The crisp cool air and the crunch of bright leaves beneath your feet—Autumn has arrived! Get inspired by this fresh new season and take advantage of the beautiful DC weather and abundant outdoor activities. Leading into the holiday season, it’s the perfect opportunity to connect with friends, re-connect with yourself and feel refreshed before schedules get crazy (hello holiday parties!).
Take on DC Refined's Ultimate Fall Wellness Bucket List and embrace all that the season has to offer.
Take Fall Foliage Hike
It doesn't get any better than hiking amongst the changing leaves. Grab a crew and check out Great Falls National Park, Rock Creek Park or the C&O Canal National Historic Park. Be sure to bring a camera to capture the vibrant colors. To plan your hike at prime time, check out Smokey Mountain’s interactive 2017 Fall Foliage Map, which will help you target the right window for peak change.
Go Apple Picking & Experiment with New Recipes
Find an orchard nearby (check out the 6 best places for apple picking this fall), and use your haul to make healthy seasonal treats. Experiment with all-natural apple sauces, fresh apple crisps, dried apple chips and cinnamon baked apples.
Host a Pumpkin Potluck
Maybe everyone’s gone a little overboard with pumpkin flavored goods (really, do we need pumpkin flavored potato chips?), but there’s no denying that people love pumpkin foods. Nothing says fall quite like an entire meal made of pumpkin-inspired foods. Invite your friends over for a pumpkin-only party, and while you’re at it, encourage them to put a healthy twist on their pumpkin creations. Pumpkin is said to boost vision, lower blood pressure, help you sleep better and the fiber may protect your heart. While we can’t vouch for those benefits coming from a daily habit of pumpkin spice lattes, adding pumpkin to chili, home-made loaves and desserts can’t hurt.
Get the key ingredient at a local pumpkin patch (here are 7 within an hour drive of DC), or opt for the canned variety. If going the canned route, check for added sugars and preservatives to select a natural healthy version (like Farmer's Market Organic Pumpkin)
Challenge Yourself to a Fall Race
Fall weather is arguably the best for running--not too hot, not too cold, and with fall colors there is bound to be beautiful scenery. Whether it’s a 5k or a marathon, sign up for an active adventure. The Marine Corps Marathon takes place in October. If you haven’t already snagged your spot, cheer on the runners and race in the 10k, hosted the same weekend. Other races to check out: The Reston Pumpkin 5k, The Backyard Burn fall race series or the Autumn Georgetown 5k & half.
Explore a Farmer’s Market
With a new season comes new produce that’s ripe for the picking. Instead of sticking to your go-to recipes, step out of your comfort zone with new fruits and veggies. Visit your local farmer's market (check out the Ultimate DMV Famers Market Guide if you don’t know where to go) and look for seasonal selections like figs, delicata squash, butternut squash, acorn squash (tis the season for squash!), eggplant, persimmons, pumpkins and cabbage. Find recipes on Pinterest, get creative and make up your own, or chat with the Farmer’s Market staff to get their preparation recommendations.
Recharge at a Quaint B&B
Between a packed summer of travel and the holidays coming up, now’s the time to give yourself a little breathing room. Allowing yourself the opportunity to reset is important. Take a hint from the changing leaves and nature's reset and hit refresh yourself. Find a low-key spot for quiet reflection. A spa getaway or a night at a bed & breakfast might do just the trick (check out our list of local B&Bs for your next getaway)