You don’t have to travel far to enjoy the fall foliage and take advantage of all that the crisp pumpkin season has to offer. About an hour’s drive or a Metro North train hop from New York City, the topographically diverse cities and villages of Westchester County will keep your fall weekend or midweek escape calendar booked and busy.

Anchor your trip to the region with a stay at The Opus Westchester (, centrally located near the bustling strip of shops and restaurants in downtown White Plains, N.Y. The luxury hotel boasts artfully decorated common spaces and suites, high-end dining options (including Red Horse by David Burke), an indoor swimming pool, and the property’s crown jewel—the Opus Spa, where guests and visitors indulge in pampering facials and muscle-melting massages and body treatments. 

Seasonal highlights

Go apple- and pumpkin-picking, sample ciders and maple syrup, and bring home fresh produce and pies at the 13 farms and orchards dotted along the Westchester Farm Trail (, including Stuart’s Farm and Wilkens Fruit and Fir Farm.

Explore the lush grounds and gardens and catch a performance at the Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts ( in Katonah, N.Y. On Sunday, Oct. 15 at 3 p.m., Caramoor celebrates the Mexican holiday Día de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, with a free, family-friendly afternoon of music and dance. Looking ahead to the holiday season, reserve a seat for the popular afternoon tea series.

Take a social media post-worthy trip to Croton-on-Hudson, N.Y., for the Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze (, a Halloween season highlight featuring more than 7,000 hand-carved, illuminated pumpkins with synchronized lighting and an original soundtrack set against the eerie backdrop of Van Cortlandt Manor’s 18th-century buildings and riverside landscape. This year, added features include the twirling pumpkin Ferris wheel and a circus sideshow. Purchase advance tickets online. 

While in Croton-on-Hudson, visit the picturesque Croton Gorge Park (, a 97-acre property at the base of the Croton Dam with impressive views of the dam and spillway. This popular spot for fishing, picnicking, and hiking is open year-round.

“The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” lives on in the quaint village of Sleepy Hollow, N.Y. To hear Washington Irving’s tale of the Headless Horseman in an appropriately spooky setting, sign up for one of the guided, day- or night-time Sleepy Hollow Cemetery Tours ( Through November 12, take a tour of Irving’s home on Sunnyside Lane in nearby Irvington, N.Y. 

African American Culture Highlights

Take a meditative walk along the Hudson River waterfront in Yonkers, N.Y., to view a public art project called the Enslaved Africans Rain Garden ( This urban heritage garden near Philipse Manor Hall is the vision of artist and Yonkers native Vinnie Bagwell and includes five large bronze sculptures depicting freed enslaved people.

Bragwell also created a bronze statue of legendary jazz vocalist Ella Fitzgerald, who spent her formative years in Yonkers. Entitled “The First Lady of Jazz, Ella Fitzgerald,” the statue stands next to the Metro-North train station in Yonkers.Dig into scrumptious contemporary Southern cuisine and Caribbean flavors at Alvin & Friends in New Rochelle, N.Y. Owner Alvin Clayton’s downtown staple is known for its live jazz and colorful original artwork. At the restaurant’s website, the Trinidad native says, “Throughout my travels, I’d always dreamed of one day having my own restaurant; a place to call my own. I wanted it to feel as if I was having friends over for a visit, just as my grandparents had entertained their friends when I was a child.”

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