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We want to take you behind the scenes, to give you insider information you won't find anywhere else. This is where we pull Bloomington's hip happenings together with recommendations from our team, first-hand accounts from project producers, and guest blogs by local gurus.  The Backstage Blog helps you stay in front of it all.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Fall in love with B-town

Categories: Outdoors, Indiana University, Arts & Culture, Family Fun, Wine & Culinary

It's finally getting cool outside and fall is settling in across the southern Indiana countryside. For the perfect fall weekend, head for Bloomington. In addition to B-town's many year-round attractions, fall brings a special something to the quintessential college town atmosphere.  You can almost smell it in the air as you wander around downtown. 

The IU football tailgates (I know, we may not be the winning-est team in college football right now, but believe me, we do take our tailgating seriously!), the deep, rich fall colors, and all those special seasonal things that are only available in the fall of the year. Here are a few suggestions if you've got a few hours or a few days to spend in Bloomington.

IU campus - Just about anyplace on campus is absolutely gorgeous in the fall. Falling leaves crunching underfoot, beautiful landscaping, the rush of students on their way to class, a wide variety of performances to attend, from national touring acts at the IU Auditorium to student and faculty recitals at the world-renowned Jacobs School of Music - it's all happening on campus!

Wineries & Brew Pubs - From the brew pub at Lennie's to the biergarten at Upland, the seasonal brews are out and ready to be enjoyed.  The perfect combination of the best of the season and the unique local character, the area's brew pubs offer a great place to hang out on a crisp fall weekend, as do the local wineries. The drive out to Butler Winery's vineyard is beautiful this time of year and don't miss the warm spiced Beanblossom Hard Cider available for tasting at Oliver Winery.

Hoosier National Forest & Lake Monroe - Enjoy the incredible natural beauty of the rolling hills, seemingly endless forests and the beautiful waters of Lake Monroe. I recommend heading out to the Charles C. Deam Wilderness Area where you can enjoy a short hike and climb the Hickory Ridge Fire Tower for incredible views of the natural landscape.

Cider & Pumpkins - No fall outing would be complete without a trip to the local orchard for apples, cider and the perfect carving pumpkin. My personal favorite is Musgrave Orchard, just north of town. Their cider has been voted the best in Indiana and it's always fresh - ask for a sample and decide for yourself!. Apples are available as well, with different varieties depending what's being harvested at the time of your visit. Local crafts and other items are available as well.

Local Restaurants - Of course, no visit to Bloomington would be complete with a trip to one of the many incredible restaurants located downtown. Check out the going out section on www.visitbloomington.com for details on specific restaurants you might want to visit. Many offer fun, seasonal fall specials throughout the season.

For more local recommendations, contact the Bloomington Visitors Center and talk with a local information specialist - they'll find out what your family's interests are and help you put together the perfect fall weekend in Bloomington. Just call toll free - 866-333-0088.

Tosha Daugherty

Tosha Daugherty

Tosha was the primary contributor to the B-town Blog during her tenure as content coordinator. Her blogs covered a number of topics, from family activities to outdoor excursions.