As wonderful as New York City is in the fall, sometimes nothing beats getting out of the city to take in the wonders of the season. Fortunately, some surrounding areas outside Battery Park are truly special destinations that can be reached within an hour or two either by car, train or bus. Step out of Wagner Battery Park and into the neighboring New York regions for some leaf peeping goodness. We promise, you’ll be back in time for dinner.
Beacon, NY: This quaint city in Dutchess County features great eating, drinking and culture. Walk five minutes from the train station to Dia:Beacon, a modern art museum housed in a former Nabisco box factory. It houses the Dia Foundation’s permanent collection of works from the 1960’s to today, including works by Anne Truitt and Dan Flavin. If you’d rather spend the day sampling some of the areas, ahem, finer beverages, Dennings Point Distillery on Main Street offers tours and tastings of bourbon, whiskey, gin and vodka every Friday and Saturday. Before you board the train back to the city, spend a few quiet minutes watching the sunset over the Hudson at Long Dock Park.
Cornwall, NY: Get Instagram Ready at Storm King Art Center, a 500-acre park featuring rolling green hills, incredible fall foliage and massive sculpture installations. Art aficionados and nature lovers alike will enjoy wandering the park and taking in works from more than 100 artists, including Alexander Calder and Maya Lin. Take the guided tram tour around the park once to get the lay of the land, then set off on foot or rent a bike for a day of exploring and Instagramming. Visitors can even climb inside a select number of the works. The artistic vibe extends to the village of Cornwall-on-Hudson, where you can dine at any of the fine eateries throughout the town.Shelter Island: The eastern end of Long Island isn’t just for summer fun. Come fall, this sleepy town is the perfect location for hiking, exploring and dining on the water without throngs of tourists. Take a hike through picturesque Mashomack Preserve or rent bikes and cruise to abandoned Shell Beach. Don’t forget a picnic from Marie Eiffel market in town. It will keep you plenty full for the long drive back to the city. Or stay a night at the Chequit Inn in town and dine at neighborhood favorite, Vine Street Café.
Bear Mountain State Park: It’s fun for the entire family at this iconic park situated in the mountains off the west bank of the Hudson River. Outdoor lovers will especially enjoy the offerings, ranging from a large play field to shaded picnic groves with lake and river fishing access, a swimming pool, Trailside Museums and Zoo, hiking, biking and cross-country ski trails. An outdoor rink is open to ice skaters from late October through mid-March. The Perkins Memorial Tower atop Bear Mountain affords spectacular views of the park, the Hudson Highlands and Harriman State Park.