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Best Fall Activities in Connecticut

Bishop's Orchard October 2013

Bishop's Orchard October 2013

Fall may be the best season in New England! Sure we're lucky we get a good dose of each of the four seasons, but fall just brings the best weather, fun, activities and food!

There is so much to do during the fall months of September, October, and November in Connecticut. Although it's a small state it offers a plethora of activities that will interest anyone. From boating on Long Island Sound, to apple picking in 100 year old orchards, to leaf peeking! The nutmeg state is a fun place to be!

Below are a few activities that you can do in the fall in Connecticut.



Believe it or not, fall is a great time to go to the beach! The best times are in September and early October, if the weather holds out. As the oppressive humidity of the summer leaves, the skies clear to magnificent blues, the temperature begins to dip but Long Island Sound stays pretty warm. The temperature of Long Island Sound runs from the mid to low 70's in early September to the mid 60's in October. It's not the bath like water of the tropics but still warm enough to enjoy! There's nothing like taking some of your work to the beach on a weekday, sitting out on an empty beach, you won't be sweating from the heat but the breeze still feels warm. If your not a beach bum and want to be more active, September is a great month to go kayaking and sailing. Other activities you can do at the beach include fishing, beach volleyball, or just hanging out after a long work week. Although not what you think of for fall in New England, the beach is a great spot to ease yourself into the autumn season!

Dusk over Long Island Sound!

Dusk over Long Island Sound!

Apple picking in the fall is quintessential New England!

Apple picking in the fall is quintessential New England!

Apple and Pumpkin Picking

Now on to the more traditional fall activities, ones that are the embodiment of fall in New England. Yes! I'm talking about apple and pumpkin picking! Two great activities that result in some great rewards. I love going apple picking in September, walking up and down the rows of trees, searching for the apples that call out to me, eating one or two on the way! Two large apple picking farms in Connecticut include Bishop's Orchard in Guilford and Lyman's Orchard in Middlefield. Both farms offer areas for people to go out and pick their own apples (as well as other fruits throughout the growing season), something that everyone should try. If you don't feel like walking around picking your own apples, the farms have stores that seel bags of apples already picked from the orchards. They also have much more including apple cider doughnuts, apple pie, pumpkin pie, apple wine, and of course apple cider. Between the apple picking and the store, visiting these orchards can be a full day out!

A few weeks after apple picking, usually when your apples run out and all the pies have been eaten,and your cider bottles are empty, it's time to go back and visit but this time for pumpkins! Yes in October its time for pumpkins. Although you don't get to pick your own pumpkin off the plant, you do get to wander through a beautiful landscape of orange globes, delicately placed for everyone to get to, even the youngest of us. Once you pick your pumpkins, why not go grab more apples, or apple cider and pies, they have them all! Usually its cooler out by the time your picking up your pumpkin and what better way to spend a fall afternoon then on a rustic farm; nothing could feel more like fall in New England!

Fall colors in the trees!

Fall colors in the trees!

Autumn's foliage at Lake Waramaug in Kent, CT

Autumn's foliage at Lake Waramaug in Kent, CT

Fall Foliage

Now what would fall be like without the spectacular painting of the landscape? The reds, yellows, and oranges that flood the canopy of trees in Connecticut is worth the long ride in the car. Connecticut is fairly wooded for it's higher population density but this mix of human design with nature's design creates a unique and beautiful scene.

Many say the best views of fall foliage are in Litchfield County. Litchfield County is located in the Northwestern section of the state, with Massachusetts to the north and New York to the west. It's higher elevation and lower population provides vast areas of forest, which turns to brilliant colors in early to mid October. Due to the difference in elevation in the state and the impacts of a warm Long Island sound, the coastal areas don't see peak colors to Halloween. This means for majority of the month of October there is brilliant fall foliage in the small state, something that many places can't claim! So why not drive up route 8 into the Litchfield hills to see the rustic buildings surrounded by the elegant colors of nature.

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Go for a Hike!

Want to enjoy the cool crisp weather and blue skies? Why not go for a hike, I promise the rewards will be AMAZING!

From the great workout to the spectacular views, a hike in CT in the fall is one of the best things you can do! The cooler temps allow for less sweating and fall foliage gives you a beautiful view!

There are many hiking spots in CT, ranging throughout the elevations. One of the best spots to hike in south-central CT is Sleeping Giant State Park in Hamden, CT. There's even a CASTLE at the top and yes, from a distance the park looks like a sleeping giant!!!

View from Sleeping Giant State Park in Hamden, CT looking over fall foliage to the northeast.

View from Sleeping Giant State Park in Hamden, CT looking over fall foliage to the northeast.

Town Fairs

Another staple of fall in New England and Connecticut is the town fair. There are a number of great town fairs to attend throughout the fall in Connecticut. From local fairs like the Orange Town fair in Orange, CT, to the large fairs of Durham town fair. Then of course there is the Big E, which isn't in Connecticut but just over the border in Massachusetts. The Big E is a giant fair for all of New England and even has specific days and locations dedicated to each New England State. So not only is there a building for Connecticut but there is also a Connecticut day as well! Town fairs are great places to go for the weekend and enjoy the traditional activities as well as the more modern carnivals! Compete in a photo contest or vegetable contest, or grab yourself some great food and enjoy the rides and fireworks. There is always something fun to do at any one of these fairs in Connecticut.

All Things Halloween

As fall begins to resemble the bleak browns of winter what better activity to look forward to then everything associated with Halloween! You can carve the pumpkins you picked up at the Orchards, dip the apples in carmel or bob for them at a Halloween party. However, Connecticut is not limited to just personal parties, there are some great events that are great fun in the ghostly holiday. One of my personal favorites is the Trail of Terror, an outdoor haunted house of sorts. Its located in Wallingford, CT and runs every weekend in October. The volunteers dress up in costumes, with handmade scenes set up in the woods. You walk through the trail as a group, walking through horror movie scenes with actors that pop out at you. The thrill of it all is great fun!

If the Trail of Terror didn't scare you enough, why not go to a supernatural museum? The New England Society for Psychic Research is located in Monroe, Ct. This is the occult museum of the famous Warren's who investigated supernatural activities for years, collecting a lot of evidence that is on display, including a famous Raggy-anne doll. A real haunted house to give you the chills!


Brian Dooling (author) from Connecticut on October 07, 2011:

Thanks Tracy for the comment and votes, yeah the beach should be really nice this weekend with the expected warm temps!

Tracy Lynn Conway from Virginia, USA on October 07, 2011:

I think you are right, there is lots to do in CT. I have lived in CT for 7 years and I find there is always more to do than I have time for. I love the beach but hadn't considered it for September or October. Voted up and useful.

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