Your Fall Weekend Primer

2 Oct


Fun, food, music and foliage. Hitting the road this time of year can be a welcome escape from school, work or the big city grind. But where can you go on a low-brow budget and still have some high-brow fun?

It all depends on your location and point of reference. While we prefer some leisurely lounging at a local winery in Long Island Sound or a historical trek to some haunted gathering spot along the Hudson River Valley, autumn activities run the gamut from hard partying to eating your way through the best in artisinal local fare.

For the Gourmet Foodie and Pop Culture Fan: Woodstock Museum and Harvest Festival (Liberty, NY)

Nestled about an hour outside of NYC exists the original spot for the Woodstock concert in 1969 (which BTW, didn’t actually happen in Woodstock). The grounds of Bethel Woods are now the home to a modern concert space,  museum dedicated the history and preservation of the 60’s music culture, and a weekend festival gathering spot for many locals and out-of-towners. Drive up and stay at a shabby chic B&B, sample goodies from local dairies and bakeries, and be sure to pet a few baby alpacas (who make a cameo every year at the festival) before you pack it in and head back to the Big Apple.

For the Photography Buff: Yearly Monarch Butterfly Migration Pismo Beach, CA)

What our friends on the West Coast may lack in fall color tour options, they more than make up for with their annual monarch butterfly migration that starts in late October and extends thru the first of the year. Millions of these pretty winged creatures make Pismo Beach their home away from home, drawing in amateur and professional photogs alike.  Make a pit stop for some killer snaps then hit the many wineries that dot the area for an extended cocktail hour…or three.

For the Music Lover: The Voodoo Experience (New Orleans, LA)

Sure, everybody knows about NOLA’s Jazz Festival in spring, but what better way to blend modern music with the city’s traditional jazz roots than with a three day music festival at the end of October that includes everyone from Gary Clark Jr. to Green Day? You can camp out if you feel like roughing it or grab a room in the French Quarter — either way, the city’s famous motto (“Laissez Les Bon Temps Roulez” or “Let the good times roll”) holds true not matter what the season.

For the Party-Minded: Oktoberfest (Tulsa, OK )

Tulsa may seem like an odd spot for the best Oktoberfest in the country, but according to the Today Show and, there’s no other place you should be if you’re into German grog, beer barrel races and (wait for it) the annual running of the weiner dogs. Finding the perfect balance between kitschy and cool, Bon Apetit gives this festival high scores for food and drink, while WE give them a thumb’s up for actively promoting their yearly chicken dance (and yes, costumes are welcome).

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