Three years ago, I opened this column by stating: “Fall has always been my favorite season.” Then I launched into a list of reasons why. Naturally, these included the crisp air, apple picking, carving a pumpkin, and the “woodsy smell of the season’s first fire.” When I was living in New York City, I couldn’t wait to escape to the Hudson Valley on an October weekend to experience these pure country pleasures — and I still eagerly anticipate all these quintessential autumn delights. But now I know that fall in the Valley also offers so much more. While the outdoor activities in our region are unparalleled (one of our Halloween haunted houses even garners national attention) and the fall foliage spectacular, the cultural calendar really picks up at this time of year, too. So I hope you’ll use this information-packed issue as a guide to planning your most amazing autumn yet.
I’ve always loved traveling in the fall; the weather is delightful, the crowds are gone, and prices drop in certain regions. In our Fall Getaways piece, we outline six one-of-a-kind escapes. Some are here in the Valley, while others are within a three-hour drive of Poughkeepsie. Locally, we introduce you to some delightful B&Bs that you may not know about, including one right on the river which features a state-of-the-art spa.
Further afield, if you think the beautiful beaches are the only reason to visit Rhode Island (granted, they are a very good reason), think again. Fall in the Ocean State’s South County region offers a multitude of surprising things to do and see, from Providence’s unexpected Little Italy to an interesting anthropology museum. Closer to home, in the rolling Litchfield Hills of Connecticut, lies a unique resort where choosing your theme cottage is just the beginning of the fun. If you are intrigued by the idea of staying in a room crafted out of a 1968 helicopter or one where golf aficionados can actually putt inside, then read on. Or perhaps you’d like to explore Southern Vermont — the fall foliage there certainly rivals that found in our neck of the woods. We tell you about a glorious resort in Manchester that can be used as a base while exploring this charming region; while you’re there, you can try out the age-old sport of falconry. If, like me, you are unsure exactly what falconry is, rest assured that it does involve actual falcons. It also involves said falcons, with a wing span of six feet, landing on your arm. Senior editor Polly Sparling fills you in on the rest.
Also in this issue, we take a look at some breakthrough medical treatments that are being performed locally. One of them, transcranial magnetic stimulation, treats drug-resistant depression by using magnets to stimulate the brain. With so many top-notch hospitals now located in the Valley, the days when patients automatically assume they have to head to New York City for cutting-edge treatments are over.
And finally, while I’m not sure that my 40-something self could pull off thigh-high boots, they sure are fun to look at. Check out our fashion spread here.
Enjoy the issue and the season.
Olivia J. Abel
Editor In Chief