As autumn falls into place, it’s time to get outta town. No, we mean it. As temperatures fall and leaves change, there’s no better time for a weekend getaway. Fancy finding yourself surrounded by mountains, strolling quaint New England lanes or sipping vino waterside before a painterly sunset? Here are some fall escape plans, all within three hours of NYC.
Evening view of the terrace at Yale University art gallery in New Haven.
(Michael Marsland/Michael Marsland / Yale Universi)
New Haven, Connecticut
Yale University has been here more than three centuries, but that’s not the only reason New Haven is a smart getaway. Behind its well-kept New England facade, New Haven offers a serious food scene, ranging from modern American Zinc (zincfood.com) to beloved vegetarian hangout Claire’s Corner Copia (clairescornercopia.com). Nightlife options include Pacific Standard Tavern (pacificstandardtavern.com), a sleek new music venue. For quirky shopping, there’s the legendary DelMonico Hatter (delmonicohatter.com), which sells more Stetsons than anyone in the world. Bed down at the Study at Yale (thestudyatyale.com), the city’s coolest hotel, with its sleek design and luxe amenities like Frette towels.
Mansion at Natirar in Somerset County NJ gives you room to take in the crisp fall air.
(Jenna Perfette Photography/Mansion at Natirar)
Somerset County, New Jersey
The King of Morocco once owned the magnificent, circa-1912 Mansion at Natirar (natirar.com) in this destination 45 miles from the Big Apple. These days, it’s a pampering 500-acre resort with gorgeous walking and running trails, luxe wellness activities and plentiful fishing in the Raritan River. What’s on your plate at the acclaimed Ninety Acres restaurant probably came from Natirar’s working farm, so indulge in wild boar striploin with apricots or luscious acquerello risotto. Restless in your gilded cage? Five miles north is the rustic-chic town of Chester (ilovechester.com). Its Main Street is a kind of Antique Row, with enchanting shops like Grand Old Toys (grandoldtoys.com) and quirky eateries like Sally Lunn’s (sallylunns.com), a proper British tea parlor.
Sullivan County, New York
Back in the day, this was borscht-belt country — as in, “Dirty Dancing.” Now, Sullivan County has reinvented itself as a hip-but-homey getaway 90 miles from NYC boasting inviting inns, farm-to-table eateries and Brooklyn-esque boutiques. If you can snag one of five rooms at ECCE (eccebedandbreakfast.com), you’ll get rewarded with breathtaking Delaware River views and insanely indulgent brunches. But save room for local hotspots like Italian hangout The Kaatskeller (thekaatskeller.com), art-stuffed gastropub The Pickled Owl (pickledowl.com) and riverside eatery The Heron (theheronrestaurant.com). Dishes like roasted bone marrow may haunt you — in a good way — as much as a visit to Burn Brae Mansion (burnbraemansion.com) in nearby Glen Spey, site of many reported ghost sightings. And angle for a spot at Catskill’s Fly Fishing Center & Museum (cffcm.com) — the world’s largest of its kind. On view: Fly Fishing Hall of Fame and fishing-inspired art. Who knew?
Port Jefferson offers a great escape from big-city bustle.
(Darren McGee/© NYSDED-Photo by Darren McGee)
Port Jefferson, New York
Friends will get jealous when you mention you’re heading to the coast. And when they find out it’s Port Jefferson, the postcard-perfect Long Island coastal town 70 miles from NYC, they might follow you. Drop your bags at the beautifully restored, circa-1868 Ransome Inn (ransomeinn.net) before strolling downtown to the Maritime Explorium (maritimeexplorium.org), whose nautical-science exhibits will fascinate the whole family. Steps away, the Fifth Season (thefifth-season.com) offers jaw-dropping harbor views along with mouth-watering locavore fare. Try short-rib spring rolls as you count white sails near the Port Jefferson Marina. Wind down with craft beer at local favorite Port Jeff Brewing Co. (portjeffbrewing.com), with signature beers like citrusy Shiznit IPA.
Mohonk Mountain House in Shawangunk Mountain escarpment – Hudson Valley
(Darren McGee/© NYSDED-Photo by Darren McGee)
New Paltz, New York
New Paltz has changed a bit since French Hugenots founded the village in 1678. Along with a huge SUNY campus, you’ll find a beautiful hamlet 90 miles from the Manhattan that boasts a seamless mesh of city chic and country charm. On Main St., open-air Water Street Market (waterstreetmarket.com) houses cool indie-artsy operators like vinyl haven Rhino Records, and Tibetan purveyor Himalayan Arts. You’ll feel like you own the village from your suite at cliffside Mohonk Mountain House (mohonk.com), a landmarked Victorian castle with memory-making mountain and lake views. Head into town for hotspots like nouveau-Italian A Tavola (atavolany.com) or revelry at the Gilded Otter Brewery (gildedotter.com), with prize-winning beers like Altbier-styled Dusseldorf Alt. Or just bliss out with one of 80 treatments at Mohonk’s spa, like a microgreens facial — just hold the dressing.