I love this time of year! This is by far my favorite time of year. I love the changing colors, the cooler climate, and the endless amount of things to do as soon as the first leaf drops. It’s the ooey-gooey-ist time of year that I can’t resist.
As mentioned in a previous post, just South of San Francisco in Half Moon Bay, the Half Moon Bay Pumpkin Festival will be underway on October 16 and 17th this year. This is the main event for the community and one that is celebrating it’s 40th Anniversary this year. It’s almost ridiculous that I’m even giving any attention to this event because it’s already popular and has become a tradition for many but they do have a lot of cool things to do beside stuff yourself with pumpkin pie.
You can start your day with a pancake breakfast on Main Street, where you can try pumpkin pancakes with maple syrup, before you move on the pumpkin pie eating contest in the afternoon. This is one of those food events where you need to prep for it and be prepared to inundate yourself with pumpkin everything from ice-cream to sausages. Yes, pumpkin sausages. They’re awesome! Beer lovers can try Half Moon Bay Brewing Company’s Mavericks Pumpkin Harvest Ale.( I wish I could tell you what Pumpkin beer tastes like but my beer drinking days are limited due to sneezing fits.) And don’t forget about the great Pumpkin weigh-off where they weigh colossal sized pumpkins to see which grower gets to be King or Queen of the Coast. Though the weigh-off takes place in HMB, the event is so well known that these monster sized pumpkins come from growers all over the country. Last year’s winner came from Des Moines, IA. Put some wheels on these babies and they would be able to transport Cinderella all over the coast.
Half Moon Bay Art and Pumpkin festival: http://www.miramarevents.com/pumpkinfest/about_show.html
Another area that has quickly become a favorite of mine is Apple Hill located in Placerville, CA., about an hour north of Sacramento. http://www.applehill.com This area is filled with orchard growers, many of whom allow the public to pick their own apples and indulge in everything the area has to offer. This area literally has something for everyone. There are award winning wineries in the region as well as plenty of kid friendly activities for families such as petting zoos and hay mazes to run around in. As you can see on the activity calendar on their website, there is always something going on in the region, making it worth it to make many visits throughout the year. I have to say, I’m not much of an apple pie person but the apple pies we bought at Abel’s Apple Acres were to die for. Want to know how good those pies are? I bought one for my friend who lives very close to the area, so her family is very familiar with Abel’s Apple Acres. Because her kids love those pies so much, her nine year old put a pillow under the oven and fell asleep waiting for the thing to finish baking. I’d say that’s a good testament.
I don’t usually promote the Napa Valley Wine region too often because I’ve done it to death and haven’t been back in a while. But, there’s no denying that it’s incredibly beautiful this time of year and just as I recommend visiting it in the Spring when the mustard is growing wild, I also think that the fall in Napa/Sonoma should not be missed. This area has become quite inflated price wise over the years, in part because of the fabulous restaurants in Yountville and along Hwy. 12, but I’m not one to poo poo that which is obviously special and beautiful. This area is just that and if anyone is into photography, traveling to Napa/Sonoma during crush season and the fall season in general will not disappoint. Here’s a link to the endless activities in the area: http://www.sonoma.winecountry.com/special_interest/current_events/oct.html
This is just a sampling of what’s on in the Bay Area during the fall season. More is on the way!