I grew up in the Midwest, but I have lived in New York City for a decade.
With crisp weather, corn mazes, and farm-fresh produce, there's nothing like fall in the Midwest.
The Midwest is also home to award-winning spots to enjoy fall foliage.
Here are seven reasons why I think Midwestern falls are superior.
The Midwestern autumn air is perfectly crisp.
In New York City, where I live now, September can still feel like summer with temperatures in the 80s and 90s. Materials like metal, concrete, and asphalt trap heat and make the city 10 degrees warmer than surrounding areas, according to the official website of the City of New York. In the places I've lived in the Midwest, I prefer the brisk way the weather cools down and transitions into fall.
Fall in the Midwest is the perfect time for "porch sitting," a pastime in and of itself.
Porch sitting is a popular activity across the US, but I'd argue that nowhere is better for it than the Midwest. As the Midwest's muggy summers fade into crisp falls, it's the perfect time to watch the world go by from a porch decorated with seasonal gourds.
The friendliness of Midwesterners makes trick-or-treating even more enjoyable.
On a regular weeknight, walking around my small Midwestern hometown will involve lots of friendly waves and greetings from strangers. On Halloween, when the streets are full of families going house to house collecting candy, the atmosphere feels even more neighborly.
Corn mazes offer a brain-teasing seasonal activity.
Corn mazes can be found all over the US in the fall, but Midwestern mazes feature unique elements like a dinosaur-shaped maze with four different paths at Exploration Acres in Lafayette, Indiana, or hidden puzzle pieces within the corn maze at Treinen Farm in Lodi, Wisconsin, that create a map of the exit route.
You can pick your own apples, pumpkins, and other fall fruits and vegetables at local farms.
No need to go to a big-box store to buy a pumpkin for a jack-o'-lantern or bags of apples. In my hometown, it's only a 10-minute drive to a local farm where you can pick your own seasonal fall produce.
While this experience is not confined to the Midwest, I've found orchards there to be less crowded than ones in upstate New York, where it can feel like every resident of New York City had the same idea for their weekend plans.
Hay rides are also a great way to spend a fall afternoon.
Is there anything more Midwestern than getting driven through a pumpkin patch by a tractor? The ride may be bumpy and scratchy, but it feels like home to me.
The Midwest's fall foliage has been named some of the best in the US.
US World News and Travel Report also named spots in Michigan, Indiana, Minnesota, and Wisconsin among the top places to see fall foliage in 2023.
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