For me, Fall is much less about Pumpkin Spice Lattes and more about the experience of the seasonal novelties we only get right here in Maryland. After living a short while in California where the temperatures do not fluctuate, I appreciate the transitions we have here all year round. I yearn for the vibrant colors and the connection with our environment. There are things that are quintessentially Fall and it just so happens some of my greatest memories take place in September and October.
Where: Baughers Orchard, Westminster
What: Apple Picking
Our first family visit here was in Sept of 2016. Perfectly, we timed the peak of the coveted ‘honeycrisp’ apple. Each year since, we have failed at hitting the honeycrisp weekend, but we faithfully return and have the greatest afternoon regardless. Upon arrival you get your hay ride ticket to the orchard and buy your bags. The ride through the orchard is my son’s favorite part, no doubt. You hop off and are given instructions by the local farmer. Each year I get to learn about which apples are ripe and what Ican make with them. While picking, you are permitted to eat as many apples as you’d like. My record is 7! You’ll return to the main farm for food trucks, a seasonal market, log-style play ground, massive drain pipe slide and their petting farm (complete with suspended goat runway) If you’ve never been, add this to your list!
Pro-Tip: You can call their U-Pick hotline 24/7 to find out what is available for the coming weekend.
Where: Harpers Ferry, WV
What: Hike Maryland Heights or Loudon Heights Trail
Closest hike with the highest elevation and mountain views make this one of the Galve clan’s favorite place to hike in the cooler months. Loudon Heights trail is a lot more strenuous and longer, than the highly trafficked MD Heights. When you arrive at the summit of the Maryland Heights Trail you get a panoramic view of where the Potomac and Shenandoah Rivers meet. The City looks like something out of Mister Rogers Neighborhood, with the train intermittently blaring a horn as it disappears into the tunnel of the granite mountain.
Pro-Tip: Peak Fall colors are expected to be the second week of October. Always always get ice cream at the end
Where: Sugarloaf Mountain Winery, Dickerson
What: Yoga + Wine Flight
I’ve driven past Sugarloaf Mountain Winery dozens of times, but I’ve never stopped. Now that a dear friend of mine works there, I’ve tried the wine and was swooned and immediately added it to my list this Fall. You can always go for a quick hike on the mountain beforehand to earn the wine or totally skip it and simply enjoy. Select Saturdays and Sundays you will find a variety of food trucks or outdoor yoga classes. The next class is Sept 26th and I am IN! Wine + Yoga + Friends + Fall = one happy Nina living her best life.
Pro-Tip: Pop into the Dickerson Market beforehand to bring a picnic (or bucket of fried chicken no judgement)
Where: Wildberry Farm, Crownsville,
What: Farm to Table Series Dinner
When my friend Bridget shared the date for the next dinner at Wildberry, I had a knee-jerk reaction and bought FIVE tickets. I’ve missed out on the exclusive Farm to Table series before, and while I don’t even know if I have five friends, I have five seats waiting for me at that table October 22nd. Local chef, Adrienne Shoots, sources a delicious vegetarian dinner from the physical land of Wildberry Farm. You’ll enjoy the evening under the stars amongst others who appreciate all things delicious and local. This is the magical Maryland moment I’ve been dreaming of; the Crown on top of my magnificently planned Fall.
Pro-Tip: Stay tuned for an exclusive giveaway on my Instagram for a few seats at this table!