10 Reasons You Should Visit NYC In The Fall This Year

Why Fall in NYC is the Perfect Autumn Getaway

After living in New York for over 12 years, I’d have to admit Fall is probably one of my favorite seasons in NYC! The leaves start changing to beautiful hues of oranges, yellows, and reds, the air is crisp, and everything gets really festive!

New York City is arguably special all year, whether it’s the Holidays in NYC, seeing the blooms of Spring, Summer lovin’ in the city, or getting festive in the Fall!

But if you’re wondering if you should visit New York in autumn, here are 10 reasons you should definitely consider visiting NYC in the Fall!

Central Park in NYC
View from the other side of Bow Bridge

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NYC in the Fall is Less Crowded

If you want to enjoy nice weather with fewer crowds, Fall is a great time to visit NYC. At the end of August through early September, kids go back to school and the last of the Summer visitors have gone, giving you more shoulder room on the City streets!

Sure, you could visit during the winter months to avoid crowds, but why freeze your butt off if you don’t have to!

Mid-September-November is the most ideal time to experience real fall vibes with fewer crowds. Crowds will then pick back up towards mid-December for the Christmas Holiday and New Year’s Eve.

Bow Bridge in Central Park, NYC in the Fall
Bow Bridge Central Park

The Weather During the Fall in NYC is Amazing

NYC Fall weather is just amazing, especially after the heatwaves and beyond humid Summers! Come September, the humidity finally drops, and the temperatures become so pleasant.

If you plan to visit in November, the weather does become somewhat of a wild card, especially in recent years when the weather seems to be all over the place.

You could experience a few days that feel like Winter and even snow in November, so it’s important to bring some layers, just in case!

Central Park NYC in Fall
Central Park in Fall

Central Park is Magical in the Fall

I’d have to say Central Park in the Fall is pure bliss! The weather is way less humid and you get to walk under a canopy of gorgeous NYC fall foliage.

Some Central Park Fall activities include picnicking, biking, lots of photoshoots, or just hanging out and people-watching.

Some spots you will want to check out in Central Park during the fall include:

The Mall – Famous spot to take fall photos in NYC. The Mall is a walking path in Central Park that goes down to Bethesda Terrace.

Address: 307 The Mall, New York, NY 10019

Bow Bridge – A gorgeous bridge in NYC that reflects beautiful fall foliage. It is also another Instafamous Spot in NYC.

Address: Bow Bridge, New York, NY 10024

Bethesda Terrace – A beautiful terrace next to the lake with a large fountain.

Address: 72 Terrace Dr, New York, NY 10021

Gapstow Bridge in Central Park during the fall

NYC Fall Foliage is One of a Kind

If you love seeing Autumn colors, New York is just the place for you! NYC easily has some of the best fall foliage in the USA! Leaves in NYC generally start changing colors as early as mid-September, with peak foliage around October/ Early November.

However, every year is different depending on the weather. Mid-October is usually a safe bet for Fall foliage in NYC.

Fall Foliage in New York
Planting Fields in Long Island, New York

Halloween in NYC is Quite the Treat

There’s nothing quite like experiencing Halloween in NYC! The whole city becomes super extra with decorations. There are tons of Halloween events in NYC to help you enjoy the spooky season all October long!

Additionally, NYC has its very own Halloween parade in the Village. Everyone gets dressed up and celebrates down the streets!

The Parade is usually on Halloween, October 31st, from 7 PM to 11 PM. After, you can find tons of parties and events happening all over the City.

Furthermore, if Halloween is your jam, you can experience one of the Jack O’ Lantern events happening in New York!

Rise of the Jack O’ Lanterns at Old Westbury Garden in Long Island has around 5,000 hand-carved Jack O’ Lanterns creatively placed down a walking path with music and all the spooky feels!

The Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze in the Hudson Valley in New York is planning over 7,000 Jack O’ Lanterns this year and even a tribune for first responders after this year’s events.

The Great Jack O’ Lantern Blaze is happening from September- November, and you can learn more about the Jack O’ Lantern Blaze here!

NYC Apple Picking Season is in Fall

Apple picking is a favorite activity among local New Yorkers with tons of farms in Long Island, NY, and Upstate, NY. Apple picking is a great day trip from the City, and most farms have warm apple cider and the best apple cider donuts, which is why I love going!

I personally love Lewin’s farm in Long Island for U-Pick Apples, and if you visit during October, they even have U-Pick pumpkins!

If you choose to go to Upstate, NY I have also been apple picking in Warwick, NY at Apple Daves Orchid.

If you plan on taking a day trip to go apple picking, I would recommend renting a car for the day. While on Long Island, you can also see if there are still sunflower fields and pumpkin picking on Long Island!

Read: Best Fall Activities on Long Island, New York

Vineyards Are Less Crowded

Love wineries and vineyards? Yea, me too! That’s why a day trip from NYC to one of Long Islands Vineyards is a perfect fall activity. Oh, and better yet, vineyards are way less crowded in the fall!

Long Island’s North Fork has over 50 Vineyards to choose from and is known as New York’s wine country.

Read: Fun Things to Do on Long Island & Best Vineyards on Long Island

Wolffer Estate is one of the best vineyards on Long Island by the Hamptons
Wolffer Estate on Long Island, NY

NYC Hiking is Best in Fall

Why is hiking in New York best in the fall you ask? Well, not only do you get to see the leaves changing colors, but the weather is much more enjoyable during this time of year.

The temperatures are no longer in their heatwave phase, and humidity is way more comfortable! Therefore, hiking is very common around this time of year!

A popular hiking spot for local New Yorkers is in, and around Bear Mountain. What’s nice about Bear Mountain is that you can actually drive up to its peak and hike around or down the mountain. Therefore, the mountain has something for everyone.

There are also a lot of great hikes in Upstate New York because it is connected to the Appalachian trail!

Additionally, Bear Mountain is near apple picking in Warwick, NY!

Address: Route 9W North, Bear Mountain, NY 10911

Fall Fashion Week in NYC

One of my fondest memories in NYC was volunteering during Fall Fashion Week! So, if you and your girls want to feel like you’re a part of Sex in the City, this is the perfect time to visit!

Fall Fashion Week this year starts on September 7th! Learn more about public fashion show tickets here.

Plus, nothing is more exciting than bringing out your booties and knit sweaters IMO!

Experience the Christmas Holidays Without the Crowds

Another great reason to visit NYC during the Fall is for NYC Christmas decorations without the crowds… well way fewer crowds!

Yep, you read that right! After the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade, many of the stores begin putting up their decorations, and ice skating rinks and holiday markets start to open.

Depending on what day Thanksgiving falls on (last Thursday in November), you can usually see the tree in Rockefeller Center, Saks 5th Ave Light show, Bryant Park Christmas Village, and more!

Christmas spirit in NYC is pretty special, especially without as many people!

In Bryant Park, you can usually Ice skate as early as Halloween (October 31st).

NYC During Fall in Wrap-up

New York City is great all year, but as you can see, Fall in the City has tons of pros! Have I convinced you to visit NYC in autumn? Then check out my FULL NYC Fall Bucket list! Additionally, check out the additional NYC resources I have below!

Planning on visiting a lot of NYC Attractions? Look into one of the NYC travel passes that can help you save money!

In Review, the top 10 reasons to visit NYC in the Fall:

  1. NYC in the Fall is Less Crowded
  2. The Weather During the Fall in NYC is Amazing
  3. Central Park is Magical in the Fall
  4. NYC Fall Foliage is One of a Kind
  5. Halloween in NYC is Quite the Treat
  6. NYC Apple Picking Season is in Fall
  7. Vineyards Are Less Crowded
  8. NYC Hiking is Best in Fall
  9. Fall Fashion Week in NYC
  10. Experience the Christmas Holidays Without the Crowds

If you found this NYC Fall Travel Guide helpful, I’d appreciate it if you could share it below!

Fall in NYC Autumn in New York
Photo of author

Samantha Oppenheimer

Samantha Oppenheimer (Sam Opp) quit her corporate marketing job in 2018 to travel the world and become a travel writer, blogger and content creator. She loves experiencing authentic travel experiences, photography, and nature. Sam shares helpful travel itineraries, travel tips, budget tips, and travel advice from her personal experiences. You can also find Sam's words featured in large publications including Mirror, Thrillist, and Well + Good. Learn more here: https://findloveandtravel.com/samantha-oppenheimer/

3 thoughts on “10 Reasons You Should Visit NYC In The Fall This Year”

  1. I have been to NYC in February, May, and July, but not in the fall yet so this is definitely on my list! I love fall fashion and would love to see the beautiful east coast fall colours one day 🙂

  2. Wow, just look at all those beautiful fall colours! I have been to NYC in summer & winter but this post has made me realise everything I’ve been missing out on! Getting the chance to see all the holiday decor without the crowds sounds like an amazing idea too!


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