The Five Best Small Towns to Move to if You Love Fall
Is your wardrobe made up of mostly flannel? Do you start your day with a Pumpkin Spice Latte and end it with a Pumpkin Ale? Do you dream of harvest festivals, foliage and hot apple cider? If fall is your favorite season of them all, then you need to live somewhere that celebrates autumn with the right amount of carnivals, caramel apples, scenic drives and all things that make fall great.
If you’re considering a move, why not relocate to a town where people love fall as much as you do? Whether you’re looking to live on the east coast, the west coast or somewhere in between, it’s time to pack up your candy corn and your coziest scarf and move to one of these five towns.
Nestled in the Northern Cascades in Washington, the little Bavarian hamlet of Leavenworth is the perfect place to move to if your favorite thing about fall is Oktoberfest. The town of just under 2,000 residents was originally a logging town, but was remodeled as a Bavarian-themed village by two Seattle businessmen. In other words, it’s Oktoberfest year-round.
No matter the season, you can stroll the town’s center and say hello to lederhosen-clad greeters while taking in German architecture and murals while the sound of the glockenspiel drifts through the mountain air. Come fall, Leavenworth hosts what might be the country’s best Oktoberfest, complete with bratwurst, schnitzel and a keg tapping ceremony. There’s also an Autumn Leaf Festival, which is one of the oldest festivals in the state. Expect a parade, a pie eating contest and the annual crowning of the Royal Lady of the Autumn Leaves, who as you might expect, rocks a ton of flannel.
North Conway, NH
If you fancy yourself a leaf peeper, you might as well move to the unofficial epicenter for foliage: New Hampshire. Located in the White Mountain National Forest at the base of the northeast’s tallest peak (home to the highest ever recorded wind speed at 231 miles per hour), North Conway, population 2,349, is part alpine town, part quaint New England village. Experience the best of both worlds by taking in the dazzling red maple leaves on a fall foliage hike and then browsing the local shops. Get used to commuting on the famous Kancamagus Highway, a 34-mile road that winds through the mountains past waterfalls, covered bridges and plenty of fall foliage. If you’re lucky, you just might find yourself driving alongside the local moose population.
Dreaming of meandering amongst the trees of a sun-dappled apple orchard this fall? Head to Biglerville, Pennsylvania. Situated amongst the rolling hills of Adams County, the town of 1,200 people is the site of the National Apple Harvest Festival, where each October, you can enjoy orchard tours, local crafts and food stands with delicacies made from Granny Smiths, Galas, or any other kind of apple variety you fancy. May through October, you can get your apple fix at the National Apple Museum, where it’s possible to tour vintage farming machinery and see the largest collection of apple-related sheet music you never knew you were dying to see. In addition to all of the apple madness, you can also explore the rolling hills of nearby Gettysburg, stop by vineyards and dine on apple fritters (okay the apple madness may never be over in Biglerville) at the Civil War era Farnsworth House Inn.
As the name implies, this mountain town is the place to be if your idea of fall foliage involves an explosion of bright yellow leaves blanketing the nearby peaks. With a population of 6,871, Aspen is an old mining town turned getaway for the well-heeled. If you enjoy luxury shopping as much as you enjoy hiking, mountain biking, rock climbing and fishing, pack your trendiest sweater and move to Aspen. Yes, the ski town is most well-known for its world-class slopes, but in the fall, there’s still ample sunlight and temperatures in the low 70’s. Take advantage of the weather and trek around the Maroon Bells, go for a scenic drive or simply enjoy a glass of wine and a view of all those aspen trees from the Sundeck atop Aspen Mountain.
Castile, New York
New England tends to steal the spotlight when it comes to fall destinations, but if you’d prefer to live somewhere decidedly less touristy this fall, head to upstate New York. While there are many notable small towns in the Adirondacks, Castile stands out in a major way. With less than 3,000 residents, the town may be tiny, but it’s home to something huge: the Grand Canyon of the East. That’s Letchworth State Park, a place where the the Genesee River carves a path through the mountains, creating 600 foot waterfalls and an ideal setting for all of your autumnal adventures. For your post foliage strolling needs, stop by Castile Cider Mill and savor all of your fall favorites, from hot apple cider to fresh baked cinnamon donuts. On a crisp night, get cozy at the rustic Glen Iris Inn, where a steak and a bottle of red wine makes for a perfect October feast.