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I grew up in Wisconsin. Here are 7 reasons why fall in the Midwest is the best.

Talia Lakritz at a corn maze in the Midwest
The author emerging victorious from a corn maze.Coren Feldman
  • 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.

I moved to New York City from Wisconsin over a decade ago. While autumn in New York City can feel like living in a Nora Ephron movie, for me, nothing compares to fall in the Midwest.

Here are seven reasons why I think Midwestern falls are superior.

The Midwestern autumn air is perfectly crisp.

A woman jogs through downtown Chicago during the fall
A woman runs at Lincoln Park Zoo surrounded by the fall colors in downtown Chicago, Illinois.Joel Lerner/Xinhua via Getty Images

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.

A porch decorated for fall.
A porch decorated for fall.klosfoto/Getty Images

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.

Trick or treating.
Trick-or-treating.Kinzie Riehm/Getty Images

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.

Two young children walk through a corn maze
Walking through a corn maze.emholk/Getty Images

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.

A pumpkin patch at sunset
A pumpkin patch.jamesvancouver/Getty Images

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.

A hay ride through a pumpkin patch
A hay ride passes through a pumpkin patch.Tim Boyle/Getty Images

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.

Fall foliage in Door County, Wisconsin.
Door County, Wisconsin.Christopher J. Franklin Photography/Getty Images

Door County, Wisconsin, was named the best destination for fall foliage in 2019 by USA Today, and one of the 10 best places to see fall foliage without the crowds by Trips to Discover.

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.

Read the original article on Insider