A Weekend in Any Direction

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The New York Sun

Fall is the last chance to enjoy a day trip that doesn’t require serious bundling up. Whether it is picking pumpkins, hiking through wildlife habitats, or enjoying an out-of-town museum, exciting weekends can be found in every direction from Times Square. Here are seven scenic drives to welcome the fall season:


Washington Irving’s home at Sunnyside (Sunnyside Lane, Tarrytown, N.Y., 914-591-8763, hudsonvalley.org, $10, Wednesday–Monday, 10 a.m.–5 p.m.)

The enchanting house and grounds where Washington Irving lived and wrote is an hour north of the city. A walk through the garden paths affords stunning views of the Hudson River. The last weekend in October is the perfect time to revisit “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.” Visitors can watch 19th-century magic shows and listen to balladeers croon about ghosts and betrayal at the museum’s Halloween festival, “Legend Weekend.” A guide leads guests through a woodland walk where actors recount spooky tales, including Irving’s “The Devil and Tom Walker.” Reservations are highly recommended.

Philipsburg Manor (Upper Mills, 381 North Broadway (Route 9), Sleepy Hollow, N.Y., 914-631-3992, hudsonvalley.org, $13, Wednesday–Monday, 10 a.m.–5p.m.)

Two miles north of Sunnyside is Philipsburg Manor, a 300-year-old estate that belonged to a wealthy Colonial family. Today it is a living history farm where guides in Colonial dress lead visitors through a pastoral setting, complete with livestock such as oxen, cows, and sheep. Visitors can participate in 18th-century activities such as shelling beans and working flax into linen. During the last weekend in October, they can watch a re-enactment of Irving’s “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” in a ghostly, bonfire–lit setting. The high point is watching the Headless Horseman take his legendary ride on a black steed.

Storm King Art Center (Old Pleasant Hill Road, Mountainville, N.Y., 845-534-3115, stormking.org, $10, Wednesday – Sunday, 11a.m–5p.m., until November 15th)

At this outdoor museum an hour and a half north of Manhattan, visitors revel in nature and art while strolling 500 acres of fields and woodland that provide the site for modern sculpture by internationally renowned artists. Paths lead to majestic views of surrounding mountains, and along the way are works by Mark di Suvero. Visitors who pack a lunch can eat in the beautifully landscaped picnic area. Admission includes a tour of the land and access to tram rides.

Silvermann’s Farm (451 Sport Hill Road, Eastern Connecticut, Conn., 203-261-3306, www.silvermansfarm.com, open every day, 9 a.m.–5 p.m.)

At this farm, customers who guess the weight of their chosen pumpkin within two ounces can take it home for free. During Octoberfest, visitors take a 20-minute hayride to the hilltop apple orchard and enjoy the colorful displays of fall foliage. At the rustic animal farm, guests pet and feed buffalo, llamas, sheep, goats, fallow deer, emus, Longhorn cattle, pigs, and exotic birds. It feels much farther away than just an hour and a half north of Midtown.


Sands Point Preserve (127 Middleneck Road, Port Washington, N.Y., 516-571-7900, sandspointpreserve.org, $2, open every day, 10 a.m.–5p.m.)

About 45 minutes east of Manhattan, visitors can hike or stroll through forests, fields, gardens, cliffs, and beach on the Long Island sound. Trail maps offer access to six nature trails where visitors see a variety of plants, animals and trees, including an oak forest where trees are up to 80 feet tall and 175 years old.

Jackson Pollock House and Museum (830 Fireplace Road, East Hampton, N.Y., 631-324-4929, pkhouse.org, $10, Thursday–Saturday, 11 a.m.–4 p.m., by appointment only.)

A guide leads visitors to this museum through the home and studio of Jackson Pollock and his wife, Lee Krasner. Both artists’ prints and paintings from the permanent collection will be on display through October 29. Guests can walk through the nearby cemetery where the couple and other artists are buried. At the Springs General Store, day-trippers can buy a picnic lunch and view the paintings Pollock traded for food there.The property sits on the Accabonac Creek, and visitors can eat and relax on the grounds while looking across a salt marsh, a creek, and the woods beyond.


Lambertville, N.J.

Travelers to picturesque Lambertville, N.J., enjoy antique shopping and strolls along the Delaware River. Only an hour and a half south of the city, tourists find Victorian style buildings that house art galleries, craft stores, and flea markets, not to mention the Golden Nugget Antique & Flea Market treasure hunt on weekends.Visitors can also traverse the walking bridge to the scenic town of New Hope, Pa. There they can take a boat ride down the canal in 18th-century fashion as two mules pull the barge down the towpath. This fall, the Delaware River Canal Boat Company Mule Barge (149 S. Main St. in New Hope, Pa., 215-862-0758) offers the Ghosts of New Hope tour, which gives customers a history of the town’s spookiest legends.


Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge (197 Pleasant Plains Road, Harding Township, N.J., 973-425-1222, friendsofgreatswamp.org, free. Open all year from sunrise to sunset.)

The National Wildlife Refuge System is a 7,600-acre refuge an hour and a half west of the city that has become a resting and feeding area for more than 244 species of birds. It is also a protective habitat for wildlife such as fox, deer, muskrat, turtles, fish, and frogs. In the fall, visitors can witness the migration of waterfowl such as geese, raptors, and herons. Visitors who walk or hike on 10 miles of trails may also see monarch butterflies flitting among the purple and pink blooming autumn wildflowers.

The New York Sun

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