Thursday, October 27, 2011

Destination: Hudson River Valley, Apple Picking

When I lived in NYC, my girlfriends and I mourned the loss of summer. The loss of Sunday Fundays, and being on outdoor patios of restaurants in the streets of the City... but we would soon remember that fall came with its pleasantries too. The changing of the leaves, the reintroduction of sweaters and boots to our wardrobe, and best of all, its apple season. 

Before moving to the North {from Florida} I had no idea that there were so many varieties of apples for all of your baking, cooking, craving needs: Golden Delicious, McIntosh, Pink Lady, Granny Smith, Gala, Rome, and of course {everyone's favorite} the deliciously sweet and tart Honeycrisp.

So every year late September, early October my girlfriends and I rent a ZipCar, hop on 9W, and head into the Hudson River Valley to go apple picking. As a bunch of city girls going into the country, we learned a few lessons which I will now share with you, should you decide to venture out.

#1 There are no bodegas on every corner, or possibly at all.
#1a For some reason all the gas stations are in the sketch parts of town, so fill up before heading out.
#2 There are very few restaurants and even fewer good ones.
#3 People in the country are friendly and will try to talk to you. This should not be seen as aggressive or invasive. If you respond nicely your trip will be greatly enriched.
#4 You MUST eat at least one cider donut. This is not an option.
#5 It might seem like you don't want/need multiple pounds worth of apples, but you will regret not filling up that bucket when you get home and the apples at the grocery are crap and then you have nothing to eat.

After apple picking you will surely be hungry. Hands down the best place to go is the Raccoon Saloon. Their hamburgers and sweet potato fries are delish. And the sweeping views of the Hudson River Valley in autumn really take you to a magical place.

After lunch we usually keep driving North on 9W and pop in Tuthilltown Spirits for a whiskey tasting. You might recognize the name as I've already raved about them here. While I'm in the tasting room, I usually buy a few bottles to give as host gifts throughout the year. You can't buy this whiskey everywhere and it's a great local souvenir to bring home from your trip. I also love the vintage-y packaging.

One weekend Gman and I went up and stayed at my then boss's guest house. We wanted to bring him {and his wife} a special host gift, especially considering he was an executive at the company and was being so generous with his home.  We gave him a bottle of Manhattan Rye whiskey. Who knew he had a thing for whiskey AND the Hudson Valley! He was touched my my gesture and enjoyed drinking it later. 

If you don't want to do a lunch out and a whiskey tasting {or if you have a whole weekend}, then I highly suggest a hike through the fall foliage. People travel great distances to see the leaves changing here!

I always enjoy my time in the Hudson River Valley. It's a great excuse to get out of the city and worth it take a trip out there even if you live far away. I haven't even begun to talk about the East side of the river or the burgeoning art scene, but I'll save those for another post.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...