With the summer over and the days getting shorter, a weekend spiced with all the sights, scents and sounds of autumn is the perfect way to celebrate the season. The Evergreen State has it all from colorful harvest festivals to fragrant fall candles.
It wouldn’t be fall without a trip to a pumpkin patch, and visiting a farm is always a great way to greet the changing leaves and fall holidays. Throughout Washington State, farms are showcasing their autumn harvests with corn mazes and pumpkins of all shapes and sizes. Craven Farm, outside Seattle, welcomes visitors until the end of October with a corn maze and pumpkin patch alongside their harvest market. On weekdays, children can go on the Storytime Tour, but make sure to reserve a spot ahead of time. Maris Farms’ corn maze has a layout so complex that you’ll need at least 45 minutes to find your way out. Located in Buckley, Maris Farms also has pony rides, an animal barn and even pedal cart races that will entertain the whole family. Find out more at www.cravenfarm.com and www.marisfarms.com.
Handcrafting candles is an art form in the Pacific Northwest, and autumn is a great time to discover these sweet-smelling creations. Full Moon Candle Co.
features hand-poured, clean-burning
pillar candles made right in Washington. Scents range from floral to fruit, earthy to warm spices. The Jamaican Spice pillar is Full Moon’s bestseller, and the mix of butter, caramel, cream, vanilla and spices makes it a fall favorite as well. Check out the retail store in Sequim or shop online at www.fullmooncandle.com.
Hiking in Washington lets you see some of the best foliage in the Northwest. Mount Rainier, a year-round destination for hikers of all levels, is particularly spectacular in autumn. The mountain has numerous trails, picnic locations and lookout spots, so make sure you bring your camera. Granite Mountain Trail, in Snoqualmie Pass, is not for beginners or folks looking for a simple stroll, but the effort is worth it once you reach the lookout summit. Visit www.nps.gov/mora/index.htm and www.wta.org/go-hiking/hikes/granite-mountain-1 for more info.
Enjoy a weekend of music at Jazz at the Beach. The festival will take place November 4 through 6, 2011 in Ocean Shores. Bands from all over the country will be firing up their instruments at four different venues for this 29th annual event. Don’t miss the special Umbrella Parade on Saturday evening at the Ocean Shores Convention Center. In addition to lounging and listening, you’ll have lots of opportunities to dance, so get ready for an exciting weekend on the water. All the festival events and contact information can be found at www.osjazz.com.
If you want to take advantage of autumn before the first snowflake falls, then check out all that Washington has to offer at www.experiencewa.com.