You don't have to leave New York City for long to feel refreshed this autumn. Plan a day trip away from NYC while New England's fall foliage is putting on its annual show. These getaways—all within 3 hours of NYC—offer fun things to do in addition to admiring the colorful fall scenery. Although predicting the timing of fall's color progression can be tricky, you're likely to see trees firing up their brilliant hues if you choose a day sometime during the first three weeks of October.
Take Your Family on Safari at Action Wildlife
Want to share a memorable and educational animal adventure with your kids this fall? Head to Action Wildlife, a 116-acre zoo and museum just over a two-hour drive from New York City in Northwest Connecticut, where you can meet an oryx, stare down a water buffalo, watch bison roam, touch moose hair, ride an orange snail, and have a deer eating out of your hands.
Although it will add about 40 minutes each way to your trip, driving Route 7 through Ridgefield and Kent, Connecticut, is the most picturesque way to get there.
You'll enjoy a lovely drive from New York City to the Berkshires of Western Massachusetts this autumn if you plan a day trip to Chesterwood, the former studio and home of renowned sculptor Daniel Chester French. French was a leading turn-of-the-century sculptor, most famous for crafting the seated Lincoln statue at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C.
Located in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, a two-hour and 45-minute trip from New York via the Taconic State Parkway, Chesterwood is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. through Columbus Day. You'll see nearly 500 models, studies, and full-size sculptures created by French on exhibit in the studio, museum, gallery, and gardens.
While you're in Stockbridge, plan to have a memorable lunch or dinner at the Red Lion Inn, or a more casual dining experience at the restaurant's Lion's Den pub. A Stockbridge landmark since 1773, The Red Lion Inn is sure to satisfy your cravings for cozy Yankee hospitality.
Litchfield, Connecticut is a gorgeous place to visit in the fall with its antique shops, galleries, scenic roads, and rolling hills. Explore the outdoors on a day trip to Litchfield's White Memorial Conservation Center. In addition to 4,000 acres of spectacular foliage, the Center has a nature museum, hiking trails, and a gift shop.
Located about a two-hour drive from New York City, the grounds of the Conservation Center are open 24 hours a day, year-round. The museum and gift shop are open Monday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sundays from noon to 5 p.m.
If your day trip is on a Sunday, you might want to make reservations for brunch at the White Horse Country Pub & Restaurant located in nearby Marbledale.
Tour America's Oldest Winery
Brotherhood Winery in Washingtonville, in the foothills of New York's Catskill Mountains, is an ideal day trip destination for wine lovers who want to escape to the country. Time your trip right, and you'll see the Catskills in their full autumn splendor. Established in 1839, Brotherhood is the oldest continually operating winery in America. The winery is open for tours and tastings daily through December. You'll learn all about grape growing and wine making, sample a wide variety of award-winning wines, and can spend the day exploring the winery store and other small shops and restaurants on the winery grounds.