As any travel expert knows, your bucket list is not complete without at least one trip to New York City. Although beautiful to visit during any season, many locals recommend planning your New York City vacation in the fall. The colors in Central Park are beginning to peak, and there’s still a bit of warm weather left to make strolling Manhattan’s sidewalks delightful.
New York City is one of the most exciting metropolises in the world, brimming with incredible art, history, food, architecture, and, of course, New Yorkers! Read on to learn more about the places to visit in New York City and how to prep for this must-see city.
Getting to New York City
New York City is a central transportation hub in the Northeast region of the United States, so don’t assume that the only way to get there is by flying into JFK or La Guardia. Depending on where your point of origin is, you may want to take the train, ride a bus, or drive and park outside the city.
- Plane: If you’re coming from far out-of-state or out-of-country, flying is most likely your best bet. Your New York City vacation will go much more smoothly if you start looking for flight deals early on, and use an app like Hopper to compare your best fall deals.
- Train: If you live in a nearby state, or even in the Midwest, you can depart from a central location (like Chicago) and arrive in New York City within a day. Watch the changing leaves on the way.
- Bus: The Greyhound bus can be an economical way to travel if you’re on a budget. It’s not the most comfortable way to travel, but it is cheap and with a lightweight neck pillow, not so much different than taking the train.
- Car: An hour’s ride into the city could turn into several. If you do plan to rent a car for your New York City vacation, it would be better to park outside the city and take the subway in. Use an app like SpotHero to find cheap parking.
There are must-see activities for anyone planning a New York City vacation in the fall. If you visit during this season, don’t miss these highlights:
Central Park: The park is great during any season, but really comes to life in the fall. Spend at least a few hours taking in the change of season as you meander through the paths of one of the world’s best urban parks. Keep your Cabeau travel blanket on hand in case you feel like having a mid-afternoon picnic!
Foliage Cruise: You can certainly cruise to Staten Island, but try searching further afield for half-day cruises that take you a bit further up the Hudson River on your New York City vacation. Alternately, enjoy live music and German beer on a longer cruise up to Bear Mountain State Park. This is a whole-day expedition but if you are in the city for more than a week, it’s a great way to break up your visit and get out of town for a few hours.
Rooftop Lookouts: For a bird’s eye view of the fall foliage, find a rooftop patio, but make reservations ahead of time. Restaurants are great places to visit in New York City, and local residents treasure the city’s rooftop patios and bars. So sip a cocktail at Bar SixtyFive, The Spyglass or The Met Roof Garden Bar –– and don’t forget to tip!
The Five Boroughs
Traveling in the off-season means your New York City vacation can put you close to the action no matter where you stay, but book early and you’ll have even more choice. New York City is divided into five central boroughs, making it easy to navigate all the city has to offer.
- Manhattan: This puts you close to many tourist attractions. Places to visit in New York City in the Manhattan area include Central Park, Federal Hall, the Empire State Building, Times Square, St. Paul’s Chapel, and the Broadway District.
- The Bronx: Home of the New York Yankees and Yankee Stadium, this is a must for any baseball fans on your New York City vacation. Close to the zoo and botanical gardens, The Bronx can be a fun destination for families.
- Brooklyn: Another great family spot, Brooklyn has undergone a cultural renaissance in recent years and now features a plethora of dining options and eclectic shops to browse –– not to mention the Barclay’s Center and Prospect Park.
- Queens: Home of the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), the New York Mets, and the US Open, there’s plenty of action in Queens!
- Staten Island: More than just a day trip, the island can be a great place to choose as a home base. The free ferry makes it easy to get to the rest of the city, and you can squeeze in a beach walk in the evening.
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There’s no wrong way to experience autumn in New York. From the changing leaves in Central Park to a post-season baseball game, the best of what the Big Apple has to offer is on hand in the fall. The city awaits, so make sure to stock up on Cabeau comfort accessories now to prepare for your perfect autumn vacation in New York City.