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Autumn Awe

A California summer may get all the glory, but the state bursts with unparalleled beauty, seasonal festivals and exciting activities to celebrate fall. Whether you're looking to leaf peep in Lake Tahoe or pick your own pumpkin along the Central Coast, California shines from North to South with Autumn awe.

Picturesque Views

Outdoor Adventure
There's no better way to appreciate the season's magic than to enjoy Mother Nature at her best in the Shasta Cascade and around Redding. Head to Lassen Volcanic National Park to see golden larch trees contrasted against volcanic peaks as you whiz by on the park's mountain bike trails. At Whiskeytown National Recreation Area you can appreciate the fall colors on a hike to see waterfalls or from the vantage point of a paddleboard or kayak. Visit Nash Ranch Pumpkin Patch or Historic Hawes Farms to pick a pumpkin or find your way through the corn maze.

Leaf Peeping
Some of the best fall colors in the state can be found in North Lake Tahoe. Enjoy the beautiful display of vivid red, orange and yellow while hiking in Page Meadows, or head to Marlette Lake to see thick aspen groves ablaze in orange hues. 

Desert Dreams
Most people don't think of the desert for fall adventures, but the Greater Palm Springs area will make you change your mind. With the dog days of summer over, visitors can now revel in the many hiking trails in the area. Intermediate hikers will enjoy the North and South Lykken trails just outside of downtown. For a unique adventure, head to Indian Canyons or Tahquitz Canyon on the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indian reservation to see wildlife, rock art and artifacts and to learn more about the tribe. 

Resort Recharge
Nestled on 102 acres of the Palos Verdes Peninsula, Terranea Resort's landscape is easily enjoyed by walking through its natural habitat or on a guided hike to the nearby Point Vicente Lighthouse. The resort offers seasonal specials like fresh-pressed hot apple cider or a themed zombie archery class along the beach cove. 

Fall Festivals

The Great Pumpkin
Celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2023, the Ukiah Pumpkinfest in Mendocino County will delight visitors with a festival celebrating all things fall the weekend of Oct. 13. The event kicks off with a giant pumpkin weigh-off contest and serves up a down-home country fair the rest of the weekend. 

Small Town Fair
Oakhurst is also celebrating the 30th anniversary of its Oakhurst Fall Festival from Oct. 6-8, 2023. Held at the local community park, this small-town festival has something for all ages, including thrilling midway rides and games, character meets and greets, face painting, live music by local musicians, local wine and beer tastings, and the much-anticipated return of the Jedi Academy.

Fog Fest
For 35 years, the free Pacific Coast Fog Festival held in Pacifica celebrates the city and raises funds for local community groups. Held Sept. 23-24, 2023, the event kicks off with a parade and float contest and features three stages of live music, kids' activities, local vendors, food, and over 200 vendor booths to explore.

Lemon Light
Celebrating its 30th anniversary, the Goleta Lemon Festival focuses on the area's long history with citrus farming. The festival is Goleta's largest community event, and will take place the weekend of Sept. 30, 2023. With rides for kids, a classic car show, pie-eating contests, lemon-infused ale, food and more, it's an excellent family-friendly event for the fall season.

Centennial Celebration 
On Oct. 28, 2023, Anaheim celebrates the 100th anniversary of its Fall Festival and Halloween Parade. The iconic event delivers thrills, chills and fun times for all, featuring live entertainment, delicious food and games. Kids and families can show off their best Halloween costumes and win prizes. There's even a doggie costume contest as part of the Fall Festival Howl-O-Ween Pooch Pawrade.

Seasonal Activities

Fun on the Farm
Nothing says fall like the bounty of produce at the Apple Hill farms in El Dorado County. Apples, ciders, pumpkins and seasonal baked goods abound to tempt traveler's palates. The region is also home to a dozen wineries producing Zinfandel and other red varietals of the Sierra Foothills AVA, perfect for pairing with hearty fall feasts.

Harvest Highlights
If you're looking for old-fashioned fall fun, head to the Tri-Valley outside the San Francisco Bay Area. At G&M Farms, families can enjoy a six-acre corn maze, pumpkin patch, hayrides and pony rides. Couples explore the area's beer and wine trails while enjoying the fall foliage. 

Country Charms
Explore the golden hills and fall foliage in Modesto by stopping at a local farm stand like Rodin Farms, grabbing cheese from Oakdale Cheese, and procuring a bottle of wine from E&J Gallo Winery for a fantastic picnic. After lunch get lost in the corn maze at Dutch Hollow Farms or hike a local trail. 

Perfect Pumpkins
Spend the day in an idyllic pumpkin patch at Brookshire Farms in San Luis Obispo County. This local fall favorite entertains the family with activities for kids, a corn maze, fall foods and, of course, pumpkin picking. 

Tempting Temecula
Each year, the Big Horse Corn Maze in Temecula Valley offers up a new design for its over 11-acre maze that challenges both kids and adults. In addition to the maze, visitors can enjoy pony rides, carnival games, a rock-climbing wall and fair food. 

Dining Deals
Dining out can be expensive, but from Nov. 3-12, 2023, visitors to West Hollywood can sample some of the city's best restaurants with deep discounts on special menus created for the West Hollywood Eat + Drink event. In addition to good eats, many restaurants will also celebrate the craft cocktail culture the area is known for. 

San Diego Specials
The 12th Annual Kids Free San Diego returns in October, offering families with kids 12 and under a variety of deals from complimentary attraction and museum admissions to free meals as well as welcome amenities at area hotels. At the area's iconic Belmont Park, families can enjoy the Belmont Park Fall Festival on the beachfront boardwalk from Sept. 9 through the end of October. Activities for both kids and adults include a Pumpkin Pop-Up, Trick-or-Treating, live music, seasonal beer-on-tap and specialty fall treats across the park.

The above are just a sampling of events visitors can enjoy this fall. Visitors can also enjoy events up and down the state including the Half Moon Bay Art and Pumpkin Festival, Cambria Scarecrow Festival and much more


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