How to Have the Ultimate Fall Even When You’re Stuck in Seasonless L.A.

The best pumpkin patches, apple orchards, forest escapes, and more

Fall in Los Angeles is a tricky matter. As Angelenos, summer is our core competency. We’ve got beautiful beaches, golden sunshine, and general warm-weather perfection down to an art. But then, when the calendar page turns to October, we get a little uneasy.

It’s not that we want the reality of fall as it’s experienced other places–the dreary, drizzly days and frumpy boots worn for function rather than style (the horror)–but we do get a little FOMO for the fun parts. So what to do if you find yourself pining for some crisp air and hot cider? Here are some easy tips for making your own fall fun, right here in L.A.

Find Some Autumn Leaves

Sad truth: Most of those golden leaves you see around L.A. (and all over Instagram this time of year) aren’t that color because of the season, it’s just because those trees are dying, mostly due to lingering effects of drought. However, there are some actual, beautiful fall leaves out there to find! Some good local leaf-peeping can be done at the Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanical Garden or the Huntington Gardens. In both cases, your prime season will come around late-October into November.

Hit the Pumpkin Patch

You just can’t go into autumn without a good gourd. There are plenty of patches where you can select your favorite. Among the best: Mr. Bones Pumpkin Patch, which has been selling squash since 1987, and the pumpkin patch at PLATFORM in Culver City, which is “hosted” by Instagram tots Mila and Emma Stauffer.

Dare to Explore the Dark Side for Halloween

Los Angeles has lots of eerie places where you can still hear the whispers of scandalous and gruesome stories from the past. On the next dark and rainy night (well, just dark, maybe), book yourself a Hollywood death tour, stay in a haunted hotel, or sneak around other spooky places in L.A.

Pick Your Own Apples

Nothing is more Mr. Autumn Man than going apple-picking. Make a day trip to Oak Glen and fill up your bushel at orchards including Willowbrook Apple Farm and Riley’s Farm. Drink some cider, get your teeth stuck in a caramel apple, maybe pet a donkey or pony before you leave. Bonus: You’ll see some nice leaves while you’re there, thus accomplishing two things on this list at once.

See the Forest (and Trees)

If you really want to get a crisp, autumn feeling, your best bet is to get out of the city and head to the mountains. You don’t even have to go that far to feel the benefits. Grab some camping gear and drive about 90 minutes into the Angeles National Forest and you can pitch your tent at Buckhorn Campground, where you’ll find trees for days and average temperatures that are 10 to 15 degrees cooler than in the city.

Drink the Dumb Pumpkin Spice Latte

You know you want to. Get it iced, because it’s still hot out. Or pose for a photo holding it in front of some dead, dehydrated leaves that shed off your neighbor’s rhododendron even though they’re really not supposed to. In L.A., you have to make your own seasons sometimes, so if that works for you, live your #PSL life to the fullest.

RELATED: Get Spooked with the Best Halloween Events in L.A.

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