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Autumn in New York City Ushers in a Season of Beauty
Fall is the perfect time to vacation in New York City: Summer’s crush of humanity and humidity has subsided, kids are heading back to school, dining menus turn toward delicious harvest cuisine, and a welcome crispness is in the air. If you travel during September, and before the Columbus Day Parade in October, you often can find lodging deals before rates move upward for the holidays.
Autumn is heaven for New York sports fans too. The chatter amplifies about whether the Yankees or the Mets have a shot at the pennant (usually it’s the “Bronx Bombers” — aka the Yankees); and the town gets downright giddy about kicking off a new NFL season for the Giants and the Jets.
But capturing the true spirit of autumn means taking cozy walks, relishing the changing colors and finding bargains at New York attractions in and around Central Park. Located smack-dab in the middle of Manhattan, Central Park is a forested wonderland where New Yorkers can hike, bike and skate for miles among thousands of color-changing maples, oaks and elms. Plus, it’s free.
The first stop on any New York City leaf-peeping adventure is to scout out Central Park from the Top of the Rock observation deck at Rockefeller Center. Located 850 feet above Manhattan, Top of the Rock’s 70th-floor observatory is the perfect place to drink in an unobstructed 360-degree view of Central Park and the city below.
After getting your bearings, take a walk arm in arm to the east side of the park, where The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s sculpture court is located. It’s a gorgeous venue for enjoying the changing colors amidst art masterpieces. Take your time, and relish the views from the museum’s Roof Garden. Open spring through late fall, it’s a glorious place to enjoy a snack, latte or a glass of wine among so much beauty.
After the Met, check out another prime fall foliage destination at another of New York's top museums, The Cloisters museum and gardens, located in northern Manhattan’s Fort Tryon Park — the only native forest in Manhattan.
If a day bathed in the red, orange and yellow hues of Central Parks isn’t enough, you can stroll along the Hudson River and gaze at the changing colors of the trees along the New Jersey Palisades.
An autumn day in New York is the perfect visual appetizer for a warm, cozy night out on the town.