Four Fantastic Fall Getaways From NYC

Kaaterskill falls (Catskill mountains, NY) on a rainy day.

It's hard to leave the city this time of year because I'm usually so booked up and/or excited about openings and festivals and such, but still, we all need a break sometimes, right? Right. Here then, is a quick look at four fall getaways that you can do in a weekend (or cut work and mid-week!), see something magnificent (changing leaves! a sky filled with stars!), play in huge swaths of nature, relax and maybe cuddle with someone you love.


Winvian Farm in Litchfield Hills, Connecticut    

Ok let's start off with Winvian Farms, a fabulously luxurious, 113-acre horse-country resort that, among its other options, offers guests a choice of 18 different cottages, each individually (and often whimsically) designed. Choose the likes of the Treehouse (exactly what it sounds like), the Helicopter (with fully-restored 1968 Sikorsky Sea King Pelican inside the cabin!), the Secret Society (watch for the "thrilling surprise"), or the Library, featuring a treasure trove literary works and supremely comfortable places on which to enjoy them. It'll cost you a fortune, but the unique, plush accommodations, plus a full line of amenities, seems like it's worth it. 


Cooperstown, New York

Sure, baseball is more of a summer game, but it's fall baseball that really matters, and depending on how deep both the Mets and Yankees make it into the playoffs this year, it could be an autumn for the ages. Just remember what this town was like of October of 2000! Anyway, the point is that the fall may just be best time to bring the family up see the The Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown… right after the World Series Victory parade through the canyon of heroes, of course. There are thousands of things to see at the Hall of Fame Museum, and you can easily spend an entire day just checking it all out, but the area also has a few other family-friendly attractions as well, including the venerable Farmers' Museum, which houses more than 23,000 historical items (mostly tools and equipment), as well as being a working farmstead. There are plenty of animals around, a wonderful old stone barn, and a carousel, too. As for where to stay, there are a wide range of options, but I've heard good things about the rustic-feeling August Lodge right nearby.  


Pinegrove Family Dude Ranch in Kerhonkson, New York

If spending hours outside in the crisp autumn air is more your family's thing, the Pinegrove Family Dude Ranch has 600 acres of hilly, thickly wooded, very pretty trails and more than 100 horses on which to ride through them all. There are journeys and steeds for all ages and levels of experience (and enthusiasm), as well as lessons and barn-based horse-tending activities. All-inclusive packages ensure you don't have to make decisions about where to eat, which is always something a vacation in and of itself, and the food is likely fine, and nothing too adventurous. And there are plenty of indoor activities as well, including archery, a game room and arcade, and a swimming pool with a pair of flume-style slides. 


Phoenicia, New York

The Catskills have recently been re- re- rediscovered by young New Yorkers looking for (reasonably) cheap lodging, great food, cool outdoor sorts of things to do like jumping into swimming holes and non-organized woodsy hikes. There are lots of options for your Catskills adventure, but a weekend in and around the town of Phoenicia seems like a good place to start. Get a room at The Graham and Co. ("an update on the classic weekend away"), eat breakfast at the legendary Phoenicia Diner, wolf down terrific pizza at Brio's, walk around town soaking in the cuteness, then hop in the car and check out the New York's highest waterfall, Kaaterskill Falls (pictured at top) in North-South Lake State Park.

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