Celebrating fall in the US couldn’t be more different from the way I normally celebrate fall in Australia.
Because I don’t celebrate fall in Australia. Or even call it fall.
I recently had to look up whether or not there actually are any native deciduous trees in Australia, and was surprised to find out that we do have a few. Barely any compared to the northern hemisphere, though. So unless you are in an area where there are a lot of imported trees that give a bit of a show as the weather gets colder (the southern highlands comes to mind), autumn is pretty much a non-event. No one is changing their decor or putting wreaths on their doors to celebrate the change in the season. We also don’t have any foods that are an exciting part of Autumn – In other words, we don’t pumpkinate everything.
So while I’ve been in the US, I’ve been trying to celebrate and appreciate the things that I don’t experience at home. An enthusiastic celebration of Halloween, and a fancy fall. And living near the Smokey Mountains, I’m in a pretty ideal location.
Here’s what I’ve managed so far, and I’d recommend foreigners who also don’t experience a particularly spectacular autumn:
Look At Weird Pumpkins And Other Fall Decor
It’s good if you can go somewhere decked out for fall, like we recently did in Dollywood….
Or any touristy spot, really.
But you don’t have to go too far. Lots of Americans decorate for fall, so you can find the things they like to use at shopping centres….
….or even at the side of the road
Driving around, you’ll see decorated porches, gardens and mailboxes. And it looks awesome. Although there must be a fair bit of rotten produce after a while…
Go To A Pumpkin Patch
Yes, the pumpkin will actually be cheaper if you buy it from Kroger. But visiting a pumpkin patch seems to be the thing to do, and dammit, I want to do as the locals do while I live here (at least the fun stuff, anyway). There are lots of such places available to visit, and they often have other activities to celebrate fall activities. Just don’t grab your pumpkin until the end of your visit unless you want to carry it everywhere.
Try Some Pumpkinated Goodies
Australians don’t do pumpkin pie (they’re pretty good though, so maybe we should). And most of us have only heard of the Pumpkin Spice Latte. I wasn’t a fan (I’m not a huge fan of coffee in general), but hey, you need to try it.
Seriously, there is pumpkin spice everything here.
There seems to be a lot of caramel-apple flavoured stuff as well, but I haven’t really hooked into that yet.
Go Somewhere Scenic As Fuck
Doesn’t matter if it’s a drive, hike or bike ride similar to what we did of the Virginia Creeper Trail, go to a place where you can truly appreciate awesome views of fall in the US.
We did a hike up Middle Prong Trail in the Smokey Mountains last year, which can get quite a bit of traffic in the fall, but during the same weekend we visited the Cumberland Plateau, which was very pretty and not nearly as busy.
I’m going to miss the fancy parts of fall in the US when I go back to Australia. And I’ll go back to calling it autumn, I guess.
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