Fall is my favorite season. It’s the time of year when I actually love to live in the DC metro area. In fact, if I had my way, it would always be fall. I love the cool (to sometimes cold) mornings. I love the perfect running temps at mid-day. I love opening every window in the house and clearing out the summer humidity. I love long sleeves and hot soups. And the beer. OMG. The good beer comes back…
Sorry, got a little distracted thinking about the beer.
Anyways, when Courtney, Cynthia, and Mar suggested the topic “Fall preview” for the Friday Five, the first thing that came to mind was sharing with you five fun ways to be active this fall in the DC area.
1. Run a race – Fall has some of the best races in the DC area. There are, of course, the big name races: Army Ten Miler, Marine Corps Marathon (and 10K), Navy Army Half Marathon, etc. But there are also tons of smaller races and family friendly races. My favorite 5K, the Clarendon Days 5k, is coming up soon. (And if you want more of a challenge, you can run the 10k or run both.) There’s also a smaller, but still enjoyable fall half marathon, the Heritage Half, out in Gainesville, VA in October as well. Seriously, races abound, both for you and for your family. (I’m only running Ragnar and a non-local half at this point, but it’s likely I’ll end up doing a last minute sign up for a race or two…)
2. Pumpkin patches and apple picking – There are so many options for this in the greater DC area. We go to Cox Farms nearly every year for their huge festival (and by huge, I mean you can walk a miles over the course of the day). We also have a few orchards we like to hit to get apples to last us most of the fall. It’s a great family activity and I can guarantee you that everyone will be worn out when you are done.
3. Hiking – I love hiking in this area in the fall. The leaves around here are just gorgeous. My personal favorite is Great Falls. The trails are well marked and easily traversed, even with young children. It’s an awesome place to do a morning hike and then finish with a picnic lunch. I’d also recommend Rock Creek Park, Huntley Meadows, and the National Arboretum.
4. Sight seeing – Fall weekends are a great time for a walk around the National Mall to see all of the monuments. You could seriously spend the entire day walking and viewing a huge variety of monuments. A walk from the Lincoln Memorial to the Capitol Building is about 2 miles, and that’s without wandering off to the sides to see any of the other monuments or wandering into any of the museums. And, unlike many things in the area, all the monuments and museums are free to visit.
5. Biking – I’m not gonna lie. I don’t really enjoy biking much. However, there so many awesome bike trails in the area, so I put on my big girl panties a couple of times each fall and go for a ride with my family. One of our favorite options is to park at Gravelly Point and bike to Roosevelt Island. Once there, we park our bikes and go for a walk around the island and have a picnic lunch, before biking back to our cars. Totally worth the sore parts that result from only riding a bike a handful of times a year…
Yeah, I’m ready for fall! It’s going to be so much fun. And if you want to read more about how I’m getting ready for fall, check out my post over on Carla Birnberg’s blog about getting back on schedule.
What’s your favorite thing about the fall season? If you are from the DC area, what other things should I add to my list for the fall?