Falling For Fall In The US

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.

Autumn leaf

There’s something….missing

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….

Dollywood fall decorations

Worried child is worried.


Dollywood fall decorations

Musical pumpkins


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….

Beautiful Indian corn

Beautiful Indian corn

….or even at the side of the road

Pumpkins for sale

Had no idea there were so many weird looking types of pumpkin



(Oops, sorry dude)


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.

Pumpkin patch in fall

Pumpkin patch where we were struck with choice anxiety


Oakes Farm

Oakes Farm, Tennessee, set up for family activities.


Corn maze entrance

Entering the corn maze


Corn maze

We’re not lost, we were on the lame kiddie path.


Oakes Farm

Fall decor for sale


Pumpkin transportation

Pram? No, pumpkin chariot!


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.

Pumpkin Spice Latte

In my own opinion….meh.


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.

Virginia Creeper Trail

Virginia Creeper Trail


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.

Smokey Mountains, fall in the US

Smokey Mountains


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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I am an Aussie currently enjoying my time as a non-resident legal alien in the US. You can find me on Facebook and I have also just started lurking around Twitter and Instagram. Come lurk with me!


  1. The Savvy Age

    Personally I’m anti pumpkin and pumpkin spice 🙂 (shhh don’t tell the rest of the USA) – perhaps time to move ?

  2. I love this! It reminds me of when some family members offered to take my mother on a cross-country fall trip to see the trees in New England and she said, “I have two perfectly good trees right in my yard. Why would I want to go all that way just to stare at some trees??”
    Hahaha. Thank you for taking what is maybe boring and every day for some of us and giving us a peek at it through a stranger’s eyes. We need that~

    • I remember first hearing locals fretting about the weather making the leaves turn early, and thinking what’s the big deal? It’s just some leaves. Only when I saw it did I see that it really is a big deal, and there is a lot of tourism behind it in this area especially. This years leaves are pretty shoddy I think, it’s been so dry here.

    • Indeed you do, but some of the goodies are rather good :). The only time outside of the US I have had something sweet that was pumpkin flavoured was some type of Korean candy. Pumpkin is definitely not served as a sweet in Australia.

  3. The Pumpkin spiced EVERYTHING is actually a relatively recent thing in the past few years and is getting to be a little ridiculous. That being said, I still sample a lot of the Oktoberfest seasonal beers when I can. 🙂

  4. Dale

    Yes living in a place with the four seasons produces amazing scenery. It makes me want to take up photography but then, some things can never really be caught on camera…

    I notice that many people move to this area deliberately to experience the seasons so it has quite a reputation it seems.

  5. I’m envious that you and your family went through a corn maze. That’s a seasonal delight I have yet to sample, but maybe sometime soon I’ll find one. That looks like such a fun way to get lost.

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