By Leah Maki

Fall is my favorite season. I grew up going to apple orchards and pumpkin patches, baking pumpkin and apple pies, sipping cider next to a fireplace, and going for walks to find the most radiant red, orange and yellow leaves. But in the Florida Keys when the temperatures are pushing 90 degrees, it’s hard to think about enjoying any of these things. If like me, you’re craving a hint of fall, here are a few tips to bring a little fall to you.

• Wet your whistle. Head to your favorite coffee shop for a pumpkin spiced latte or better yet, indulge in a white chocolate cinnamon mocha from Café Moka in Tavernier. This decadent treat will truly awaken your fall senses. If coffee isn’t your thing, opt for something a little lighter. You can find some great Octoberfest and pumpkin ales this time of year. Florida Keys Brewing Co in Islamorada offers a large selection of beers on tap including a number of fall themed selections sure to wet your whistle.

Fall accents. The best fall accents add warmth to your home. Add a vase of yellow sunflowers or colorful wildflowers to liven up your room. Apples are another fall staple that are easy to decorate with. Add them to a vase on your center table or foyer, or assemble them into a large bowl on your counter. Another easy way to get into the season is to pick out a handful of gourds, colorful squash and pumpkins at your local grocery store or farmer’s market. My favorite are the white albino pumpkins that seem to blend better with our tropical landscaping.

Update your space. When you’re cooling off in the air conditioning, a light throw might be just what you need to snuggle in. This is the perfect time of year to add fall-themed throws or accent pillows to your living space. Fall tones are not only the traditional orange and brown, instead consider adding deep purples, magenta or dark teal to warm up your space.

• Fire pit. The best part about fall in South Florida is that the weather starts cooling down for us to finally enjoy more outdoor living. Outdoor fire places, fire pits, and other fire features are some of the fastest growing trends in outdoor living spaces. There is just something mesmerizing about the dancing flames and wood burning elements, the smoky aromas and crackling sounds of the fire that make it feel like fall. Add a fire pit to your outdoor space for instant charm and warmth in the cooler hours once the sun goes down.

• A new jack o’ lantern. Instead of carving a pumpkin, embrace your tropical locale and opt for a pineapple Jack o’ lantern — great for table décor for a dinner party or a children’s activity with built-in snack. These silly and spirited little guys are darling but don’t leave them out too long as they are perishable.

• Events. On Saturday, Oct. 22 the Garden Club of the Upper Keys is hosting their Fall Festival at MM94 bayside from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Enjoy garden items, a plant sale, children’s activities, local art, baked goods, workshops, jewelry and more to help you get into the fall spirit! Go to gardenclubupperkeys.org for more information.

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