While we are all about a Connecticut Summer, there is something truly special about Fall in New England. As the crisp autumn air begins to make the leaves dance, New Englanders gravitate towards the countryside for a much-needed change of scenery. Friends gather around backyard fire pits to roast S’mores-- and apple cider donuts become a go-to guilty pleasure.
The smell of pumpkin spice is in the air (or your coffee mug, at least), the anticipation of Halloween starts to set in and everyone seems content with turning in their bathing suits & flip flops for flannel shirts & bean-boots (as long as it means you'll get an afternoon of apple picking)!
Connecticut shows some of it's best colors in the autumn months. We want to help you take advantage of this incredible season because one thing we know for sure is that it will be over before you know it. We have compiled a list of some of our favorite Fall activities and we will likely add to it throughout the season. As you explore CT this Fall, use the hashtag #FallingFor203 to loop us in on your autumn traditions, so that in years to come we can add them to our list!
We believe in the importance of celebrating each season to its absolute fullest! This month we are totally #FallingFor203 and we think you are too.
The 203's Fall Favorites...
Visit a Connecticut Cider Mill: Connecticut is home to several legendary Cider Mills. Here are a few of our faves!
Clyde’s Cider Mill, Mystic CT: This CT winery produces cider, hard cider, and apple wine. Clyde’s is the oldest steam-powered cider mill in the United States and it's a national historic landmark.
Beardsley Cider Mill, Shelton CT This spot much closer to home (for us) than Clyde's (and a stone throw away from Jones Family Farm) so it's a great option if Clyde's is far from your location. Fantastic cider!!
Hogans Cider Mill, Burlington CT.
Take a Fall Drive: Long drives on windy country roads have always been a Fall family tradition for us. The colonial houses, historic towns, rambling stone walls, classic old barns, sprawling horse farms, local veggie stands… it’s amazing what you can find on a drive!
Here are our top picks:
- Get lost on back roads in Easton. Stop in for brunch at either The Blue Bird Inn or Kings in Monroe.
- CT Visits has mapped out 7 Fall Foliage drives and we are dying to try them all! Last Fall we absolutely loved “Mystic Country and the Coast” as well as “Connecticut River Color”! THIS Fall we are psyched to try the “Litchfield Hills Ramble”. You can check out all of their Fall drive suggestions by CLICKING HERE.
NEXT UP: Visit a local Farm: Apple picking, pumpkin patches, corn mazes, hay rides.. you get the gist! There are SO many fantastic local farms to celebrate in CT, and we absolutely trying our suggestions from all of YOU! Looking to visits a CT Fall this Fall? Here are a few to get you started…
Jones Family Farm, Shelton CT: This family-run farm is a “one-stop shop” for all things FALL. Let the kids get lost in the corn maze, or pick the perfect pumpkin, while you sip wine from their vineyard. They also offer a fun hat ride around the farm. This farm checks all of the boxes, and is great for families! (PLUS we love the view)
Castle Hill Farm, Newtown, CT: This corn maze was THE most suggested by our followers— and for GOOD reason! The Castle Hill Corn Maze is a long standing Connecticut Fall tradition. The maze spans SEVEN miles and each year they create a complexly new maze. Looking for a bigger challenge? They offer a one night only “Flashlight Corn Maze” experience (this year on Sat, Nov 2nd) Find out all the details on Castle Hill’s Corn Maze by CLICKING HERE.
Silverman’s Farm, Easton CT: We grew up on Silverman’s cider and still can’t pass it without stopping for an apple cider sippy cup! If you choose Silverman's for your pumpkin picking needs… Test your luck at scoring one for FREE! All you have to do is guess it's weight within 2 oz :)
• Lyman Orchards: Don’t miss their hard apple cider!
• Bishop’s Orchards - Guildford
• Blue Jay Orchards - Bethel
Take a Hike! It is officially the perfect hiking weather in CT and lucky for you.. .there are so many great options! Here a few of our faves:
Devil’s Den - Weston. Is Fairfield County’s largest preserve. With over 1,700 acres and about 10 miles of hiking trails, this is one of our go-to hiking spots!
Sleeping Giant- Hamden. Great high altitude hike that rewards you with impressive panoramic views! Personal Fave.
Chapman Falls @ Devil's Hopyard State Park- East Hamden. This 1,000-acre park offers great hiking, fishing, bicycling, picnicking, and camping. But don't miss the .5 mile Chapman Falls Loop!
Scalzi Park - Stamford: This is a cute little park just north of downtown Stamford. A great easy escape from the city.
Waveny Park - New Canaan.
Mianus River Trail - Greenwich / Stamford
Check out the Connecticut Wine Trail: Exploring the Connecticut wine trail is something that's on the very top of OUR bucket list this Fall. We are excited to visit even more of CT’s very own vineyards and we are planning on using THIS TOOL as a resource. Some of our faves so far: @gouveiavineyards , @jonesFamilyFarms, and @chamardvineyards.
Explore a new town— Connecticut is home to so many picturesque towns, and it feels almost impossible to visit them all. Here are a few of our favorite day trip towns (depending on where you live, this will vary)
• Essex: Adorable old fishing town nestled on the Connecticut River. We suggest having a long lunch at the Griswold Inn then taking a stroll through the village to window shop (Stop for coffee at Essex Coffee on Main St). Pay attention to historic houses and architecture. Don’t leave without walking down to the River! For an added adventure take a fall foliage ride on the Essex Steam Train!
• Mystic: Travel here along route 27 for coastal leaf-peeping goodness! Visit Mystic Knot Works for a locally made rope bracelets and accessories. Take a Fall Foliage Mystic River Cruise! Do some window shopping in the Olde Mystic Village. Have a bite to eat at The Engine Room for the best Burgers, beer, and bourbon. Don't forget to visit Clyde’sCider Mill!
• New Canaan: We love New Canaan’s picturesque downtown area (it is walking distance from their train station too). There are endless restaurants, shops & cafes to explore as well as a local movie theater which plays recent films. Downtown New Canaan is always looking festive (look out for the scarecrows that line Main Street starting mid-October). Don't leave town without checking out Grace Farms - a state-of-the-art Community center which provides 80 acres of endless activities to locals.
Cheers to BEERS!
It’s no secret that we love ourselves a gooood local brewery, and when we have extra time over the weekends in the Fall you can often find us picking a new brewery to explore. Whether we are taking a day trip or planning on an overnight weekend getaway with friends… we use THIS TOOL to begin the planning process. *Pro Tip — pick an area and stick to it. Choose out a brewery or two, pair it with a Fall drive, a local farm experience, and even a CT vineyard and have yourself a weekend! Don’t forget to allocate some extra time for fun and unique things you might find along the way. We love stopping at old antique shops, local cafes and alllll the farm stands!
We hope this round-up helps all of YOU make the most of your Fall Season in Connecticut! Don't forget to share your Fall adventures with us by using #FallingForThe203 -- We can't wait to follow along on your adventures!