From its magnificent greenery and stunning fall foliage dotting the region’s mountain ranges to the abundance of art galleries, restaurants and historic mansions, a visit to New York’s Hudson Valley during the autumn months strikes the perfect balance between nature and culture. You’ll find breathtaking vistas, annual festivals and family-friendly seasonal events just in time for the official start of fall. Here are a few of our favorites:
Woodstock Film Festival
Wednesday, October 10 – Sunday, October 14 | Various locations in Woodstock, Rosendale, Kingston and Saugerties
Founded in 2000 as a grassroots arts organization, the Woodstock Film Festival has grown into one of the premier independent film festivals in the country, bringing together thousands of filmmakers and film lovers over the years including notables such as Alec Baldwin, Daniel-Day Lewis, Uma Thurman, Paul Rudd, Keanu Reeves, Courtney Cox and Natalie Portman, to name a few. This year’s 19th annual Woodstock Film Festival will feature a roster of over 150 films, concerts and panels that celebrate the Hudson Valley’s rich history of nurturing not only great artists but also independent thinkers. Learn more >
Beacon Waterfront Pumpkin Festival
Pete and Toshi Seeger Riverfront Park, Beacon
Sunday, October 14 | Beacon, New York
Hudson Valley pumpkins, fresh homemade pumpkin pie, apple cider and other delights, all come with a view from the Beacon waterfront at this annual festival hosted by the Beacon Sloop Club. All ages are welcome to try local fare, carve pumpkins and enjoy music from two solar powered stages. New this year? A best pumpkin bread contest, with all entries made from scratch, of course. Free admission and free sails on the sloop Woody Guthrie.
New York Sheep & Wool Festival, Rhinebeck
Saturday, October 20 – Sunday, October 21 | Dutchess County Fairgrounds
The New York Sheep & Wool Festival is a family-friendly festival that celebrates historic fiber arts, culture and craft. The festival includes sheep shearing demonstrations, animal shows, including a llama parade, authors, fiber arts workshops, wine tastings, cooking demonstrations and plenty of kids’ crafts and activities.
Legends by Candlelight Ghost Tours, Germantown
October 19, 20, 26 and 27 | Clermont State Historic Site, Germantown
Guests will find themselves traveling back in time when they visit the 250-year old historic Clermont Mansion, one of the best preserved 18th century Hudson Valley manors. Now a New York State historic site, the mansion was built by the Livingstons, a prominent family of inventors, statesmen and land barons. Candlelit tours of the grounds, led by staff in historically based-costumes, will feature dozens of hand-carved, flickering jack-o-lanterns, ghost stories and roasted marshmallows. The popular, family-friendly event is recommended for ages seven and up but sells out quickly. Reservations required.