10 Amazing Ways to Celebrate Autumn in Washington

Fall adventure in Washington, Thoreau Bridge @humanitystyle

Fall is upon us, and there’s no better time to explore the rolling hills of Litchfield County than during this magnificent season. Washington is a true destination for the “fall in New England” experience, filled with breathtaking vistas, traditional fall activities for all, and of course – beautiful fall foliage everywhere you look. We invite you to explore the beauty of Washington this fall season!


For the Adventurer

If you’re looking for an outdoor adventure, the fall season is a perfect time to explore Washington. With an abundance of hiking trails and biking routes, you can enjoy some of the best views in Litchfield County from the four preserves of the Steep Rock Association, including the iconic Henry Thoreau Bridge and the panoramic views of Litchfield Hills from Waramaug’s Rock. And be sure to check out KC&E Adventures for a self-guided e-bike experience in the Litchfield Hills!

If you prefer to adventure from the comfort of the front seat, enjoy a scenic drive through the five villages of Washington to take in the technicolor fall foliage and striking views of Lake Waramaug! You can follow our Leaf Peeper’s Guide to Washington for the best scenic routes.

Waramaug's Rock @danburyfarley
Steep Rock Preserve @usaspringbok

For the Art Lover

Washington is a town with an abundance of arts and culture, so the art lover will find stunning works on display at the local galleries. One-of-a-kind pieces can also be found at our unique antique and design shops. Don’t miss the art exhibits at Judy Black Memorial Park and Gardens, KMR Arts, Washington Art Association, Byrde + the b. View the latest art exhibits in Washington

And if you’d like to really immerse yourself in art, take a look at the classes being held at the Washington Art Association, including “Introduction to Botanical Art Autumn Leaves” and the “Abstract Mixed Media Workshop.” View the complete fall class schedule

Exhibit at KMR Arts @kmrarts
Art classes at WAA @washingtonartassociation

For the Family

One of the most popular family destinations to visit in Washington during the fall is Averill Farm, where you can enjoy pick-your-own apples, and pick up freshly baked apple cider donuts, pumpkins, baked goods, and more! The farm is open daily from 9:30am-5:30pm. The Washington Harvest Festival (Sunday, October 9th) is another great way for families to truly celebrate the fall season, along with the Jack-O-Lantern Carving Contest (Saturday, October 29th) at the Judy Black Black Memorial Park and Gardens! View our Events Calendar for all events happening in Washington this fall

Farm stand at Averill Farm
Washington's annual Harvest Festival

For the Foodie

There’s no shortage of amazing restaurants and cafes to explore in Washington!  The Po Cafe is a must-visit for their innovative breakfast and lunch specials and seasonal lattes (Voted by Yankee Magazine as one of “New England’s most scenic spots for a caffeine fix”!) Stop by Gilmore Girls fan favorite, Marty’s Cafe in Washington Depot for a cozy coffee, and find freshly baked goods and breads at The Pantry, a town favorite.

Head over to the White Horse for a classic British-inspired meal or visit The Owl Wine & Food Bar for modern cuisine in style along with a great selection of local beer and wine. For international-inspired cuisine with unique flavors visit Flemming’s Hidden Valley Restaurant, enjoy seasonal New England classics at G.W. Tavern, or catch a dinner with a sunset view of Lake Waramaug at Hopkins Inn!

View Washington’s selection of eateries

The White Horse Country Pub & Restaurant @whitehorsecountrypub
Hopkins Inn @eveline_siebesma

For the Garden Lover

One of Washington’s treasured gems is Hollister House Garden, and the fall offers a serene experience as you enjoy a slow afternoon stroll among final blooms of the season and glorious autumn foliage. The garden also hosts lectures, workshops and special events so be sure to register early. Hollister House Garden is open to the public through October 8th, 2022.

Hollister House Garden in the fall
Hollister House Garden is open through October 8th

For the Gilmore Girls Fan

For the Gilmore Girls fans out there (count us in!), you may already know that the show’s creator and writer, Amy Sherman-Palladino, used the Town of Washington as one of her inspirations for Stars Hollow. Locals like to say that Washington is the “real Stars Hollow”. Make sure to plan a stop in Washington Depot to visit Marty’s Café for coffee and breakfast, explore The Hickory Stick Bookshop where you can find Rory’s Book List, and see what GG treasures you find shopping at Five Janes.

Explore more with our Gilmore Girls Guide to the Real Stars Hollow

Martys Cafe @socialandlocal
Hickory Stick Bookshop @hickorystickbookshop

For the History Lover

Fall is a fun time to explore Washington’s history, starting with the award-winning exhibit Washington, Connecticut – An American Story at the Gunn Historical Museum which features artifacts, stories, and photographs from Washington’s past – told in a quite unexpected and imaginative way. The Annual Washington Cemetery Tour (Friday, October 28th) is also a must-do for history lovers, featuring costumed actors portraying residents of the past. Mark your calendars and keep an eye out for registration details.

Gunn Historical Museum's "Washington CT - An American Story" Exhibit
Cemetery Tour at the Gunn Historical Museum

For the Music Lover

If you love unwinding with live musical performances, look no further! On September 9th and September 16th, Washington Friends of Music is pleased to present two superb classical and baroque music concerts featuring cellist Wendy Sutter and prominent composers and world-class musicians.

For a weekend of acoustic music, tune in for Hopkins Vineyard’s live music every Saturday from 3-6pm and Sunday from 2-5 pm while you enjoy wine tastings and an outdoor fall picnic. View the upcoming line-up at Hopkins Vineyard

Washington Friends of Music
Live music at Hopkins Vineyard @hopkinsvineyard

For the Romantic

Plan a romantic fall getaway with your sweetheart! Enjoy a little bubbly with a one-of-a-kind tasting menu and premiere champagne with the Garden Gastronomy experience or book a signature bodywork treatment for two at the world-famous Mayflower Inn & Spa.

For a casual afternoon, pack a picnic to enjoy the breathtaking fall foliage by Lake Waramaug and make sure to stop by for a gourmet box of chocolates at Sweeets or pick up a splendid dessert at The Smithy Cafe at 9 Main.

Experiences at the Mayflower Inn & Spa @mayflowerauberge
Late autumn picnic on the shore of Lake Waramaug @byalexandrabarnes

For the Wine Lover

If you enjoy the many tastes of authentic local wine, look no further than the vineyards of Litchfield County for an extraordinary experience. Washington is home to Spring Hill Vineyards, where you can enjoy wine tastings in a unique setting, featuring the immersive Bee Brook Grotto art installation, a unique surprise at the top of the Spring Hill Silo. Spring Hill Vineyards is open on Saturdays and Sundays from 12pm to 5pm through Columbus Day.

For a crisp fall afternoon with gorgeous views of fall foliage over Lake Waramaug, cozy up with wine flights and charcuterie platters at Hopkins Vineyard. The vineyard is open daily through October with live music on the weekends, and open on weekends in November and December.

Spring Hill Vineyards @springhillvineyards
Tastings at Hopkins Vineyard @kstein1584

Here’s to your autumn adventure! Let us know your favorite way to celebrate fall in Washington:

Tag us at @explorewashingtonct