There is no doubt about it New York City is a mecca for nightlife and entertainment. But as I'm also a big fan of leading a balanced life, it's essential for me to be able to escape and enjoy nature every once in a while. I thoroughly enjoy mountains, oceans hiking and adventures that have to do with anything to do with the outdoors.
There is no doubt about it, I am definitely a city girl but it's nice to know that we live in a place that is close enough to get away from it all.
It felt like Fall was over before it event started but before it was over, I made sure to rush to one of upstate New York's nearest Apple farms before the Apple Picking season was over.
As you'll remember from my last blog post on mountain hiking a train ride is only an hour and a half away you can find small cute towns and one of the most picturesque mountains and hiking I've ever seen.
But this time I decided I wanted to rent a car so that my time was not tied to a train schedule, giving me time to explore.
This post encompasses one of many firsts for me and let’s starts with this: the first time I've ever driven a car in New York City. Scary! The thought of driving a car in this madness traffic scared the heck out of me but it was the most cost efficient way to go apple picking while also allowing us to be adventurous and explore New York.
We picked up the car at LaGuardia airport and headed to Washington Heights to pick up my friend. What did I learn from this entire lesson? Driving a car in NYC is an anxiety driven, heart palpitating, headache providing adventure in which I thoroughly enjoyed. But it also reminded me why I am so happy to be careless in NYC.
The city’s backdrop and the New York City skyline you get to see driving on the George Washington Bridge is absolutely beautiful. You really get a good perspective of the city, when you're driving away from it, than when you’re actually caught up in the madness of it. Now there are a couple of different options when it comes in upstate New York here are a few.
Warwick is in the lower southwest corner of Orange County. Orange County is considered to be in the Mid-Hudson Valley, but Warwick is one of its most southern villages. It actually borders on New Jersey. It’s just an hour by car to from NYC to Warwick.
Apple Dave’s in Warwick is the closest orchard to Brotherhood, which is where we chose to go. Apple Dave's apple picking farm also has wine tastings, live music and is near other vineyards, so it encompassed a full day’s worth of activities.
Applewood Orchards is now Apple Dave’s Orchards! It was named after Dave “Apple” Hull’s parents who started the farm more than 60 years ago. There are rides, face painting, apple picking, donuts, fresh cider and lots and lots of apples to choose from. We also got lucky, as there were still some pumpkins on the vine. There are no admission fees, you only pay for the apples you buy! There are fun tractors for those of us too lazy (or those of us wearing fashionable but uncomfortable boots) to walk uphill up to the top.
Here are a few behind the scene shots from our apple farm photo shoot!
Next we moved on to the wine tasting...
For a total of eight bucks you get to taste a variety of different wines that are made there on the Vineyard and are native to New York. And you get to keep your beautiful souvenir glass.
The wines from upstate New York that are made on this Apple Farm are no surprise, very sweet in comparison to what I am normally used to drinking. All in all though it was an enjoyable experience I really enjoyed Apple picking paired with cider drinking and eating some tasty donuts and sipping on some wine.
While we still had some sunlight left we stopped at one more winery on the way home, as we were told it had the best views from the top. Here are a couple of pictures.
We started to head home as we did not want to get stuck driving through these mountains in the dark and as we headed back into the city we decided we wanted to stop at a restaurant that we've been wanting to check out for a while.
It's called Red Rooster and it's located in Harlem. Harlem is one of these up-and-coming neighborhoods that are soon to be gentrified. You know that’s happening when there’s a Whole Foods being built in the middle of what at one point was considered the hood.
Anyway Red Rooster is located in the heart of Harlem and serves up tasty comfort food, celebrating the roots of American cuisine, paired with the culinary traditions of the neighborhood.
Award-winning chef and cookbook author Marcus Samuelsson was the youngest chef to ever receive two three-star ratings from The New York Times while at Aquavit as Executive Chef. In 2010 Marcus was the winner of Top Chef Masters Season 2 and also served as the guest chef for the first State Dinner of the Obama administration. He now brings his favorite foods to the neighborhood he calls home.
You name it- we ate it. Fried Chicken, lobster mac & cheese, cornbread, veggies and topped off with delicious slice of red velvet cake.
All in all it was a great day of outdoor adventure new experiences and delicious food.
Looking forward to next Fall!