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My Favorite Fall Drive…

No mater how many incredibly scenic drives I experience around the world, there’s always one I love doing every fall.  It fits all bullets on my fall drive check lis, which looks like this:

My Official Fall Drive Check List:

  • Sinuous (a la “car commercial”) roads
  • Sweeping vistas
  • Elevation changes
  • Barns, barns, and more barns
  • Pleasant farm animals
  • Homes you wish you could live in
  • Farmers market
  • Cool diner for lunch
  • Wineries

My favorite fall drive is a beautiful stretch from Salt Point to Millerton in Hudson Valley. It has all of the above and then some. This agricultural area in Dutchess County offers stunning views. Winding country roads dip you deep into valleys where the foliage consumes you. Hilltop roads reveal sweeping scenes straight out of a painting. It’s also known as horse country, so you’ll see horses grazing on rolling pastures next to their immaculate barns.

And then there are the homes that make you oooh and aaah as much as the fall colors. You can roll along enjoying the enchanting farmhouses with fishing ponds, federalist mansionettes and the turn of the century estates of those who once made a lot of money providing milk to NYC.

My Favorite Fall Drive in the Hudson Valley

To get there, search “Salt Point, NY” on Google Map. Now zoom-out and find the main routes of 82 and 44. Use these two routes as your “bookends” and all the roads in between become your playground. There’s not a bad one in the bunch. Some of my favorite roads to go down are Bangall-Amenia Road, County Road 83 and Carpenter Hill Road. These three will give you a nice taste of all the fall drive criteria. Eventually end back onto Route 44 and follow it to the town of Millerton, NY.

Stops Between Salt Point to Millerton

via their Facebook

Millbrook Vineyards & Winery

Millbrook is a great little winery! In the month of October, they hold family portrait days on their beautiful grounds that can be turned into wine labels for Holiday gifts. Nothing says “this is why I drink” than a photo of your kids on a bottle of wine. And the wine is fantastic as well!

McEnroe Organic Farm, Things to Do in Dutchess County
via McEnroe Organic Farm’s Facebook

McEnroe Farm

McEnroe Farm is a farmer’s market is a must-stop. A large sign out front marks what vegetables are fresh from their 1,000 acre family farm. Pour yourself a hot cup of coffee and stock up on homemade jams and pickles. Party season will soon be upon us and you’ll need hostess gifts. There are also wonderful fresh baked goods and old fashion donuts. Those, however, need to be consumed immediately.

via the Millerton website

Village of Millerton

Stretch your legs, walk around and drop some dough in the charming village of Millerton, NY. It’s a charming hamlet with antique shops and art galleries, including Gilmore Glassworks. The glass blowing art is alive and well.
How to plan a day trip

Harney and Son’s Tea

I thought they were English too, but their headquarters and factory are just outside of Millerton. They have a beautiful tea shop with a tasting room and knowledgeable staff. First tasting is free, and you can make a choice from two full walls of tea. The shop sells all types of pots, cups and brew baskets.

Millterton, NY Day Trip

Oakhurst Diner

A perfect diner setting that offers a non-traditional diner menu.  Last time I was there they had a nice chicken Biryani for dinner. Curveball, right? Diner purists, don’t worry. They still have items like cheeseburgers, vanilla milkshakes and deep dish apple pie.

After a bite, get back on the road for more beautiful vistas!
Hey turkeys, it was “Why did the CHICKEN cross the road”!

Do you have a favorite fall drive?  What makes it special? Share in the comments!

And don’t forget to check out our “Places to Love” episode in “Dutchess County & Hudson Valley” for even more great ideas!


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Samantha Brown shares her favorite fall drive in the New York's Hudson Valley

This Post Has 22 Comments

  1. Kancamagus Hwy. in New Hampshire which runs from Lincoln to N Conway and is a favorite for leaf peepers due to fall colors.
    Joo – Lake Forest , CA

  2. Have agree with John I live in the White Mountains and fall is the reason to live here, there isn’t a bad drive in the Mount washington Valley in the fall. The fall fairs are another reason. Anne – Madison, NH

  3. I love a drive through the Blue Ridge mountains in Georgia, Tenn, and North Carolina! The views can not be beat! Next month will be better here though, still a little warm.

  4. This looks absolutely idyllic. Everything you think a fall drive in the Northeast should be.

    Nice work, Samantha!

  5. We did the Dutchess County, New Paltz, NY drive a few weeks ago. I do recommend Route 30 and Route 100 in VT as a primo autumn drive. Also the drive from Sedro Wooley to Winthrop, WA. Killer. Awesome.

  6. Trees along the Hudson are still green this weekend but next weekend should be peak fall foliage color. Best view is from the Walkway Over the Hudson and you get great exercise walking or bicycling over it.

  7. I’d say the White Mts in NH are my favorite, Rt 16, From Dover to Ossipee, Rt 112, ( the Kancamangus Hwy), Rt 3 & 25 through the Lakes Region and Plymouth area. I was just up there a few weeks ago, a little too early though. I miss NH the most at this time of year. I have the Blue Ridge Mts & Shenandoah National Park to enjoy here in Virginia now, But NH is still “Home”

  8. I live in New York’s Capital District, so Duchess County is easily accessible, but I prefer to head the other way. Dip into the Berkshires, then head north into Vermont. The foliage is spectacular, and the mountains glow. Stop in Manchester for a good lunch, and if you have a few days head north to Montpelier and Stowe.

  9. Totally agree about the Dutchess County Drive especially since it’s MY backyard! Don’t forget a cup of coffee and sweet pastry at Irvington Farm Coffee Shop!

  10. I’m from Poughkeepsie, and the other thing to not miss is in Hyde Park, the Cullinary Institute of America’s Apple Pie Bakery Cafe’. They offer great prices, great breakfast and lunch options, and there’s a big brick patio right on the Hudson River. Literally best views of leaves, river, and often huge rainbows as well.

  11. The Adirondack Mountains in NY ! Take a ride up Route 28 through Old Forge, Fulton chain of Lakes, Blue Mntn, and continue on to Saranac Lake and Lake Placid….. Beautiful!

  12. I golfed today in Highland, NY at an elevated course and I could see vistas many miles away. The Fall colors made the view spectacular!

  13. Once again we can’t go wrong following Your advice!! LOVED it all – the horses – The winding roads – And the diner was GREAT!!! The leaves were not at peak yet so we may go back and do it again. Such a fun day!!! Thanks Sam!!!

  14. The Blue Ridge Parkway that spans from VA to NC. The speed limit is 45 mph which is perfect for leaf peeping. Mabry Mill is the iconic, picturesque grist mill that is a. must stop. A stay is at Primland for delightful mountain luxury accommodations, and Chateau Morsette is a lovely winery for an afternoon of wine tasting.

  15. I’m an Ohio native and used to live in Hocking Hills, which is only 60 miles SE of Columbus. You are transported into another world when you start arriving into Hocking County. There is a route called Hocking Hills Scenic Byway (county road 9). Or, just drive around the ack roads that take you to the start parks, it’s pretty incredible! Yes, mid-Sept. to mid-Oct. is high season, but it’s not to be missed-ever!

  16. candensis in the poconos is another beautiful spot! – you can stand on a ciff and look down, over all the trees that look like gum drops due to color change

  17. The drive from where I live, the historic village of Kinderhook, NY to have the best breakfast or lunch at Bartlett House, a former 19th century train station, in Ghent, NY .. you’ve got your winding roads, rolling fields, farmland dotted with snowy sheep and coal dust colored cattle, foliage ranging from crimson to persimmon to cadmium yellow, rust red barns weathered by the glorious Columbia county precip, steaming lattes and warm, expertly baked, I could die today pastries, salads and sandwiches. Samantha, we are just one county north of Dutchess, please give us a look see, you will not be disappointed!

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Travel Channel's Samantha Brown on her Favorite Fall Drive in the Hudson Valley
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