Sep 18, 2017 at 10:20 AM in
Fellow geography fans...you may know that Discovery Map is located in the heart of Vermont’s Green Mountains. And what better place on earth to be is there than right here during fall foliage, amid all this glorious and golden (and red, and orange, and purple) splendor? Well...because Discovery Map has an intimate knowledge of 130 destinations, they know that New England doesn’t have an exclusive on fall fun.
Many communities and cultures have distinctive traditions to celebrate the harvest season. Two of my favorite examples...first, while Oktoberfest is beloved worldwide, travelers seeking the truly quirky can take in the quackin’-action of the annual Entenrennen race in Tübingen, a university town in central Germany. Early October is when you’ll see as many as 7,000 rubber ducks dash down the Neckar River. Or, in the Swiss canton of Valais, cows butt heads, or perhaps butt herds, at the Battle of the Queens on October 1 to bring home the grand prize. Spectators can watch cows nudge each other in “combat” to see who will be crowned harvest queen (Queen Cow, that is).
For a more flavorful fall experience, I crave a visit to St. Andrews on the coast of New Brunswick, Canada, for culinary adventures aplenty at The Algonquin’s 2017 Oktoberfest Party, on Saturday, October 14 this year, with local tastes, walking tours and events. (If you go, you can get your Discovery Map in advance here.)
While traveling around the world to get a glimpse of tradition with a twist is exciting, so many destinations closer to home in the U.S. also offer truly unique experiences. Balloons, oysters and flounder are just a few of the up-and-coming fall classics travelers will find in Discovery Map locations. Among them are:
- Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta – Albuquerque, NM: ¡Ay, dios mío! The reds, oranges and yellows of fall foliage have some serious competition from October 7-15 at Balloon Fiesta Park, with what started in 1972 as a group of 13 hot air balloons launching from a mall parking lot. Today, the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta has exploded into a fall favorite with almost 600 balloons saturating the New Mexico sky. http://www.balloonfiesta.com/
- Annual US Oyster Festival – St. Mary’s, MD: Pumpkin spice lattes don’t define fall in this town. For 51 years oysters have hailed as king when it comes to autumn treats, as Maryland celebrates the opening of oyster season on the Chesapeake Bay. From Saturday, October 21 to Sunday, October 22 travelers can dabble in all things oyster with the U.S. National Oyster Shucking Championships and National Oyster Cook-Off. One lucky participant will win bragging rights to the title of U.S. Oyster Shucking Champion, and go on to compete in Galway, Ireland for the World Shucking Championship. In this case, it’s okay to shuck. www.visitstmarysmd.com
- Burning of Zozobra – Albuquerque, NM: The Burning of Zozobra dates back to 1964, when the icon of doom and gloom was first set ablaze. With intentions to cleanse participants of their years’ worth of gloomy thoughts, anyone can scribble down their disappointments to be incinerated once this 50 foot tribute to bad juju goes up in smoke. Travelers can be free of gloom and doom the Friday before Labor Day, September 1, 2017 at Fort Marcy Ball Park in downtown Santa Fe. Gates open at 3 pm. https://burnzozobra.com/
- Great Pumpkin LumiNights – Pigeon Forge, TN: Jack-o-lanterns light up the night at Dollywood’s Harvest Festival, where travelers can see any type of pumpkin carving, from scary, to merry, and maybe even hairy. From September 29 to October 28, travelers and locals alike can immerse themselves in pumpkins galore with seasonal treats, entertainment and thousands of carved pumpkins on display. In addition, families are invited to get down with Jack himself at the Pumpkin Boogie Dance Party. http://www.dollywood.com
- Flounder Fling – Morehead City, NC: Beauty queens aren’t fishing for compliments at the annual Flounder Fling held during the North Carolina Seafood Festival from October 6 to October 8. Participants aim to land their founder in a frying pan via fishy-flight. Miss North Carolina is first to fling the flounder every year, putting the competition in motion. Those skilled enough to land their fish in the pan two out of three times take home an “I flung a flounder” T-shirt. Any-fin goes at the North Carolina Seafood Fest.
- Oktoberfest – West Dover, Vermont: For those seeking the famous New England fall foliage, make your way to Vermont for the 20th annual Mount Snow Oktoberfest. From October 7 to October 8 travelers can enjoy a large selection of beers from 25 German and domestic breweries, authentic German food and festivities for all. Activities range from a keg toss to a 5k gulp and gallop (stomachs of steel required). Guests under 21 can still have fun with a schnitzel toss, an apple slingshot, or pumpkin painting.
So don’t just wait for the leaves to change, get out there and experience the many different types of fall, y’all! And share it with us on Instagram...just use the hashtag #DiscoveryMap.