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Fall Bucket List

Autumn in Eau Claire cannot be beat. Walking on top of crunchy leaves and picking out the perfect pumpkin from the patch is what fall is all about. Here in Eau Claire, you'll be able to do all of that and more. During your visit, we want you to live and feel like locals and experience all the treasured sights and things autumn brings to the Chippewa Valley.

1. Experience the fall colors 

Oh, the colors! Eau Claire and the surrounding areas have the best views of all of the fall colors in northwestern Wisconsin. There are plenty of routes to drive, bike or walk. Check out the best routes and viewing places along with the fall color report

2. Sip your way through the Chippewa Valley

Flight of beer at the Brewing ProjektPhoto Credit: Travel Wisconsin

Get a taste of fall in Eau Claire at the city's breweries and wineries. Infinity Beverages Winery & Distillery celebrates the season by pouring drinks like the Caramel Apple Martini and their Apple Malt Whiskey. You can expect something sweet and savory in your glass here. If wine and spirits aren't your pick, celebrate the colors of fall in your flight glasses at Eau Claire's breweries. Beer tastes good during all seasons... at least that's what the state of Wisconsin believes. 

3. Pick a variety of apples in our famous Orchard Country

Apples in a basket an apple orchard in Eau Claire

The Chippewa Valley is known for its abundant autumn harvest that is never lacking in apples. Just north of Chippewa Falls is a region known as Orchard Country with apple trees that reach as far as the eye can see. From Macintosh to Honey Crisp, you can find all of your favorite apples in orchards like Autumn Harvest Winery & OrchardDixon's Apple Orchard, Leffel Roots Apple OrchardFerguson's, The Glass OrchardBushel & a Peck and AVEnue Orchard, or just all over the Eau Claire area in general. You know what that means? Apple pie, apple cider and caramel apples galore. YUM!

4. Take advantage of the last few days of the golf season 

A group of men at the Wild Ridge Golf CourseJust because the leaves are falling does not mean that there's no time for another round of golf. There is still green to be seen, and where there is green, there is golf!  Head on out to Wild Ridge Golf Course or Princeton Valley Golf Course for a round or a great Friday night fish fry. Be sure to check for their weekly specials to get your fix.

5. Fill your pots with festival autumn adornments 

The rich colors of autumn can be featured beautifully in your yard after a few stops to Eau Claire's garden centers this season. Make trips to the Down to Earth Garden Center, May's Floral Garden, and Brent Douglas's shop for beautiful and festive fall arrangements for both the indoors and outdoors of your house. You can't go wrong with some mums to breathe some life to the entrance of your home!

6. Pick the perfect pumpkin

Exterior of the Ferguson's Orchards in Eau Claire, Wisconsin

Have some good ole fall fun at pumpkin patches this season. Between Ferguson's Orchards, Govin's Farm, and Valley Pasture Farm, there is loads of fun to be had and literal tons of pumpkins to be picked. Grab the prettiest and plumpest ones you'll want to carve and display at your home. Is there any better way to spend a fall day? We think not. 

7. Meander through countless corn mazes 

Many of Eau Claire's and the surrounding area's orchards have many things to do for family outings this fall season. Gather the troops and make your way through the corn mazes. You can even make a competition of it; who can get through the corn maze the fastest? Ferguson's Orchards and Valley Pasture Farm have some stalks for you to get lost in. Leffel Roots shakes things up a bit by offering a night corn maze. OOO... spooky!

8. Go to River Prairie's Ginormous Pumpkin Festival 

Shannon Engel, giant pumpkin grower, sitting in front of his pumpkin patch

Make your way over to River Prairie in Altoona for the annual Ginormous Pumpkin Festival! You will not believe your eyes once you see how gigantic these pumpkins are! Giant pumpkin growers compete to grow the most heavy pumpkins each year and they finally get to see the fruits of their labor at the weight-offs at this festival. This year's (2020) Ginormous Pumpkin Festival will be virtual. It's one fall event that you will not want to miss out on!

9. Get your hands around a cup of cider

Infinity Beverages Winery and Distillery cocktail

If you think that fall feels come from a cup, then you'll want a taste of all of this. Yes, this is especially for you hot cider and pumpkin spice lovers. There are so many places in Eau Claire to get a hot and steamy cup of delicious fall drinks. Here's what to order!

Harvest Cider at the Living Room Coffee House & Roastery

Ingredients: apple cider, half & half, cinnamon, nutmeg, caramel, syrup, and whipped cream 
Other delicious fall offerings: Spiced Chai, Pumpkin Chai, Spiced Apple Chai, Caramel Apple Chai, White Chocolate Pumpkin Mocha, Pumpkin Pie Latte, Caramel Apple Latte

Classic Cider at Niblett's Apple Shed

Other fall offerings: pick your own apples, tractor pull wagon-ride, apple slingshot, miniature golf and fall treats market

Butter Beerskey at Infinity Beverages Winery & Distillery

Ingredients: chocolate oatmeal stout, apple cider, ginger simple sugar, caramel winter spice simple sugar

Cider Press Cocktail at Mona Lisa's

Ingredients: blanco tequila, organic apple cider, creme de cassis, sliced apples, lemon

While you're out checking off items of your bucket list, make sure to snap photos and share them with us using #CaptureEC!

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