The farmers’ market is packed with crisp new apples, the first jack-o’-lanterns appear on brownstone stoops, sweet candy corn lines the supermarket shelf and cozy sweaters wake up from their summer hibernation. Fall has arrived in NYC. It’s a glorious time to be in town but nothing beats a weekend of leaf peeping in the countryside.
We’ve rounded up three top-notch resorts in the Berkshires, Long Island and the Adirondacks, so there’s plenty of variety. This trio of hotels hit the sweet spot for car-free travelers craving a colorful palette of fall foliage and an all-around terrific weekend getaway.
Red Lion Inn, Stockbridge, MA
The Red Lion Inn Inn sits in the hamlet of Stockbridge, a Berkshire locale straight out of a New England storybook. In autumn, the surrounding hills are ablaze with a rainbow of red, gold and orange leaves.
The 82 individually decorated rooms in the Main Inn are full of personality. The hotel’s iconic porch is strewn with rocking chairs, a prime spot to soak in the rays of late afternoon sunshine. If the air is a touch nippy, relax indoors, perhaps with the friendly resident cat purring on your lap.
For dinner, reserve a table at the inn’s Main Dining Room. The menu respects the bounty of local farms and the area’s agricultural roots. Expect to feast on all-American autumn eats such as creamy butternut squash bisque and roast turkey with all the delectable trimmings. For dessert, don’t skip the warm brown sugar cake, decadently adorned with gooey caramel sauce and topped with a cool dollop of ice cream. The superb wine list is a perennial recipient of the Wine Spectator’s Award of Excellence and includes some well-priced half bottles.
Hiking is a favorite fall activity in these parts. The Ice Glen Trailhead is right in town, an easy one-mile round-trip meander with lots of fall color.
After your hike, stroll around Stockbridge, an adorable town with numerous independently owned shops, art galleries and dining spots.
Get to Stockbridge from NYC:
Ride the Peter Pan Bus Lines from Port Authority to the heart of Stockbridge in just over three hours.
Baron’s Cove, Sag Harbor, NY
Fall might just be the best times to visit the East End of Long Island. In Sag Harbor, 67-room Baron’s Cove is offering special savings with a $40 travel credit per stay so car-free visitors have some helping paying for the Jitney. To make the deal even sweeter, a late checkout, gives you plenty of time to sleep in.
Situated on the harbor just short walk from Main Street and steps from the Jitney stop, the location couldn’t be better for exploring the area by foot or bike.
The onsite restaurant draws a local crowd thanks to its fabulous menu rich in prized Long Island seafood. Try the Montauk tuna tartare, seared Shinnecock Bay scallops and calamari from Point Judith, just across the Long Island Sound.
Borrow a bike and pedal over to one of the area beaches, quiet in the shoulder season. The Elizabeth A. Morton National Wildlife Refuge is just a few miles from the hotel. This nature preserve’s 1.2-mile flat walking trail winds through the woodlands to Jessup’s Neck Peninsula. View piping plovers, songbirds, black ducks and white-tailed deer as colorful foliage dances from the towering trees.
Once you’re back at Baron’s Cove, spend a crisp fall evening cozied up to one of three wood-burning fireplaces.
Get to Sag Harbor from NYC:
Ride the Hampton Jitney From Manhattan and you’ll be in the heart of Sag Harbor in just over two hours.
Hotel Saranac, Saranac Lake, NY
Originally built in the 1920’s, the Hotel Saranac is a bastion of Gilded Age Adirondack charm. It underwent a top-to-bottom renovation in 2017 and has been drawing rave reviews since reopening. It’s located in the middle of Saranac Lake’s pedestrian-friendly downtown. Restaurants, shops and Lake Flower are all just steps away.
Guest rooms blend modern amenities with original period details. For those who want to explore the natural wonderland of the Adirondacks, it’s the perfect base camp.
The onsite eatery, Campfire Adirondack Grill +Bar, leans local, with luscious ingredients sourced from nearby farms. Corn chowder, venison chili and roasted rainbow trout are all winners.
Upstairs is where you’ll find the Great Hall Bar, with its opulent décor inspired by a Tuscan palazzo. Grab a blanket and relax on the terrace in front of the fire pit with a Hot Sara, the special house cocktail made with gin and blood orange juice.
In town, the Saranac Laboratory Museum delves into the town’s salubrious history as a place for the sick to heal from tuberculosis. There’s also a sweet carousel with hand-carved animals so don’t miss a spin.
A wealth of fresh-air activities beckons. Paddle a kayak or canoe on the interconnected Saranac Chain of Lakes with the seasoned guides at Adirondack Lakes & Trails Outfitters.
Get to Saranac Lake from NYC:
Greyhound from Port Authority takes 8 hours, with a transfer in Albany.
Featured image: VisitAdirondacks.com
Additional images: Red Lion Inn, Baron’s Cove and Hotel Saranac
Allison is a native New Yorker, who has lived in Rome, Tuscany, Melbourne, Toronto and Los Angeles. She frequently contributes travel pieces to Family Travel Forum, using her own children as guinea pigs as they travel the globe. She is fluent in Italian and Spanish and laughably adequate in French. Her background as an Early Childhood Educator gives her an added understanding of what it takes to travel with kids in tow. She firmly believes that the most important part of education takes place outside of the classroom, on the road, around the world. She never misses a chance to sample local delicacies, as her love for travel goes hand-in-hand with her love for food and wine. Follow Allison at @gourmetrav.