The heat waves rolling across the country have us dreaming of the colorful leaves and crisp temperatures of autumn. In anticipation of the season, 10Best is looking for the best fall destinations, events, attractions and experiences, and we need your help.
Vote for your fall favorites in 10 categories once per day to help us crown a winner. The contest closes on Monday, August 26 at noon ET, and the winners will be announced on 10Best on Friday, September 6 (just in time for the start of fall).
Click on each category below to vote:
Best Apple Orchard
Pick your own produce at these orchards — Photo courtesy of iStock / romrodinka
The first apple orchard in the U.S. was planted in 1625 near Boston's Beacon Hill. Today, more than 7,500 growers are producing apples in all 50 states (according to the U.S. Apple Association). That's 240 million bushels of apples each year. Since each individual apple must be hand-picked during the autumn harvest season, many orchards open their gates for visitors to come and pick their own, often with added autumn entertainment.
Best Corn Maze
These mazes offer a fun and family-friendly challenge — Photo courtesy of iStock / Dennis Wegewijs
Each autumn, farms across the United States transform their corn fields into interactive mazes, perfect for a fall family outing. There are more than 500 of these mazes across the nation, but 10Best Local Experts and Editors have narrowed it down to 20 of the most exemplary, both for the quality of the maze itself and for the wealth of other activities on offer.
Best Destination for Fall Foliage
Where's your favorite place for leaf peeping? — Photo courtesy of iStock / DenisTangneyJr
The kids are back in school, temperatures are starting to drop and Mother Nature's gearing up for her annual spectacle of fall color. It's the time for leaf-peeping, and USA TODAY 10Best Local Experts and Editors have selected their 20 favorite destinations.
Best Escape Room
Be the hero of your own adventure at these top immersive escape rooms — Photo courtesy of iStock / Olivier Le Moal
Since the first escape room opened in Japan in 2008, the escape room craze has taken the world by storm. Today, there are thousands of these physical adventure games around the globe. We asked a panel of escape game bloggers to nominate their favorite game facilities in the U.S., and now we need you to help us crown a winner.
Best Fall Festival
These festivals are the best for celebrating the autumn season — Photo courtesy of iStock / ykadelx
Cooler temperatures, colorful leaves and a bountiful harvest ... these are the hallmarks of autumn, a season celebrated at festivals throughout the country. We want to know which fall festival you think is most travel-worthy.
Best Ghost Tour
History and haunts go hand in hand on these tours — Photo courtesy of iStock / James Pintar
Where there's history, there are often haunts. Ghost tours offer thrills and chills, but also a unique insight into the history of a destination and the famous people who've lived there (and maybe still do). With the help of our Local Experts, we've picked out 20 tours from coast to coast as nominees for Best Ghost Tour, and now we need your help naming a winner.
Best Haunted Attraction
Feel the terror at the top haunted houses and attractions in the U.S. — Photo courtesy of iStock / kali9
Halloween means costumes, horror movies, haunted houses and a celebration of all things scary. 'Tis the season for terror and 10Best is on a mission to find the best haunted attractions in the U.S. These 20 haunted houses offer the best actors, set designs, special effects and value for money out there.
Best Haunted Destination
Are these locations haunted? See for yourself — Photo courtesy of St. Augustine Lighthouse & Museum
The United States is filled with purportedly haunted locations, each with their own ghost stories and paranormal occurrences.
Best Haunted Hotel
Some guests at these haunted hotels never checked out — Photo courtesy of iStock / gremlin
Ghostly apparitions, faucets turning off and on, flickering lights and eerie sounds are just a few of the things you may encounter at one of these hotels, where certain guests have checked in but never checked out.
Best Theme Park Halloween Event
Which theme park throws the best Halloween bash? — Photo courtesy of Busch Gardens Williamsburg
Looking for a scare this Halloween? Head to the nearest amusement park! Theme parks across the country are hosting ghastly, ghoulish events to celebrate the season and you're invited.
Remember, you can vote once per day in each category. The 10 nominees with the most votes in each category will be announced on 10Best.com on Friday, September 6.