Top Five Harvest Festivals

hotel bookingsAutumn is harvest time! These festivals around the country celebrate the crops that best define the season and all of the baking, canning, and other inherent preparation for winter we all delight in.

Cranberry Harvest Celebration—Wareham, MA

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Pop on some chest waders and get pumped about this bright, tart crop! Well, at least watch the professionals as they trudge through the veritable sea of red berries. The unique harvest is the highlight of this festival, but you’ll be puckering happily at all of the cran-centric treats available. Everything from cranberry jam to cranberry doughnuts is up for grabs, as well as a spread of New England favorites like clam chowder, lobster rolls and Boston baked beans.

Pumpkin Festival—Keene, NH

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Downtown Keene becomes alight with thousands of jack-o-lanterns for this yearly celebration of pumpkins. The famous Pumpkin Tower rises from the town square, but every available surface downtown is festooned with glowing pumpkins in an attempt to reclaim the world record for most collected in one place. Boston holds the record with 30,128. To draw visitors from far and wide, there is a selection of tasty spiced pumpkin treats to sample, music, and fireworks. Don’t forget to bring your own carved jack-o-lantern!

National Apple Harvest Festival—Arendtsville, PA

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For almost fifty years apples have been celebrated in this small town, with the help of local crafters, bakers, musicians and artists. Check out the antique cider press, take a tour of an apple orchard and sample candied apples, apple butter, apple fritters, apple jam and every other apple-centric treat you can dream up. Chainsaw carving, Native American Dance performances and twangy mountain music bands round out this festival.

North Carolina Pecan Harvest—Whiteville, NC

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If you love the sweet and earthy flavor of these nuts, this is the celebration for you. Start with the Queen’s luncheon, where you’ll meet the Queen of the weekend, the Pecan Belles and their cadet escorts. The parade is always a popular attraction, packed with plenty of fun floats and performers. Don’t forget to taste some of the best pecan pie on earth—the annual Cook-off draws pie aficionados from far and wide. Burn off the calories in the Tim Reilly Memorial Run, there are both 5k and 8k routes you can tackle for charity.

Heritage Harvest Festival—Monticello, VA

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Locals refer to Thomas Jefferson as the “first foodie” because he was serious about his vegetable garden and had the foresight to explore sustainable agriculture long before bow-tie clad hipsters got excited about the term “organic.” Sample the veritable rainbow of fruits and vegetables harvested from Monticello’s own farm—heirloom tomatoes, peppers and herbs are the most popular. Accomplished green-thumbs are on hand to trade seeds, share tips about canning, pickling and more!

Excellent Hotels offers the best rates on hotels across the country, whether you are looking for a luxury hotel in Boston, Monticello, North Carolina, New Hampshire or Pennsylvania!

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