Welcome one and all, to pumpkin spiced everything. The quintessential white girl’s dream season has arrived in all its Starbucks latte and oversized sweater glory.
Despite its notoriety for leggings and Ugg boots, it’s about time we start to appreciate what fall is really all about: the foliage.
While our primary focus during fall has been flavoring every food group with pumpkin, we don’t really stop to appreciate the beauty of the leaves transforming from a dull green to a magnificent array of red, yellow, and orange. There are a couple of great spots outside New York City where you can watch this gorgeous transformation unfold with an apple cider donut in hand, of course:
This is definitely the most accessible place to get to on this list. The great Hudson Valley, starting north of the Bronx, is home to some of the most picturesque areas to get your fall on. Take the Metro North from Grand Central, and simply look out the window for a beautiful trip that you’ll never forget. Some cool areas to visit on this excursion include Bear Mountain State Park, New Paltz, Rhinebeck, and Beacon. Take a hike at Bear Mountain, or visit Minnewaska State Park in New Paltz for some gorgeous fall views over a serene lake. You could also visit the Walkway Over the Hudson, located in Poughkeepsie, to get a full view of the Hudson River’s foliage in all its glory. For some typical fall activities, apple and pumpkin picking locations surround the immediate area.
You won’t easily find a Starbucks up here, but that’s probably best for all parties involved. Taking a journey to the further realms of upstate New York will be well worth it as you gaze upon the changing colors of the mountainous terrain. Kaaterskill Falls offers a gorgeous view of the mountains beaming with fall’s colors from atop a waterfall. Phoenicia and Woodstock, home of the infamous Woodstock concert, are two towns well worth checking out once you need a bite to eat in this area. Hudson, coined “downtown” of upstate, is also relatively nearby if you want a trendier atmosphere. It still doesn’t contain a pumpkin spice latte, though.
3. The Berkshires in Massachusetts
For a long weekend getaway with a rented car, The Berkshires (a rural region in the mountains of western Massachusetts) is a prime place for relaxing with a hot cup of apple cider while watching the leaves fall through the window of your cute lodge or b&b. It provides the best of both worlds — getting stuck in a cozy log cabin with surroundings of museums, restaurants and antique shops. Get outside and bike ride through Aschuwillicook Rail Trail, or hike through the Becket Lank Trust Historic Quarry and Forest. Pleasant Life Wildlife Sanctuary gives you the opportunity to see some animals before they nest away for the winter while also enjoying the nature around you. This area is also home to the historic Normal Rockwell museum, for all you Brooklynites who need some culture in your life.
Which destination are you looking forward to possibly visiting while consuming a pumpkin beer? Better yet, just bring the pumpkin flavor with you. I know you won’t be able to resist; as long as you promise to also enjoy the foliage during this spectacular time of year.