The leaves have started their descent into color and there is a renewed crispness to the air. What does that the mean? It’s autumn of course! This time of year is one of the most beautiful and unfortunately one of the shortest of all the seasons. So, how do we make sure we get the most out of our pumpkin lattes and chunky knit sweaters? We take a day trip. What I refer to my friends is a single day dedicated to exploring a small town of your choosing. No matter where I have gone I've always been able to find a quaint little town that would be perfect to have a day like this. Below you will find a few tips I’ve made to help you make your day trip perfect. Enjoy! <3

1. Pick your town
For this step, I suggest picking a place that is no more than an hour and a half drive away from you. I think a perfect timeline though would be between 30 minutes to an hour. We don’t want to spend all day in the car. Another deciding factor for me is whether or not there is a festival or community activity going on at the time. Fall Festivals can almost guarantee a good time for everyone. These normally happen on the weekends anyway, so it will be nice and easy to get the family together or gather the crew together for the day.

2. Find the Café
Once in the town I’ve decided to have my day, my first mission is to find the local coffee place. I love coffee and I’ve always found cafes to be one of the most welcoming parts of a town. This is also a great way to get your game plan for the day together or if you already have it all mapped out you may learn about a place you have to go see from the locals. In general, it’s a good way to get a small taste of the town. Make sure you check out the bulletin board before you leave if they have one up. It another great place to see about things happening in the local area and also some local businesses may have put their business cards up there.

3. Shop Around
That leads us into our next point which is shop some of those small businesses. You don’t have to go crazy, in fact, you don’t have to buy anything if you don’t want to. If you’re really trying to save money and you don’t trust yourself, you can skip this step. I won’t be offended. But for those of us, that may be on the hunt for something unique or you’re getting your holiday shopping done way early (go you) then this is a great way to do that. Hometown shops trend to have things that you just can’t find at the big box stores because they house a lot, local crafters. It's a win-win because you get something you know isn’t going to be found anywhere else and you're supporting small business.

4. Thrift it up
If you have the urge to shop but you need to be good about your budget, thrift shops are your place. I always manage to find a gem when I go for a fraction of the price of what it would cost me in a regular store. The real upside to doing this in your day trip town is every thrift shop is different and tends to get different things. So if you’ve had no luck with the ones in your hometown, give the ones in this town, maybe you’ll get lucky. And find just what you were looking for.

5. Local Farms
A tried and true classic. It wouldn’t really be fall until you spend an hour or two picking pumpkins now would it? This is awesome for all ages to enjoy and there is always something to do at places like this around fall time. Corn mazes, Hay bail climbing, bunny petting, and getting some yummy homemade apple cider from their little shop. They normally sell these by the gallon and I personally always have to buy one to take home with me.

6. Visit Local Parks and Historical Sights
The last one on our list is great if you want to have a walk around but you don’t want to have to go to one of the local farms where there may be an admission fee. Every town has a park hidden somewhere in it. If the park leaves something to be desired, Historical sights are sometimes the best little places to have a walk around. The other plus to them is they are normally not that crowded so you can have the place mostly to yourself.

So those were my six tips for an autumn day trip, let me know if you have any more to share. In the meantime, Happy Fall. May your days be filled with brightly colored leaves and warm fireplaces.