Tag: Autumn

Best of Autumn on Long Island’s East End


Photo courtesy of http://data.newsday.com/

By Juliette Koronkiewicz

Shorter days and cooler temperatures are tell-tales that summer is leaving and autumn has begun. There is no better place to experience autumn than on Long Island. Growing up on Long Island my whole life and traveling to other places in the country, hands down, Long Island is my favorite. Some say I am a bit of an “expert” on the best places where you can experience autumn at its finest; from u-pick apples and pumpkins, to where to find the best cider doughnut. Now, I want to share all of my favorite spots with you. Here are my favorite places to enjoy all that autumn has to offer on Long Island’s East End.

Best Apple Picking: Wickham’s Fruit Farm in Cutchogue

Long Island locals all have their favorite location for prime apple picking, but if you want to try to avoid crowds and get a truly authentic experience, Wickham’s Fruit Farm is the place to go! Wickham’s fruit is grown on some of the oldest continually cultivated land in the country, much of the farm dating from 1661. A large proportion of Wickham farm land has been placed in Suffolk County’s Farmland Preservation program, so for generations to come, this land is “forever agriculture.” Don’t want to pick your own? Visit their farmstand on-site for apples and an array of other seasonal fruit and vegetables.

Best Pumpkin Picking: Helen’s Pumpkin Farm in Aquebogue

This is a great family friendly place that offers hours of fun with the large corn maze, up to 20 acres of pumpkins, concession stand and fully stocked farm stand. You can pick pumpkins that have already been brought in from the fields or you can venture out on your own to find your ‘Great Pumpkin.’  At 59 cents per pound, which includes specialty gourds and giant pumpkins that can weigh up to 100 pounds, Helen’s Pumpkin Farm is one of the best prices you will find.

Best Fall Festival: Montauk Fall Festival in Montauk


Photo courtesy of http://www.amny.com/

Every October, Long Island locals take the ride to one of the farthest points of the Island to Montauk’s Annual Fall Festival. This annual event, held on the Village Green, celebrates fall with a clam chowder contest, music, Long Island beers and wine, Oktoberfest foods, games for the children, a farmers market and more. This is one festival that is perfect for the whole family.

Best Hard Apple Cider: Woodside Orchards in Jamesport

Since 1982, Woodside Orchards has not only been growing apples but making fresh hard apple cider. You can visit Woodside’s tasting room everyday, except Wednesday, and try their various types of cider, or order a pint and relax in their picnic area outside around the fire. You can also buy or bring your own growler to enjoy the cider at home. While you are there, don’t forget to purchase their doughnuts, fresh honey and a carmel apple to go. Did I forget to mention their free chocolate chip cookies you can enjoy while you are there?

Best Vineyards: Bedell Cellars in Cutchogue


Photo courtesy of http://thehort.org/

Going wine tasting on Long Island is a necessity. Long Island’s East End is filled with vineyards and autumn is the perfect time to see the harvest. If there is any vineyards you are going to visit, Bedell Cellars is a must! The first grapevine was planted in 1980 and since then is now widely regarded as the benchmark winery in the Eastern U.S. Their wines are grown on three vineyard sites across 75 acres, with some of the oldest grapevines in the country. Their historic barn, built in 1919, has been named one of the Top 25 Tasting Rooms in America by Wine Enthusiast Magazine. So order a glass of your favorite red or white (I suggest getting the Sauvignon Blanc 2015), relax on the barn patio and watch the the winemakers harvest their crops.

Best Farm Stand: Lewin Farms in Calverton

Every trip I make out to the East End always ends with a trip to Lewin Farm Stand. Now in its fourth generation of farmers, Lewin Farm Stand offers a full line of fresh fruits and vegetables; many of these are grown on their farm. They also get other local Long Island produce from nearby farms to offer you the freshest quality, locally grown produce possible. Strawberries, cauliflower, squash and pears are just a few of the crops they grow on-site that you can bring home to make your favorite recipes.

Best Place for Families: Harbes Family Farm in Mattituck

Harbes is the perfect all-in-one stop for you and your family. Although Harbes has many locations on Long island, their Mattituck farm is the largest. They have everything from pumpkin and apple picking, to hayrides and delicious food. Your children can stay entertained by the Harbes staff in their 10 acre ‘Barnyard Adventure’ park while you relax, drink some wine in the tasting room and enjoy the crisp autumn air. Children can also enjoy a hayride, gem mining and their two corn mazes. Make sure you get there before October 30th because they close for the winter season.

Best Brewery: Greenport Harbor Brewery in Greenport and Peconic


Photo courtesy of https://www.facebook.com/Greenport-Harbor-Brewing-co-59646913828/

There are many breweries on Long Island but one stands out in particular. Greenport Harbor Brewery is known for their unique beers with their unique names. Stop in at one of their locations to taste their seasonal craft beers. Want to taste something that makes you all warm and cozy inside? Try the Leaf Pile Ale with a cinnamon sugar rim. This beer is a fresh take on autumn beers with ginger, cinnamon, whole bean vanilla, allspice, nutmeg, and pumpkin. Not a pumpkin beer person? Don’t worry because Greenport Harbor Brewery has something for everyone’s palate like the Harbor Ale, Otherside IPA or Black Duck Porter. Whatever your decide to try, fall into autumn at Greenport.

Best Pies: Olish’s Farm Stand in Eastport & Briermere Farms in Riverhead

This was probably the hardest decision to make. Olish’s Farm Stand and Briermere Farms are the best locations for getting pies. Olish’s has 31 varieties of fresh pies baked daily to choose from everyday. When you pick up one of their pies you can still feel the heat of the pie coming through the box. That’s what I call fresh! Their signature pie is called ‘Fruit of the Forest’ and includes strawberry rhubarb, apple, blackberries and blueberries, and it’s absolutely delicious! While there also check out their farmstand, assortment of honey, flowers and more.

Briermere Farms has some of the best pies on Long Island but one pie that I can’t seem to get enough of is their Blueberry Cream Pie. All of their pies, jams, jellies and syrups are made with fresh ingredients. Their website has directions on how to freeze their pies so stock up!

Best Apple Cider doughnuts: Harbes Farm in Mattituck

We covered apple picking and hard apple cider, but your trip to the East End is not complete without Harbes Apple Cider doughnuts. Visit Harbes Family Farm in Mattituck and get a fresh dozen right off the doughnut machine. Wash your doughnut down with some hot apple cider or coffee, and you will definately get into the fall mood. If you can’t make it out to their bakery, you can order their doughnuts online.

Best Haunted House: Gateway Haunted Playhouse in Brookhaven

Photo courtesy of http://www.newsday.com/

Photo courtesy of http://www.newsday.com/

Every year from the end of September to Halloween, Gateway Playhouse turns their theatre into a haunted town filled with the things that nightmares are made of. Played by professional actors, you will definitely have the scare of your life. There will be a little of a wait for your group to go in but don’t worry, there are plenty of things going on to keep you entertained. There are side shows, food, and drinks for children and adults. You also get to hangout with some of the creepy characters that are walking around. If you are worried about this haunted playhouse being too creepy for your children, they also have a ‘Not-So-Scary Kids Adventure’ from Oct. 8-30th where they will get a guided walk through, face painting, balloon art, pumpkin bouncer and more.

Best Corn Maze: Jamesport Giant Pumpkin Corn Maze at Harbes Western Farm in Jamesport

This five acre corn maze will keep you entertained for a while. The Giant Pumpkin has lost it’s crown in a sprawling five acre corn maze and it’s your job to find that missing crown. This is a great attraction for people of all ages and will take you about 45 mins to complete. Don’t worry about getting lost, there are staff members that will help you along the way.

Best Fall Hiking Trail: Blydenburgh Park in Hauppauge

If you are looking to a relaxing hike or boat ride to take in the fall colors, Blydenburgh Park is the best choice. There are many trails to take depending if you are looking for a nice stroll or looking for a challenge. This 627 acre park with richly forested hills and valleys around Stump Pond is one of the many things to do at this park. Rent a boat a row around the pond, bring your tackle and go fishing, stroll through the Blydenburgh Farm and New Mill Historic District featuring a grist mill, or make a day of it and enjoy the day in their picnic area. Whatever you decide to do, Blydenburgh Park has something for everyone.

Best Place to Stop for Dinner: The Modern Snack Bar in Riverhead


Photo courtesy of htp://jakerajs.photoshelter.com

Known for their Soft Shell Crabs, the Modern Snack Bar has been a North Fork landmark for authentic home cooking.  Started in 1950, The Modern Snack Bar is a throwback to that era. Brothers John and Otto Wittmeier believes in serving good quality food in an atmosphere that hasn’t changed since the day they opened. “Consistency is the key to our success,” says John. Roast Turkey, Roast L.I. Duck, Lobster Salad, Meatloaf and their mashed turnips are just a few of the recipes you will find on the menu that have been passed down in the Wittmeier family. Wash your meal down with some draft beer or a glass of wine, or try one of their seasonal mixed drinks like the Happy Apple or Pumpkin Shandy. Don’t forget to have a slice of their Grasshopper Pie. No matter if you live on Long Island or travel from other states, “we take care of everyone like they’re family,” says John.

Best Place to stop for Ice Cream: Magic Fountain in Mattituck

I know what you’re thinking, “Ice cream in the fall? Isn’t it too cold?” But with their seasonal selections  of homemade ice cream, such as  Lavender and Black Raspberry Crumble, you will want to make the trip every weekend. Since 1977, Mr. Chaudry Ali has aimed to bring back the sensation of having a good time while enjoying what you eat.  So take a ride out to Mattituck and try one of their Flavors of the Month, like Pumpkin, Fig & Honey, and Chocolate Pudding Pie. You won’t be disappointed.

Bewitching October: How You Should Experience Autumn Around The World

By: Jennifer K. Velez, TWIP

There’s no greater place for a traveller to gain a better understanding of a culture then to experience a festival where people come together to celebrate and appreciate food, listen and dance to live music, and much more. The changing colors and cooler days in October draws out locals and travelers to some of the world’s most famous events.

Oktoberfest, September 19-October 4


Photo courtesy of worldfestivaldirectory.com

Autumn in Germany symbolizes the beginning of a 16-day folk festival where six million people from around the world gather together in Munich to celebrate Bavarian culture and the start of fall. The original Oktoberfest was created to celebrate the royal wedding of King Ludwig I and Princess Therese where guests indulged in food, drinks and horse races. Due to the overwhelmingly positive feedback, Oktoberfest has become one of the most popular yearly festivals celebrated worldwide. Today, festival goers can enjoy a variety of traditional beers ranging from pale gold to deep amber lagers and meats such as Scheinsbraten and Würstel. If these traditional German flavors don’t suit your taste, you can indulge in more malty flavored German and American influenced beers. If you cannot make it to Munich, fortunately there are smaller Oktoberfests held all over the world where one can enjoy the delectable delicacies of Germany.

Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, October 3-11

If you find yourself in Albuquerque around the start of fall, you may catch the annual ascension of hot air balloons. The fiesta is enchanting to new Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta visitors, as over 500 balloons take to the sky. You can see hundreds of colorful balloons floating up and over the city. For nine days a variety of events are held. In the evening, Balloon Glow allows enthusiasts to enjoy the sight of these magnificently lit balloons. Special Shape Rodeo allows for non-traditional balloons, such as animals, covered wagons, and everything else in between, to launch at the same time. Many have said that the Albuquerque International Balloon Festival is the most photographed event in the world. You don’t need to fly in a balloon to enjoy the fiesta. You can simply walk around, eat delicious food, and watch in awe as the sun sets over the Sandia Mountains.

Masskara, October 16-18

bacolod inns masskara images

Photo courtesy of citigrandinn.com

Every year 450,000 residents join together in the street exhibiting a multitude of vibrant masks in Bacolod, Philippines, “city of smiles.” Due to the depressed sugar cane prices in Negros Occidental, the government and local artists collaborated to lift the city’s spirits and created the Masskara Festival. Locals get together to exhibit gorgeous masks with plumes of feathers, exotic flowers, glitter, beads, sequins, and more. This is a sensory experience, with its bold colors, joyous music, and vibrancy. The festival is a reminder to the people of Bacolod to remain optimistic through times of misfortune and to always remember to smile. Don’t have a mask? No problem. Just put a smile on your face and you will fit right in.

Travel Tips: Where to View The Most Vibrant Fall Foliage in the Northeast


By: Lauren Durden

Where to see the best of falls colors throughout upstate New York and New England.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015, was the first official day of fall, meaning that sweater weather, all things pumpkin spice and vibrant fall foliage will soon be sprouting up throughout the United States. As the temperatures drop, and the leaves on trees gradually shift from their summer greens to spectacular shades of burning oranges, yellows, fiery reds and deep maroons, the Northeast comes alive with some of the most beautiful displays of fall colors in the United States. Throughout the month of September and through October, these are the best towns to visit to view nature’s dramatic autumn showcase.

New York


Photo courtesy of adirondackrr.com

Whether you choose to stay in New York City, or venture further north into the Adirondack Mountains, New York has plenty of fall colors to go around. While Central Park is an easy train ride from almost anywhere in the city, other parks throughout the city are worth a bit of a trek to see some fantastic fall foliage. Fort Tyron Park in Washington Heights boasts one of the highest points in the city, with picturesque views across the water to Hudson River Palisades. Outside of the Big Apple, the Adirondack Mountains host some of the state’s most beautiful changing leaves near Lake Placid. Take in the mountain’s sights on a scenic drive, hike or on the Adirondack Scenic Railroad.

When to Visit:

Peak times for the city tend to be later in October, while the Adirondacks reach peak in early to mid-October.



Photo courtesy of fineartamerica.com

A state well known for it’s maple syrup and Ben & Jerry’s ice cream also plays host to some of the country’s most vivid fall displays. The maple trees change in color in Stowe conveniently coincide with Stowe’s Oktoberfest. You can continue the fall foliage viewing throughout Vermont’s Green Mountains in ludlow, where travelers can take in 360-degree views of blazing autumn leaves.

When to Visit:

The best viewing times in Vermont tend to be at the end of September through mid-October.



Photo courtesy of innharborhill.com

Seek out the Berkshire Mountains for oak, beech, aspen and birch trees exploding with color by way of Route 7 which runs along the Housatonic River in Connecticut. Along with foliage viewing, visitors will take in quintessential New England sights, including two covered bridges.

For a little more adventure than a simple drive through the spectacular colors of fall, board the Essex Steam Train & Riverboat in Connecticut’s River Valley. The trip on the train and riverboat only takes visitors 2 1/2 hours to complete, but allows travelers to sit back and relax while taking in the views.

When to Visit:

Connecticut’s fall foliage viewing generally lasts a bit longer than the surrounding states, but visit in mid-to late October for the season’s peak viewing.

New Hampshire

Autumn sunrise on the Piscataqua River in Portsmouth, NH, USA

Photo courtesy of susancolekelly.photoshelter.com

North Conway in New Hampshire is a nature lover’s dream with endless trails fit for hiking, biking and even some rock climbing, set in the White Mountain National Forest. Quaint bed and breakfasts and larger ski resorts make it easy for travelers of all types to find exactly what they’re looking for during a fall visit.

For history buffs, Portsmouth is the place to visit in New Hampshire. With museums, historic homes from the 1600s, and a beautiful waterfront, this New England town has plenty to offer, in addition to stellar foliage.

When to Visit:

Best to visit New Hampshire in early to mid-October.

Feeling Venturesome? Test Your Limits at Bear Mountain State Park

bear mountain state park fall

Manhattan, the city that never sleeps, the concrete jungle, the city of opportunity. Commuting back and forth to work for the typical nine to five every day can exhaust anyone. This Fall, be inspired to do something out of your daily routine. Hop on a boat with TWIP and cruise North to Bear Mountain State Park to celebrate Oktoberfest!

Situated on the west bank of the Hudson River in Bear Mountain, NY are the most epic, serene and beautiful views of Mother Nature. You can hike up the rugged mountains or drive on the only two-way street that runs throughout the vicinity. In the summertime, amenities available are camping, biking, boat rentals, fishing in the lake, open grounds for picnics, playgrounds, a swimming pool and nature trails. During the winter, you can do cross-country skiing, ice skating and enjoy a hot cup of hot chocolate by the fireplace. This is an ideal location for anyone who wants to get away from reality and escape to serenity.

Oktoberfest originated on October 12, 1810 when Crown Prince Ludwig married Princess Therese von Sachsen-Hildburghausen. Five days after the wedding, a large festival was held in Munich, Germany which involved horse races, drinking at beer pubs, and performances. Specialty beers commonly consumed on Oktoberfest are Lowenbrau, Spaten, and Hofbrauhaus, to name a few.

Instead of traveling to Munich, Bear Mountain State Park celebrates their own version of Oktoberfest. Join TWIP on Sunday, October 19 as they cruise along the Hudson River, consume German food and beer, enjoy live entertainment and the beautiful views the park has to offer. Book your tickets at www.twip.co/events to confirm your RSVP. Don’t forget to bring comfortable shoes to go hiking as well!

Spending a day with TWIP allows you to create life-long friends and travel partners, share experiences and pass on incredible stories to your friends and family!

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