NYC: 10 Things to Do This Fall

It’s time to whip out the PSL, over-the-knee boots, and all of the sweaters. Fall has arrived in NYC - even if the weather slightly disagrees from time-to-time. Below, is a round up of my favorite autumnal things to do in New York that won’t all revolve around Halloween. Check it out! And if there’s anything I’ve left out let me know in the comments.

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1. Walk the Brooklyn Bridge
In my honest opinion, there’s no better way to take in the skyline. Beat the crowds with a cup of Joe in tow and get there early, like 10 am early. You’ll thank me later.

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2. Take a Day Trip to the Apple Orchards
Grab your friends for the drive up, or take the MetroNorth or a bus service, and get ready to pick a bushel of apples from Apple Dave’s Orchards. There’s a tasting room full of their yummy cider, tons of outdoor space for picnickers, and family friendly.

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3. Head to Central Park
The fall foliage is breathtaking - bring your camera. Once you got the shot take a tour of the lake on a row boat.

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4. Eat Everything Pumpkin!
I absolutely mean this. Head to the farmer’s market each weekend, buy all things pumpkin, and eat to your little heart’s content. There’s a few farm-to-table restaurants in NYC that include pumpkin in their seasonal menus. Go there and eat that too.

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5. Get Yourself a Pumpkin at the Queens County Farm
It’s kid-friendly, has a corn maze, and is reasonably close to the city. I would check their calendar for events too!

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6. Take Yourself out to a Ball Game
Do yourself a favor and see The Mets play. Not The Yankees… The Mets. The crowd is friendlier and the air is filled with magic.

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7. Celebrate Oktoberfest
There are so many German beer houses in NYC it would be totally unacceptable to not spend one Saturday day drinking in them during Oktoberfest. Remember, have your favorite ale in your left hand and bratwurst in your right. Prost!

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8. Cheer on the NYC Marathon Runners!!
Maybe I’m bias, but it’s so inspiring to watch runners of all shapes and sizes chase their dreams to the finish line. This marathon touches all five boroughs so why not make a day out of it. Gather friends, create some funny, wacky signs, and cheer them on!

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9. Treat Yourself
No seriously. It’s Spa Week in NYC and most luxuriating services average around $50 which is a steal! (However you should tip on the original price and not the deal price.)

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10. Feast of San Gennaro
This is definitely my favorite fall festival in NYC for one reason alone - cannolis. Well, there’s also live music, amazing fresh pasta from the local restaurants, and the class festival rides.

If you loved this post then you might enjoy my other NYC posts!

NYC: Quick and Easy Day Trips to the Countryside!

A few weeks ago, EscapeMaker and Dutchess Tourism invited me into my backyard. So, like the curious little cat that I am, I found myself aboard the 7:53 am train headed towards Wassaic, New York. In case you're wondering, Wassaic is nestled inside of Dutchess Country and was established in 1683 as one of the original counties of New York. It's easily accessible by car, train, bus, air and boat - but for today's sake we're taking the train.

A mere three hours and nap later I arrived ready to taste my way through the quaint little town.

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First order of business was stopping in the Village of Millerton to browse Harney & Sons Teas followed by Irving Farm Coffee. The tea shop (one of two in NY!) offers tastings on all of their 250 teas. And Irving Farm Coffee has the boldest and flavorful coffee I've tried all summer. On that note, there's something for everyone already!

At noon, we made our way to McEnroe Farm for a tour and lunch which incorporated fresh and local ingredients from Hudson Valley. Fun fact, it's one of New York’s oldest and most diverse certified organic farms and stands at over 1,100 acres of fields, pastures, and greenhouses.

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Later we made our way down to the Taconic Distillery - probably my favorite stop - for some homegrown bourbon whiskey! Everything here is made in small batches using only the finest ingredients, including natural spring water from Rolling Hills Farm. It was all very good and the views outside of the Distillery could not be beaten!

The final stop on the tour brought us to Crown Maple Estates. I'm actually a HUGE maple candy and water addict so it was really interesting getting to learn how my favorite sweets are made.

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In case you were wondering who exactly EscapeMaker were, they've been NYC's guide to local getaways since 2000. Dutchess Tourism has operated the Farm Fresh Tours program for about 10 years by providing bus shuttle service to train passengers arriving at Metro-North Railroad stations at select towns.

Their goal is to encourage car-less travelers to hop on a train from New York City and spend the day exploring local agriculture and way of life in the Hudson Valley. And by local agriculture, they mean apple picking, visiting breweries, learning about cheese making and more.

If you're interested in taking your own tour with EscapeMaker, they will have tours available and on sale to the public on escapemaker.com/farmfreshtours. I also want to note, the Metro-North has deals & getaways all summer long so click here for more information.

Let me know if you have any questions or plan to take a tour soon!

Back at Governor's Ball | How to Do a Festival the Right Way

It's my absolute favorite time of year... Festival Season. I kicked off the circuit of concerts and late night dance marathons with Subway at New York City's Gov Ball. It was one for the books y'all.

As I posted up behind my laptop and thought back to my very first Governor's Ball (Gov Ball's second year in action) I figured why not share a few things I learned along the way.

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1. Public Transportation is Your Friend
I learned this the hard way. Every. Single. Time. Realize that if you do decide to drive there know that you’ll probably be sitting in traffic for a good two hours. Don’t do that; instead embrace the MTA’s offering of a quick bus ride to the island from Harlem. Or if you’re a Queen’s native and wish to avoid the long bus lines, $6.50 bus ride, or subway ride through the city here’s the alternative:

  • Getting there: Take the M60 in Queens towards Harlem. Get off at the first stop and walk the RFK Bridge. It’s a 10 – 15 minute walk and then you’re there.
  • Getting back: Walk the RFK Bridge back towards Harlem and take the M60 back. It’s the first block off the bridge. You’ll be back in Queens in no time.
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2. Mind over Matter (on the RFK Bridge)
This is for my Queens kids! You know who you are. This bridge is 30-minute walk and incredibly hard when the sun is beaming on you and even harder when you're crossing it after spending all day at Gov Ball. Just know that you CAN do this. Plus, this a great time to grab a snack before heading into the festival. Psst… There’s a Subway at the start of the RFK bridge.

3. Comfortable Shoes
By now, it should be drilled into your head that there’s going to be a lot of walking. Wear shoes that give you the comfort and support you’ll need from AM to PM. Because honey, you don’t want to be that person who walks home barefoot. These sneakers are my go-to’s time after time.

4. It Will Rain
They don’t call it Mud Ball for nothing. Always pack a disposable poncho. And maybe bring out the tough all-weather boots for those rainy days. I lucked out with two gorgeous days but by Sunday, Mother Nature’s raindrops made a guest appearance.  

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5. Don't Forget to Check Out the Pop Ups!
Subway had an amazing pop-up at Governor’s Ball. Once inside I was greeted with a blast of refreshing cold air, a delicious (and free) sandwich of my choice + beverage, and free wifi (so vital when on Randall’s). I must have gone to hang out at Subway's Green Room five times per day since they made the space so inviting: cute outdoor seating area, hammocks, and a constant ongoing game of huge Jenga.

Oh, they also saved my butt with their charging stations. I know they’re headed to Bonnaroo this weekend so if you’re there make sure to stop by and subYAY with them.

6. Stay Hydrated
You’ll be in the sun all day so make sure you stay hydrated. Trust me when I say it’s hella easy to forget to sip on H2O when you’re having fun, but if you want to avoid that dehydration hangover it's best to bring an empty water bottle. There are free water stations everywhere (and usually most music festivals) so you'll be able to quench your thrist easily.

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8. Have Fun
Be nice to one another, look after one another, smile a little, dance with strangers. Remember, you’re there for one reason – to have fun!

P.s. Click here to read my survival tips for FireFly Music Festival.

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Photos by Erin Andres.

Huge thanks to Subway for inviting me to their Green Room at Governor's Ball. Today's post was in collaboration with them. As always, all opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that make this blog possible!