One of my favorite places in the world is New York City. There’s such great energy in this vibrant city. Walking through Manhattan and encountering all the people and street vendors as I stroll along the famed streets is exciting. Fall is arguably the best time to visit New York City as the weather is gorgeous. Here are some of our favorite ways to experience the urban fall vibes in New York City.
1. Central Park
Central Park is at the top of the list of places to enjoy the fall in NYC. This 800-acre park in the middle of the city is vast and has all sorts of fun ways to enjoy the great outdoors in the midst of the urban sprawl. I love visiting Strawberry Fields, the 5-acre area within the park that includes a tribute to John Lennon and is located near the West 72nd Street entrance of the park.
My other favorites within the park are the Bow Bridge, where it’s easy to take hundreds of photos of this landmark with the glorious fall backdrop. Another essential in Central Park is to pretend you’re back in the 1800s and rent a rowboat to traverse the lake. Stop into the Loeb Boathouse on the eastern side of the lake. The boathouse offers rowboat rentals on a walk-up basis. There’s no better way to take in the fall beauty.
2. Brooklyn Bridge
With a chill in the air, fall is the perfect time to see the city from the iconic Brooklyn Bridge. Plan your walk to coincide with fall’s early sunset and walk towards the city from Brooklyn at dusk to see it come alive. When built back in the late 1800s, the Brooklyn Bridge was the longest suspension bridge in the world.
Nighttime is the best time to see the bridge because the city light views are excellent and there’s just something thrilling to be on the bridge as the sun goes down. There will be a lot of other people (and souvenir vendors) on the bridge with you as dusk is a popular time to go, but the crowds are worth it.
3. Farmers Markets
Who doesn’t love apple donuts and pumpkin lattes? Fall is the quintessential time to stroll through an NYC farmers market and get your fall produce haul. One of the best markets in town is the New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx. The market is held on Wednesdays through mid-October.
You’ll have a chance to shop from quality produce vendors, local area bakers, and specialty food sellers. You’ll find all the best and freshest fall veggies. While you’re here, take a walk through the grounds and revel in the fall splendor of vibrant reds, yellows, and golden plants galore. The park is home to a variety of stunning gardens and landscapes within the 250-acre space.
4. Hudson River Cruise
Check out the fall foliage from the water as you cruise along the Hudson River. Numerous tour operators offer tours by boat or yacht where you’ll relax on board and take in the beautiful colors along the Hudson. Most of the longer tours offer food and drink on board, with some providing live music amid an Oktoberfest theme, complete with German food. Choose from a short 2-hour tour up to an 8-hour tour where you’ll head to Bear Mountain State Park.
Regardless of which tour you choose, you’re guaranteed to see gorgeous autumn colors and enjoy plenty of fresh air.
5. Incredible Rooftop Bars
What goes better with fall then flannel and a fire pit? Only in NYC, you can enjoy this fall delight with an urban view. Check out one of the incredible rooftop bars in the city and get ready to do this fall tradition New York City-style. One of the biggest and best is the rooftop bar at 230 Fifth, where you can enjoy happy hour while getting cozy in your heated, transparent igloo!
6. Early Holiday Celebrations
Plan your New York City fall visit for late fall and catch some of the festive holiday markets. The holidays are in the air beginning in late October with markets full of treasures and treats. Try the markets at Bryant Park. Start early, grab lunch at one of the many food vendors, then head over to the Holiday Fair at Grand Central Terminal for even more shopping. You could even top off your holiday-themed night with a performance by the Radio City Rockettes! The famous holiday shows begin in early November and are a must-do while in New York City.
While there’s no way to list all the ways you can have fun in New York City, this list is a great jumping-off point for your trip. No matter what you feel like doing in NYC this fall, the awesome vibes of the unique urban landscape that is New York City will keep you enthralled.