Fall is hands-down my favorite time of the year. When I say this to friends, they respond “Yeah, because of your birthday.” My birthday is October 22, and I do take it seriously because I firmly believe any reason to celebrate should be embraced. But it’s not my birthday that makes me cherish this season so much. I could go on about the crisp air, the smell of leaves burning, the comfortable and chic fashion combo of jeans-sweater-boots, the apple cider donuts, Octoberfest ales, and the fact that everyone looks better with the glow of red-and-orange fall foliage in the background.
Instead I will summarize fall’s many charms this way: If it rains on a summer Saturday, it’s a real bummer, if it rains on a Saturday in the fall, it’s romantic. So take advantage.
Here are five ways to celebrate the most romantic time of the year.
5 Romantic Things to Do in Connecticut this Fall
5. Spend an Afternoon in New Preston. I just discovered this gem over the summer when I visited with Johnna, Sarah and Sean as part of a marathon day trip to Litchfield County. This is great for the preppy couple and the foodie couple. There’s a fantastic high-end kitchen store in the center of town, and really luxurious window shopping opportunities along East Shore Road. Top this off with a trip to Hopkins Inn for a meal, or Hopkins Vineyard for a wine tasting.
4. Do a Day Trip to Sharpe Hill Vineyard. This year for my birthday, Mike and I are going to dinner at Sharpe Hill Vineyard. This vineyard has become a really special place to me. We’ve spent a lot of time there just the two of us, and we like to take friends when they visit his family’s house in Pomfret, which is very conveniently within walking distance to the vineyard. But we’ve never eaten in their restaurant, so we’re using my birthday as an excuse to indulge a bit. The restaurant is very pricey, but you can have a romantic outing here by bringing a picnic lunch, grabbing a bottle of wine (my favorite is the Cabernet Franc) and finding a spot on the wineries’ beautiful grounds to sit and relax for a few hours.
3. A Day Trip to the Coventry Farmers Market. Farmers markets aren’t just for the summer. Autumn is a great time for apples, carrots, leafy greens, eggplant, herbs and of course, pumpkins and gourds. Go forth and gourd shop together. (See another one of my favorite places: Hill-Stead Museum Farmers Market)
2. Take a Walk Through Stonignton Borough. This is a great place to go for a loosely-planned outing because you can step out of your car and just stroll for a few hours, ducking into bars, restaurants and shops. I especially like being near the ocean in the fall, and a trip here is the perfect excuse to visit one of the local wineries like Saltwater Farm.
Another beautiful place to spend a day walking around town, is Essex.
1. Mike and I just did this Autumn Hike to the Heublein Tower last weekend. Lest you think my idea of romance is simply shopping and drinking wine, I’ll have you know I believe outdoorsy-ness is a great way to spend time together, too. Even more so when the views from the Heublien are this spectacular. Sarah and Sean did this hike together last autumn when the foliage was in full bloom and took the pictures in the post on their iPhones. That’s how vibrant the colors are.
Sarah included some great ideas to pair you hike with a picnic, or a stop at a local restaurant. When Mike and I visited, we dropped into Republic in Bloomfield for a post-hike drink and appetizers. I highly recommend the truffled popcorn.1