Best Vacations in the Hudson Valley for Fall 2011 (Editor’s Letter)

A word from Hudson Valley Editor in Chief, Olivia J. Abel

Year after year, in this space, I write about how fall is my favorite season. Sure, the details vary. One time I went on and on about my treasured childhood memories of our annual apple-picking jaunts at Wilkens Fruit Farm in Yorktown Heights. Another year I explained how I would sit in the back of the car with a package of Yodels (a special treat) while my mother took my housebound grandmother out for a leaf-peeping tour up the Taconic Parkway. I wrote about how, as a young professional living and working in Manhattan, I couldn’t wait to get away to the Hudson Valley for a fall weekend. And I was even foolish enough to put in print that I just love raking; that it is, in fact, my favorite household chore.

Well, nothing has changed. I still love fall and I still think that the Hudson Valley is simply the best place on Earth to celebrate this amazing season. Our unique mix of gorgeous scenery, abundance of farms (hello, pumpkin-picking and corn mazes), cultural attractions, and award-winning Halloween fun means that whatever your whim, there’s a way to get it satisfied right here.

I have always loved to travel in the fall. While I do like to hit the beach in the hot summer months, everything about traveling in September and October is easier. The flights are cheaper, the crowds fewer, and the weather tends to be ideal. Nothing feels better than slipping on a hooded sweatshirt or cardigan at the end of a long September day spent in the great outdoors. In this issue, we’ve outlined seven fabulous places to while away a few days this fall. Whether you want to stay right here in the Hudson Valley or you long to drive a little further, all of these unique accommodations will leave you happy that you hit the road.

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One option is to stay on a working farm in Kinderhook. During the summer when I was six, my family spent a week on a farm in Pennsylvania — an experience that loomed large in our collective family memory. While there was a lot for a six-year-old to be excited about, from swimming in the pond and being hoisted up to ring the giant dinner bell, to watching the cows come in from pasture, the highlight was scrambling out of bed every morning to the rooster’s cock-a-doodle-doo and collecting the eggs. I still remember how a tall and skinny farmhand showed me how it was okay to gently push a chicken aside to gather the eggs (which were often still warm). I hope to get to the recently renovated guest barn at Kinderhook Farm sometime soon. I’d love to watch my toddler running around the rolling pastures, screeching with delight at the sheep and cows, which apparently will walk right up to your door. In addition, with the farm-to-table movement in full swing these days, I’d also be very interested in learning more about their beef production, and of course, sampling it, too. Our “Fall Getaways” feature starts here.

Happy autumn.

Olivia J. Abel
Editor In Chief

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