There’s something about fall that makes me want to get out and go, even more than summer. My deep-south lifestyle probably has a thing or two to do with that. Summertime outings are really limited to a day at the pool or a trip from your house to your car and, even then, the sweat begins to pour. Fall, on the other hand, is a perfectly lovely southern treat, albeit a bit inconsistent. The bright blue skies, gentle breezes, and milder temperatures make this time of year perfect adventures.

For teachers, however, fall is the worst time to get the travel bug. School is just swinging into session and most of us are bound, either by official or unofficial rules, to limit our time off. Evenings are usually for rest and recuperation, leaving the weekends as our day for fun. If, like me, you live in a relatively unentertaining portion of the country (compared to, say, the NYCs, Bostons, and San Diegos), finding adventure worthy of a weekend is difficult.

I’ve no big plans for this fall, but I do have a few mini-adventures I plan to enjoy, taking advantage of the beautiful weather of autumn.

  1. Take a drive looking for foliage. Check out this incredibly handy tool that will help you predict the best times to go out in search of that fall color, choose a relatively unused road, pack some road snacks, and head out the door. We like to take an afternoon to drive part of the Natchez Trace during peak foliage season.
  2. Find a wooded trail and go for a walk. Fall is a great time for walking, as the temperatures are cooler and the bugs are fewer. I like to visit All Trails and look for new walks within driving distance.
  3. Want to extend your trip? Look for trails within a campground. Even if we can’t stay overnight, fall is a great time to pull out our Eno and spend some time relaxing. For whatever reason, I find there’s a difference between the experience of “lying around doing nothing” when accomplished outside in the fresh air versus inside on my couch.
  4. Picnic or dine al fresco. I absolutely adore eating outside, but it has to be timed right! Fall usually winds up being perfect as, again, the bugs are starting to dwindle as the temperature cools. One of my favorite purchases of all time was a travel picnic blanket (kind of like this one). I keep it in my car always, ready for whatever spontaneous dining experience awaits. And on nice afternoons and evenings at home, I pull it out into the backyard and kick back with a cheese platter and a book.
  5. Hit up your beaches. Now, I know that if you’re landlocked, this one isn’t doable, unless you’re blessed with a local lake or river. In my case, all bodies of water are at least a 3 hour drive from where I live, including the ocean. As much as they may seem like a summer activity, fall is my absolute favorite time to go to the beach. As a non-swimmer (as in, someone who doesn’t like to swim, not someone who can’t), I thoroughly enjoy having the coastline mostly to myself, going for walks, looking for shells, and having some of those picnics. Plus, campfires by the water just can’t be beat.

I always have itchy feet this time of year, which often results in taking a long weekend and jet-setting somewhere fun. But even when my feet must stay planted close to home, I want to embrace the glory of this season. I hope you’ll look for adventures, near and far, to fill your autumn with joy!