Celebrate the Fall and Enjoy Some of the Best Festivals in the Country
Fall festivals are popping up all over the country and it’s a great time for weekend getaways. This is an invigorating time of year with the crisp, cool morning air and leaves turning into vibrant colors.
Traditionally, fall signaled a time for harvest celebrations, and that tradition is still alive and well today. Pumpkin patches, apple orchards and corn mazes are just a few of the classic autumn locations you can enjoy.
Gather a few friends or family members and plan a weekend excursion. Get out of the city, charter a bus and make time to enjoy the stunning beauty of fall.
Some of the Country’s Best Fall Festivals
While many of the nation’s fall festivals have already come and gone, some exciting festivals are still going on, and you can take advantage of them.
Travel and Leisure listed the best fall festival in every state1, and here were some of the festivals listed.
Ocean City, Maryland
Three exiting events take place at Ocean City, Maryland on October 27:
- The Great Pumpkin Race. The city invites you to come to the boardwalk where a “whacky and zany” downhill race will occur. You’ll race in your own home built pumpkin car, side-by-side with other cars. Each division receives awards for the fastest cars and also for car design creativity.
- Shore Craft Beer Fest. This is the fourth annual Shore Craft Beer Fest on Saturday from 12:30 PM to 4:30 PM. Represented at the festival will be 16 breweries, offering more than 40 different world class beers. You can enjoy unlimited tasting, fare from the food trucks and live music. The event is also pet friendly. Children and non-drinkers are welcome. It takes place at Sunset Park overlooking Assawoman Bay.
- Halloween Beach Maze. Each year the beach maze gets bigger and better. Witches, pirates of the sand, scarecrows, graveyard ghouls and zombies make their appearances. The event is for children of all ages and is open from 10:00 a.m. — 5:00 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 26 and 10:00 a.m. — 3:00 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 27.
Branson, MO — National Harvest Festival
Branson, Missouri proudly presents the National Crafts & Cowboy Festival2 every fall, and it has become a favorite fall destination for fun. The festival features an old-fashioned barn dance, chuck wagon cooking and 125 visiting craftsmen, displaying their talents. U.S. News & World Report Travel named this festival one of the nation’s top eight fall festivals. Some of the highlights include:
- Buck Taylor’s Cowboy Emporium. Western artists along with the television program Gunsmoke star and cowboy artist, Buck Taylor will be there.
- Silver Dollar City Stagecoach. See an authentic 1880s stagecoach that carried mail and passengers out West when it belonged to the Overland Stage Line.
- Performers. Listen to the trio Faith’s Journey and the Spoken 4 Quartet singing favorite Gospel songs. The Hanson Family will perform some of the best acts in Western Swing Music.
North Carolina Gourd Festival
Who knew that artists could craft gourds into such a variety of art forms? The North Carolina Gourd Society is presenting its 77th Annual NC Gourd Arts and Crafts Festival on Saturday, November 3rd from 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. and Sunday, November 4th from 10:00 a.m.– 4:00 p.m. The Society is holding the festival at the NC State Fairground in the Holshouser Building.
At this unique exhibition, you’ll see historic, exotic and local gourds crafted into imaginative art pieces. Gourds from all over the world are part of the collection on display. You can talk with artists, who will explain how to pick a gourd from the garden and transform it into a work of art. Festival classes are available for beginners and experts. Visitors can buy dried gourds from vendors and experiment with crafting their own gourd art pieces. Gourd growers and crafters will be competing in contests to see who takes the top ribbons. A new feature this year includes a silent auction during the festival.
The fictive forms that gourds take are extraordinary — many are beautifully painted and turned into bowls, animals and a variety of figurines.
South Carolina Pecan Festival
Located in Florence, SC, the South Carolina Pecan Festival takes place on the first Saturday in November every year (November 3, 2018). More than 50,000 visitors attend the festival. The pecan cook-off is a favorite, where contestants compete for prizes by entering their delicious foods chosen from top recipes containing pecans. This family friendly festival is free and features the following activities and events:
- Pecan product concession booths
- Live entertainment
- More than 250 food & craft vendors
- Special art demonstrations
- Free kids zone
- Amusement rides
- Antique tractor show,
- Car show and competition
- Chalk art competition
- 10K, 5k and half marathon races
- Half Metric Century Bike Ride
Dallas, Texas — Autumn at the Arboretum
Country Living, “25 Fall Harvest Festivals”3 featured Autumn at the Arboretum4 as one of the top festivals in the country. Located in Dallas, Texas, the festival lasts from September 22 – November 21. Fodor’s Travel names it one of “America’s Best Pumpkin Festivals” and Architectural Digest described it as “One of the World’s Most Breathtaking Gardens.”
You’ll see more than 90,000 pumpkins, squash and gourds crafted into the world-renowned Pumpkin Village, a unique and jaw-dropping feat in and of itself. In addition, the fall festival displays more than 150,000 fall blooming plants and 4,500 Chrysanthemums, which provide a fabulous exhibition of colors.
Pumpkin Villages incorporates the theme “The Adventures in Neverland,” from the book Peter and Wendy, and you’ll visit the London house where the Darlings, Wendy and her brothers lived. The Lost Boys hideout, a pirate ship sailing the seas of pumpkins and gourds along with Captain Hook, the crocodile (Tick-Tock) and Tinker Bell are all part of the Neverland Adventure.
Sever’s Corn Maze and Fall Festival in Minnesota
Held from Sept. 7– Oct. 28, Sever’s Corn Maze and Fall Festival proclaims that it is the “Midwest’s original Fall Festival.” This is its 22nd year of family fun in the Twin Cities area. Sever Peterson settled the family farm in 1890 and today it is still in operation and owned by Sever Peterson III and his family. After hearing about corn mazes in 1997, the family began cutting their own mazes, which they do by hand every fall.
Some of the exciting features and festival activities include:
- Corn maze and maze challenge
- A pumpkin patch and “Gourd Walk”
- Home grown pumpkins, gourds, squash, apples and honey for sale
- Live shows
- Obstacle course
- Corn pit
- Petting zoo
- Live music
- Straw sculptures and installations
- Jumping Pillows
- Magic Shows
- Pig Races
- Zip Lines
Make Plans for Your Fall Festival Weekend Getaway
Get your friends and family to join you for a fall festival getaway.
You really can’t beat group travel, if for no other reason than you can avoid a number of driving hassles. You won’t have to decide on the best route, maneuver your way through traffic or search for parking spots. There’s no waiting for everyone in your group to arrive.
As the nation’s largest charter bus provider, US Coachways can provide you with services anywhere in the country. We have an extensive fleet, which offers a wide selection, and you can choose the perfect vehicle for your group size. Other reasons to consider renting a bus include:
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Cost-savings. At US Coachways we offer a price match guarantee, or your travel is free. By the time you divide travel costs with everyone in your group, you’ll find you’ve saved quite a bit.
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Comfort and conveniences. Everyone is a first class passenger on a charter bus. You have ample space to stretch out you legs and recline your seat. The convenience of onboard restrooms can eliminate stops that slow down travel. Charter buses have WiFi so you can stay digitally connected, and televisions are often an appreciated amenity for those who want to watch a program during the trip. When your whole group travels together, coordination becomes much easier.
Charter Your Vehicle Today
We often feature group travel specials on our website, so be sure to check them out. Or, if you have questions, give us a call and let an agent assist you. Wherever you want to go, US Coachways can take you there. Call our toll-free number at 1-888-340-9122 and tell us about your plans. We’ll help you work out the details.
- Travel and Leisure
- National Crafts & Cowboy Festival
- Country Living, “25 Fall Harvest Festivals”
- Autumn at the Arboretum