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Fall getaways: apple picking, harvest fests, chowder and more

Fall means pumpkin flavored lattes, pies, soups and, for those looking to get out of the city for a bit and enjoy the season's bounty, festive day trips.

And after just an hour or two drive, you can experience the changing leaves, the crisp air and the best food and farms the tri-state area has to offer.

So pull on sweater, grab a pumpkin-spiced something for the road and check out these activities.


Long Beach Island, New Jersey The Jersey Shore
Photo Credit: Southern Ocean County Chamber of Commerce

Long Beach Island, New Jersey

The Jersey Shore may be known for the sand and surf (and the occasional fist pumping), but Long Beach Island gears up all summer for this 26-year-old clam chowder competition, easily the biggest event of the year here.

Restaurants compete in two categories: red, or Manhattan clam chowder, and white, New England's recipe. For $20 you can taste them all and vote for your favorite.

If chowder isn't your thing, a free Merchant Mart the day before the cook-off, from 10 a.m.-4 p.m., is a great way to check out what local vendors have to offer.

Oct. 5, 11 a.m.-4 p.m., general admission $20 adults, $10 children; Taylor Avenue ball field, Taylor Avenue and Ninth Street, Beach Haven, 609-494-7211,


Outhouse Orchard, Croton Falls, New York If hunting
Photo Credit: iStock

Outhouse Orchard, Croton Falls, New York

If hunting for apples and leaf-peeping is your objective, then head to this Westchester orchard.

At this point, you may have to look up high in the trees for the fruit, as the trees have been well-picked, but you can borrow a long pole to get the harder-to-reach apples.

Beyond apple-picking, there's also a selection of pumpkins and gourds for the picking.

Hungry? A plethora of vendors sell pumpkin cheesecakes and individual pizzas, among other tasty goods. There are also homemade dog biscuits for your four-legged friend. Live music, hayrides, a corn maze shaped like a pickup truck and a bouncy house for kids round out the fall festivities.

139 Hardscrabble Rd., Croton Falls, New York, 914-277-3188,


Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture, Pocantico
Photo Credit: Nicole Franzen

Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture, Pocantico Hills, New York

See all that Stone Barns has to offer during its annual fall festival.

The working farm is focused on sustainable, organic farming and growing practices. Visitors can see the animals and insects, including sheep, chickens, cows and bees, at work, as well as check out the greenhouses and pastures on the property during this day-long event.

Harvest Fest also boasts several family-friendly activities, including hands-on farming activities, live music, food-crafting, a farmer's market and hayrides.

Oct. 5, 10 a.m.-3 p.m., tickets $40 adults, $20 children ages 2-14; 630 Bedford Rd., Pocantico Hills, New York, 914-366-6200,


Shinn Estates Vineyards and Farmhouse, Mattituck, New York.
Photo Credit: Newsday

Shinn Estates Vineyards and Farmhouse, Mattituck, New York.

Wineries aren't just a summer destination. And few things are better on a brisk fall day than sitting back and enjoying the sun-filled vineyards of one of Long Island's best wineries -- especially with a glass of First Fruit Sauvignon Blanc in your hand.

Shinn Estates offers guided tours of its vineyard by co-owner Barbara Shinn on weekends for $20, as well as holds tasting room hours daily.

If you're looking to spend a few extra days on the North Fork, stay in one of the farmhouse's four rooms (two-night minimum during the fall season). Breakfast, a wine tasting and guided tours of the property are included.

2000 Oregon Rd., Mattituck, New York, 631-804-0367,


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