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Fall Travel Guide

Published: Mar 11, 2013

Fresh from New York!

From apples you’ve just picked from the tree, to fresh local corn, tomatoes and herbs, New York produce simply tastes better. Across the state hundreds of regularly scheduled farmers markets, and countless roadside farmstands, present an ever-expanding variety of farm fresh products and other New York specialties.

Farm Markets

Stop by any of New York’s abundant farmers markets for fresh fruits and vegetables, pasture-raised meats and specialties like apple cider, maple syrup, artisanal breads and cheeses, juicy grapes and award-winning wines. Central New York Regional Farmers Market in Syracuse, one of the oldest and largest in the state, serves over 300 farmer-growers. The Public Market in Rochester, with over 300 stalls, has been operating for over 100 years. Farmers and local craftsmen sell fresh foods, ethnic delicacies, and Finger Lakes specialty items.

Buffalo’s Elmwood Bidwell Market, called one of the best in western New York by area press, has goods like smokehouse sausages, honey from local apiaries, regional wines and dairy products. Stop by the Lake Placid Market in the Adirondacks. Vendors sell everything from organic cheeses to maple syrup from a local sugarworks. In the Catskills, Sullivan Country Farmers Markets sell products like wild mushrooms, organic meats, heirloom tomatoes and fresh berries.

Unique Places to Stay

After a glorious day of leaf-peeping, treat yourself to a blissful night at a soothing spa or romantic castle. Stay at an historic lighthouse or a family dude ranch and you’ll wake up to great adventures! From rustic to swanky, some very cool places offer warm welcomes across New York.

Bliss by the Sea

The beach crowd is gone, but with rustic wineries, posh shops and spectacular fall foliage, The Hamptons are lovely at “off-season” rates too. Autumn brings clouds of Monarch butterflies and the Rhinebeck Farmers Market features cooking demonstrations to showcase local products. Also in the Hudson Valley, the year-round Beacon Farmers Market, held on a ferry dock, features live music.

Even New York City has its own farmers markets, with upstate farmers bringing in fresh-picked produce. The Union Square Greenmarket (www.grownyc.org) is one of the largest and most famous. Don’t be surprised to find your favorite celebrity chef shopping for ingredients there!

Pick Your Own

The top apple producer in the East, New York has more than 700 orchards filled with big juicy apples, ripe for picking. With so many delicious varieties, our season continues into early November. You’ll also find plenty of autumn raspberries, squash, sweet corn and tomatoes. Savor the intoxicating aroma of the grape harvest in September and October. Along Lake Erie in southwestern New York, America’s Grape Country is the world’s largest Concord grape-growing region. Or head to a pumpkin patch to pick your perfect Halloween pumpkin.

Unwind in the Autumn Woods

On the Esopus Creek, near Woodstock, The Emerson Resort & Spa invites relaxation in its sumptuous suites and family-friendly lodge. Choose from a full menu of holistic wellness treatments in the four-star Eastern-influenced spa. Next-door, browse the Country Store’s upscale shops and step into the world’s largest kaleidoscope for a mesmerizing experience! 877/688-2828; emersonresort.com

Kitschy Comfort

Catch breathtaking autumn views of the Catskills at Kate’s Lazy Meadow on the banks of the soul-stirring Esopus Creek. Colorfully created by Kate Pierson of the B52s, cozy cabins and suites feature authentic Fabulous Fifties kitchens, designer linens and modern amenities. Cool! 845/688-7200; lazymeadow.com

Heavenly Nights

A former convent, the Angels Nest Bed & Breakfast in Rome (Central New York) has been resurrected as a tranquil inn. Original features of the Convent include a chapel, complete with pews and stained glass windows. Serene angel art decorates the rooms, and a lovely angel-themed garden invites outdoor meditation. The owner/host keeps the spirit with her warm hospitality and home-cooked breakfasts. 315/334-4618; angelsnestcny.com

A Peak Experience

More than a B&B, the historic Adirondak Loj at Heart Lake, just eight miles from the village of Lake Placid, is a total wilderness experience. Spend a night here, and you’ll wake up amid a vast spread of woodlands, lakes and mountains. Trailheads on the property access the magnificent Adirondack High Peaks. 518/523-3441; adk.org

Mi Castle es Su Castle!

Autumn looks spectacular from the tower suite at the medieval-style Castle on the Hudson in Tarrytown. You’ll dine like royalty in the oak dining room transported from France: It was once owned by Louis XIV. Ooh la la! 914/631-1980; castleonthehudson.com

Get the royal treatment at Oheka Castle, overlooking Long Island Sound. The 1920s home of philanthropist Otto Kahn is now a luxury hotel surrounded by splendid gardens and fountains. 631/659-1400; www.oheka.com

At Singer Castle, on a private island in the Thousand Islands-Seaway region, the two-bedroom Royal Suite offers stunning views of both sunsets and sunrises. 315/324-3275; singercastle.com

A Finger Lakes gem, Geneva on the Lake (315/789-7190; genevaonthelake.com) was modeled after a majestic Italian villa. Romantic Belhurst Castle on Seneca Lake is part of an estate with its own vineyard. 315/781-0201; belhurst.com

Dudes & Cowboys

From riding horses in the quiet autumn woods, to riding the wet and wild slides at the indoor waterpark, Rocking Horse Ranch Resort in the Hudson Valley has everything you need for a great family getaway. With bonfire sing-alongs, hayrides, shows, and meals prepared by chefs from the Culinary Institute of America, it’s no wonder Better Homes & Gardens named it one of the 15 best resorts in the Northeast! 800/647-2624; rockinghorseranch.com

Awesome Autumn Activities

There’s a bountiful harvest of fun across New York! You’ll find hayrides sweet and scary, magnificent mountains for leaf peeping, apples ripe for picking, and Halloween celebrations you’ll never forget.

Visitors come from around the world to see our spectacular fall foliage—from historic Hudson Valley estates to the majestic Niagara Falls. For a unique perspective in the Catskills, ride Hunter Mountain’s New York Zipline Adventure or their new Kaatskill Flyer chairlift. Float above the landscape in a hot-air balloon, ride the scenic eight-passenger gondola at Whiteface Lake Placid, or zigzag through the trees on a mountain coaster at Holiday Valley in Chautauqua- Allegheny or Greek Peak Resort in the Finger Lakes.

Get a close-up view of the autumn leaves on a narrated train ride or see them reflected in the water on a boat tour. Fish or kayak on a crystal-clear lake. Follow a picturesque country road or a scenic byway. Stroll in a botanical garden. Go camping, hiking, biking, or ride a horse on a woodland trail at a splendid state park like Wellesley Island in the Thousand Islands-Seaway. Find a map of scenic vistas on page 100.

Join the fun at festivals and farms across the state, from Harbes Family Farms on Long Island to Busti Cider Mill in Chautauqua-Allegheny. Sample freshpressed cider and artisanal cheeses, pick your own apples and pumpkins, and make your way through corn and hay mazes like the award-winning ones at Liberty Ridge Farm in Capital-Saratoga and Critz Farms in Central New York.

From the appearance of the first crimson maple leaf in the Adirondacks to the famous Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City, autumn is a celebration in New York. However you choose to enjoy it, it’s an awesome experience!

Visit iloveny.com for fall travel ideas and information.

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