The Best Places to Experience Fall in Tucson

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Being from Chicago, I find myself always so much happier when I’m able to experience all of the seasons. Instead of excessive heat during autumn I enjoy witnessing the beautiful changes in the colors of the leaves, the cold air, the smell of cinnamon running through the house, and the sight of excessive pumpkins fields with family’s running around trying to decide which pumpkin is the biggest and best shaped to display in front of their home. When coming to Tucson, Arizona for my freshman year of college I felt that a part of me lacked the experience of truly celebrating fall. This year I made it my mission to find the places and events in Tucson that truly scream fall and allow me to celebrate the season just as if I were back home.

            You have to find your pumpkin patch. Oddly enough, Tucson has so many pumpkin patches to pick from that have hay bail rides to corn mazes and everything else you can imagine.  A few of these farms to name are Marana Pumpkin Patch, Buckelew Farm, and Apple Annie’s. It’s best to visit over the weekend and find a good amount of time to spare to wander through the fields and pick your pumpkin while also making best use of all the fun and exciting activities they have to offer at each location. All of these locations have already opened for their fall seasons so what are you waiting for?

 

            It’s time to fill your refrigerator and cabinets with the best food fall season has to offer. If you visit most any grocery store you will find that they are loaded up on about anything pumpkin. Pumpkin bread, pumpkin pie, pumpkin butter, you name it they probably have it pumpkin flavored this time of year. My favorite store to visit for food it would have to be Trader Joe’s because of their manageable prices and wide selection of fall seasoned foods. if I can recommend anything, I’d recommend buying their cinnamon bread and their pumpkin butter to spread on top. It is beyond delicious and tastes like everything I love about fall. Other than pumpkin, loading up on cinnamon, caramel, apples, brown sugar, and cider can never hurt.

 

            You’ve got to experience the leaves changing colors. This past weekend I found the exact place that any Tucsonan can experience the best part of fall and it would be no place other than Summerhaven. At an elevation of 7,700 ft. you get to see the best views of Tucson and hear the sounds of crisp leaves falling off of the trees and crushing under your feet. The town is small and quaint and truly makes you feel at home. You must visit their cookie house and order their cookies that are the size of a paper plate (they currently have a fall season cookie that is amazing and definitely worth a try) and possibly a cup of hot chocolate or tea to stay warm and cozy. A visit to one of their many festive gift shops to scope out an autumn decoration or two can’t hurt either. At sunset, a walk through one of their hiking trails is perfect for seeing the warm sun creating a wide array of colors that are glowing in the trees. Don’t forget to bring a warm sweater or jacket because it tends to become very cold, and it’s best to be cozy.

            A spook or two never hurt anyone. I personally am the type of individual who is beyond terrified of any haunted house, but I still for some odd reason end up going. I enjoy how afterwards you can yell at your friends in the car for leaving you behind in the clown maze when they should’ve been true friends and actually helped you escape the deranged clowns. Last year I visited the haunted corn maze at Buckelew Farm and I have to say it was even better than I expected. It featured three twirling tunnels you walked through, a 3D clown room (yes, with 3D glasses) and a wide array of other terrifying rooms that test every fear from completely darkness, to tight spaces and more in an outdoor corn maze. You have to go and experience it for yourself. Another haunt that is well known in Tucson is The Slaughter House, which you must be prepared for. I personally couldn’t see myself handling it very well but for others it might be that extensive of a scare they crave. If you decide to not visit either of those two options, an evening at Nightfall at Old Tucson could also be up your alley. Western themed and filled with various frightening scares and amusement rides you’re bound to have a good time.