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If you're in love, fall's a wonderful season to celebrate it. Begin planning your upcoming journey with some music to put you in the right frame of mind, like Tony Bennett crooning "Autumn Leaves".
Then get ready to impress your significant other with your botanical knowledge of why leaves change color. Light the fire, cuddle up, and perhaps recite a poem appropriate to the season, such as Robert Frost's "After Apple Picking". Now you're in the mood, and ready to learn what pleasures await you in the crisp Autumn air.
Come October, much of the northern part of the country is in peak foliage.
To find out the most beautiful time to plan a trip in your region, check out the Weather Channel's USA map of peak color. You can also call the USDA toll-free telephone number, 800-354-4595, which projects weekly peaks of fall foliage throughout the nation. If you have a scientific bent, see the About Forestry Guide to fall foliage colors.
Many states with their own Web sites focus on fall foliage, and these are among the most useful:
If you're planning on driving and are wondering how to get from here to here, see Maps & Directions You'll get driving directions and mileage faster than you can fix a flat. You can also find car rental information.
Once you've figured out where and when to go, you'll need a place to stay. And since you're romantics, you'll want a place that offers all the amenities: fireplace, cozy down comforters, and an unlimited supply of hot apple cider. A country inn with a little bit of history will fit the bill nicely, and you can search here by state for fine places to enjoy both the vistas and the victuals.
Wherever you go, fall's a great time to explore the outdoors, and L.L.Bean's park search database can help you to zero in on the state park of your choice. Serious athletes can find information on active and extreme fall sports.
Remember to pack a camera, and if you haven't shot for a while check these travel photography tips.
A few years ago, my husband and I received the distinguished "first pumpkin fight of the season" award from our local fruit and vegetable stand.
(He likes them perfectly round; I prefer them freeform). Whatever shape you like your fall bounty in, there are plenty of places to pick out apples and pumpkins yourself. Among them:
Once you've found that perfect specimen, you may want to send away for a Dremel Pumpkin Carving Kit (check prices). (I don't know why, but Precious gets nervous every time he sees me with a knife in my hands.) Then there are those who believe in that old saying about the way to a man's heart may want to bone up on apple recipes.
Wherever you go (and you really ought to go someplace this season), I wish you the best and most romantic of times.