If you’ve been to the famous Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze on Van Cortland Manor’s historic grounds, you know how beautiful Westchester is in the fall. Just 30 miles north of New York City and across the river from New Jersey, Westchester County has plenty of fall activities and attractions that are worth a trip. We also love the food, drink and shopping in downtowns like White Plains, Bronxville, Katonah, Mount Kisco, Pleasantville, Rye, Scarsdale and Tarrytown.
Here are some fun fall attractions to keep on your radar:
Sleepy Hollow Cemetery: More than 200 years ago, Washington Irving’s “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” introduced characters like the Headless Horseman and Ichabod Crane. Today, Sleepy Hollow welcomes visitors to check out the Old Dutch Church from Irving’s tale and the Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, with historic graves including Washington Irving. Anyone who visits Irving’s historic home, Sunnyside, will have the chance to see “Irving’s Legend,” an outdoor performance complete with live music and an appearance from the Headless Horseman.
Fall Foliage: For spectacular leaf-peeping, head to Mianus River Gorge Preserve in Bedford, a trail that spans 40 feet above the Mianus River. It’s an easy hike with the kids. Croton Gorge Park in Cortlandt is also an easy two-mile hike that includes gorgeous views of the New Croton Dam.
Orchards and Farms: Add a farm or apple orchard to your list of must-visit spots. Harvest Moon Farm and Orchard in North Salem, Stuart’s Fruit Farm in Granite Springs, and Wilkens Fruit & Fir Farm in Yorktown Heights are a few standouts.
Gardens and Nature Preserves: Among the most picturesque gardens and natural scenes are Untermyer Gardens in Yonkers and Teatown Lake Reserve in Ossining. On October 23 and 24, Scarsdale’s Greenburgh Nature Center is hosting a Fall Festival with activities like a pumpkin and scarecrow walk and apple cider demonstrations. Run Wild is a forest run and obstacle course for kids ages 5-15.
Shows, Museums, Galleries and Historic Sites:
Big-name performers like Billy Idol, Sheryl Crow, and The Beach Boys, will be performing at The Capital Theatre this fall.
The Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts will have 10 indoor concerts, four afternoon tea parties, and on October 24, families are invited to a free Día de Muertos celebration with traditional Mexican dances and songs.
Food and Drink Happenings:
Westchester Magazine’s Wine and Food Festival will be from September 21-25.
Hoppfest will be on September 25. Bedford Historical Society’s take on Oktoberfest will have a variety of brews, wine, food trucks, live music, games and more. For those looking for a beer alternative, Cortlandt’s Pore the Core Cider Festival is also happening on September 25. Get some exercise before you drink on a bike tour. Captain Lawrence Brewing Company in Elmsford has partnered with Gotham Bike Tours for fall foliage bike tours with a final stop at the brewery for drinks and food.
If You’re Staying Overnight:
Peekskill’s The Abbey Inn, which ranks third on USA Today’s 10 Best New Hotels in the U.S. list, is offering a Leaf Peepers Package for the fall which includes free cider and caramel apples to have while watching the sunset on the porch or by the fire pits.
For an upscale getaway, try The Opus Westchester and stay in a luxury suite and reserve dinner at the hotel.
If your plans are in Sleepy Hollow and Tarrytown, the Sleepy Hollow Hotel and Conference Center has an on-site restaurant and café.
Have you visited Westchester in the fall? Tell us what you love to do.