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11 things every Alabamian should do this fall

Fall colors at Alabama's Lake Guntersville
Fall colors at Alabama’s Lake Guntersville

With October fast approaching, it’s time to think about which autumnal activities and traditions you want to cross off your list this year. We’ve put together some of our favorite fall past times to help you make the most of the season before winter sets in.

1. Go leaf peeping


(via http://abcnews.go.com)

Leaf peeping is a lost art. During the fall, many of us will only see the beautiful bursts of reds, yellows and oranges from our windows. Get outside and spend time enjoying the fall foliage in Alabama. Late October and Early November are when you’ll find the most vibrant colors. Check out the Alabama Fall Color Trail for locations near you that are worth checking out.

Our favorite: Oak Mountain State Park

2. Get lost! (in a corn maze)


(via ciderandsocks.tumblr.com)

Don’t worry, you’ll find your way out eventually. Get a group of friends together and try to navigate one of Alabama’s many corn mazes. This is a family friendly activity that everyone can enjoy. If you’re feeling a little more adventurous, see if you can make it through a haunted corn maze. Find one near you.

Our favorite: Sand Mountain Corn Maze

3. Go to a college football game


Fall and football. Football and fall. The two are practically synonymous. We are home to two of the best football teams in the country, so pick a Saturday and experience SEC tailgating firsthand. Your team might not win (except this is Alabama and Auburn we’re talking about, so they probably will), but you’re guaranteed to have a good time.

Alabama football schedule

Auburn football schedule

4. Carve a pumpkin


(via www.northescambia.com/2011/10/alabama-vs-auburn-pumpkins)

Pumpkin carving is a fall tradition for the whole family. Make a day of it: go to the pumpkin patch, carefully select the perfect pumpkin and spend the rest of the day seeing who can come up with the best design. Stick a candle in it and you’re ready for Halloween! Find a pumpkin patch near you.

Our favorite: Old Baker Farm

5. Visit a haunted house


(via thespookshaveamidnightjamboreethespookshaveamidnightjamboree.tumblr.com)

Speaking of Halloween, are you brave enough to spend a terrifying evening in one of the many haunted houses located across the state? Whether you’re looking for a minor thrill or heart-stopping terror, you’ll be able to find a haunted attraction that fits your needs. Find one near you.

Our favorite: Sloss Fright Furnace

6. Go to your local farmers market

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Skip the grocery store and support local farmers by buying produce and baked goods from your local farmers market. Whether you’re looking for fresh fruit, homemade honey or just a good cup of coffee, you won’t be disappointed. It’s a fun way to purchase healthy, organic ingredients while supporting your community.

Our favorite: Pepper Place Market

7. Cook a lot, eat a lot


When I think of fall, I immediately think about the smell of fresh pumpkin bread in the oven or apple pie cooling on the counter. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve learned to appreciate one simple truth: The more you cook, the more there is to eat. I’ve become quite fond of both activities. With Thanksgiving right around the corner, brush up on your skills in the kitchen by making pumpkin bread, apple pie, or chili and cornbread.


8. Volunteer


With the holidays approaching, it’s important to remember that not everyone is going to have a big turkey on Christmas Eve. Take some time and try to help others this fall. There are plenty of places to volunteer—Salvation Army, local food banks or shelters—but here’s a list to help find something near you.

Our favorite: The Firehouse Shelter

9. Enjoy a bonfire


Now that temperatures are starting to cool down, you can break out your sweaters and enjoy the simple pleasure of sitting around a bonfire with friends and family. A bonfire is the perfect way to end a long day of leaf peeping, pumpkin carving, eating and watching football. Don’t forget the s’mores. Be sure to check out Alabama’s burn laws first.

10. Go on a hayride


Can you ever really outgrow such a classic autumn activity? I don’t think so. Whether you’re six or 66, hayrides are a fun way to celebrate the harvest season. Perfect for family fun or a romantic evening with that special someone. Find a hayride near you.

Our favorite: Down on the Farm

11. Drink a pumpkin spice latte


Just don’t go to Starbucks. Have you seen what’s in those things? Terrible. Instead, find a local coffee shop and enjoy!

Our favorite: O’Henry’s

Follow Cort on Twitter @CortGatliff