The Ultimate Autumn To-Do List, NYC Edition

“Fall has always been my favorite season. The time when everything bursts with its last beauty, as if nature has been saving up all year for the grand finale.” -Lauren DeStefano

Fall, like any other season, just seems better in New York City. I won’t pretend fall isn’t my favorite season (pumpkins, sweater weather, bonfires, crisp morning runs, root vegetables, apple picking, Cider Week, I could go on and on), but I do truly believe it’s the best time of the year to visit New York- less crowds, cooler weather, vibrant scenery.  


To try and make the most of this wonderful season, these are the things at the top of my city to-do list: 

  1. Go for morning runs or afternoon walks through Central Park or Prospect Park in Brooklyn to admire the foliage
  2. Savor pumpkin everything (drink pumpkin spice lattes/iced coffees and pumpkin cocktails), AND pick and carve a pumpkin
  3. Cozy up with a drink at one of the cocktail bars I’ve been meaning to check out (Clover Club, Employees Only, Nitecap, Angel’s Share) or one of my favorites (The NoMad Bar, Dear Irving, Pouring Ribbons, The Dead Rabbit, Maison Premiere)
  4. Make the most of a rainy day by visiting two places I’ve had on my list for a while, the reading room at the New York Public Library or the Tenement Museum
  5. Spend a Saturday exploring one of my favorite, ever-changing neighborhoods in Brooklyn- Crown Heights (thinking taco brunch at Guero’s, checking out new-to-the-neighborhood bars and cafes, and finishing with a few hours at the Brooklyn Museum)
  6. See a show, Amateur Night at the Apollo has been on my radar for a while
  7. Go on a ghost walking tour, there are so many to choose from! (Ghosts of Brooklyn, Ghosts of the Upper West Side, Edgar Allen Poe & His Ghostly Neighbors of Greenwich Village)
  8. Head back to The Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze in Croton-on-Hudson. It’s an hour outside the city, but easy to reach by Metro North, and so worth it- the display of 7,000 hand-carved jack-o-lanterns is incredible
  9. Hit up a few of the city’s farmers markets to take full advantage of fall produce. The Morningside Park Farmer’s Market is my weekend go-to since I live nearby, but I also love the Union Square Greenmarket and Prospect Park Greenmarket
  10. Day drink at Bohemian Hall & Beer Garden, the oldest beer garden in New York City. It’s a lovely place to spend a warm fall day, listening to music, playing cards, drinking steins of beer or cider, and enjoying some seriously good Polish grub


If you’re visiting New York for the first time this fall, some of my other favorite activities at this time of the year include:

  • Walk the Brooklyn Bridge
  • People watch in Central Park or on the High Line (pro-tip: head to the High Line early to avoid crowds)
  • Head upstate and spend a day at Storm King before it closes for the winter, and check out the awesome modern art at Dia:Beacon while you’re in the area. If you don’t want to leave the city, The Cloisters is a branch of the Met that’s basically a medieval monastery filled with thousands of medieval works. It’s located near Fort Tryon Park, making it the perfect spot to go for an afternoon stroll once the leaves start changing
  • The fall foliage at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden kills it
  • Cheer on the runners at the TCS New York City Marathon
  • Take a day trip or weekend adventure to the North Fork on Long Island for wine tasting


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