Find the fall you're nostalgic for
Fall is a feeling as much as it is a season. It’s a time of tradition and innocent childhood delight. Perhaps you always went apple picking, navigated a corn maze, or carved pumpkins. Or maybe it’s not about what you did, but the cider donuts you always ate too many of or the crisp air you associated with going back to school. Whatever memories you have tied to fall, it makes sense that the return of this beloved season brings up some deep feelings of nostalgia.
Fortunately, there exists a place where the fall of your nostalgia lives on. It might seem like the rest of the world has diluted the season down to a scented candle, or that being an adult in fall is just plain less fun, but we promise, fall lives on in cozy glory in the Whiteface Region. In fact, you might just find that it’s the only place where fall has it all.
An Autumnal Atmosphere
The mainstay of fall in the northeast is, without a doubt, the changing leaves, and with vast forests blanketing the mountains there is ample foliage all around. With a variety of tree species, the palette of colors ranges from vibrant oranges to golden yellows, deep purples, and fiery reds. Keep tabs on the changing leaves with our handy fall foliage tracker.
In addition to the stunning natural surrounds, the quaint downtowns of the Whiteface Region set the scene for an autumn straight out of your favorite romantic movie or feel-good series. Think Gilmore Girls’ Stars Hollow — pumpkins and hay bales decorate store fronts and public parks while friendly locals mill around in their flannels and handmade knits greeting each other, and you, with a smile. There is a sense of camaraderie that tugs at the heartstrings and reminds us of a time when small towns were a place where everyone knew each other’s name.
Nothing says nostalgia quite like a fall festival. Remember when you were a kid, freshly back at school, and the community would come together over freshly baked pies, artisan crafts, and buckets of bobbing apples? There was a certain energy and excitement in the air. Find that again at Wilmington’s Festival of Colors! With over 75 vendors, live music, family-friendly activities, food trucks, beer tents, and even a cupcake contest, this annual event is the pinnacle of feel-good fall.
If your nostalgia requires lederhosen, alpenhorns, and large pours of lager, head to Oktoberfest at Whiteface Mountain. This classic fall event, which often aligns with peak foliage, brings live music, fun activities, and lots of German food and beer to the region’s premier ski area. Between steins, take a scenic gondola ride to the top of Little Whiteface and enjoy mountaintop views of the stunning colors without breaking a sweat.
Crisp Air & Crunchy Leaves
For some kids, crunching dry leaves under their feet was one of the most satisfying sounds and feelings in the world. That’s exactly what you’ll get when you go fall hiking in the Whiteface Region! Crunch your way to spectacular views on either family-friendly or more challenging trails. If you’re feeling bold (and prepared) you can even hike to the summit of Whiteface itself!
Mountain biking is another great way to get your crunch on. And, as you blaze down the trail, the blur of colorful trees will transport you to a time when riding your bike around town was your childhood freedom — at least until the streetlights came on. Connect loops on the Hardy Road Trails, fly down the big mountain on Poor Man’s Downhill, or test your skills at the Wilmington Bike Park.
All Treats, No Tricks
You don’t need a costume to get delicious confections at Adirondack Chocolates. Their handmade chocolates are nothing like the individually wrapped candies you dumped out of a pillowcase at the end of your Halloween haul. They are melt-in-your mouth artisan creations that will suit your inner child’s sweet tooth as well as your more mature palate.
While candy is a staple of the season, you’ll need real food to fuel your fall adventures. Start your day at Adirondack Mountain Coffee with pancakes dripping in maple syrup, or grab a coffee and a more substantial, but still sweet, treat to go. With freshly-roasted beans and a variety of Adirondack-inspired brews, you’ll wonder why you let pumpkin spice take over your coffee in the first place.
When the foliage is good, you won’t want to waste a moment outside, so grab your food to go and have yourself a scenic fall picnic! The Black Brook General Store has a full service deli where you can get fresh sandwiches and all the sides you need for lunch with a view. It’s also the epitome of a one-stop-shop. Seriously, they carry everything from groceries and craft beer to hardware supplies and locally-crafted artisan gifts, so you can get your shopping in, too!
When the sun sets on the fall scenery, head to Cadence Lodge for a creative meal. Their diverse menu features fresh ingredients befitting a harvest feast and includes vegetarian, vegan, and gluten free options. Find options that feel familiar or choose something completely new. Either way, don’t miss out on their homemade desserts!
All that’s left to round out your nostalgic fall getaway is the perfect place to stay. Keep the retro train rolling when you choose one of the region’s classic motels, or opt for a cozy cabin where you can curl up in front of a fireplace dressed in your favorite flannel. If you’re determined to make the most of the pre-winter season, book a stay at the local KOA campground and swap falling leaves for shooting stars when you sleep in the great outdoors.
Fall has a hold on us all in some way or another. Whether it’s nostalgic feelings or a present day passion for all things cozy and cute, the Whiteface Region has everything you love about fall. Don’t wait for the leaves to drop — start planning a fall getaway that has it all today!