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Are you ready to trade sunburn and hot summer days for soft comfy sweaters, chilly nights, and fall foliage galore? The good news is, leaf-peeping season is right around the corner! Fall festivities are a big deal here in New York State, and reservations for hotels, festivals, and events are already filling up. Spend the weekend relaxing at resorts nestled among the mountains, picking New York apples at scenic orchards, celebrating the beauty of autumn at vibrant festivals, and much more. Here are 11 New York State fall getaways you need to book now.
Masks are encouraged, but optional in most settings per New York State guidelines. Individual businesses or attractions may require mask wearing. Call ahead and check websites and social media to make sure attractions and amenities are open and available.
Sleepy Hollow and Tarrytown (Hudson Valley)
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Home of the famed The Legend of Sleepy Hollow author, Washington Irving, this quaint and spooky town is steeped in all things fall. Set the scene for your Sleepy Hollow getaway with a reservation at The Castle Hotel & Spa in Tarrytown. This unique and magical renovated castle oasis provides timeless elegance with 31 guest rooms and amenities such as a spa with Sleepy Hollow-inspired treatments, an award-winning restaurant, and 10 acres of wooded grounds overlooking the Hudson Valley. Book a Fall Classic Mansion Tour of Lyndhurst Castle for a glimpse of the lavish estate decked out for the fall season. Explore the Legend on a guided tour of Washington Irving’s Sunnyside Estate or a chilling night time lantern tour of the Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, where Irving currently rests. Make sure to add the Old Dutch Church and Burying Ground to your fall itinerary. It’s the burial ground featured in Irving’s tale of the haunted headless horseman. For a delightfully frightening treat, snag some tickets for October festivities like haunted hayrides, the Great Jack O’ Lantern Blaze, Tarrytown Halloween Parade, live music, street fairs, and farmers markets when they go on sale at the beginning of September.
Lake Placid (Adirondacks)
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There’s nothing quite like spending a weekend surrounded by Adirondack foliage and sprawling views of Mirror Lake, and High Peaks Resort in Lake Placid is the place to find it. Choose from three different lodging accommodations: the Resort, the Waterfront Collection, or the Lake House, all located on Main Street. Your stay includes everything you need for your getaway with amenities like complimentary yoga and watercrafts to explore the lake (until early-October), two indoor pools, massages, and even pet-friendly experiences for furry friends. View foliage like never before at the Olympic Legacy Sites. Glide through the autumn air on a Gondola Ride at Whiteface Mountain, or the Skyride or Sky Flyer Zipline (until October 9) at the Olympic Jumping Complex. If you’d rather keep your feet on the ground, take a ride down the Cliffside Coaster at Mt. Van Hoevenberg, hike up Whiteface Mountain, or drive along the Whiteface Veterans’ Memorial Highway. For more fall fun, plan to visit the Flaming Leaves Festival (October 7-8) and watch elite jumpers soar overhead while you enjoy local vendors, or the Lake Placid Film Festival (October 26-29) to witness award-winning movie magic.
Cooperstown (Central New York)
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Between the small-town charm and fall foliage along Otsego Lake, not much beats a trip to Cooperstown in the fall. The Inn at Cooperstown is the perfect homebase for your autumn getaway. Originally built in 1874, this now fully renovated hotel has 18 cozy guest rooms to choose from. Take a historic and scenic ride through history on the pedal-powered Cooperstown Rail Explorers or in a vintage rail car with the Cooperstown & Charlotte Valley Railroad. They offer fall-themed rides like the Fall Foliage Excursion, Pumpkin Patch Train (pick your own pumpkins!), or Trick or Treat Express (October 28-29). From September 16-17, enjoy two days of live performances, music, family activities, and fall festivities at the Farmers’ Museum’s annual Harvest Fest, or stop by from October 7-8 for Tractor Fest. For classic fall fun, head to Fly Creek Cider Mill where you can take tours of a real cider mill, sample locally-made ciders, wines, beers, and spirits, explore the Tractorland kiddie area, pack-your-own NYS apples, and more. If you’re still looking for more fall foliage views, follow along the Cooperstown Beverage Trail where you’ll find Brewery Ommegang and Cooperstown Distillery.
Clayton (Thousand Islands-Seaway)
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Enjoy the ever-enchanting views of the St. Lawrence River alongside bright fall colors from the 1000 Islands Harbor Hotel in Clayton. Choose from 105 rooms with panoramic riverfront views and amenities like outdoor fire pits, al fresco dining, an indoor swimming pool, and more. Just a 10-minute walk away is the Antique Boat Museum with over 320 unique vessels, the largest collection of antique and classic boats on display in North America. Admire the region from the water aboard a boat cruise with Clayton Island Tours. Choose from all kinds of fun like ultimate sightseeing tours, sunset cruises, Boldt Castle tours, and even glass bottom boat cruises (tours run until October). Take a stroll down one of Clayton’s main streets and peruse local boutiques, shops, restaurants, and be sure to try the original 1000 Islands “River Rat Cheese”. If you’ve ever wondered what happens to pumpkins that don’t get used for jack-o’-lanterns, head to Punkin Chunkin on October 21. Watch as pumpkins are catapulted into the St. Lawrence River, explore the farmers market, or chow down on some barbecue at one of Clayton’s most popular events.
Ithaca (Finger Lakes)
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With breathtaking waterfall views around every corner, a charming walkable downtown, and festivals and farmers markets galore, you’ll see why Ithaca is so “gorges.” Start your visit in the heart of downtown at the William Henry Miller Inn with cozy rooms, 1880s charm, and complimentary homemade breakfast and nightly dessert. You can’t go to Ithaca without visiting the famed gorges, which are a sight to see during the fall season. Robert H. Treman State Park, Taughannock Falls State Park, Buttermilk Falls State Park, Watkins Glen State Park all offer a range of amazing views and hikes for all levels. Be sure to call ahead to make sure trails are open as some close late-October for the winter season. Stroll through 40 acres of farmland at Indian Creek Farms and pick your own apples and pumpkins to bring home. Discover seasonal and local produce and crafts at the Ithaca Farmers Market, open Saturdays until December 16 and Sundays through November. Explore Downtown Ithaca Commons, the award-winning four-block pedestrian-only area of downtown filled with shops, boutiques, and businesses. From September 29 - October 1, treat yourself to a stroll through streets lined with vendors selling apple-themed goodies at the Apple Harvest Festival.
New Paltz (Hudson Valley)
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What better way to admire the colors of fall than from a Victorian castle-resort nestled among the Shawangunk Mountains. Mohonk Mountain House is a wonder during any season, but especially in autumn with 265 cozy vintage rooms outfitted with fireplaces, and amenities like hiking, biking, kayaking, horseback riding, and an award-winning spa. Explore 70 miles of trails across the Mohonk Preserve and see the Shawangunk Ridge like never before, adorned with the bright colors of autumn leaves. Down in town, wander through the Water Street Market, a collection of quaint local shops selling handmade jewelry and accessories, artwork, antiques, and quirky clothing, or travel back in time 300 years to the area that once belonged to families of Protestant French Huguenots on Historic Huguenot Street. Head out to Dressel's or Jenkins-Leukins Farms for u-pick apples and pumpkins and a day full of family fun. If you’re still craving fall views, make a stop at vineyards along the Shawangunk Wine Trail such as Robibero Vineyards and Whitecliff Vineyard and Winery.
Saratoga Springs (Capital-Saratoga)
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Take a deep breath of crisp fall air amidst the red, orange, and yellow leaves in Saratoga Springs. Start your getaway at the luxurious and comfortable Adelphi Hotel, just steps away from Broadway, voted one of the best main streets in the country by USA Today’s 10Best. Don’t miss out on picking fresh New York apples at some of the region’s favorite orchards. You-pick apples can be found at Bowman Orchards in Rexford and Saratoga Apple in Schuylerville, both just a 30-minute drive outside of Saratoga Springs. For a real treat, take a 45-minute drive to Indian Ladder Farms in Altamont where you can pick apples, relax at the cidery and brewery tasting room, or grab a cider donut from the cafe. If you’re planning a family fall getaway, Ellms Family Farm is a must-visit. The kids will love exploring ziplines, corn mazes, farm animals, gem mining, pick-your-own pumpkins, apple cannons, and more. If you’re looking to take a more relaxing route for your getaway, visit the Gideon Putnam Spa or Roosevelt Baths and Spas found in the Saratoga Spa State Park.
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Escape to the Bluebird Hunter Lodge in the scenic Catskills for country ambiance, lavish hotel hospitality, and stunning fall foliage views that’ll take your breath away. Choose from rooms with private balconies, mountainside vistas, pet-friendly accommodations, and even queen-sized bunk beds perfect for a friends getaway. Hunter Mountain Resort is well-known for its skiing in the winter months, but a ride on the Scenic Mountain Skyride (open until October 15) up to the 3,200-foot summit over bright fall-colored leaves is an experience that’s just as unforgettable. Save the dates for Hunter Mountain’s Oktoberfest celebration with beer, tasty food, authentic German performances, kids crafts, and more, happening the weekends of September 30-October 1, October 7-8, and October 14-15. Raise a glass to one-of-a-kind fall views of the Catskills at Hunter Mountain Brewery where you can delight in locally-made pilsners, pale ales, lagers, and a delicious meal.
Greenport (Long Island)
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If you’ve never experienced fall on Long Island’s North Fork, now’s your chance. Stay at the lush Sound View Greenport just steps away from the beach with rooms that reflect the sea, sand, and sky, and a restaurant that sits on the picturesque Long Island Sound. Discover the agricultural side of Long Island at Harbes Family Farm & Vineyard in Mattituck. What once started as a small family farmstand, is now the ultimate family destination with apple and pumpkin picking, corn mazes, hayrides, farm animals, pig racing, wine-tasting for parents, and all kinds of festivals. If you’re looking for autumnal waterfront views head to Orient Beach State Park on the island’s easternmost tip, where you’ll also find a rare maritime forest filled with red cedar and black-jack oak trees, and prickly-pear cacti. Explore North Fork’s world-famous wine region and sprawling vineyards like Kontokosta Winery (pictured) in Greenport with spectacular waterfront views, Pindar Vineyards in Peconic, and Pugliese Vineyards in Cutchogue.
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Ellicottville is beautiful all-year-long, but when September rolls around, its scenic surroundings, charming main streets, and famed ski lodge are sprinkled with fall magic. Begin your journey at the Inn at Holiday Valley with an inviting atmosphere, comfy rooms, and suites that are outfitted with a fireplace and jacuzzi for the ultimate getaway. Take in foliage from new heights on the Sky Flyer Mountain Coaster or climb through the Sky High Aerial Adventure Park (it’s the largest in the state and the third largest in the country!) at Holiday Valley. For a day of fall family fun, head over to Pumpkinville Farm where you can pick your own pumpkins, watch a singing chicken show, visit farm animals, bounce on jump pillows, and even chat with a talking pumpkin! Parents can check out the beer garden with local craft beer, slushies, and hard cider. If you’re visiting during October 7-8, stop by the Ellicottville Fall Festival where the village transforms into a four-block arts crafts show, complete with chair lift rides to admire the foliage. Don’t forget to take a stroll through local shops on Washington and Monroe streets, the latter home to Ellicottville Brewing Company offering small batch brews and tasty food.
Lewiston (Greater Niagara)
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What’s better than cozying up next to the fireplace while gazing out at fall waterfront views of the Niagara River? At the Niagara Crossing Hotel and Spa in Lewiston, you get to do just that! Most rooms are equipped with a fireplace and stunning views of the Niagara River and Canada, and some suites even feature a spa-style soaking tub. Head outdoors and take in the area’s landscape first-hand on a hike through Artpark or Old Fort Niagara, which has historical reenactments and themed Lantern and Lore Tours on Friday nights throughout October. Niagara Falls is an awe-inspiring year-round experience, but in fall it’s a sight to see with vibrantly-colored leaves to discover on various attractions throughout the 400-acre park. Just under 40 minutes away is Becker Farms and Vizcarra Vineyards where you can pick your own apples and pumpkins, pet farm animals, shop homemade pies, fresh produce, or beer and cider from the farm market, and take a tour of the vineyards. Throughout the season, there are also tons of festivals like the Harvest and Hops Festival and Niagara Wine Trail Harvest Festival September 23-24, and Oktoberfest on September 30 and Tap & Craft Festival on October 21 in Niagara Falls.