Best Time to Visit New York

If the question is when to visit New York City, the answer is easy… any time. The city holds a certain appeal for each of its four seasons, from the dropping of the ball in New Years to the warmer summers that allow for a ride on the Staten Island Ferry, the city has a lot to offer.

But, we know that New York City is almost always great. When is the best time to visit New York City? I can make equally appealing arguments for just about any season, so instead of trying to do that, I’m going to go with my favorite time of the year to visit Upstate New York… fall.

Here’s why.

The Leaves (Everywhere)

New York in Autumn

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Whether you’d prefer a family-oriented (or solo) drive into the rural parts of the state, or the professional assistance of a guided tour, you can’t really go wrong either way. In addition to some truly breathtaking rivers, lakes and mountains, New York offers some of the greatest views of the fall foliage in all of New England, and perhaps even the United States.

Apple Harvest Festival (Ithaca)

The Apple Harvest Festival is an upstate tradition held in the rather sleepy college town of Ithaca, New York. 2015 marks the 33rd year the festival has taken place, and features apples of all kinds, from fresh of the tree, to canned, to baked in some of the best apple pies you’ve ever had the pleasure of sampling. In addition, you’ll find games, rides, prizes and two stages that play host to live performances during the three day festival.

Hamptons International Film Festival (East Hampton)

Hampton International Film Festival

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If you’d like to add some culture to your itinerary, the Hamptons Film Festival makes a great addition. Each film in the festival is from an independent filmmaker, and the festival itself features short, long, fiction and documentary-style productions. To put it simply, they have films for all types of viewers and a quick look at the schedule allows you to pick and choose which you’d prefer to see.

Oktoberfest (1000 Islands Seaway)

Grab your lederhosen and prepare for some traditional German entertainment at this always-fun autumn festival. Oktoberfest is an Alexandria Bay tradition and features “limitless” wine and beer as well as food, music and winery tours. And if you’re so inclined, you can even partake in some grape stomping.

Flaming Leaves Festival (Lake Placid)

This annual two-day celebration is fun for the whole family. In addition to some truly rib-sticking barbecue, Flaming Leaves Festival features live music, lawn games (such as the popular horseshoe tournament), craft vendors, and even stations to make arts and crafts, such as your very own tie dye tee shirts. You’ll also be able to catch some of the top ski jumpers in North America compete on the 120-meter ski jump all while taking in all that autumn has to offer in upstate New York.