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14 Things to Do This Fall if You Live in the Eastern United States

As fall slowly descends on the east and we replace our sandals and skirts with boots and sweaters, we’re craving all of those cozy activities that mark the change of the seasons and the holidays to come. The East Coast has one of the most spectacular displays of fall with New England lighting up with fiery toned foliage and the fall harvests gracing us with their bounties. 

There are also some surprises that come with fall such as oyster season – which gains steam in September – as well as beloved activities such as cider and wine tasting. We’ve also found hidden weekend getaways perfect for leaf crunching and fireside sipping. Fall is the East Coast’s favorite season for a reason, so tag along as we dive into the possibilities.

Reporter: Heather Ash

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Wine Tasting at Early Mountain Vineyardslearn more

Although wine is more of a year-round indulgence than cider is, wine tasting during the fall harvest is a magical time to visit just about any winery. High up on our list? Early Mountain Vineyards in Madison, Virginia. The stately property sits amongst the region’s rolling hills and its welcoming tasting room offers seasonal experiences complemented by local food producers. Stop in on October 20th to take part in their Fall Oyster Festival for eastern shore oysters and, of course, wine.
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Wellness Retreat at Blackberry Mountainlearn more

Tucked away in the Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee is an interactive, five-star wellness retreat that puts on one of the most beautiful fall shows found in the east. Blackberry Mountain offers everything from yoga in the trees to fall foliage hikes perfect for families. Don’t forget about the onsite workshops, like the healing food or floral design options, where you can learn new skills while connecting with yourself and nature.
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Group Getaway at Bode Nashvillelearn more

    When you think of fall, friends around a fire, thick blankets, changing leaves and a warming bevvie may come to mind, and Bode Hotel in Nashville brings all those things together in one experience. The first hotel specifically designed for groups, Bode offers multi-room suites decked out in that Nashville-cool style perfect for a weekend away with your best friends.
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    Wellness Retreat at Lundy Farm

    Wawarsing, New York

    The perfect weekend getaway for New Yorkers, Lundy Farm is just two hours north of NYC in the Hudson Valley. This fall, reserve your spot for an upstate weekend getaway hosted by Patrick Janelle where you’ll be immersed in the fall harvest including farm-to-table meals, morning yoga, and afternoon relaxation, all while making a few new friends.

    Photo:Eataly
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    Eataly NYC Flatiron

    New York, New York
    Need a dose of fall but can’t leave NYC this season? Eataly’s Serra d’Atunno in Flatiron is your answer. The atrium space gets a makeover every season and this autumn is marked by a canopy of richly colored leaves hanging from the trees found throughout the restaurant. Keep your eye on Serra’s event page as masters like Massimo Bottura will be making guest appearances and leading seminars.
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    TOURISTS

    North Adams, Massachusetts
    Deep in the Massachusetts trees, find the woodsy retreat your fall agenda needs. As soon as you step into the cozy lobby, you’re greeted by rich leathers, a roaring fire, and warm woods. Striking a balance between rustic and modern, the lodge is filled with clean lines and touches of modernity, especially in the rooms. Start your days here with a hike among the vibrant woods, followed by lunch at the seasonally driven onsite restaurant, and finished with fireside lounging, drink(s) in hand.
    Photo:Jon Tyson
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    Ellicottville Fall Festival

    Ellicottville, New York
    On the weekend of October 12th-13th, the Ellicottville Fall Festival takes place about an hour south of Buffalo in western New York. The forested, hilly region is ablaze with color throughout October – worth a trip for the foliage alone. At the family-friendly festival, try local food and drinks alongside carnival rides, live entertainment, and art and crafts opportunities.
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    Shacksbury Cidery & Tasting Room

    Vergennes, Vermont
    Truly, nothing says fall like cider – the spices, the harvested apples, the celebratory bubbles. For this fall experience, grab your coziest sweater and plan for a day in Vergennes for cider tasting at Shacksbury. Open weekend afternoons, taste your way through Shacksbury’s signature and seasonal ciders, all crafted with slow fermentation, no added sugar, and only real, fresh apples.
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    Wayside Cider

    Andes, New York
    This recognized ciderhouse and tasting room in Andes, New York is exactly the kind of place you hope to stumble upon during your fall foliage driving tour. Homey and charming, the western Catskill outpost is open noon through the evening on weekends serving farmhouse comfort food and a full drink menu. You’re here for the cider though, and Wayside’s pack a punch ranging from 6.5%-11.5% ABV.
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    Spirit Tasting at Simon Pearce

    Quechee, Vermont
    This art studio and restaurant in Quechee, Vermont sits on the Ottauquechee River overlooking the woods across the way (read: prime foliage views). This fall season, head to the studio for spirit tastings by Stonecutter, a female-led gin and whiskey distillery. No reservations are required for the tasting experience where you’ll be guided through barrel cask gin and whiskey selections.

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    Photo:Joy Cruz
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    Williamsburg Weekend Getaway

    Williamsburg, Virginia
    Take a step back in time where the buildings are charming, the roads are lined with ancient trees, and horse-and-buggy sightings are a part of daily life. Williamsburg, Virginia is such a place and the perfect destination to unwind on a sleepy fall weekend. Carve out some time to see some of our country’s original settlements, farms, and buildings in between wine tasting and shopping.
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    Central Provisions

    Portland, Maine
    Portland was named the restaurant city of 2018 by Bon Appetit thanks to spots like Central Provisions (Bon App’s #6 choice for best new restaurants in the US). The walk-in only restaurant serves a seafood rich menu that changes daily in a warm, historic setting. Remember, oyster season ramps up in September, making fall the perfect time to seek out some seafood.
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    National Apple Harvest Festival

    Biglerville, Pennsylvania
    No fall season is complete without a visit to an apple festival and the National Apple Harvest Festival takes place in Pennsylvania the first and second weekends in October. $10 grants you access where all-things-apple overwhelm the senses: apple butter, cider, pies, moonshine, salsa, and whiskey are just a few of the fruit-themed goods offered onsite. Beyond eating and drinking, enjoy live music, shopping and activities for kids throughout the festival.
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    Wellfleet OysterFest

    Wellfleet, Massachusetts
    The Wellfleet OysterFest is going down the third weekend of October on Cape Cod. The festival is, of course, a cool-weather activity where you can try the region’s oysters, clams, shellfish, and classic New England fare with your friends in tow, but the festival’s main purpose is to educate attendees about the shellfishing traditions and techniques of bygone eras that are being upheld today. Tickets are on sale now for single days or the full weekend.

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