By Janine Annett
Are you thinking of a fall getaway to a quaint town? Maybe staying in an adorable Airbnb rental or a lovely cottage? Do you regularly look at “cabin porn” on Instagram? Are you dreaming of getting away from it all to a picturesque town with fall foliage, rolling hills, babbling brooks, and the slow pace of life in the country?
Well, sometimes fantasy doesn’t match up with reality, and the town you chose for your getaway might not have quite as much charm as you’d anticipated. In case you find yourself on a weekend vacation that fails to deliver, try these things to do in a small town:
1. Visit the local farmers’ market and supermarket! Enjoy an extensive selection of cold and lukewarm items, including locally made delicacies that you’ve probably never heard of or sampled before – like pickles. Aren’t you glad you drove three hours to try a pickle?
2. Spend some time visiting the local businesses. But first you might need to hit up the local banks for cash. Some small towns might have two, three if you count the ATM in the supermarket. If one bank doesn’t work, try the other two! Oh, all three aren’t working? Well then, didn’t you just get 45 minutes of free entertainment touring all the banks and inputting your PIN multiple times and calling your bank to make sure it wasn’t a problem with your bank account?
3. Go hang out at the local park. And by “park,” the town means about 40 feet of grass. Look on the bright side – it’s MOWED grass! Think of all the things you can do on mowed grass! The possibilities are endless.
4. Why not rent some boats to go boating on the river? That would be great if the guy who runs the boat rental place hadn’t gone on vacation himself and closed up shop this week, though.
5. Try the local restaurants. Too bad the town you chose only has one decent restaurant. It has outdoor seating only, so you’re out of luck if it rains. The restaurant is closed Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. They don’t accept reservations or credit cards.
6. There’s a great hiking spot nearby. Only a two-hour drive away. Just past the farms, prisons, and cults.
7. Check out the selection of antique stores in town. Many of them specialize in mid-century dust and are cash only. Hopefully one of the three banks will soon be working.
8. Oh, look, a wine store! The wine store is currently running low on wine but should be re-stocked by next Thursday. They also occasionally sell some cheese.
9. There is a movie theater in town. It shows one movie at a time. If you’ve already seen the movie playing, or are traveling with a young child who does not wish to view an R-rated movie, the other closest movie theater is a 3-hour drive away.
10. Why not investigate the myriad of ways to contract Lyme disease?
About the Author
Janine Annett has been published in various online and print outlets (including recent pieces in Maximum Middle Age and the Akashic books website). She is a picture book author who lives just outside of New York City with her son, husband, and cat. Follow Janine on Twitter at @janineannett.