Sept. 23 marks the Autumn equinox and the official beginning of the Fall season. As wafts of pumpkin spice and apple cinnamon float through the air and a slight chill drifts into the weather, you may find yourself in the mood for some fun fall activities. So what better way to celebrate a little sweater weather than with a trip to some local fall festivals?

A great way to explore North Carolina is to travel with friends to this season's different fall festivities. Whether it’s grabbing a gourmet burger from a food truck or a handmade scarf from the craft section, festivals are a great way to sample the local fare and get unique gifts from local vendors. They make for a great day trip, and they never cease to put you in the autumn mood.

Upcoming festivals like the Center City Park Fall Festival in downtown Greensboro Oct. 2 offer live music and lots of food truck options that will satisfy your inner foodie. There is also the Carolina Balloon Festival October 16, where you can view the fall foliage from above in a real hot air balloon. Let’s not forget about the NC State Fair Oct. 15-25, where you can watch pigs race while enjoying copious amounts of fried Oreos. Could there be a better Saturday afternoon?

Another wonderful thing about all the fall festivals going on is that they allow you to get in touch with the community. Not only could you discover a new favorite restaurant or retail spot, but it could also give you a chance to support local businesses.

If you are feeling bored in your stuffy dorm room or apartment on these upcoming fall weekends, don’t fear because chances are that there's an awesome fall festival to explore and a chance to make some great autumn memories.