Your ultimate bucket list for the perfect fall in Charlotte

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Photo by Katie Toussaint

Yes, fall lasts until Dec. 21, so you have time to get your fill of it (once the leaves actually start to change). But apples won’t stay on the trees beyond October, for the most part, and don’t you want that pumpkin before Halloween?

Here’s your ultimate bucket list for the perfect fall in Charlotte:

Sip a seasonal craft beer at a local brewery

Courtesy of NoDa Brewing

According to the Rules of Fall, one must sip at least one (1) pumpkin beer. Go for NoDa Brewing Company’s Gordgeous, brewed with spices like allspice, cardamom and ginger. There’s also the Harvest Pale Ale at Primal Brewery in Huntersville (expect grassy notes), the Sweet Tater Ale at Sweet Union Brewing in Indian Trail (brewed with local sweet potatoes), and more. Find the complete guide to local fall beers and ciders here.

Indulge in frothy fall drinks

Ditch the ubiquitous PSL and opt for a local coffee or tea. How can you resist the Mocha Habanero at CupLux (with housemade mocha and habanero chili), the Southern Spice Latte at Undercurrent Coffee (with fall spices, NC sweet potatoes and brown sugar) or the Salted Maple Latte at Enderly Coffee (with local milk and pure maple syrup from the northeast)? Here’s our guide to 12 local fall drinks that aren’t a pumpkin spice latte (and are probably better).

Go apple picking at a nearby orchard

Grandad’s Apples N’ Such, courtesy of Sam Dean Photography

Not far is Grandad’s Apples N’ Such in Hendersonville, where you can pick apples like Honeycrisp and Red Rome, then grab some apple cider donuts and settle onto a picnic blanket with a sweeping view of the orchard. Meanwhile, Strawberry Hill USA in Chesnee offers apples brought in from other farms, plus thrills like a night maze (bring a flashlight). Find our guide to three nearby apple orchards here.

Pick a pumpkin at a farm within a one-hour drive

Courtesy of Hall Family Farm/Charlotte Observer

Riverbend Farm in Midland boasts a 25-acre pumpkin patch, Wise Acres Organic Farm in Indian Trail offers a corn maze, wagon rides and pumpkin patch, Hunter Farm in Weddington offers food truck fare, a petting barn and pumpkin patch — take your pick! See our guide to 10 local pumpkin patches here.

Snack on all the pumpkin treats

Spiced pumpkin macaron ice cream sandwich, courtesy of Amelie’s.

Fall is full of sweetness and spice, thanks to treats rolling out of local kitchens like the Spiced Pumpkin Macaron Ice Cream Sandwich at Amelie’s French Bakery (with macaron cookies and dairy-free pumpkin spice ice cream), the Pumpkin One smoothie at Clean Juice (with organic banana, pumpkin, vanilla, pumpkin pie spice, maple syrup and almond milk), the Apple Pie a la Mode Cupcake at Suárez Bakery (with vanilla cupcake and apple pie filling, plus vanilla bean “ice cream” icing, crumb topping and caramel), and more. Don’t forget our 7 must-try fall treat suggestions.

Pick out the perfect costume

Courtesy of Queen City Weekend

Don’t worry, we have Charlotte-inspired ideas. Will it be Jesus Saves Guy (there’s a little bit of crafting involved here), an adult Capri Sun (there’s a LOT of crafting involved here), or David Tepper (a pretty low-key option, in our opinion)? See more of our costume ideas here.

Soak up patio time before it gets cold

The patio at Sir Edmond Halley’s. Photo by CharlotteFive

Summertime isn’t the only “patio season” in this town — especially when cooler, breezy nights are approaching (hopefully). Sir Edmond Halley’s is the perfect pint-sipping patio; Foxcroft Wine Co.’s Dilworth location is right where you need to be with a full-bodied red and twinkly lights; NoDa Company Store is the place to bring your pup and kick back in the zen garden, sangria in hand. But there are at least a dozen underrated patios to enjoy — find them here.

Get a breath of fresh air with a fall hike

McAfee Knob hike. Photo by Ely Portillo

Get some of our state’s best views from the Blue Ridge Mountains along the northern part of the Art Loeb Trail (here’s how to make it happen), scale ladders and explore plane wreckage at Calloway Peak (here’s how to begin), or take a photo at McAfee Knob along the Appalachian Trail (here’s how to get there).

Happy fall, y’all.

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