdrop this time of year. Grab your Coastal Wine Trail passport and sniff, swirl and sip your weekends away.
5. Eins, zwei, g'suffa!
Newport beloved International Oktoberfest, a 3-day extravaganza of beer, bratwurst and Bavarian exuberance om-pa-pa’s its way into town October 9-11. Keep it family friendly in the kids area or kick it up a notch by toasting your stein with newly-made friends while rocking out to one of the great bands.
The Jack-O-Lantern Spectacular at Roger Williams Zoo takes the cake with 22 years under its belt and more than 10,000 pumpkins to share during the nearly month-long event, but other displays, including Newport’s Annual Ballard Park Pumpkin Tour on October 16 and Pawtucket’s Haunted Tunnel and Pumpkins in the Park on Fridays and Saturdays, October 9-30 are a thrill as well.
7. Leaf peep by boat
Sailing on Narragansett Bay is a treat this time of year as the already stunning vistas are peppered with a cacophony of color. If you don’t have your own boat or are unable to bum a ride on a friend’s, check out a Save the Bay or Rhode Island Bay Cruises Lighthouse tour, hop on of the many tour boats in Newport, hop the Prudence Island Ferry for a little jaunt, or even explore local estuaries by kayak.
8. Country roads
Inexpensive and adventurous, let the ‘ol family trickster lead you on an unhurried, unplugged (dare you to power off the smart phone) country drive. Some of the best include Rt. 77 through Tiverton and out to Little Compton, Rt. 44 in Smithfield, Rt. 1A through Westerly, Charlestown and South Kingston; and just about all of Jamestown.
9. Take a hike
Some of the state most awe-inspiring panoramas are from higher altitude, and there are plenty of local vantage points. Experienced climbers can take it to another level by bouldering at Lincoln Woods, while casual hikers should check out this site before trekking a new trail.
10. Savor local flavor
Apples, cranberries, pumpkins and more dress up local menus and let you taste your way through the season. Newport Restaurant Week, beer dinners, Taste of Rhode Island, eighteenth century dinners are just a few of the culinary events on the calendar.