Good Life Holidays + Seasons

Best Things About Fall: 81 Things To Love

September 1, 2021

Last Updated:

This month, we welcome another autumn into our lives. As a thoroughly predictable human being, every September I fight the changing season, and then start warming up to the idea after reminding myself of all the things to love about fall. I finally give in (short of relocating, what’s a Portlander to do?). This years autumnal equinox is September 22, so as the rains arrive, I’ll be re-reading my annual fall things list. Even though it seems like fall starts September 1, with back to school and chillier nights, let’s squeeze out those last few weeks of summer! So here’s my list of the best things about fall.

Fall Things to Love:

1. Fall colors and crunchy leaves

As the leaves start to change from green to yellow, orange, and red. Falling swirling color and jumping in piles of leaves.I love the colors of fall foliage – watching the leaves and gradients of color as they start to change. In Japan, they even have a live fall foliage report for where the autumn colors are at peak viewing time!

2. Scarves

A serious weakness – chunky scarves, Pashmina, we’ll take anything warm and cozy!

3. Change of season & fresh starts

Just like back to school, fall feels fresh like new beginnings!

4. Comfort food

Is it Thanksgiving yet? Bring on the fall comfort food – mashed potatoes, gravy, pie. Speaking of pie…

5. Apple orchards

Going apple picking at an orchard, feels like the way to welcome fall. And the Instagram pictures that go along with it ;) Fresh pressed apple cider in a warm mug. Heaven. And apple cider donuts!

6. New TV shows

Streaming new shows and movies – Apple TV+, Hulu, Netflix. Loved Ted Lasso. And Home. What’s next?!

7. Leather boots

Nothing says fall like a favorite pair of leather boots. Tall boots, combat boots, booties, cowboy boots – all the boots!

8. Coffee in a favorite mug

Medium roast brewed coffee and poured in a giant mug, please! Or English breakfast tea, with milk.

9. Bookstores IRL

Autumn is made for browsing for the perfect new book to cozy up with.

10. Reading

Reading a new book with a warm blanket or in front of a fire.

11. Cooking over-elaborate meals

We suddenly have more time indoors to try new recipes and cooking challenging dishes.

12. Snuggling

Fall is for snuggling up – kitties, the ones you love – fall is for cuddling!

13. Hikes

Fall hikes through the forest with magical views of changing colors and crisp, cool air.

14. Chai lattes

At the first sign of fall, we start ordering our chai lattes – and making homemade chai lattes!

15. Tights & skirts

Bring on the cable knit and cozy tights and skirt pairings.

16. Live music

Live music and drink, please!

17. Soup

Eat all the soup – just add bread, cheese, and wine!

18. Listening to the rain

The rain falling outside your window is perfectly, nature’s white noise.

19. Cozy socks

Striped socks, fuzzy socks, argyle socks – it’s a real fall vibe.

20. Rain boots

Finding the perfect pair of rain boots to take you from fall to spring. I love wearing shorter Hunter Chelsea style or colorful ones!

21. Fancy duvets and warm blankets

I love that time of year when it’s time to get out the warmer duvet for cold nights. And cozy throw blankets for the couch is a farewell to summer heat.

22. Pops of color

Mustard yellow, plum, cobalt, what trendy fall colors will 2021 bring us? I love seeing how to mix up the greys, black, olive, and neutral tones with some bright colors.

23. Baking

Let’s bake apple pie or pumpkin pie with the apple picking and pumpkin patch visits! Or pumpkin bread, cinnamon rolls, banana bread, pumpkin bread, zucchini bread, or Swedish cinnamon buns – kanelbullar. Yum! All the baking!

24. Plaid and argyle everything

See #19 about the socks, but why is plaid so fallish?!

25. Wine

Wine and wine tasting in the fall is a nice break from the heat of summer.

26. Target practice

Don’t judge. I’m from the country. You can target practice with bean bags.

27. Movie Night

Autumn evenings make movie night with pizza and beer feel like a luxury. And since it gets dark earlier, it also makes it easier to use a wall projector for full screen movies or a backyard movie night.

28. Whiskey

Whether you’re starting up a collection or just sampling a new one, whiskey feels like fall.

29. Getting your home cozy for fall

The start of October is a nice time to get your home cozy for fall – fall decor – candles, pillows, throws! We can blame the Target endcaps for this one.

30. Small shops and home goods stores

Fall always tricks me into thinking I love to shop. So many people making cute things.

31. Going to the pumpkin patch

Going to the pumpkin patch – picking a pumpkin, hay rides, caramel apple, corn mazes, pumpkin carving! A day of kitschy fall fun.

32. Learning something new

Blame back to school season, but something about fall makes me want to bust out a new notebook and learn something new.

33. Pumpkin EVERYTHING

Pumpkin everything until we’re tired of pumpkin – including pumpkin spice lattes, pumpkin cider, pumpkin toaster pastries, roasting pumpkin seeds, and pumpkin pie!

34. Warm apple sauce with cinnamon

Making apple sauce is a surprisingly easy activity. Planning a canning party is also a sure way to know you’re in your 30s.

35. Sweaters

Autumn calls for sweaters, cardigans, and hoodies stripe, cashmere, neutral, bright – all the sweaters, please.

36. Skinny jeans tucked into boots

Yep, skinny jeans are still here. I think they were invented for tucking into boots (browse endlessly). And if you’re old enough to remember how dingy the ankles of our wide leg jeans got in rainy fall weather… if you know, you know.

37. Thai food

Warm curry and noodles are a favorite in cold weather.

38. Cities

There’s just something about exploring a new big city in the fall. Fall travel favorites: Barcelona, Boston, San Francisco!

39. Cinnamon

Cinnamon smells like fall. Put it on everything!

40. Long baths

Since we can’t all have hot tubs and saunas, a long bath will have to do! While we dream about building a barrel tub in our backyards.

41. Fall farmer’s market

The farmer’s market in fall is bursting with the last of the harvest! And beautiful end of season produce like kale, Brussels sprouts, squash, and pears.

42. Fall and winter trips

I love planning fall and winter trips (Iceland, Japan, South Korea have all been favs)

43. Planning a winter escape to somewhere warm

Fall is the perfect time to snag a deal for a winter trip to somewhere warm and preferably cheap in late January, February or March. Mexico! Hawaii!)

44. Pretty travel maps

45. Layering

Fall is all about the layers – so many layers! For those not quite cold, not quite hot days.

46. Dark chocolate

47. Popcorn

Whether it’s a movie night or just call it dinner, buttered popcorn just has that fall vibe.

48. Crisp fall air

You can feel it in the air tonight…. ok, but seriously that crisp fall air! Smells so good!

49. Food carts

Food carts with covered and heated seating areas, that is!

50. Fall tunes

Some music just feels like fall. I love listening to old favorite Melancholy music like Sigur Ros or Beck’s Sea Change.

51. Corduroy

Can a fabric texture feel like fall? Yes, it can. And sounds like fall too. Zip zip zip zip. Did anyone else have bright corduroy pants as a kid?

52. Lazy brunch

Massive breakfasts with no guilt to be rushing off to make use a beautiful summers day. Yes, I’ll have a coffee refill, thanks!

53. Scavenger hunts

Scavenger hunts and geocaching is such a fall activity.

54. European cities

Oh boy, can European cities do autumn right. Day dreaming of Barcelona and Madrid.

55. Kissing in the cold

56. Trains

Train trips through scenic fall colors. Ride a train or watch a train!

57. College football

At least it’s fun to watch other people get really excited about football. Ha!

58. Trying new cocktails

Find a new recipe and make a new to you drink!

59. Halloween!

Fall weather is great for finding a costume, a Halloween party, trick or treating, and candy corn (yep, I’m one of those people).

60. Yurt or cabin camping

As the weather gets cooler, yurt and cabin camping are a fun way to extend fair-weather camping season. And taking notes for your dream cabin or a-frame in the woods!

61. Fall harvest season

Saying goodbye to the garden. And hello to all the squash – butternut, acorn, and weird shapes – now what to do with all the squash?! Send help!

62. Athleisure wear full-time

Ok maybe just part time. Our new uniform of yoga pants and athleisure wear.

63. Long dinners

Fall dinner parties, and new restaurants, savoring!

64. Storms

Fall storms with clouds rolling in.

65. Writing

Suddenly, we have more time for our thoughts, in autumn.

66. Flannel sheets

Flannel sheets are so soft and cozy.

67. Indoor workouts

When it’s raining or cold, indoor workouts sound so much more appealing (like barre! and spinning at home – so hard!)

68. All the indoor time

Take a new cooking class, or hang out inside and not feel guilty for missed adventures. NOFOMO! JOMO!

69. Board games and puzzles

Game time! Fall is for spending way too long on a giant puzzle or board games like Catan.

70. Blogging

As with writing, fall seems like the time of year that blogging feels the most fun. Probably because there’s no sunshine distraction.

71. Hot chocolate

Finding a place that makes the perfect mug of hot chocolate with marshmallows. Or making your own.

72. Lazy weekend mornings

I love fall and winter weekends, catching up on reading, in bed.

73. Thanksgiving

Family, Friendsgiving, Thanksgiving dinner, gratitude and gratefulness, ignoring Black Friday.

74. Crossword puzzles

I’ve been loving the NYT Mini Crossword puzzles and as always, sudoku

75. Seasonal beer

Fall brings great seasonal ales – first fresh hops, then Oktoberfest, then darker beers, and hard cider.

76. Dark nail polish

Loving the OPI Milan line!

77. Museums

Visiting your cities museums and exhibits – art, history, learning!

78. The words’ crisp’ and ‘cozy’

How many times can I use them in a day… so many.

79. TV series binging

Fall is for getting obsessed with a TV show that everyone has already been watching for ages, but I just finally got into and blowing through 3 seasons immediately (Downton Abbey, Big Little Lies, This is Us… what’s next?)

80. Getting ready for Christmas

Now is the time to prep for Christmas – making an advent calendar, decorating, getting a tree. Isn’t it funny that most of the Christmas season is in fall and not winter?

81. Making a fall bucket list for your city

I love experiencing all that is Portland in fall! And making a winter list for Dec 21!

What fall things do you love?

best fall things - scarves, boots, leaves, pumpkin and more

Originally published 2010. Updated 2022. I started this proper list of things that I love about fall back in 2010 – just to remind myself… So here’s the 2021 updated list, with 81 things this year. Epic!

Photo set on flickr

  • Amanda
    August 9, 2016 at 5:51 am

    Can’t forget Bonfires ?

    • poweredbytofu
      September 22, 2016 at 3:18 pm

      Yes, adding to the list!

  • Jen
    September 1, 2014 at 10:11 am

    I simply can’t get into this until it’s September/fall: planning my Christmas gift purchases while listening to my personal mix of upbeat Christmas music and enjoying (don’t laugh) my electric fireplace (which emits heat and crackles).

    • poweredbytofu
      September 2, 2014 at 3:20 pm

      Same! Somebody has to tell everyone, fall does not begin on September 1! :P

  • Terri
    June 13, 2012 at 12:56 pm

    I love your list. In Portland you must have a beautiful fall season. I’m jealous.

    • poweredbytofu
      September 22, 2020 at 3:20 pm

      I do love Portland in fall! <3

  • CëRïSë
    September 21, 2010 at 1:01 pm

    An excellent list! Reading your Portland/NW references reminds me that I would love to be your friend in person. My last Portland trip–from which I returned about 15 hours ago–lasted less than 24 hours and was packed solid, but maybe sometime we can meet for a hot drink at Powell’s! (I can try to bring David in case meeting a random Internet stranger is too strange.)

    • poweredbytofu
      September 22, 2010 at 3:23 pm

      Thanks! I would love that!

  • Rb
    September 19, 2010 at 8:29 pm

    Yes, I love my Converse rain boots too. And my duvet. And cinnamon. But not mashed potatoes…