Top 3 Weekend Getaway Activities & Locations In Upstate New York

Is fall your favorite time of year? Mine too. While there are many obvious things to do, here is a list of places I have visited that truly welcomed me into the autumn spirit.

Yes, I know. Orchards, breweries, vineyards, cute cafés that serve pumpkin spiced coffee – it’s hard to avoid the millions of locations you may plan to visit for your autumn getaway, and harder still to find the ones that are truly unique. When I first moved to the United States in 2018, I was extremely excited to see a truly vibrant fall, and I was not disappointed. Not only because of the obvious natural beauty, the crisp, refreshing morning air casting a soft glaze over the rolling mountains, but the many small establishments that, rather than cater to your expectation of Fall activities, give you a genuine Upstate New York experience.

upstate new york
Photo by Laith Abdulkareem on Unsplash

Beak and Skiff Apple Orchards

Now, if you already live in the Central New York area, you’re probably going to hate me for putting this at the top of my list. I love going to Beak and Skiff because it is the perfect place for taking selfies with your apple spiced donut and coffee. Located off the Cherry Valley Turnpike, Lafayette, the orchard was established in 1911. Since then, it has added multiple buildings within, such as: a distillery, tasting room, bakery, and more! It is really a lovely spot to visit with family or friends, and gives you a chance to taste the wide array of flavors autumn has to offer.

orchard upstate new york
INSTAGRAM @beakandskiff

Apple picking season has already begun, so make sure to double-check when your favorites are in!


This might be slightly cheating since it is an entire town rather than a specific location, but I believe that, in conjunction with its surroundings, Skaneateles is the perfect fall town to visit. Enveloping itself around the southern edge of the lake, your stay is graced by some of the most beautiful sceneries that New York has to offer.

Skaneateles Area Chamber Of Commerce
FACEBOOK Skaneateles Area Chamber Of Commerce

Located by the finger lake of the same name, which, by the way, is the cleanest one of them all; Skaneateles is a quaint town full of cute cafés, restaurants, boutiques, and so much more! It also features various wine and brewery tours you can take throughout the year, as well as a beautiful, classic lakeside hotel called The Sherwood Inn. It is definitely worth a visit if you want to experience the quiet and idyllic Central New York lifestyle.

Watkins Glen State Park

Watkins Glen State Park has been voted as one of the top three most beautiful state parks in the country, and it is unmistakably true. Having visited it multiple times, this 2-3 hour hiking trail takes you through a fantasy-like valley of stone bridges and waterfalls, all while walking under the shade of dense forest.

watkins glen cavern cascade wikipedia

While this is a place you can visit year-round, I recommend visiting in the fall. It is indescribably magical at this time of year and, if the view alone does not convince you, there’s dozens of small towns on the way offering tidbits of the season to keep your spirits up.

Tom lives in Central New York and visits the natural scenery and local establishments often to take pictures and take part in tastings.

Thomas Benko

Content Editor Associate

Tom was born and raised in Hungary by a multi-cultural family, he has spent much of his life traveling in different countries. Tom is obsessed with culture-specific art and cuisine, his favorite place to visit is Pilsen, Czech Republic, as he considers it his second home, a place filled with cultural minutia. In his spare time, Tom likes to study music and paint, and trains to be a volunteer firefighter.

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