Fall is my favorite season…something about the air turning a few degrees cooler (it is Texas after all), football playing in the background, family coming together to cook delicious comfort foods. It is the best. I get a new sense of inspiration in the fall for cooking, family outings and dates with my main man.
Here are a few fun Fall date ideas for you and your main love:
This is one of the only times in Texas when camping a) makes sense b) is truly enjoyable… the main places people love to camp are:
- Garner State Park- the colors are breathtaking…orange, red, yellow, green hues will make you do a double take on actually camping in Texas with such a gorgeous view.
- Lost Maples (be prepared to make reservations six months ahead) Yes, we are in Texas and we don’t get the striking colors that resemble autumn, which is why this place books up fast. But you will forget you are even in remotely in Texas when you enter Lost Maples. Gold, maize, maroon, red, orange and green…beautiful fall foliage right in our neck of the woods.
- Inks Lake- another excellent camping destination in the fall months. Just an hour from Austin, this spot is covered in some rocky terrain and offers fun option for families.
These are definitely a family to do in the fall, but they are also really fun to experience sans kids with your one and only.
- Barton Hill Farms – Nestled in Bastrop their corn maze is legendary, grab a hot dog, kettle corn from The Last Chance Diner (they even serve wine and beer!) or street tacos from the El Cruz Ranch food truck, and then walk hand in hand through the 4-acre maze. Before you leave, listen to some Texas Country and bluegrass music.
- Big Bend National Park- If you have a chance to get away for a weekend, venture down to Big Bend and hike the Lost Mine Trail in the Chisos Mountains. Eat at 12Gage for cheesy grits and chicken fried steak doused in jalapeno gravy, and visit the French Grocer for homemade sandwiches, fresh fruit and homemade blankets. (There’s a full-service lodge, camping options, or stay at the lovely Gage Hotel.)
- Guadalupe National Park- McKittrick Canyon has some stunning views of fall foliage in Texas, also check out the 2.3-mile Smith Spring Loop.
- Martin Dies Junior State Park- Have an RV? The reflection of the tall, beautiful Cypress trees on the water surrounded by amazing colors of fall is a perfect way to spend a weekend. RV or not…great place to check out.
- Texas State Fair- who loves a fair? Think old fashioned date. Try some of the new foods this year like the Chocolate Tease Wine Cooler, Deep Fried Bacon Wrapped Tot Dog (say that 10 times fast) or, Dr. Pepper Chocolate Chip Ice Cream…play some fair games, check out a concert featuring Maren Morris, Flo-Rida or good ole Pat Green. You can even check out some rootin tootin bull riding. This much-loved event starts September 29th this year and runs through October 22nd.
Best Apple Cider in Austin
- Crema Bakery – order the apple cider and pumpkin coffee it is wonderful…perfect way to start a date!
- CU29 Cocktail Bar – order the spiced apple cider on a first stop for a date night
- Spider House Patio Bar & Café – go to the bar and order the Spiced Rum Apple Cider then take your drinks outside amongst the twinkly lights.
- Kerbey Lane Café – have a delicious seasonal menu endearingly labeled, “Great Pumpkin.” Start with their apple cider and then order the Pumpkin Bread & Granola Parfait and my personal favorite…pumpkin pancakes. (Insert heart eyes.)
- Wheatsville Co-Op – They have fresh pressed apple cider in the fall and winter.
We are blessed to have UT football in our backyard, along with several successful high school football teams. Get some tickets, tailgate, and get rowdy.
Have a grandparent watch the kiddos for the weekend and then go peruse the aisles at Central Market or Whole Foods, pick out some seasonal fruits…like apples and bake a pie. Cook dinner together. Canoodle while it is cooking, the enjoy the fruits of your labor (pun intended).
Take a Cooking Class Together
The fall is a great time to learn a few new tricks in the kitchen, even better is making a date out of it! Try these delightful spots:
- Faradays Kitchen Store- try the pasta making class, paella class or French Riviera cooking class
- Underground Kitchen: bread making class, cheese making class, or learn to make gnocchi
- Central Market: Apple Harvest Pop-Up Dinner, risotto, tamales and Apple Delights
Take a scenic hike
What a way to spend a romantic time together than walking among nature as it turns from summer to fall.
- Colorado Bend State Park – Gorman Spring Trail is 1.5 miles and leads to the 65 foot Gorman Falls in Bend, TX … when you muster up an appetite check out Eve’s Café- try the käsespätzle, schnitzel, pineapple burger or decadent cheesecake.
- Enchanted Rock – this giant granite dome can be accessed by the three-quarter-mile Summit Trail and gives panoramic views of the hill country in Fredericksburg. Make sure to bring water, as the 800-foot climb can be a bit strenuous, but so worth the view! Afterwards check out downtown Fredericksburg with an array of scrumptious eateries, wineries, and Fredericksburg Brewing Company.
- Mount Bonnell – it may seem touristy, but the view is spectacular. Coming from south central? Pick up picnic items from Thom’s Market including kombucha, hummus, chips and some fresh fruit. Coming from the north grab a yummy to go lunch from Thunderclouds (personal fav: The Office Favorite add avocado) and enjoy some serene nature with your main squeeze.
Have a Coffee Date
Austin is home to some of the best local coffee shops country-wide.
- Mozart’s – perfect spot to see the lakeview and enjoy a delicious cup of joe. Try the Mozart’s Mocha Special and take a peek at the seasonal menu.
- Fleet Coffee Co – try the After School Ritual (Oreo infused milk…heart eyes) or the New Fashioned with lavender bitters and espresso…wowza!
- Patika – was voted best coffee in Austin this year, try their brewed coffee from Mexico- has hints of chocolate milk, honey and melon. Or single cup coffee from Columbia (toffee, lemon and sugar) or Ethiopia (citrus, complex, lemongrass and molasses ginger).
Have a Date Night in
- If you have a fire pit this is a great chance to enjoy a date night at home. Make a delicious meal or get it to go. Make some gourmet s’mores and cozy up fireside with a blanket and enjoy a bottle of wine amongst the stars.
- Rent a fall flick: Rudy (all those football feels), Planes, Trains & Automobiles (prepare for laughter) or my personal favorite When Harry Met Sally (insert more heart eyes).
All Things Pumpkin in Austin
I think 95% of people are straight obsessed with the PSL (including me!)…well here are a few other pumpkin-laden culinary options:
- Mary’s Cafe has pumpkin liege (aka extra amazing) waffles
- HopDoddy features a pumpkin chipotle cheesecake shake through early November.
- Max’s Wine Dive delivers a fall menu, including acorn squash wedge salad, and braised lamb shank with pumpkin polenta and citrus-apple slaw. (Holy smokes that is speaking to my inner foodie.)
- Odd Duck has a yummy honey tart with chocolate, lime or pumpkin
- Kerbey Lane (double feature!) also has pumpkin french toast on their growing Great Pumpkin menu each fall.
- Moojo has a pumpkin pie ice cream sandwich… perfect for this weather erratic city!
- VOX Table recently added a few vegetarian items to their modern-esque flair, including chickpea fritters with pickled pumpkin and pecorino cheese.
- Parkside downtown now includes a kale salad with butternut squash yogurt, apples, and spiced pumpkin seeds. Cover all those pumpkin bases with the squash ravioli.
- Sugar Mama’s Bakeshop features a Great Pumpkin cupcake every year with chocolate pumpkin cake topped with spiced cream cheese frosting.
Fall is a time for cuddles, walks amongst the changing leaves (where you can find them), delicious autumnal eats, football and more cuddles on the couch. Cheers to all things pumpkin spice!