You know I'm a huge fan of fall, and as such I'm chalked full of fun things to do this time of year. So much so that I really struggled to narrow this list, but I managed to choose only the best of the best.
Without further ado, I present the best ways to spend your fall in my neck of the woods!
A day at Barton Orchards
Barton Orchards is my favorite local farm if you want an activity that will span an entire day because there's so much to do. There's a petting zoo, corn maze, bar, food, desserts, a farm store and, of course, pick-you-own. There are a ton of farms/orchards in the area. They're everywhere! However, I think Barton has the best peaches, so I'd check-in in late August/early September for good peach picking dates. They also have the best apple cider donuts in the area, hands down. If you can manage to get them straight out of the oven they will blow your mind. Additionally, they have the sunflower festival, which is literally perfect for a photo opp. You can take a hayride to the field, pick your flowers and pay at the end. They're actually really affordable as well!
Shopping in Cold Spring
In my opinion, Cold Spring is easily the most picturesque town in the area. It's so cute and like a small town out of a Hallmark movie. On top of that, the shopping is amazing! You can't take a step without tripping over an antique store and the smaller stores are great. My two favorites are Pink Olive and Archipelago. I also recommend going earlier in the day for brunch at Hudson Hil's Cafe or have a pastry and a coffee at the Cold Spring Coffee House.
Brunch at Blooming Hill
Blooming Hill is my absolute favorite place to have brunch in the area. It’s on the cutest farm and there’s lots of stray cats to pet that are very friendly. The food is amazing! It’s my favorite restaurant out of every place in the Hudson Valley. There’s also an adorable farm store and lots of grounds to take a walk. I highly recommend the pizza and chocolate bread. Pro tip: get there when they first open. There’s always a huge line no matter the time of day that you go, so it’s imperative to start early if you want a seat. They don’t take reservations for brunch. Also, they are a very popular wedding venue in the area, so check their website before your visit as sometimes they close down the restaurants for weddings.
Hiking in Fahnestock Park
Taking a hike at Fahnestock Park is one of my favorite things to do in the fall. Dave and I love to wake up early and get in a quick hike before we start our day. My favorite part of the park is Pelton Pond. It’s a quick hike, and very easy. The pond is stunning, so even though it’s a quick hike, it will not disappoint. There are a ton of other hikes around Fahnestock Park as well. Take a look online and you’ll see the weaving trails. It’s also very close to Cold Spring, so you can easily do both in one day.
Visit Innisfree Garden
Innisfree Gardens is probably one of the most beautiful places in the area. Walking around the gardens is lovely in and of itself, but the lake that you walk around in the middle is what is so stunning in the fall. The fall foliage all the way around the lake is so beautiful especially with the reflections. I would say a walk around the entire gardens takes roughly 2 hours and my absolute best advice is to bring a picnic and sit down on some of the Adirondack chairs and just enjoy the weather and some food.
Cider tasting at Bad Seed
There are a lot of places to have cider in the Hudson Valley, but Bad Seed is my favorite. I personally think that their varieties and flavors are the best and I am obsessed with her pumpkin cider. They have the best seasonal flavors. Aside from that, there is lots of seating outside and fire pits, so it’s perfect for a crisp fall day.
Sleepy Hollow around Halloween
Sleepy Hollow is probably one of the most hopping places in the area in the fall, especially around Halloween. There’s a cemetery you can visit the actual family that the book is based on, you can see Washington Irving‘s home, the Dutch church reference in the novel and even the Headless Horseman Bridge. Things have changed since Covid, but they used to also have a haunted house, haunted hay rides and all sorts of other entertainment. Perhaps they will get back to that next year. For now, you can still walk around and see all of the references to the story, and in nearby Croton-on-Hudson is the Blaze, which is the ultimate Halloween activity. The blaze has over 7000 jack-o’-lanterns designed by local artisans. It’s quite the spectacle. It’s so much fun to walk around and see all of the jack-o’-lanterns with a nice cup of hot chocolate.
Dinner at Farmer and the Fish
My favorite place to have dinner in the area is the Farmer and the Fish. I don’t know what else to say other than their food is absolutely amazing. It’s a bit pricey, so this is a dinner that you need to save up some money for. It’s absolutely worth it though. It’s so beautiful and you get to eat outside on the farm. And the food is amazing. Trust me and decide to splurge on this place.
Apple picking at Fishkill Farms
I know there’s already a farm on this list but I need to also include Fishkill Farms because they have the best apple picking in the area. There are a ton of places that you can go apple picking, but nowhere has even close to the quality of apples and the variety that Fishkill Farms does. One of my favorite things to do in the fall is to go in October and try all of the different varieties of apples that I can find on the farm. I pack up my bags with every variety possible and learn so much along the way. You’d be surprised the sheer volume of variety of tastes in apples. It’s so cool! After you're done picking, sit down for some cider with a view. If you go near sunset you're really in for a treat!
The walkway over the Hudson is such a great thing to do on a crisp fall day. When the weather isn’t too hot, it’s a beautiful walk and you get a great view of the Hudson. This is probably your best vantage point of the Hudson river, not to mention you can see the city of Poughkeepsie from up high. I would say the walk across and back takes about an hour and a half. I recommend taking your walk and then heading to Lolita‘s Pizza for lunch. In my humble opinion they have some of the best pizza in Dutchess County.
These are some of my favorite places in the Hudson Valley not to mention some of the best activities on a nice fall day. However, the activities in the Hudson Valley this time of year are endless. Personally, I think fall is prime time for the Hudson Valley. The fall foliage is stunning and there are things to do literally everywhere. So, I highly recommend coming for a little weekend trip and just enjoying the season.
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