Fall in Los Angeles is an elusive thing. There’s no nip to the air—au contraire, some of the warmest (and wild-fiery) days fall in these months—and any dramatic color changes take place in fashion rather than on trees. Mostly, we know it as that period of time in L.A. after (most of) the tourists leave and just before palm trees all over the city get the Christmas light treatment. Even if you’re still enjoying L.A.’s best beaches come October (and why would we ever complain about that?), you’ll recognize the signs: the impulse to jack up your reading list, to buy sweaters you won’t wear for weeks, to throw a scarf on over your sundress, to order seasonal squash dishes. You may even start craving the best pie in the city. No matter, here are the best things to do each fall in L.A.—or, at least, things that’ll help make it feel like autumn is actually a thing here.
9 things to do in the fall in L.A.
Fall is apple picking season, and even though we live in sunny Southern California, there are plenty of options around Los Angeles. From September to November, the Oak Glen area of Southern California will be blooming with these delicious fruits just waiting to be picked. Purists can eat their apples straight from the tree, while others may choose to press them into a cider or bake them into a pie.
If you’re looking for a pumpkin for a jack-o-lantern, any pumpkin patch will do. But if you’re looking for a pumpkin patch where you can enjoy the day, L.A. has plenty of patches that have enough fun for the whole family, including petting zoos and haunted mazes—and one in Irvine that’s even Hello Kitty-themed.
October is the only month you won’t mind being told to “get lost”—in a corn maze. Los Angeles has a few in the Valleys that are a guaranteed good time, as you weave through a labyrinth of corn husks (and maybe a few dead ends) until reaching the end. Some are even designed to create particular images and messages. Visit one, or visit all and be sure to take stock in the abundance of corny jokes that await.
Look, it’s not Vermont, but Los Angeles does indeed have some fall colors. Mountainous environs like Oak Glen and Big Bear are usually the go-to, but you can find some splashes of color closer to home, too; we typically turn to one of the region’s stunning botanical gardens for some seasonal vibes.
While many people prefer to go camping during the summer months, we prefer fall. Lower temperatures, less crowded campgrounds and fewer bugs are just a few of the reasons why. Whether you’re more an off-the-beaten-path camper or like more glamping style camping, there are plenty of great places to camp around Southern California.
Oktoberfest might be one of our favorite holidays adopted from other lands. Because, you know, beer. With all the craft beer the city has to offer—we have plenty of fantastic beer bars and biergartens in L.A.—Oktoberfest gives us the opportunity to visit them as much as possible and welcome autum with a bratwurst in hand. Put on your leiderhosen, brush up on your oompah dancing and raise a stein to the festival that encourages us to drink our dinner. Prost!
Once the Santa Ana winds blow through the last of the season’s hot weather, cravings for all things warm and cozy are at an all-time high. So when the sun sets early and that cool Pacific Ocean breeze blows in, it’s time to head for the flames. These fireplace bars are keeping us warm with crackling flames and seasonal cocktails all fall and winter long.
Most of the month of December is technically still considered fall, which means you can have a merry fall as well. In between a deluge of Christmas activities and frantic shopping trips, take the time to check out these twinkling neighborhoods. Just make sure to bring along an extra sweatshirt and some patience: not even Christmas lights can escape L.A. traffic.
More fall coverage
We refuse to give up the season that ushers in football, pumpkin spice lattes and Christmas-tree smell.
Even though we don’t have dramatic changes in seasons, follow our guide to the best things to do in Los Angeles that will help you get into the fall spirit.
Want killer craft beer straight from the source? Head to these breweries for a taste of what's on tap.
Check out our LA concert calendar to find out which of your favorite bands and artists have upcoming shows in the city.
Explore wine tasting in L.A. at the best wine shops and retail stores in the city.
Sometimes you just need to escape for a few hours, and luckily we happen to be surrounded by spectacular places.