Writer. Thinker. Strategist. Creative Tight Rope Walker.

Fall Travel Plans by Julie Linstrom

As summer’s heat quickly gives away to fall’s soft morning temperatures, I am reminded why fall is my favorite season. Each morning, we are greeted with crisp, cool air, which beckons us to grab a cup of coffee and the newspaper while relaxing on our porch. I love watching the autumn leaves turn and display their fiery colors not to mention see my children run through the newly fallen leaves that cover my front yard.

But, what I love more about autumn are our family’s travel adventures. First thing Monday morning, I begin sorting plans for our weekend adventure. Fall offers the best opportunities, with its cool weather, to go for long drives and enjoy the countryside. Being an avid reader of Country Living, I am hooked on their September and October issues detailing beautiful New England country roads. I can envision my family, cruising down a quaint lane kicking up freshly fallen leaves.
However, just because I live on the West Coast doesn’t mean there aren’t great fall adventures to be had.

Santa Paula and Ojai provide scenic byways for my family. Tooling along Highway 126 through Santa Paula offers some great family destinations. You can stop in at Faulkner Farms and enjoy an old-fashioned pumpkin patch complete with hay rides and a corn maze. There is also great food and entertainment. Or, you can try my son’s favorite, which is the Santa Paula Train Depot. He loves exploring the original 1887 Southern Pacific Railroads.

After letting the kids wear themselves out, giving mom and dad some much needed reprieve, we take off and hit the detour for Highway 150. This road hugs the Los Padres National Forest and provides breathtaking vistas. This charming two-lane road is surrounded by trees and quiet creeks. There is even a beautiful, and usually deserted, public park where the kids can play. This drive provides a great opportunity to enjoy fall’s quiet solitude and gorgeous views. And, it is this type of journey that always leaves me with an appreciation of nature.

So, for the next few weeks, I will continue to plot as many weekend adventures as possible so that I can enjoy all fall has to offer here in southern California. See you on the road!

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