Fall in the Midwest is beautiful, but also unpredictable. Some days it’s freezing, some days it’s 80 degrees, and often you’ll experience warm and cold weather in one day. It’s a great time to hike some of the regions picturesque trails or, like I discovered last weekend at Cantigny Park in Wheaton, Illinois, stroll through a garden.
I’d never been here before, but can’t wait to go back in every season. It was one of the most beautiful parks I’ve ever walked through, especially with the deep red and orange leaves surrounding the lake. The gardens were perfectly manicured and matched the surrounding foliage, and even on a cloudy and misty morning it was stunning. Luckily, I was wearing all five of my favorite fall Midwest essentials, so the morning chill and muddy gardens didn’t bother me one bit.
Fall Staples for Midwest Travel
Hunter Boots–I bet you’re sick of hearing about Hunter boots. It seems like every single blogger I know talks about them, but after trying them this year I can see why. (And no, I promise Hunter is not paying me to say this!) They’re waterproof and warm, but most of all they’re comfortable. You know how some rain boots can feel clunky? These don’t. I’m obsessed. They’re also pretty cute and can pair with dresses or jeans, and don’t look ridiculous even walking around a city.
Scarf–I never go anywhere without a scarf, especially not after September. The cozier the better, so I can wrap up with it when I’m freezing or use it as a pillow on a flight or long drive. Scarves are also easy to stuff into your bag when the sun comes out.
Watch–I know we all use our phones to tell the time, but lately I’ve been wearing real watches. Helpful when your phone dies after a busy day of exploring and taking photos. Weird tip- I always keep mine on Chicago time so even when I’m traveling I know what time it is at home. Your phone will change automatically, so I keep one for local time one to keep track of client meetings back in Chicago, and to know when it’s acceptable to text my family and friends without waking them up. This fall I’m loving the Jord wood watches. They’re an easy accessory that matches most of my fall wardrobe, and come with lots of pretty face colors (here’s mine).
Functional bags–When I travel, I usually carry my life (computer, planner, phone) on my shoulder. This tote bag has served me well this year. I’ve stuffed it beyond belief and it has yet to show signs of ripping or breaking down. Also, it’s reversible! Giving me multiple outfit choices while traveling. Bonus points for the huge side pocket where I throw my keys, nail file, sunglasses, phone, etc. Inside my bag you’ll find my new favorite wallet from Cuyana. The brand is all about ‘fewer, better things,’ a motto made for travelers. This wallet is my favorite because of the coin purse inside, which saved me from digging in my bag for euros last month on a trip to Italy. They have lots of pretty fall colors too!
Rosebud Salve–How many times can I tell you I’m addicted to Smith’s Rosebud Salve? At least one more. I have one in every bag I own, and use it on my lips, face, hair, and nails, especially when the weather gets cold and my skin gets drier.
What else do I pack for fall travel? Cozy flannel, a sweater or two, a sweater dress, leggings, some dark lipstick, brown boots, and wool socks. Enjoy the last of fall in the beautiful Midwest! (And if you live in Illinois, make the trip to Cantigny Park!)