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5 reasons to get out of NYC this fall

Summer is winding down. And if you're looking to get out of town for a day or two to enjoy the cooler temps and smaller crowds, we've got you covered. From the Hudson Valley to the Hamptons, these trips provide beautiful sights, great eats and charm -- and are all easily accessible by car, train or bus for a last-minute getaway.

Montauk, New York

What to do: Located on the eastern tip
Photo Credit: Gurney's Montauk Resort and Seawater Spa

What to do: Located on the eastern tip of Long Island's South Fork, laid-back Montauk is ideal for a fall beach stroll, camping in Hither Hills State Park (164 Old Montauk Highway, 631-668-2554) and a tour of the Montauk Point Lighthouse (2000 Montauk Highway, 631-668-2544), the oldest lighthouse in the state.

Where to eat: Breakfast at John's Pancake House (721 Main St., 631-668-2383) is a must, but bring cash and arrive early to avoid the lines. For lunch on the go, grab healthy salads and smoothies at Naturally Good Foods and Café (779 Montauk Highway, 631-668-9030).

Where to stay: Gurney's Montauk Resort & Seawater Spa (290 Old Montauk Highway, 631-668-2345) offers a sprawling private beach, oceanfront cottages, heated indoor saltwater pool (pictured) and detox spa treatments.

Getting there: Drive, take the Long Island Rail Road or hop on the Hampton Jitney; about 3½ hours

Saratoga, New York

What to do: For health, history and horses,
Photo Credit: Gideon Putnam

What to do: For health, history and horses, per the city's motto, head to tony Saratoga, New York -- upstate in the southernmost foothills of the Adirondack Region. Explore the 2,200-acre Saratoga Spa State Park (19 Roosevelt Drive, 518-584-2535), home to many of the area's natural mineral springs, and the Saratoga National Historical Park (648 Route 42, 518-670-2985), the site of the Battle of Saratoga, where American forces defeated British soldiers in 1777. Racing season ends Labor Day, but the Natural Museum of Racing Hall of Fame (191 Union Ave., 518-584-0400) features equine art, trophies and Thoroughbred racing memorabilia. For some culture, the Saratoga Performing Arts Center (108 Avenue of the Pines, 518-584-9330) also hosts a variety of events, including the Saratoga Wine & Food Festival (Sept. 11-13).

Where to eat: Wine and dine in downtown Saratoga Springs (pictured), known for its shops and Victorian architecture.

Where to stay: Located in Saratoga Spa State Park, the regal Gideon Putnam (24 Gideon Putnam Road, 518-584-3000) has a luxury spa.

Getting there: Drive or take Amtrak from Penn Station to the Saratoga Springs station; about 3½ hours

New Paltz, New York

What to do: This artsy SUNY college town
Photo Credit: High Xposures Adventures / John Maier

What to do: This artsy SUNY college town at the base of the Shawangunk Mountains is known for its culture and scenic setting. Pick apples and pumpkins at Dressel Farms (271 NY-208, 845-255-0693), and take home yummy doughnuts and cider, too. View abstract art at the 3,000 square foot DM Weil Gallery (208 Bruynswick Road, 845-255-3336), the largest modern art gallery in Hudson Valley. And hike, bike and ride horseback on over 30 miles of carriage roads and trails, and climb the famous Gunks cliffs at Mohonk Preserve (pictured) in nearby Gardiner, New York.

Where to eat: A Tavola Trattoria (46 Main St., 845-255-1426) serves traditional Italian cuisine using seasonal and locally-sourced ingredients.

Where to stay: The acclaimed Mohonk Mountain House (1000 Mountain Rest Road, 845-255-1000) has a coveted spa and activities for the whole clan.

Getting there: Drive or take an Adirondacks Trailways bus from Port Authority; 1½ -2 hours

The Berkshires, Massachusetts

What to do: Explore the great outdoors in
Photo Credit: iStock

What to do: Explore the great outdoors in this collection of quaint towns in Western Massachusetts. With seven miles of trails through the forests, wetlands and along the slopes of the Lenox Mountain, the Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary in Lenox (472 West Mountain Road, 413-637-0320) is a great place to start. Take things indoors and visit the popular Norman Rockwell Museum ($18 adults, $17 seniors, $10 college students, $6 ages 6-18, free for children 5 and under; 9 Route 183, 413-298-4100) in Stockbridge and shop two floors of unique gifts and antiques at Berkshire Emporium & Antiques (59 Main St., 413-664-4032) in North Adams.

Where to eat: There are plenty of options, but the Mediterranean-inspired Alta Restaurant & Wine Bar (34 Church St., 413-637-0003) in Lenox is a standout.

Where to stay: Consider the pet-friendly Red Lion Inn (30 Main St., 413-298-5545) in Stockbridge or book a retreat at the award-winning health resort Canyon Ranch (165 Kemble St., 413-637-4100) in Lenox.

Getting there: Drive or take the Peter Pan bus from Port Authority to Stockbridge; 3-3½ hours

The North Fork of Long Island

What to do: An alternative to the Hamptons,
Photo Credit: Shinn Estate Vineyards and Farmhouse

What to do: An alternative to the Hamptons, the North Fork offers 11 bucolic towns, including Mattituck, Cutchogue and Greenport, each with a bevy of farmstands, art galleries, antique shops and, of course, wineries.

Where to drink: Shinn Estate Vineyards and Farmhouse (2000 Oregon Road, 631-804-0367) in Mattituck (pictured) and Bedell Cellars (36225 Main Road, 631-734-7537) and Lieb Cellars (13050 Oregon Road, 631-734-1100) in Cutchogue are mainstays.

Where to stay: Choose one of 10 elegant rooms at Tapestry House (503 Front St., 631-477-0371), the North Fork?s largest bed and breakfast in the heart of historic Greenport.

Getting there: Drive or take the Long Island Railroad or Hampton Jitney; about 3 hours


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