bear-mountain-inn.jpgHudson Valley Region, N.Y. - There's still a riot of fall foliage color reflected in the rivers and bursting from the landscape in Orange County. The bountiful autumn harvest has provided local restaurants with ingredients straight from the fields for their delicious dishes, and cozy lodges are already rolling out their off-season rates, making November getaways especially enticing. It's your last chance this year to visit the 50th anniversary exhibits at world-famous Storm King Art Center. Sculpture and landscape meld into magical views at this renowned 500-acre park, but hurry. It closes for the season on November 14th. Don't miss the last West Point home football game, Army vs. Air Force on Saturday, November 6th. It's a great gridiron show with cannons, cheering cadets, and the parachute team landing on Michie Stadium's field. Even though there's no sign of snow, the ice skating rink at Bear Mountain State Park is open every day except Wednesdays in November. Dress warmly for your figure eights around this outdoor rink, then sip hot chocolate at the indoor carousel or stroll through the Trailside Zoo. Make a weekend of it and stay at Bear Mountain Inn's Overlook Lodge. The spectacular view from the comfortable lobby takes in Hessian Lake and the Hudson River beyond. Looking for a little bit more adventure? Take the kids to the batting cages, miniature golf, go karts, laser maze and arcade at the Castle Family Fun Center in Chester. It's half-price from 10AM to noon every Saturday and Sunday in November. November's holidays are commemorated with events at several unique places. A special Veteran's Day tribute is set for 2PM on November 13th at the National Purple Heart Hall of Honor in Vails Gate, but you can catch the exhibits at this fascinating museum throughout the year. Celebrate Thanksgiving in three different ways at two prime historic sites. Museum Village cooks a traditional open hearth Thanksgiving feast on November 13th for dinner guests. The next day, you can still taste cooking from the open hearth as you tour the buildings and view a wide range of handcrafts for sale. Brick House, an 18th-century estate in Montgomery, features authentic holiday arrangements in each of the ten rooms of the historic home, also on the 14th.  Holidays also inspire gift giving, something to think about when you visit Orange County's wineries. A local vintage could be the perfect present for adults on your list. The Hudson Valley Hard Cider Experience at Applewood Winery on November 6th & 7th is an opportunity to taste what you're giving, or even buying for yourself. Make a trip to nearby Warwick Valley Winery & Distillery for fresh baked goods from Pane Bistro Café, a glass of wine, and the rock and blues band playing on weekends. You'll also find an extensive shop for the wine lover on your list. Shopping is easy at the charming Sugar Loaf Art and Crafts Village where stores are brimming with handcrafted treasures. On the second Saturday of the month, stores serve wine and hors d'oeuvres with extended hours. Put a sparkle in someone's eye when you give them a piece of Gillinder Glass. The gift shop is filled with unique and collectible glass that is even more enticing after you take the tour to see how it's made. Special guest artists will be there on November 6th, 7th and 26th.  If you still need to fill those stockings, the Neversink Valley Area Museum in Cuddebackville has just what you're looking for at their craft fair on November 28th. And don't miss the "After Thanksgiving Midnight Madness" event that same weekend at Woodbury Common Premium Outlets. Shopping is not the only adventure of the season. Cool temperatures invite hikes on the Appalachian Trail and long bike rides on the Heritage Rail Trail, or choose from hundreds of special happenings on the events calendar at www.OrangeTourism.org. Spend some time this fall relaxing at first-class performances on the stages of Eisenhower Hall at West Point and the Lycian Centre in Sugar Loaf. Eisenhower Hall presents Toby Keith on November 11th, and the Moscow Ballet's Nutcracker on November 13th. November offerings at Lycian include "Oklahoma" on November 11th, and the rock and roll show "Alice and Wonderland" on November 13th. There's so much to see and do, but don't skip a good breakfast. The chill in the air makes sipping fresh coffee by the pot belly stove at Rogowski Farm in Pine Island very inviting this time of year. "Breakfast on the Farm" is served in their farm kitchen every Saturday and Sunday year round. While you're there, stock up on some fresh produce for your holiday meals. A later breakfast can be found every Sunday at Bear Mountain's Overlook Lodge. Their buffet Champagne Brunch has been a tradition for many years, a perfect start to a day of enjoying all the activities in the park. The famous Sunday Champagne Brunch at West Point's Thayer Hotel overlooking the Hudson River is a great place to go before sightseeing at the United States Military Academy.  Orange County is located just 50 miles north of New York City in the Mid-Hudson Valley.  It's easily accessible by car via I-87 or I-84. ShortLine Bus and Metro-North's Port Jervis Line from Manhattan have stops throughout the county including some at tourist attractions and lodging. Visit http://www.orangetourism.org/, or call 845-615-3860 for more information. 

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Contact:  Mary Ann McCarthy (845)615-3860 mmccarthy@orangecountygov.com