Most of us would agree that New York is a fabulous city to live in and to visit. But spending much of our time among concrete skyscrapers, bustling traffic, and crowded streets can make one long for a change of scenery.
Even though autumn heralds the days getting shorter, with a chill in the air that promises the arrival of winter, it’s the season’s astounding fall foliage that gives us the getaway we might just be longing for.
Stunning scenery with foliage in bright, vibrant reds, oranges, and yellows can be found just north of New York City.
During this time of year, tours are organized to view the fall foliage scenery. Our tour started in the midst of the city, at 7th Ave., and soon we were on our way out of the city.
Matthew Cummings, our tour guide, turned the journey through Manhattan into an entertaining experience by giving insights into the city, most likely unknown to those who didn’t grew up in New York. We got to know it all—from the history of Columbus University to the most expensive restaurant in town, a sushi restaurant with dinners starting from $400 to $600. “And it ain’t even cooked!” Cummings jokes.
After crossing the George Washington Bridge, dubbed one of the world’s most beautiful bridges, an oasis of autumn is quickly visible. As we drove on the Palisades Parkway, deciduous forests with maple, oak, and birch trees are stunning with their multicolored leaves. It’s surprising to see what lies just outside the city.
The first stop of the tour is the State Line Lookout, one of the highest points on the Palisades, which is an igneous rock that is characteristic of the area. Shreds of mist slinking over cliffs covered with fall foliage, reaching the Hudson River below, are seen from the lookout point.
The lookout is home to a small café, which has been there since 1937, giving visitors the chance to take in the scenery while enjoying the pleasure of a cup of hot coffee or hot chocolate milk.
As the tour continues, hilltop after hilltop appear, shrouded in mist. Passing through Bear Mountain State Park we arrive at Fort Montgomery, built in the 18th century to prevent British ships from sailing up the Hudson. The site provides a spectacular view of the Hudson River and Bear Mountain Bridge, the first highway bridge crossing the Hudson between New York and Albany.
Moving farther in the national park, we come to the final stop of the tour. It is the town of West Point, a small village that is home to America’s oldest military academy. Visitors can visit a museum at the academy or stroll around the village, home to various small restaurants.
The small village atmosphere makes one muse, realizing the difference in the pace of life with that of the city so nearby.
More information about the Fall Foliage Tours by OnBoard NY Tours can be found at www.onboardnewyorktours.com