Summer in New York is slow, with people jetting out of town to escape the heat each weekend, but once Labor Day passes, people stay. And though bidding farewell to summer is always a shame, there’s so much to look forward to in fall. The weather is gorgeous, people are happy, and leaves turn those vibrant red, orange and yellow hues that East Coast autumns are famous for. And despite the fact that New York City
is known as the concrete jungle, there are plenty of places where you can enjoy the colorful show.
Yes, this one is obvious, but it’s obvious for good reason. Despite its popularity, Central Park is huge, so it’s always possible to find your own private hideaway. Don’t be turned off by thinking Central Park is overrun, touristy, or cliché because then you’ll miss out on one of the city’s best not-so-hidden gems. There are more nooks and crannies than you could ever explore, and they will definitely be full of fall colors.
Central Park, New York, NY, USA, +1 212 310 6600
Fort Tyron Park
Fort Tyron Park is home to The Cloisters, but if you come during autumn, you’ll want to be sure to spend ample time in the park. Stroll through Heather Gardens and relax at Linden Terrace (one of the highest points in NYC) where you’ll be rewarded with views across the Hudson River. Across the water are the Hudson River Palisades, which have 20 miles of cliffs sure to be covered in the most vibrant of fall colors.
Fort Tyron Park, Riverside Dr To Broadway, New York, NY, USA, +1 212 795 1388
Prospect Park in Brooklyn is what Central Park is to Manhattan, so it’ll be the perfect place for fall foliage in the borough. For the best experience, start with a wander through the park (making sure to check out the dog beach), and then, once you’ve found the right spot, lay out your blanket and have yourself a picnic. It’ll be the perfect autumn Saturday.
Prospect Park, Brooklyn, NY, USA, +1 718 965 8951
Shawangunk Mountains Scenic Byway
This 88-mile byway is the perfect place to escape to and get outdoors this autumn. You can drive through it, or take your time on a bicycle, on a hike, or swim up to a waterfall. But in either case, the leaves will be incredible once you get into the Shawangunk Mountains – 2,000ft above sea level.
Shawangunk Mountains Scenic Byway, NY, USA
Adirondack Scenic Railroad’s Fall Foliage Train
To get even further out of town, take a four-hour train from Penn Station to Utica, NY, and then board the Adirondack Scenic Railroad’s Fall Foliage Train. The name really says it all, as this train ride is made for fall foliage viewing. You can simply take the five-hour train ride to relax and see the sights, or stop at Adirondack Park – a six-million-acre park that’s home to the country’s largest publicly protected area.
Adirondack Scenic Railroad’s Fall Foliage Train, 321 Main St, Utica, NY, USA, +1 800 819 2291
Apple picking at Masker Orchards
Apple picking may be one of fall’s best activities, so put Masker Orchards at the top of your list this year. It’s just over an hour’s drive from Manhattan, and once you arrive, there are 200 acres of orchards to wander around. Bring a picnic and make a whole day out of it, or just bring your strength to carry all the apples you’ll pick. The views over the Hudson Valley are worth coming for alone.
Masker Orchards, 45 Ball Rd, Warwick, NY, USA, +1 845 986 1058
Fairview Farm – Pumpkin Picking
Nothing goes better with fall foliage than pumpkin picking, so head to Fairview Farm on Long Island to get yours. Along with pumpkins, you can find all your autumn essentials here, from fresh-baked pies to seasonal flowers. Not to mention the gigantic ‘MaiZE’ that you’ll want to spend hours getting lost in.
Fairview Farm, 19 Horsemill Ln, Bridgehampton, NY, USA, +1 631 537 6154