Grab the pumpkin spice, unpack your scarves, and get ready for fall! To make the most of this wonderful time of year, we’ve set out to find the best fall events and activities, from Oktoberfest to corn mazes, as well as destinations for fall and even the top seasonal beers to enjoy.
Expert panels made their nominations across seven autumnal categories, and readers decided who came out on top by casting votes for their favorites. Here are the winners.
Click on each category below to see the full winners list:
Best Apple Orchard: Libby & Son U-Picks in Limerick, Maine
Apple picking season at Libby & Son U-Picks in Maine extends from mid-August through the end of October, with varieties like Paula Red, McIntosh, Honeycrisp, and Empire on offer. On select days, guests enjoy live music that can be heard throughout the orchard.
Best Corn Maze: Treworgy Family Orchards in Levant, Maine
Treworgy Family Orchards wins Best Corn Maze for second year in a row — Photo courtesy of Treworgy Family Orchards
Host to the longest continually-running corn maze in the state, Treworgy’s Family Orchards’ maze covers over 4 acres and consists of 60,000 corn plants grown to a height of 10 feet. Guests who find the center of the maze can enjoy signing their names to the “Hall of Fame Board.”
Best Destination for Fall Foliage: Keystone State Park in Pennsylvania
Enjoy a palette of stunning fall colors at Keystone State Park — Photo courtesy of Clare Kaczmarek
Kayaking, wildlife watching, and hiking are all popular activities around Keystone State Park, a sprawling preserve that’s perfect for discovering the abundant beauty of Pennsylvania’s Laurel Highlands. Keystone Lake is certainly the main attraction around here, and autumn visitors can experience the water feature at its best during a stroll along the Lakeside Loop, a 2-mile trail that’s packed with pristine forest.
Best Fall Festival: West Side Nut Club Fall Festival in Evansville, Indiana
West Side Nut Club Fall Festival is a must-see when it comes to autumn events — Photo courtesy of Mike Fetscher, WSNC
The West Side Nut Club Fall Festival attracts more than 200,000 people to Franklin Street each year, making it one of the largest street festivals in the United States. The October event includes free live entertainment, carnival rides, over 130 food booths, talent competitions, and a huge fall parade.
Best Fall Seasonal Beer: Pumpkin Ale – Wallenpaupack Brewing Company
Fall flavors are captured in Pumpkin Ale from Wallenpaupack Brewing Company — Photo courtesy of Wallenpaupack Brewing Company
Once you’ve had your fill of apple picking, head to Wallenpaupack Brewing Company for a taste of prime Pennsylvania pumpkin flavors. Infused with added notes of ginger, nutmeg, and other seasonal spices, the brewery’s Pumpkin Ale is the perfect nightcap on a crisp autumn evening.
Best Oktoberfest: Cleveland Oktoberfest in Cleveland, Ohio
According to our readers, Cleveland rocks Oktoberfest — Photo courtesy of Cleveland Oktoberfest
Cleveland’s historic ties to German culture are on full display at Oktoberfest, an eagerly anticipated event that spans two separate September weekends. The city’s top breweries are all in attendance, but beyond the beer, guests can also enjoy live music, hearty pub fare, and a lengthy list of events ranging from car shows to wiener dog racing.
Best Place to Visit for Fall: Gatlinburg, Tennessee
Gatlinburg serves as the gateway to Great Smoky Mountains National Park, but there’s a wealth of attractions to enjoy right in town without setting foot outside of city limits. Upon arrival, visitors can tour iconic institutions like Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies, while the Gatlinburg Space Needle is perfect for basking in the beauty of the surrounding region from roughly 400 feet in the air.
Congratulations to all these winners! Remember to visit 10best.usatoday.com daily to vote in our Readers’ Choice Awards contests.