When we think of the USA, we tend to think of cities – New York, Los Angeles, Chicago – and the cultural and historical landmarks we associate with them. But for those who want to experience a different kind of local culture, the US has plenty on offer as well. Fall is a great time to experience another quintessential American tradition: the fall and harvest festival.
We’ve highlighted just 5 out of dozens of festivals across the United states, so get ready to go off the beaten track on your next visit!
National Apple Harvest Festival – Arendtsville, Pennsylvania
Held on the first two weekends of October, the National Apple Harvest Festival offers just about every quaint fair attraction you might expect. From classic autumnal festival food like caramel apples (which are also a Halloween favourite), funnel cakes and barbeque, to a variety of apple-themed activities – anything from apple art to a cider mill – and of course the classic all-American pie-eating contest, you won’t lack things to see, eat and do! Have a look at appleharvest.com to find out more.
Sever’s Corn Maze and Fall Festival – Shakopee, Minnesota
If you’re looking for a truly classic fall-themed festival, look no further! Choose your own pumpkin to carve from the pumpkin patches, have a look at some pumpkin art or try to find your way through the corn maze. You can find all the details by visiting seversfallfestival.com.
Ellicottville Fall Festival – Ellicott, New York
Time to coincide with the peak New York state’s beautiful fall foliage, this festival truly celebrates autumn in style. Ellicott has a chairlift that will take you through the trees to the top of the hill to view the autumnal colours in all their glory, while below, tens of thousands of festivalgoers enjoy carnival rides, festival foods and live entertainment. You can find all the information you need at ellicottvilleny.com.
Leavenworth Oktoberfest – Leavenworth, Washington
If you find yourself missing Europe while you’re in the states, the Bavarian-style small town of Leavenworth offers a – somewhat exaggerated – version of the Oktoberfest throughout the month of October. Even without the festival, Leavenworth is well worth a visit: located in the middle of the gorgeous state of Washington, its hiking trails and stunning mountain views will take your breath away! For more information, visit leavenworthoktoberfest.com.
New Hampshire Pumpkin Festival – Laconia, New Hampshire
With over 40.000 attendees every year, this is the ultimate American pumpkin festival. Prepare to be amazed at the iconic jack ‘o lantern tower, enjoy a beer garden, horse-drawn hayrides, a zombie walk, bungee jumping and so much more. Check it out at nhpumpkinfestival.com.
From corn mazes to jack-o’-lantern towers, pie eating contests and an Oktoberfest in the middle of Washington state, American fall festivals have it all. Make sure you don’t miss these and many others! To travel to the US for touristic purposes, all UK citizens need is an ESTA. You can arrange this quickly and easily via www.application-esta.co.uk, so start planning an autumn holiday you won’t forget!