As summer slowly sets, fall gives rise to new activities, and a whole new set of tastes. Doesn’t a warm cup of coffee just taste better in the crisp air? And those veggies at the local farmers market almost look too good to eat. However, we invite you to explore hidden gems in the state that welcome fall as smoothly as the leaves change their beautiful hues.

If you’re a coffee connoisseur, how about getting just as obsessed with the shop that brews it as you are with the drink? It doesn’t get much more charming than the tin-and-brick-covered Udderly Caffeinated Coffee Shop that embraces New Salem’s beloved Salem Sue. Farther west is the Market Press Coffee Co. in Dickinson that will make you wonder which is more welcoming – its chic décor or the delicious breakfasts. For more ideas, check out the Coffee Cruise that will guide you to many other coffee stops spanning the distance between Mandan and Medora. You might be surprised how the smallest towns can bring the biggest flavors.

You really can’t talk about fall without mentioning a festival or two. Grab some homemade fleischkuekle and burn off that caffeine cheering on the short-legged competitors at the Dachshund Dash during Hazen’s Harvestfest held Sept. 7-11. And you won’t want to miss Wahpeton’s fall festival, hosting movies in the park, the Classy & Classic Car Show and plenty of delicious food. And speaking of delicious food, the Bismarck, Grand Forks and Fargo farmers markets will be in full swing throughout September.

What’s the perfect pairing of fall food and activity? Corn mazes! The Grafton Corn Maze is back with a corn cannon, corn pit, zipline and wagon rides that have family games you can play together along the way. Or you can head to Jamestown for the A-Maze-N Corn Maze & Pumpkin Patch with bounce houses and even a petting zoo. Coleman’s Corn Maze in Bismarck will bring a real challenge for maze runners, as its 10-acre field traces the design of a cow-calf pair.

Now is the time to embrace the opportunities of autumn that fall into our laps, just like the colorful tree leaves.