When I was younger, I didn't really appreciate the season of fall that much. Summer was my time to shine, which I think is the same for most kids. "School's out for summer...!"

Also, I spent the majority of my youth in places where autumn wasn't really anything to make a fuss over. Tropical climates like Hawaii, Guam, and Florida. Fall? Big deal! I'm sure Pennsylvania is pretty in the fall, but we lived in Philly. And while there was plenty to do, there wasn't a lot of beautiful scenery to look at and enjoy.

But I'll tell you this, my Berkshire County friends, now that I'm older and living in New England, I've come to appreciate autumn a whole lot more than I used to. As a matter of fact, it's become my favorite season.

How can you not love fall in Massachusetts? Apple picking. Pleasant Valley Sanctuary. Leaf-peeping along the Mohawk Trail. The view from Mount Greylock is always beautiful on a clear day, but something about it during the fall makes it even better! Locating that perfect gourd in a pumpkin patch.

How about getting lost wandering around a corn maze with a Dunkin' coffee to take some of the chill out of the air? Have you ever taken a stroll down Boston's Freedom Trail in the fall? You talk about some beautiful foliage! Hayrides are always fun. Or you can wait until Halloween and take in a Haunted Hayride!!

What about fall house decorating? Love that! Or the smell of a warm, freshly baked apple pie. Or taking a weekend trip and visiting Salem. Again, Salem's a beautiful town but the arrival of fall(and especially Halloween) makes it even better.

And that really is just the tip of the iceberg, folks. That's just scratching the surface in terms of why autumn in Massachusetts is simply amazing. And yet, according to a new study ranking the best states to visit in the fall, the Bay State just made it into the top 20.

The folks at LawnStarter, the media marketplace for lawn care and outdoor services, recently conducted a study concerning the "Best States To Visit This Fall" and Massachusetts didn't do too well. We barely made it into the top 20, for crying out loud!

LawnStarter looked at all 50 states based on several key indicators such as fall foliage, most camping-friendly, most hiking trails, most scenic drives, the number of fall-themed activities like hayrides and corn mazes, etc.

No one was more surprised than I was to learn that Massachusetts was ranked #19 in the study. As a matter of fact, the only New England state to rank lower than Massachusetts was Rhode Island which came in at #25.

Can you believe that? 18 states ranked higher than Massachusetts when it comes to the best states to visit this fall. Anyway, now that I'm over the shock, here's the top 10:

  1. California
  2. Washington
  3. Vermont(our first New England state makes an appearance--Yayyy!)
  4. Michigan
  5. Colorado
  6. New York
  7. New Hampshire
  8. Maine
  9. Minnesota
  10. Wisconsin

In case you were wondering, the only New England state not yet mentioned, Connecticut placed at #14. Oh, and the worst state to visit this fall? Any guesses? It's one of the most beautiful places on Earth, but not really a place to go to when you're in a "fall" frame of mind. Hawaii. That's right. Our 50th state is 50th on the list.

There's lots more cool info to check out from the study. To find out more, and to see where your state ranks, visit LawnStarter's website here.

Speaking of fall, one of my favorite holidays will be here before you know it--HALLOWEEN! Please continue reading:

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