Travel inspiration and insider tips

7 years, 4 months ago

Ten reasons why New York is magical in Autumn

…or should we have said “in the Fall”? Well, whether you call it fall or autumn, it doesn’t change the fact that this is one of the best times to visit New York City. Here are ten reasons why.

1. See New York’s Changing Colours

Stroll along the Brownstone-lined streets of Manhattan’s West Village or Brooklyn’s Williamsburg to appreciate how well the soft reds of autumnal trees shedding their leaves goes with the traditional brown-bricked houses. Equally as beautiful at this time of year is Central Park – and the man in charge of the Conservatory at Central Park specifically recommends that you head to the Harlem Meer area of the park to see the gingko trees turning bright yellow.

Trees in Central Park – Image © Matia M

Southeast view, Central Park – Image © Andrew Mace

Manhattan Bridge and Chinatown – Image © Chris Goldberg

Autumn at the UN Headquarters – Image © United Nations Photo

Image © Saccodent

2. Attend a festival. Autumn is the time New York celebrates the best of its modern art, design and theatre; from the world renowned New York Fashion Week in September, to the celebrity packed New York Film Festival in October and the side-splitting New York Comedy Festival in November.

3. Catch an NFL game. The NFL season is well underway come the fall and whether you choose to be a Jet or a Giant, going to watch a (American) football game in action is well worth the queueing. With a game stretching out over a few hours, keep warm by eating hot dogs or checking out the cheerleaders.

MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, NJ – Image © Matthew D. Britt

4. Experience Halloween. Nobody does Halloween like the USA and New York City doesn’t let the side down. Shops, bars and restaurants adopt Halloween themes and decorations and the smell of spiced pumpkin pie fills the air. To dress up and party like you’ve already turned into a pumpkin, join thousands of revelers enjoying the Annual Village Halloween Parade, which starts at 6th Avenue on the evening of 31st October 2012.

Annual Village Halloween Parade (Greenwich Village, Manhattan NYC) – Image © Asterix611

5. Enjoy Open House New York. For one weekend, many of New York’s most famous, remarkable or secret landmarks, museums and houses open up their doors as part of Open House New York; an impressive program of talks and presentations. With previous years featuring tours of the East River and a climb up the world’s tallest cathedral, check the website to find out what’s on this year’s program.

6. Try some pumpkin beer. So pumpkin pie has already been mentioned, but let’s be honest, that doesn’t sound half as exciting as pumpkin beer. You can find it being brewed at a number of New York’s micro breweries. Smiling Pumpkin Ale is served at all of Heartland Brewery’s locations in Manhattan and the popular Punkin Ale by Dogfish Head is served up at Toast on Broadway.

7. Eat fresh at a farmers’ market. Another name for Fall or Autumn is the harvest season, even in the city, with farmers’ markets proving very popular. There are now over 54 farmers’ markets in New York City. Click here to find your nearest one.

Union Square Greenmarket – Image © Young Yun

Image © Melissa Peffs

8. Skate on not so thin ice. I bet you thought that the famous ice rink at Rockefeller Centre was only open during the long, cold winter months? Not so. You can get your skates on from October 13th onwards and the tickets are even reduced for the first month.

Ice Skating at the Rockefeller Center (Fifth Avenue, Manhattan) – Image © asterix611

9. Eat Thanksgiving Dinner. Of course Thanksgiving is an important affair in the USA and is one that is typically shared with friends and family. However, not all visitors to NYC will have this option but they can still enjoy the treats of a traditional Thanksgiving dinner at many of New York’s restaurants. The elegant Aureole serves a fine dining interpretation of Thanksgiving menu many consider worth ignoring your family for or check out what’s going on at Rosa Mexicano, which is well known for spicing up the traditional turkey with a Mexican twist.

Thanksgiven Parade – Image © asterix611

Image © smcgee

10. Find a flea market. Brooklyn Flea is a website dedicated to informing you where and when to get your vintage or second-hand fix. Post summer months see a definite increase in vendors and buyers and the kinder-than-winter weather means a great atmosphere at every flea market listed.

Brooklyn Flea Market at the Williamsburg Bank building- Image © Rik Panganiban

Brooklyn flea – Image © Scared Panda

Image © Neil Chen

Relaxing on Brooklyn Bridge on a warm autumn day – Image © Tassilo von Parseval

Lastly, another great way you could celebrate Thanksgiving in New York is the traditional American way – at home with the family. Take a look at some of our New York listings and roast a turkey, then serve it with cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie and laughter.

Don’t forget that all passengers travelling to the USA do so under the US Visa Waiver Programme, requiring all those arriving by air or sea to provide details online at least 72 hours before travel. This is known as an ESTA (or Electronic System for Travel Authorisation). Find our more details at

Header images – New York in the Autumn at Sunset photography © Trey Ratcliff


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