A celebratory fall getaway is often one for the books. This is especially true if you happen to be visiting the stunningly beautiful Nutmeg or Constitution State. Around this time of year, most touristy spots shed their summer skin and become almost like sleepy ghost towns (ever been to the actual Sleepy Hollow?) waiting for the next rush.
But savvy travelers and autumn lovers know this is the best time to get out there to see, do, and be. So whether you're looking for wholesome family fun, festivals, leaf peeping, outdoorsy activities, renowned comfort food, or some chills and thrills, Connecticut has it all.
That said, here are the ten perfect places to celebrate fall in Connecticut.
At first glance, this little town in Litchfield County may not seem like much, but upon further inspection, fall lovers will quickly note the abundance of autumn activities in and around this city.
What's more, the fall foliage in this area is downright superb.
The quaint town of Harwinton is the perfect location to get festive in, thanks to its nearby breweries, delicious eats, Gypsy Cakes, and ample festivities. While visiting, make sure to check out the annual Harwinton Fair for some fall-style fair fun, live music, wood chopping competitions, magic shows, and more.
9 East Haddam
Not only does the Devil's Hopyard offer visitors some incredible autumn views, but there is also a little something for everyone, including hiking, biking, lovely little picnic areas, and fishing.
The Devil's Hopyard even has a few campsites, so pitch a tent, build a fire, and get ready for some spooky time in this park.
For travelers looking for something more storybook and picturesque, Gillette Castle State Park is definitely for you with its intricate medieval fortress and one-of-a-kind views of shimmering gold, vibrant red, and burnt orange foliage.
8 New Canaan
Yet another place for autumn lovers is none other than New Canaan, CT. This fall destination is known for its history, modern architecture, gorgeous outdoor spaces like Waveny Park and New Canaan Nature Center, plus a plethora of seasonal festivities.
For instance, the New Canaan Nature Center Fall Fair, that's held every October, only gets bigger and better each year.
Fall fairgoers can celebrate the changing of the seasons with family-friendly activities like a traditional corn maze, an apple slingshot event, a spooky stroll, and pumpkin decorating.
There are also fire truck rides, zip lining, and carnival rides for the more adventurous souls.
A visit to Southington is definitely in order if you love scenic views, hauntingly interesting nearby castles like Castle Craig, expansive parks with fantastic foliage only a few minutes away (Hubbard Park in Meriden, CT), and of course, apples. Yes, that's right, apples.
This lovely city in CT is the proud host of The Southington Apple Harvest Festival. This is the event of all events for apples and people who love them.
With over 100,000 visitors annually, this family-oriented celebration/harvest extravaganza is reason enough to check out this corner of CT this fall.
Another small town that knows how to do fall right is Lebanon, CT. With ample fall activities within city limits as well as nearby, this is an excellent choice for anyone looking to celebrate fall the old-fashioned way.
Here, visitors can enjoy incredible farmers' markets, the more than a month-long Connecticut Renaissance Faire, pumpkin picking, and recreational fun in any of this city's several surrounding state parks.
Lebanon also has two fantastic in-city state parks—Mooween State Park and Pomeroy State Park—that are great for some fall-time fishing, hiking, hunting, boating, and so much more.
When you think of fall, chances are you conjure up images of cozy sweaters, pumpkin spice everything, bonfires, and garlic dishes galore.
At least that's what people in Bethlehem, CT see, and at the annual Connecticut Garlic & Harvest Festival in early October, visitors should expect nothing less.
A fun time for the whole family, this garlic party has a delicious variety of garlic dips, spreads, cheeses, and oils—all free to sample.
Plus, there are live garlic cooking demonstrations and musical performances. Festival goers will also notice a large selection of other fall-time veggies and produce—but it is clear who the star is here.
There are also a variety of other amazing autumn activities to check out while visiting if garlicky goodness is not your thing.
Leaf peepers looking for even more fall-time fun and celebrations needn't look any further than Glastonbury.
This CT town also has an annual Apple Harvest & Music Festival with countless food trucks serving up tasty eats, a variety of harvest-style fun, live music, apple everything, and even a 5K road race.
Admission is also free to the Glastonbury Apple Harvest & Music Festival, so there's really no reason not to go.
Besides this significant event, Glastonbury is known for its incredible weekend apple picking, local farm goodies, fall happenings at The Old Cider Mill, and autumn pop-up sales/fairs.
3 South Windsor
Alternatively, for fall travelers looking for more small-town charm with fewer festivals, then South Windsor, CT is for you.
Visitors can enjoy a peaceful day at Desmond's Pond, marvel at the town streets lined with fall foliage, and stop by The Wood Memorial Library & Museum.
If you're feeling a bit outdoorsy, you can go zip-lining and maybe even play a game of golf while enjoying this town's perfect autumn weather.
Of course, there is an annual apple festival if you secretly crave some low-key apple-related fun or yummy apple cider donuts.
But, overall, if you prefer to celebrate fall more reflectively, this idyllic town can definitely accommodate.
For anyone looking to celebrate fall with the holidays in mind, then Wallingford, with its renowned Trail of Terror haunted hour tour, is definitely a must-see.
With more than a few safety guidelines in place, this bone-chilling display of things that go bump in the autumn night isn't for the timid or those who scare easily.
So, if this sounds like your type of fall celebration, then you should check out this spooky town and this particular haunted attraction.
Thrill seekers can easily make this a fall getaway to remember by sticking around for a few days and enjoying the many other ghostly activities in and near Wallingford or throughout Connecticut.
Finally, Riverton is your quintessential fall town in Connecticut, with something for everyone.
Besides wonderful fall county fairs in October, an abundance of wildlife, forested land, and recreational activities, Riverton has ample green spaces that allow visitors to truly reconnect with nature in one of the best seasons around.
So if you have always wanted to experience fall in a charming East Coast town that still has general stores, lovely rivers, friendly townsfolk, harvest celebrations, and the occasional wood chopping event, then this is the place for you.