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My Favorite Fall Drive in the Hudson Valley

My Favorite Fall Drive is in New York’s Hudson Valley.

Want a spectacular fall drive? Head to the Hudson Valley! It offers all of the strict criteria a drive has to meet in autumn. We have our expectations!

My Official Fall Drive Check List:

  • Sinuous a la “car commercial” road
  • 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
  • Winery

My favorite fall drive 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.

Here are a few great places to stop along the way:

Millbrook Vineyards & Winery

26 Wing Road
Millbrook, New York 12545

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!

My Favorite Fall Drive in the Hudson Valley

McEnroe Farm

194 Coleman Station Road
Millerton, NY 12546

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.

The Best Fall Drive in New York's Hudson Valley

Village of Millerton, NY

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.

Harney and Son’s Tea

13 Main Street
Millerton, NY

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.

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.

My Favorite Fall Drive in the Hudson Valley

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!

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

This Post Has 18 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!!!

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