Downtown Holland is basically that friend of yours who cannot wait to wear a hoodie.

Strolling westward on Eighth Street last week during one of The Pike’s first crisp pre-fall days, I felt cozy. Instead of scrambling to capture the vestiges of summer, the city’s relaxed pace and transformed décor compelled me to look ahead.

Holland is ready. I’m ready. Are you?

Here are four items to include in your Holland fall starter pack.

Chaider, Lemonjello’s Coffee

Credit: Courtesy of Lemonjello’s Coffee

Dear pumpkin spice, it’s over. It’s been over for years. We had fun for a while, but then you got weird. I can’t go to the grocery store or shop online without seeing you in my breakfast cereal, my popcorn and my hummus. Seriously, hummus? That is so messed up. Anyway, I have a new fall beverage flavor now that respects my boundaries. It’s chaider — part chai tea, part hot apple cider. I had a cup at Lemonjello’s Coffee the other day and we are in love. Pumpkin spice, I hope you have a nice life.

A new hoodie, Glik’s

Credit: Aaron Ogg/The Pike magazine

My favorite hoodie has a bleach spot on the front, a couple of dime-size holes near the pocket and the cuffs look like they got jammed in a paper shredder. However, I will never throw it out. Do you hear me, Marie Kondo? Never. While its heyday may be long gone, it’s still perfectly good for evening walks, housework and Netflix binging. I’m in the market for a couple of new going-out hoodies, and I love this one by Super Massive Shop that I saw at Glik’s. I’m really digging the colors – an aquamarine stripe above a couple of rich autumn hues. Perfect lakeshore wear. 

A Michigan read, Reader’s World

Credit: Aaron Ogg/The Pike magazine

In the summertime, I always have the best intentions of catching a few rays with a good book, but it never seems to go that way. When it’s warm and sunny all I want to do is play. Now it’s time to find a few rainy-day page turners. If you’re planning your next Pike fall adventure or you love Michigan history, check out Reader’s World. They have an expansive Michigan section with genres for virtually every interest. Paddling Michigan, co-written by husband-and-wife authors Kevin and Laurie Hillstrom, includes more than 70 trips in the Upper and Lower Peninsulas for all skill levels.

Ichabod, New Holland Brewing Company

Credit: New Holland Brewing Company

OK, pumpkin spice … I might have judged you too harshly and I’m sorry, but you’re on thin ice! This year, Washington Irving’s classic short story The Legend of Sleepy Hollow celebrates its 200th year since publication. Ichabod, a seasonal beer by New Holland, is named after the story’s protagonist, Ichabod Crane. It’s an approachable pumpkin ale and, at 4.5% ABV, you can have a couple and not lose your gourd. Just avoid riding your horse home through the woods in the dark. If you don’t get a chance to enjoy your brew at New Holland, I recommend picking up a six-pack and sinking into your favorite chair to watch a spooky movie.

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