• UO Guide: Olivia Fleming's Guide to Upstate New York

    Nothing says IT’S FALL like a trip to Upstate New York. We asked travel writer Olivia Fleming to give us her top picks for where to go and what to do on your next visit to the Hudson Valley area.
    Photos by Matt Rubin

    A place to pick apples.
    There are 15 varieties of apples to chose from at Fishkill Farms, including Idared, Red Delicious, Macoun, Granny Smith, and McIntosh — which makes for eclectic apple pie-making! You can also pick your own cherries, berries, peaches, and nectarines. The best thing about Fishkill Farms, on top of its sustainably-grown produce, is its famed donut stand. Every fall, locals and out-of-town visitors line up for the farm’s fresh apple cinnamon donuts, which are best washed down with homemade hot apple cider.

    A place to get lost in a corn maze.
    Barton Orchards boasts a five-acre, interactive corn maze on a sprawling 122-acre farm;  a 220-year-old white oak tree marking the very center. Each fall, the maze features a challenging theme (this year it’s The Bad Apple), specifically designed to bring out the inner child of every adult brave enough to enter. And for the navigationally-challenged, there are three bridges (and an escape slide!) to ensure everyone finds their way out safely.

    A place to stay.
    Tucked away in the heart of the Catskill mountains, Spruceton Inn is like finding a pot of gold at the end of winding roads and dirt paths. The small, newly renovated ‘Bed and Bar’ is my favorite place to stay during an adventure-filled weekend Upstate. Charming, unfussy, and beautifully simple, the Inn features two tree-swings, a hammock, multiple fire pits,  and grills (it’s BYOF here, but owners Casey and Steven have snacks on hand for purchase), a large creek, and ample forest to run around in. Plus, it is close to the area’s best ski mountains, swimming holes, hiking trails, farmer’s markets, and eateries.

    Olivia's Hudson Valley picks:
    Brushland Eating House
    Located a little further afield of Hudson Valley is Bovina’s best kept secret: Brushland Eating House. Owner’s Sohail and Sara left Brooklyn a year ago to open their cozy restaurant, which brims with reworked classic dishes (my favorite is the chicken schnitzel and the pavlova) that will leave you coming back, again and again, for more.

    Hops Petunia
    Florist Kelli Galloway Johnsmeyer, who goes by the name Hops Petunia, has recently opened a brick-and-mortar space in downtown Kingston. She sells all sorts of little treasures, as well as beautiful bouquets, from Thursday to Sunday every week.

    Brunette Wine Bar
    A former barber shop-turned-wine bar in downtown Kingston (just a few stores down from Hops Petunia), Brunette is the most sophisticated watering hole you will ever have the pleasure of visiting. (The pineapple, seahorse, and shrimp wallpaper is worth the visit alone). Make sure you say hello to owners and longtime Upstate weekenders, Jamie and Tracy, who pour drinks from behind their elegant marble bartop.

    Run by New York City restaurant veterans Nick and Sarah (their resume includes Diner, Marlow & Sons, Gramercy Tavern, and The Modern), Gaskins is a Hudson Valley tavern you don’t want to miss. Located in Germantown, the restaurant serves modern farm-fresh food in an equally modern setting.

    Sam’s Point Preserve
    It would take me all day to list great hikes in the Hudson Valley, because there are just too many good ones to choose from. But when the leaves begin to turn, bursting red, orange, and yellow, you can’t really go wrong. Just close your eyes, point to a place on the map, and hike. That being said, Sam’s Point Preserve is one of my favorite spots thanks the sheer amount of variety it offers. Ice caves, waterfalls, and majestic views — there is a trail here for everyone.

    Read our About A Girl profile on Olivia
    Follow Olivia on Instagram