When you close your eyes and imagine autumn, you’re probably picturing a place like Ulster County. Crisp and cool days. Rich reds and vivid orange leaves. Warm beverages and even warmer people. Around here, autumn isn’t a season; it’s a frame of mind.
From colorful drives and rejuvenating hikes to an abundance of arts, music, and culture, you'll discover there’s never been a better time to visit our neck of the woods. While autumn lasts from September 22 through December 21, our cultural energy lasts forever. These experiences prove it.
This nonprofit sculpture park and museum is world famous for a reason: It boasts more than 60 acres of meadows, forested paths, and bluestone quarries — including 6.5 acres of earthwork sculpture. The experience is priceless, but the cost is free. Visit their events page for information on community programs, concerts, classes, and fairs.
The Colony Woodstock
What better place to take in live music than the site of the most famous concert in history? However, the Colony Hotel has been welcoming guests since 1929, when visitors would dine and listen to big bands. The spirit has never changed, though guests can now enjoy outdoor dining and live music in their one-of-a-kind beer garden. Visit the events page to find out about upcoming concerts.
With the majestic Catskill Mountains as the backdrop, Ulster County itself is a living natural gallery. No wonder the area has been inspiring artists of all disciplines for decades. We have so many art galleries, we honestly couldn’t narrow it down to just one or two (or 10). We suggest you visit them all during your trek through Ulster County.
Our agrarian heritage and artistic culture are not mutually exclusive — they’ve lived hand-in-hand since the very beginning. Our U-pick farms prove it. U-pick farms are exactly what they sound like: You and your family get the opportunity to actually pick the freshest fruits and veggies directly from Mother Nature. Plus you get to take your bounty home too. What makes this experience even richer? Many of these U-pick farms also feature live concerts.
Picking is in full swing through the fall, and family-friendly activities abound at both Kelder’s Farm and Weeds Orchard & Winery. Pick from more than 13 varieties of apples, plus pumpkins, gooseberries, and more at Wilklow Orchard. Pick fresh fruit from the tree, or enjoy craft beer and wood-fired pizza from the oven at DuBois Farms. And you’ll find plenty of delicious apples and plump pumpkins to pick at Hurd’s Farm. If you find it hard to pick just one of our U-pick farms (you will), we recommend visiting them all.
The dense foliage that blankets the Mid-Hudson Valley and the adjacent Catskills is a wonder any time of the year, but fall is particularly special. Leaf peepers the world over flock to the region to witness the kaleidoscope of brilliant earth tones that emerge from the pines, oaks, maples, and hemlocks that dot the landscape along with shrubs of huckleberry and blueberry.
Slip on your waders, grab your gear, and find your stream — because there a plenty to choose from. The Catskills are known to have some of the best fly fishing in the United States; American icons like Mark Twain, Herbert Hoover, and Jimmy Carter spent many an afternoon angling for trout and other species in freestone streams found throughout the region, and the area continues to be a global fishing destination to this day.
With its rich agriculture, diverse population, and proximity to New York City and the nearby Culinary Institute of America, it’s no surprise that Ulster County carries a reputation for exceptional cuisine. Here you’ll find some of the country’s best chefs experimenting, innovating, and crafting superior menus that lean heavily on fresh, local produce, and grass-fed livestock. Bring your appetite and prepare for a true farm-to-table experience.
Ulster County intersects with two scenic drives so beautiful they’ve been officially designated as such: the Catskill Mountains Scenic Byway and the Shawangunk Mountains Scenic Byway. The former takes you through stunning panoramas and quiet mountain villages throughout the New York Catskills, while the latter forms an 88-mile loop encircling gorgeous hallmarks of the region, including the Shawangunk Mountains, Wallkill Valley, and Rondout Valley.
Autumn in Ulster County is abundant with rich experiences — this is just a taste. So seek for yourself and see why Ulster is the most awesome place to visit this fall.