Hands down, New York City is one of the best places to be in autumn. The sweltering heat from the summer has gone away and you aren’t experiencing the freezing cold winter weather yet either. The leaves change colors and there’s the promise of good comfort food and the holidays ahead. Every year the season passes by so fast so I always want to make sure I make the most of it, which is why I created the perfect bucket list which can totally be accomplished by the end of the season.
The New York City Autumn Bucket List
1. Cider Donuts - Calling all you fans of apple, cinnamon and spice! Doughnuttery has multiple locations in NYC and they serve apple cider donuts regularly with special seasonal Pumpkin Pie Brûlée and Chai Me to the Moon flavors.
2. Brooklyn Heights - There’s something about historical brownstones that instantly makes me feel those autumn vibes. Take a walk through the neighborhoods and wind up on the Promenade.
3. Urban Pumpkin Shopping - Swing by Westside Market in Chelsea (or any of their other locations in Manhattan) and pick up an adorable little pumpkin or gourd to adorn your abode.
4. Chai - Early morning or afternoon walks through the streets of NYC with a hot chai latte in hand. Brownie points if you can find a spot that sells real Indian chai, it packs a real caffeine kick! I got my fix during our trip from Joe Coffee, they have 17 locations in NYC..
5. Brooklyn Bridge - Is it touristy? Yes, I can’t deny it. But there’s something about it that just feels so New York. You don’t have to be a millionaire in a fancy place to see the best skyline views.
6. Shop for vintage chunky sweaters - Beacon’s Closet is the best thrift store for shopping vintage clothing and goods. Pair your sweater with vintage Levi’s or a corduroy skirt and you’ll be set for fall.
7. A Day at the Museum - We spent a few rainy days soaking up the arts at the Museum of Natural History and The Whitney. My husband loved the dinosaur fossils (looking at you Ross Geller!) and I loved the Andy Warhol exhibit.
8. Central Park - Walking through Central Park is by far the best way to see all those colorful fall leaves. It sounds cheesy but it feels magical to me every time. If you haven’t been before, Central Park is very big and it’s difficult to see all the best landmarks on foot. You can cover much more ground (and it’s much more relaxing) to take a pedicab tour. They will even help you with group photos so everyone can be in your picture!
9. Walk The High Line - Right next to The Whitney you can catch the entrance to The High Line. It’s basically a fancy walking path suspended up above the Meat Packing District. It’s a blogger favorite photo spot, but it’s also a nice calming place for a stroll with city skyline views. We went during the week and we pretty much had the place to ourselves.
10. Eat Pie - Let them eat cake!… um I mean pie! Pumpkin, pecan, blackberry, so many favorite fall flavors to choose from. Find the best NYC pie at Magnolia’s Bakeries, multiple locations in NYC. If you like cupcakes (who doesn’t love cupcakes?!) you can take a walking cupcake tour in the West Village which includes a stop at Magnolia.
All the Foods You MUST Eat in NYC
Insomnia Cookies - Try the limited edition Caramel Apple cookie for fall!
Artichoke Pizza - Their signature pizza is also the name of the establishment. The Artichoke Pizza is made with artichoke hearts, spinach, cream sauce, mozzarella and pecorino romano cheese. Slices so big you’ll be unbuckling your pants after lunch!
Five Napkin Burgers - One of the best burgers I’ve ever had, no contest! Pictured below is the Cheddar & Bacon burger with both sweet potato fries and thick cut steak fries. Try not to drool… Order a boozy milkshake while you’re at it, YOLO!
Dough - Spin-off of a Brooklyn shop with creative seasonal glazes & French-press coffee. Try the Nutella and/or Lemon Poppy donuts. No judgement if you eat both in one sitting.
Morgensterns NYC - This place is Instagram famous for its black ice cream. I would love to tell you first hand how delicious this ice cream is… but sadly I can’t. When we arrived at the ice cream shop, the line of people was literally wrapped around the building and my baby daughter doesn’t have that kind of patience. If you go tell me how amazing the flavors are!
Hillcrest BBQ - Locals rave about their brisket, BBQ chicken and spare ribs. Butter-up your cornbread and saddle-up for an awesome meal!
Levains Bakery - I’ve been told that the Oatmeal Raisin Cookies are to die for.
Sweetgreen - So far this list has been the top ways to gain 20 pounds during your visit to NYC! This healthy chain serves up the best veggie bowls. Seasonably serving roasted squash and curry cauliflower.
The Doughnut Project - Try the “Everything Doughnut” - sweet & savory flavors topped with a light cream cheese glaze, roasted poppy seeds, black and white sesame seeds, pepitas and a hint of garlic and sea salt to create "the next big thing" in NYC's food scene.
Brodo Bone Broth - Warm up with a cup of slow-simmered bone broth, made from scratch. Perfect for chilly fall days!
Prince Pizza - Square pies named for streets in the neighborhood nourish & amuse at this NoLita pizzeria. This is another spot where I would love to tell you how it tastes, but you needed to be brave to take-on the crowd inside this pizza shop. My friends who live in NYC can attest to the delicious flavor.
Vive le Crepe - If you haven’t tasted crepes yet, this French delicacy is the equivalent of the American sandwich… but much more light and buttery. They come in both sweet and savory flavors so you can choose to stuff if with all kinds of goodness like cheese, veggies, meats, or Nutella, chocolate and creme. Scroll down to see photos of my gruyère cheese crepe I picked up during our outing at the Columbus and 68th location.
Le Pain Quotidien - With locations scattered all over NYC, you can get the best hot beverage options your heart can dream of. My favorites are the matcha latte, chai latte, a pot of tea, and of course there’s classic coffee. Scroll down to see photos of my husband’s fancy schmancy Belgian hot chocolate from Le Pain Quotidien.
Best NYC Hotels with Skyline Views
A big thank you to Alaska Airlines for providing the airfare for our trip.
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