With pool tarps coming out of the shed and beach days and music festivals becoming more and more extinct, we can all feel summer winding down to its inevitable end.
As upsetting as this news is to most people, summer’s closing welcomes in fall’s inception, signaling a season chock full suspense, shrubbery and sweaters.
Yes, there will be a lot of alliteration on this list. Sorry, I can’t help the fact that the best parts of the fall start with the letter “F.”
With that said, let’s get started…
If you thought anything else had a chance of topping this list, you were sorely mistaken. Football doesn’t just catapult the fall over the summer in the seasonal rankings — it establishes the fall as the best season. After being dragged through the boring summer months where baseball and golf are the only escape, sports fans are fully rejuvenated at the onset of the season’s changing. College and pro football are finally back, and, yes, if you’re enthralled by the sport that much, high school football is back too. This means tailgating, fantasy football and weekend-long benders (totally justifiable in the fall).
There is no greater sport-to-season connection than football and fall. They belong together like lamb and tuna fish, or spaghetti and meatballs, if you’re more comfortable with that analogy.
In 21st century America if you don’t like football, you mine as well get the hell out.
Honestly, I think I could write a piece where football is No. 2 through No. 10, but I will spare you.
2. Holiday Season
Often overlooked when comparing summer to fall is how many days off that we get to enjoy in the fall. Yes, I realize the summer is just one long season of vacation; however, there is something nice about four-day workweeks and shorter school weeks. Let’s consider: Labor Day, Columbus Day, Halloween (technically not a day off, but still), Election Day, Veteran’s Day and Thanksgiving are all apart of autumn. And, if you’re Jewish, there’s Yom Kippur and Rosh Hashana too. Although Fourth of July is my favorite of all holidays, in this case I’m going with quantity over quality.
3. Less Bugs
I vehemently despise bugs and I would argue that without the existence of mosquitoes, gnats and all other insects that summer would be the best season of the year. However, they do exist and they bog down the summer months with their constant munching on our flesh. I always welcome in the fall with open arms because I know that as the temperatures drop and the humidity dissipates, the less worried I will have to be about spending a night out on the porch.
More on the weather coming up, I promise.
4. Limited Tourism
Another underrated element of the fall that often goes overlooked – it’s not a season of travel. Besides moving back to college and coming home for thanksgiving, you’re going to be pretty much in the same place for three to four months. Even better, your encounters with actual tourists will be minimal because, by the time the fall rolls around, they will have retreated back to their homes, and possibly other countries. This frees up some possibilities, such as going to the beach in September, without having to face a big crowd.
Where to begin? There’s fresh fruit that produces delicacies that range from apple cider to apple pie. Fall is also a great season for veggies too and is an extremely welcoming time period for baked goods (see: pies, above). Furthermore, fall is a great season for hunting so a lot more meats are available ranging from venison to turkey. There are also stews and soups, cookouts and barbeques, and farmers’ and seasonal markets. I could keep going on about food but I’m afraid you’d think I’m a fatty.
Summer brings us the worst entertainment of the year. There I said it. I can’t stand the onslaught of blockbusters that always disappoint. During the barrage of far-fetched action movies and disturbingly bad sequels, its like Hollywood is just gives movie audiences everywhere a gigantic middle finger and says, “Fuck you, you’ll pay to see it.” And the worst part is, they’re absolutely right.
Well, one of the redeeming parts of the fall is that filmgoers aren’t hijacked by this super imbalance. Rather, the best films of the year come out during this time and there are plenty of different types of movies to go see. There are still plenty of Hollywood tent poles, but if you’re in the mood gnaw at a think-piece that will leave you thinking for days, then the fall is the season for your film appetite.
7. Foliage (i.e. Colors)
Is there a more transcendent indicator of seasons changing then when the colors of leaves begin to transform? I don’t think so. It’s one of those things that we take for granted and don’t discuss nearly enough, but it’s an awesome reminder than autumn is here. The best part about this annual tradition is you can enjoy it anywhere in the country that is not an inner city. Seriously, I don’t get how people could live day to day without looking at trees. It seems mundane, but come on now, it’s fucking nature.
Warming up to a fire — whether it’s a fireplace, a fire pit or just a campsite fire — is one of the best things about the fall. You can cook hot dogs and roast marshmallows; you can share stories and listen to others; and, most importantly, you can enjoy the glorious smell of embers burning as you watch the flames die out. In other seasons, fires are just not the same. In the summer, it’s too hot and too environmentally ignorant. In the winter, they’re really only practically inside. And in the spring, well, who cares about the spring?
Let’s be honest, we all love to rumble around in our bathing suits and basketball jerseys, but there’s something pleasant about packing up the summer attire in exchange for a nice pair of khakis and sweaters, not to mention football jerseys. (Note: I refuse to say anything about girls bundling up with sweatshirts and jeans, because a world without bikini-clad women is no world for me.)
The fall also promotes wearing pajamas, something that is often skipped in the warmer months. Perhaps, most notably, the best part of the summer to fall transition is that you don’t have to be afraid of stumbling across some hideous, shirtless guy who is 25 pounds over weight.
And that takes us to the inevitable finally item on this list…
10. Cooler Weather
Everyone loves the warm weather because it allows you to spend so much time outside in as little clothing as possible, and I get that reasoning. However, the fall shouldn’t mitigate you inside with fear of cold weather. You can still do plenty outdoor activities when the temperature drops, including biking, hiking and camping, and, in fact, you can do more of them because you won’t be as dehydrated.
Furthermore, though you won’t be spending your free time relaxing poolside, the cooler weather will allow you to enjoy the fresh air and the outside more than you normally do May through August. Instead of dying to get back into the air conditioning after playing some golf, you will stay out in the yard throwing out in the football without any complaints.
And if you are complaining while throwing the football around in these next coming months, well, I can’t do much to help you.