A Guide to Top Fall Destinations in Upstate New York

Adirondack Mountains | Clay Banks

Upstate New York boasts one of the country’s most scenic landscapes during autumn. Let’s look at some of the very best fall destinations in Upstate New York for an exceptional autumn getaway. 


Athens, a charming historic community along the Hudson River, ranks as one of New York’s most appealing small towns for an autumn vacation. Its pleasant riverside scenery and centuries-old architecture create a quaint environment. Visitors can relish crisp weather and admire fall foliage on a hike through the nearby Greenport Conservation Area or take a stroll among the brilliantly colored trees that line the main streets of Athens. If you’re hungry, stop by one of Athens’s charming eateries for a tasty meal.

Adirondack Region

For more than a century, crowds of fall visitors have traveled to the renowned Adirondack Region, continuing a tradition that endures to this day. A dense forest covers the mountainous terrain, revealing stunning shades of amber and crimson during autumn. Fall is a terrific time to explore this region, which is chalk-filled with seasonal excitement. Experience the Adirondacks’s numerous fall festivals, including the Adirondack Balloon Festival, Whiteface Mountain Oktoberfest, and the Cream Cheese Festival. Or take a scenic train ride on the Adirondack Railroad to admire the area’s gorgeous autumn foliage.

Adirondack Mountains | Jordan Finnerty

Finger Lakes Region

Although the Finger Lakes Region boasts signature lakes and summer appeal, experiencing the area’s beauty in the delightful fall season is a must. The Finger Lakes region has globally acclaimed wineries, and autumn is the perfect time to visit the vineyards and tasting rooms this community offers. Enchanting towns and cities, such as Ithaca and Canandaigua, have bed and breakfasts and inns that provide cozy fall accommodations. Also, as an agricultural hotspot, the area features seasonal corn mazes, pumpkin patches, and apple orchards throughout, helping create an idyllic traditional fall getaway.

Ithaca | Will Barkoff

Ballston Spa

Ballston Spa, a historic little village off the beaten path, invites visitors to explore its quaint appeal this autumn. Colorful trees, boutique shops, chic cafes, and lovely eateries adorn Ballston Spa’s charming main commercial area, where you can indulge in autumn-themed treats. The city is particularly renowned for its antique shops, so make sure to visit the various antique stores scattered throughout the area. For nature enthusiasts, Shenantaha Creek Park is a delightful leaf-peeping destination.

Hudson Valley Region

The Hudson Valley Region, nestled along the Hudson River, is a fantastic autumn retreat. Wineries and exceptional outdoor destinations comprise this gorgeous part of the state. With some of New York’s best hiking trails, the Hudson Valley provides visitors with the perfect opportunity to step outside of the big city and into its stunning nature. The Hudson Valley consists of charming towns, such as Hudson and Beacon, many of which have delicious dining options and local breweries that serve autumn beverages. During the fall, the area is renowned for its farmers markets, pumpkin patches, and apple orchards. 

Hudson Valley | Juliana Malta

Catskills Region

The Catskills has long been one of Upstate New York’s most famous seasonal getaway spots. This mountainous area houses the Catskill Forest Preserve, which is highly regarded as one of the premier places in the state to enjoy leaf peeping. Its mountains offer hiking trails that lead to stunning panoramic vantage points showcasing postcard-worthy foliage. Catskill and Woodstock are lovely communities to visit on a getaway, with easy access to nature and enjoyable, relaxing locations. Apple picking, fishing, boating, and rafting are all popular ways to experience the season in the area.

Catskill Mountains | Clay Banks

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