Foliage Season in New York
The current Covid-19 pandemic shut us all inside our homes, and we understand how that can affect one’s mood. But that doesn’t mean you have to always stay in your house. Fall is already here, and what's better than spending this beautiful season outside watching fall foliage? If you are a New Yorker like us, we picked our favorite spots to visit in fall in this lively state. Don’t worry, you will be safe from the Coronavirus in the places since all of them take the NY State mandates very seriously.
These locations are great ways to escape from the city's stress and have a great time with your friends, family, or even yourself. We will cover something for everyone, from beautiful hiking trails and nature parks to excellent restaurants and museums.
No "must-visit places in New York" list is complete without Hudson Valley. Thanks to its beautiful hiking trails, convenient train connections, and fantastic art galleries and stores, this place is our and many other New Yorkers’ favorite.
After you make it to the town, there are a plethora of things to do. If you are into vintage stores, The Antique Warehouse Hudson is a great place to shop antique furniture for affordable prices. Likewise, Red Chair On Warren and Finch also have extensive inventories that range from French and Swedish antiques to rare photography and glassware. It is also worth noting that some of these shops can also buy your antique furniture if you have any that you want to sell.
To get yourself stylish vintage clothes, Nikki Chasin and Enkyu-LikeMindedObjects are must-visits. Both of these shops have stunningly original collections that bring modern art and fashion together. Their unique designs fit perfectly with our hand-made leather bags too, so we love checking their evolving inventory whenever we visit Hudson.
Aside from shopping, Hudson is home to many hiking trails with breath-taking views. The mountains surrounding the Hudson River embody the most beautiful shades of orange and red during fall. From Mount Beacon and Kaaterskill Falls to Anthony's Nose and Hudson Highlands State Park, there are numerous opportunities to hike in beautiful spots in Hudson. If you happen to hike with a group, be sure to keep your distance and wear your mask!
A must-visit in the area is the Storm King Art Center. This 500-acre outdoor museum is our favorite because of the way it blends nature and modern art. There are many unique large-scale sculptures, site-specific earthworks, drawings, and photographs here. They seamlessly come together with the beautiful nature surrounding them, and it is even more striking during fall. Since Storm King Art Center is an outdoor museum, it is also much safer in terms of Covid-19. Of course, they are still adhering to the NY State mandates for hygiene and safety, so you and your loved ones will be safe.
After traveling this much, you will naturally get hungry. Luckily, there are countless unique diners and restaurants in Hudson, and it is honestly challenging for us to pick favorites. Wm. Farmer and Sons is among the favorites of locals, though. Their seasonal menus, extensive list of wines, and friendly staff genuinely reflect the spirit of this cozy town. From there, you can visit Le Perche to taste French bread and pastries. If you are a beer enthusiast, definitely give a visit to the Hudson Brewing Company near the Hudson train station. On top of their unique beers, they serve fantastic food and have a cozy atmosphere. They even have party games if you want to have some fun time with your loved ones! Of course, be sure to keep your distance and wear your mask for the safety of everyone.
If you decide to extend your stay in Hudson and need a place to spend the night, we got you covered. Hudson used to lack decent resorts, but thankfully, many new hotels opened during recent years. Our favorite is still Mohonk Mountain House, though. This Victorian castle was founded in 1869 by the Smiley Family and is surrounded by more than 40,000 acres of beautiful nature. On top of their classical ambiance, they include many amenities such as an 18-hole golf course, a kids' club, a spa, tennis courts, indoor/outdoor pools, an ice rink, and ice trails. Since it is a 3-star hotel, its prices are reasonable too, and they are famous for their delicious food!
Mohonk Mountain House is also taking Covid-19 very seriously. Every potential guest has to answer a questionnaire and go through a temperature screening to make sure they are virus-free. On top of that, everyone is required to wear masks in the hotel's public areas, and the hygiene regimens are comprehensive and strict.
Greenbelt Nature Center
Outside of Hudson, there are numerous places to experience in New York. For example, the Greenbelt Nature Center in Staten Island feels like it's a separate place from New York City. This 1,778-acre public parkland is home to some of nature's liveliest and brightest colors. It is honestly one of the best places to relax and become one with the nature after months of quarantine. While hiking here in summer and spring, we saw the greenest trees in the state! Towards fall, when trees show their true colors, the foliage turns into the most beautiful shades of orange and red. Be sure to bring your camera!
Since fall is also the apple picking season, it would be a shame if we didn't mention any apple orchards in this guide. One of the highlights in this regard is Apple Dave's Orchards in upstate New York. Around September, picking apples here is one of the most relaxing and fun activities you can do with your loved ones. On top of that, there are many extra activities in Apple Dave's Orchards, like live music and face painting. Plus, you don't have to pay any parking, admission, or entertainment fees!
While you are upstate, be sure to check out Planting Fields Arboretum. This lively 400-acre historic state park is home to beautiful gardens, rolling hills, and walking paths. The spot reaches its peak fall foliage around October, so give it a visit!
Other than hiking, you can also experience the fall by rail. If you take the Catskill Mountain Railroad, you will get to watch the beautiful forests than run from the Kingston Stockade District to the Hurley Mountain. There are even special events like Fall Harvest Express, Great Train Robbery, and Easter Bunny Express. If that's not enough, you can also hop on the Adirondack Scenic Railroad to watch the beautiful remote forests of Adirondack Park. Plus, both of these railroad companies have many precautions against Covid-19, such as limited passenger capacities, mandatory face masks, and temperature screenings.
If you are looking for a more adrenaline-fueled experience, you can ride the highest and longest zipline in North America – Hunter Mountain Zipline! While ziplining, you will watch the beautiful forests surrounding the area from a 600 feet height. Those looking for a more relaxed experience can take gondolas at Whiteface Mountain and Gore Mountain.
Montauk Point Lighthouse
Another favorite of ours is the Montauk Point Lighthouse, located at New York's easternmost spot. It is the oldest lighthouse in the state and includes a tower, museum, and gift shop for you to explore. Since it also sits on a high point, we love watching the beautiful ocean and foliage surrounding it!