There’s still time to get away from the city and experience all of the beauty that a northeast fall has to offer. This is especially true for nature lovers who are treated annually to the splendor of fall foliage that often lasts for weeks on end. In addition to spectacular hues, the northeast offers plenty of other sightseeing options for the fall traveler. Here are three of the top northeast fall getaways.
Fort Ticonderoga, Ticonderoga, New York
Welcoming visitors since 1909, Fort Ticonderoga preserves North America’s largest 18th-century artillery collection, 2,000 acres of historic landscape on Lake Champlain, Carillon Battlefield and the largest series of untouched Revolutionary War era earthworks surviving in America. In addition to the breathtaking fall foliage in the Adirondack Mountains and Green Mountains on the gorgeous Lake Champlain, visitors to Fort Ticonderoga can witness a truly important part of the nation’s history.
As one of the most historic sites in the country, Fort Ticonderoga a premier destination for learning more about America’s earliest years, as well as military heritage. Fort Ticonderoga offers a unique experience for anyone, from travelers to history lovers, as well as families. Offered are tours of the King’s Garden and guided boat cruises to live battle re-enactments and museum collections. The Heroic Corn Maze is back with a new design offering activities for all ages. The new maze features the design of a naval ship and cannon and is divided into two phases. There is also a Kiddie Maze for guests up to age four. Discover fall fun of historic proportions at Fort Ticonderoga’s Maze by Moonlight on Oct. 25 and 26. Navigate through the six acres of towering corn stalks at night. Visitors will find clues connected to Fort Ticonderoga’s story as they make their way through the maze in a blanket of darkness.
On Oct. 19 join Fort Ticonderoga for its annual Bon Voyage Cruise on Lake Champlain. Savor the sweet smell of fall in the air and enjoy the captivating narration of historic highlights aboard the 60-foot Carillon tour boat during this three-hour cruise. Enjoy the vistas aboard the Carillon on its final cruise as it charts its course south for the winter. Engaging more than 75,000 visitors per year, Fort Ticonderoga is open daily for visitation from May through October.
Finger Lakes, New York
Spanning 9,000 square miles and renowned for its striking fall foliage, the Finger Lakes region of central New York is gearing up for autumn with renowned budget-friendly overnights amongst the foliage and the ever-popular apple harvest. Visitors can embark on the new “Cider Express Bus” from New York City to Ithaca. They can venture out to join the Apple Tasting Tour, visit a 112-year-old family apple farm at The Apple Shed, get lost in Long Acre Farm’s five-acre corn maze, and even stay overnight at Seneca Sol where guests sleep in nature-immersive, upscale safari tents among the fall leaves. Those seeking an adrenaline rush can book engineless air gliding and skydiving over autumn flora, as well as a hot air balloon ride at Letchworth State Park, deemed the “Grand Canyon of the East.” Oenophiles and fans of the vine can pick their own grapes, head to winemaking classes and sip through 130-plus wineries – some set on the 11 Finger Lakes with views of the golden shorelines.
Although it’s wine that attracts busloads of visitors each week, food is not an afterthought here. In fact, one of the country’s most influential food trends can be traced directly to the Finger Lakes. When it published its iconic Moosewood Cookbook 40 years ago, the Moosewood Restaurant in Ithaca helped to introduce healthy and natural cooking to the world.
Today, gourmet restaurants, cozy cafes and roadside food stands all combine to make the Finger Lakes a foodie’s paradise, and skilled chefs throughout the region are among the finest in the country. The culinary scene here is exploding – often led by ex-natives who’ve returned home – with a number of high-quality restaurants that rival the cuisine offered anywhere in the world. This renaissance is driving tourism on a year-round basis.
The Pocono Mountains, Northeast Pennsylvania
Nestled within 2,400 square miles of pristine landscapes, the Pocono Mountains of northeast Pennsylvania are home to magnificent mountain terrain, gushing waterfalls, lush woodlands, and 170 miles of meandering rivers. And while the Poconos are world famous for their resplendent fall foliage, visitors come here each fall for a variety of reasons, not the least of which are the area’s three indoor waterparks: Aquatopia at Camelback Resort, Kalahari and Great Wolf Lodge.
Hiking attracts hordes of outdoor enthusiasts each fall. The Appalachian Trail marks the southern border of the Poconos, and many other trail systems offer waterfalls, excellent viewing conditions and plenty of rare plants and animals. Hiking trails in state parks lead to beautiful scenery and waterfalls. Beltzville State Park features 15 miles of scenic hiking trails that vary in distance and difficulty. The trails follow wooded paths, old roads and mowed walkways through forests, creek valleys, fields and by the lake. Bird watchers will delight in the fact that the region’s lush landscape provides an ideal habitat for many species of birds. In the warmer months, migratory birds fill the forests with song. In winter, majestic bald eagles perch above the region’s unfrozen waters.
Or shop till you drop. In addition to the Crossings, a premium outlet mall with every type of store imaginable, the Poconos are filled with interesting curio shops such as Pocono Candle that offers far more than its name suggests, including jewelry and the widest selection of penny candy you’ll find anywhere.
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