Bold statement: Fall is the most romantic season.
We've all felt the cool breezes. Fall is rolling in. Hot and steamy summer nights make way for colorful days and cozy evenings. It doesn't come with the high-flying hormones of summer; absent are the stresses of the gift-giving season; and who really likes to get caught in spring showers? You can ruin a perfectly good hair day that way.
Fall follows summer, meaning beach memories and tan lines remain fresh, but you're ready for vineyard tours, bonfires, and foliage drives with your special someone. Now's the perfect time to plan a long weekend or week -- you deserve it! -- exploring a gay-friendly city and its surrounding Technicolor countryside towns.
Here are some of our top picks to see one of Mother Nature's best shows. Of course, I'm focusing more on the autumns of the Northeast corridor, which rival any season in any part of the world for pure beauty.
Option No. 1: Providence, Scituate, Newport, Wickford, Portsmouth
The famous New England foliage change explodes across Providence as the air becomes crisp. Walk around the city to take in the architecture and green spaces, and eat and shop your way down Wickenden Street. (For more on Providence, click here.)
Rhode Island Statehouse, Providence Photo by Nicholas Millard
To truly dive into autumn beauty, take it to the 'burbs.
The three-day Scituate Art Festival takes over Columbus Day weekend, and it's the perfect time to get a jump start on your holiday shopping -- or to add some new pieces to your own walls. The dramatic fall backdrop looks almost fake.
Foodies can get in on the biggest culinary trend since using utensils. The Newport Food Truck Festival includes 20 roving eateries and takes place on October 20. It's a great reason to build a long-weekend autumn getaway. Follow New England Food Festivals on Twitter (@foodtruckfestNE) for the most up-to-date information.
In November, adventurous types can hop in a tandem kayak for a seal-watching excursion from The Kayak Centre.
If you find more satisfaction in the bottom of a glass than in the middle of the sea, make plans to sip the day away at one of the region's picturesque, quality wineries. Greenvale Vineyards hosts live jazz every Saturday through November.
Option No. 2: Philadelphia, Bucks County, New Hope, Kennett Square
Even if you venture a little farther south, you can still take in a kaleidoscope of autumn colors and activities. Philadelphia hosts fall festivals practically every weekend in the season.
Philadelphia throws the biggest National Coming Out Day with OutFest (October 7), a block party in the heart of the Gayborhood featuring drag shows, games, bar crawls and shopping. The Midtown Village Fall Festival (October 6) also drives lots of gaiety, mostly because the daylong celebration takes place in the Gayborhood. (For more on Philadelphia, click here.)
Outside the city, couples find plenty of inspiration for hand-holding.
Drama types can put on their own version of Bridges of Bucks County by discovering the 12 historic covered bridges in the bucolic towns in this part of the Keystone State. The athletically inclined can rent bikes and ride along the peaceful Delaware River Canal to take in the reds, oranges, and yellows.
While in Bucks County, make your way to the artist colony of New Hope. Pop in and out of the funky shops, galleries restaurants, bars and cafes along the town's lively Main Street.
Topeo Gallery, New Hope, Pa. Photo by B.Krist for GPTMC
To really delve into this suburban oasis, book a night or two at a quaint B&B. (For more on New Hope, click here.)
Also near Philadelphia, Chester County's Longwood Gardens is the Madonna of gardens. You could spend an entire day strolling through the gardens, exploring the conservatory and admiring the dancing fountains.
No matter where you take your trip, remember to pack your camera and your most comfortable pajamas. Fall provides the perfect backdrop for a new Facebook profile pic and lots of cuddling.
And you can always get more travel info on fagabond.com.
Follow Jim Werner on Twitter: www.twitter.com/fagabond