As summer turns to autumn, upstate New York in the fall is the place to be. Enjoy the new season as it takes life in the form of annual fall traditions. Sip hot apple cider, pick pumpkins, bake hot apple pies and jump in colored leaves. For many, these fall rituals recall warm memories of childhood. Now, a host of upstate NY destinations have put a fresh spin on them. If you’re travelling upstate, here are two of our top must-not-miss attractions for your fall adventures.
The Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze at the Van Cortland Manor in the Hudson Valley
The Van Cortland Manor in the Hudson Valley region features a light show made of over 7,000 carved pumpkins. For over a decade, this estate has been host to pop-up pumpkin architecture each fall. Most noteworthy, the festival features a main street Pumpkin Promenade, the Pumpkin Zee Bridge, a Pumpkin Planetarium and a 20ft fully-functioning Pumpkin Carousel.
Last year, tens of thousands of visitors made the trek to view fully-lit, pumpkin figures. Dinosaurs including a T-rex, brontosaurus, triceratops and flying pterodactyl greet all who come. Also, massive dragons and spider webs have been assembled for the viewing pleasure of visitors and their Instagram followers.
Blaze’s creative director, Michael Natiello emphasized, “EVERY SINGLE JACK O’LANTERN is individually hand-carved on site. Every. Single. One!” Furthermore, a professional lighting designer transforms the atmosphere into an amazing, ever-changing spectacle. Synchronized lighting means several of the installations also “move.”
This fall, see why celebs Martha Stewart, Neil Patrick Harris and Laura Prepon love the Blaze.
Angry Orchard cider brewery in the Hudson Valley
This 60-acre apple orchard specializes in hard cider and is a great destination to enjoy upstate New York in the fall. Originally, the orchard was a farm. Now, it’s an apple orchard nearly 100 years after the first trees were planted. As a result, orchards like this one helped New York become the largest apple-producing state in the US.
At Angry Orchard, patrons will experience the cider-making process firsthand while enjoying fall foliage beauty. After seeing how it’s made, guests are encouraged sample the cider. You can try core ciders such as the popular Crisp Apple, Green Apple, Pear Cider, Easy Apply or Stone Dry. Also, depending on the season, you can taste Cinnful Apple, the maple syrup-infused Tapped Apple or the Summer Honey.
Most of all, book a VIP tour appointment to try the ciders at the Treehouse Tasting Bar which is in a literal tree. Tours include a guided walk-through of the orchard, a cider tasting up in the Treehouse, and a take-home souvenir glass. Tours are discounted for $10 on Wednesday and Thursday, and $20 on Friday through Sunday. On weekends, the Treehouse is open for self-guided tours in between their scheduled VIP tours on Saturdays and Sundays.
Finally, don’t miss Angry Orchard’s annual Harvest Fest from Friday, September 22 through Sunday, September 24, 2017. Get your tickets at AngryOrchardHarvestFest.com.