New York

Polaroid of the week: Street art in Bushwick, Brooklyn

Polaroid of the week

polaroid of the week usa new york city bushwick street artWhen I arrived in New York last week, I was told that I had brought summer with me. Apparently, it had been cold and rainy most of the spring until the weekend of my arrival – and hearing this made me feel reassured again about having spent all of May in Austin (in case you haven’t noticed yet – I’ve got a major case of FOMO and ‘scarifying’ a month in New York for four weeks in Austin wasn’t an easy decision for me to make!). To be honest, I was considering extending my stay in Austin for another three weeks (yes, I loved it that much – more on that to come next week) but then my travel plans were changed by circumstances beyond my control (more on that soon).

And that’s why I ended up spending only eight days in my adopted home. Knowing that my time in New York would be short and sweet, the goal was to make the most of it. This meant: make sure to have a decent New York bagel (check), have a pizza at Roberta’s (check, and it was so worth nearly missing my flight for it! Still my favorite pizza spot in NYC.), see some new street art in Bushwick, go to Smorgasburg for some street food, see the spring blossoms in Central Park, catch up with friends. Well these were all the things I that I managed to fit in – my actual list was, as usual, much more ambitious than what I could actually fit into a short week, but I also managed to fit in a daily run in Prospect Park, bike rides through Brooklyn, I checked out a brunch place I’ve wanted to go to for a while (Cheryl’s Global Soul, thumbs up). It felt amazing to be ‘home’, to see my friends, just to be part of life in the Big Apple again.

What else did I get up to? I checked out a few new ‘coffices‘, had two wild nights out, soaked up the sun in Madison Square Park, made time for a stroll through the West Village (one of my favorite neighborhoods), and I even ended up at Dominique Ansel Kitchen (unplanned, which made it even better), which is a pastry lover’s dream, and where I last went for a birthday treat last winter, for a chocolate nutella swirl croissant (just as indulgent as it sounds) and scoped out a couple of Middle Eastern places I hadn’t been to yet (thumbs up for both Taim and Kulushkat.

The last two got me excited for my next destination: the next Polaroid Of The Week will be coming to you from BERLIN (where I’ll be stuffing myself with as much Middle Eastern food as possible for eight glorious days and welcome a very special visitor).

read more

Polaroid of the week: Goodbye, Brooklyn (for now…)

Polaroid of the week

polaroid of the week usa new york city yo sculptureAnd all of a sudden, it is here.. my last weekend in New York City. I am, as usual, not ready to leave, but there’s no denying that winter has arrived on the East Coast, the balmy temperatures that we had on Christmas Eve seem like forever ago, and I still don’t like winter. I have been coping with it much better than I thought though, even braving the chilly weather and still rode my bicycle around Brooklyn a lot, went running in the park, but there were a few days that were so cold (19F/-12C, but it felt much colder ‘thanks’ to arctic winds) that I started counting down the days until I’d arrive on Colombia’s sunny Caribbean beaches. I’ve also (finally!) started to research my trip in more detail, which helped getting me excited about leaving and exploring a country that I’ve been wanting to visit for such a long time now.

So what have I been up to over the past  seven days? It was a week filled with goodbyes – I was trying to see all of my friends before leaving, stuffed myself with all my favorite foods (I might even have fit in two of my favorite NYC pizza places in the past few days..), walked the High Line on a sunny day (and discovered spring blossoms!), splurged on drinks in a fancy rooftop bar, finally visited the Museum Of The Moving Image, which had been on my to-do-list for a long time, went on a booze cruise around Manhattan, hosted a dinner party, had afternoon tea at Alice’s Tea Cup (which had also been on my to-do-list for a while..), and hung out in one of my favorite places in New York – Brooklyn Bridge Park, where I took the above picture (a sculpture by Brooklyn-based artist Deborah Kass, which was installed a couple of months ago). I admit, I prefer summer sunset dates or lazy afternoon on a blanket with a book there, but my two visits to the park last week got me excited for the summer months – and the view is always striking, no matter what time of year it is.

So farewell New York (for now!), and my next Polaroid will come to you from Cartagena!

read more

Polaroid of the week: New York’s magnificent Flatiron Building

no thumb

polaroid usa new york city flatiron bulidingGuys, I am freaking out! Only one more Polaroid from New York and I’ll be on my way to South America. I am torn between excitement and misery – on the one hand, I am drooling over pictures of pristine Caribbean beaches as I’ve finally started to plan my trip in more detail (I hope by the time the next Polaroid rolls around I know where I’ll rest my head when I arrive in Colombia in less than two weeks!), but on the other hand I am devastated about leaving New York.. as always! However, since it’s getting quite chilly now, I feel like it’s a good time to leave, and to know that when I get back, I won’t need my winter coat and boots anymore.

As for the last week and what I’ve been up to.. I was happy that several friends who had left NYC for the Holidays were returning from their trips, making sure I wouldn’t turn into a crazy cat lady (I am looking after four cats at the moment..) by getting me out of the house more often again. The last week was a bit dreary to be honest – it seemed like the sun hadn’t made an appearance in days, and winter blues started to set in. I am such an outdoors person, love sitting outside in the morning in  the summer with a cup of coffee, starting my day outside with some fresh air, or simply going on my morning run without an extra layer and freezing fingers, or enjoying the sunset in the park. I even work in the park during the warmer months, taking notes for articles or researching something online. With winter arriving, none of this is possible and I am in dire need of some vitamin D.

However, considering I danced the night away on New Years Eve, had more good food in the past seven days than I dare to admit to, have been enjoying great company here in New York and have been staying in an amazing apartment, I feel bad about complaining, because when I put things in perspective, I am living a pretty sweet life, no matter how cold it is outside (the cats are helping me stay warm) 🙂

I hope you all had a good start to the New Year – where did you ring in 2016?

read more

Polaroid of the week: Feeling the Christmas spirit in New York City

no thumb

polaroid usa new york city christmasCan you believe that by the next time I’ll post a Polaroid the Holidays will be pretty much over? Time just keeps flying! Since I was still not feeling the slightest bit of a Christmas spirit last week, I decided it was time to check out some of the holiday markets around town, the ice rinks, the Fifth Avenue Holiday window displays at Saks, Macy’s and the likes, and of course the famous Rockefeller Christmas tree. New York City at Christmas time is absolutely magical! The elaborate displays in Fifth Avenue’s department stores were a little over the top for my liking, but the wide opened eyes of the kids in front of them made me smile.

I have to say though – the holiday markets are just a sad version of Europe’s fabulous Christmas markets. It’s just not the same without a cup of mulled wine and some sugar roasted almonds and all the other good food. But the ice rinks reminded me that I still haven’t gone ice skating this winter (the lines are insane, I guess I’ll wait until after the Holidays..) and I can’t wait to hit the ice!

Maybe it’ll help me to get into more of a Christmas mood if I bake another tray of Christmas cookies, which is on my list of things I want to do next week.

Happy Holidays, everyone! where are you spending Christmas this year and do you have any tips for me on how to get into the spirit of Christmas? I’d love to hear them in the comments below!


P.S. There’s still time to enter my Christmas giveaway and win a €150 gift card for a Radisson Blu or Park Inn Hotel (more details here), and to win a copy of Arthur Frommer’s brand new Europe 2016 guidebook (more details here).

read more

Polaroid of the week: Street Art in Spanish Harlem

no thumb

polaroid of the week usa new york city harlem street art viajeroIf you’ve been following this site for a while, you know that I am a huge fan of street art. And one thing I love about New York City is the thriving street art scene here. And while it is officially illegal, plenty of commissioned pieces can be found all over the city, with giant murals in Bushwick, lots of stencil and poster art in Williamsburg, and pretty much every well-known street artist having painted somewhere in one of the five boroughs, be it Belgian artist Roa, Britain’s Banksy or Os Gemeos who hail from Brazil.

The greatest thing about New York’s street art scene is that it is always changing, with plenty of bare walls longing to be painted on, and I love wandering the neighborhoods in search of new pieces. And I’ve arrived at a perfect time this fall: There was a recent invasion by French artist Invader, and there was the MonumentArt mural project in East Harlem, for which a dozen international street artists took over walls of (mostly) schools in East Harlem and the South Bronx a couple of months ago, transforming them in giant pieces of art.

That gave me a good excuse to finally check out East Harlem’s vibrant street art and mural scene, about which I had read a while ago here, and had on my list of places to explore. Armed with a map in which I had marked down the locations of the new murals, we went on a street art walk through Spanish Harlem and loved all the new pieces (you can find all of them in this article, along with some background information on the project and the artists). It was hard to pick a favorite for this week’s Polaroid, considering that MonumentArt includes a new mural of one of my favorite (and very few female) street artists, Faith47, this Nicholasa Mohr portrait and a wonderful new Roa piece, but this little boy in the boat (pictured) by Viajero, who I hadn’t heard of before, captured my attention. It is only his third mural, but I love the precise details, the pensive look he put on the boy’s face, and that he used real newspapers for the paper boat. I couldn’t help but thinking of all the kids that I read about in the papers when I was in Europe this summer, who had tried to make it to Europe in tiny rickety boats, often cramped and overcrowded, many losing parents or siblings in bad storms, many of them never making it to the safe shores of Europe.

If you want to see these pieces for yourself, you can find a map with (almost) all the MonumentArt locations here.

read more

Polaroid of the week: Snapping away on the Brooklyn Bridge

no thumb

polaroid of the week usa new york city brooklyn bridgeThis past week was a pretty quiet one. I settled into life with my two (temporary) dogs, who I fell hard for. I am already dreading the day of my departure because I adore these two so much! My daily routine includes a daily run in the park, reading the NYT with a cup of coffee before opening my laptop, cooking up a yummy lunch. I realize though that I can’t just sit still, and I have to leave the house at least once a day to move my legs – be it with a walk down to the waterfront to watch the sunset or a stroll over the Brooklyn Bridge, or simply a walk through the park. And with bright blue skies and lots of sun, the weather in New York has been very good to me, allowing me to run, walk and cycle around town!

It’s been nice to finally take some time for myself, much needed after months of non-stop traveling and never being alone. I’ve not only been catching up on work, but also started to reflect on the past 12 months, now that the year is coming to an end. I still socialize every day – dinners, drinks, movie dates and meeting friends, but I am slowing down and try to not overdo it. I even make time to finally use my new Kindle and read books again, and it feels glorious. Now all that’s missing are some Christmas cookies for a lazy Sunday evening with a bubble bath and a movie, so I better start baking!

read more

Life Lately And Upcoming Travels: November 2015 Edition

no thumb

In my monthly round-ups, I am looking back at my travels over the past four weeks, what went well and what didn’t, and what’s next for me.

Where I’ve been

I started the month in Germany, where I hugged my family goodbye and hopped on a plane to New York. The rest of the month was spent between Manhattan and Brooklyn, and a few days upstate – first for my fall foliage road trip and then again for Thanksgiving.New York November 2015

What I’ve been up to

Returning to New York truly felt like coming home – and as I was typing these words I thought to myself ‘Haven’t I said that before?’, and a quick glance through my June round-up revealed that I had indeed said that before – when I came back to New York in June. So, it seems like I’ve finally found a place that I can call home.. well, it is definitely the place I feel the most at home, and know better than any other place in the world. You have no idea how good it feels to finally have a place to (sort of) come home to, after so many years on the road. One reason why I came here was because I wanted to spend my birthday with people I loved, and I couldn’t be happier with the choice I’ve made to cancel my Nepal trip (for now!) – I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else in the world right now. new york fun novemberOf course I couldn’t sit still this month – and the glorious weather, a for New York untypically warm November, helped greatly in getting me away from my desk. I explored a few places I hadn’t been to yet, like the gorgeous Coney Island Creek Beach, went to the Museum Of Feelings, saw The Book Of Mormon on Broadway, saw an awesome hip hop concert (more on that below), ate sooooo well (lots of cake! Including home-made cake… I was baking up a storm in Germany and it seems like I can’t stop.. Next up are Christmas cookies!), went to see some new street art in Harlem and spent time in one of my favorite neighborhoods, Williamsburg. I finally visited the Whitney Museum, which I’d never gotten around to during the summer, I spent a lot of time in Central Park photographing the fall colors, and I loved that thanks to the lack of rain I was able to go running nearly every day. And then there was the amazing fall foliage road trip, of course, but more on that below.
November 2015 New York City


Fall foliage road trip

I had planned this Upstate New York fall getaway for weeks, and I was blessed with beautiful weather during my road trip to the Catskills. I am officially in love with autumn! My road trip couldn’t have gone better – I hiked up to the top of a mountain, I walked across the Hudson River, hiked to a waterfall, had fabulous food, saw beautiful sunrises and sunsets, and took hundreds of photos of the colorful fall leaves. Fall Foliage Road TripWinning plane tickets to Singapore

Shortly after arriving in New York, I attended a Travel Massive, which is a meet-up where travel addicts and travel industry get together to mingle and connect with like-minded people (they’re held in several cities around the world- check out here if your city has one and if so, sign up for it.. It’s free!), usually sponsored by a travel company. And this is how I ended up with two return tickets from New York to Singapore on Singapore Airlines – the sponsor of the NYC Travel Massive in November, who gave away this amazing price. It was an early birthday present for sure.

Seeing the northern lights again

On my flight to New York, the pilot made an announcement mid-flight: ‘If you’re sitting on the right side of the plane, look outside. We are having excellent visibility and can see the northern lights.‘ I was lucky here too, having a window seat on the right side of the plane, and marveled at the dancing green lights outside in the night sky. After seeing them from the ground in Iceland in September, this was my second time seeing them, and I can’t describe how special it feels to watch this phenomenon.

Awesome housesits

I am typing this in my 38th floor luxurious apartment overlooking Midtown Manhattan, where I am bird sitting (this is a first!) until I move to Brooklyn, where I scored another housesit following this one. Both housesits came through TrustedHousesitters – while I’m always bitching about the pricey membership of that website, it surely does pay off, though. (If you’re interested in housesitting in New York, I am sharing some tips in this article: Adventures in Housesitting in New York City, and you’ll get 20% off a TrustedHousesitters membership if you sign up through my referral link here).

Housesitting perks New York City
Spot the bird! :)

I also had to turn down THREE amazing housesits over the Holidays here in New York because I’d already committed to a housesit for a former client. If you want a housesit in NYC over Christmas and New Years, let me know 😉

My first American Thanksgiving

I’ve spent so much time in the U.S. over the past few years, but somehow I never happened to be around for Thanksgiving.. Until now! I was lucky enough to be invited for a traditional family Thanksgiving, including a giant turkey, and while this picky vegetarian couldn’t join the turkey eating fun, I actually got my own ice cream cake turkey in honor of my birthday – absolutely amazing! (And I knew that I was in the right place when my friend leaned over and whispered in my ear: ‘You know this day is all about feeling.. Incredibly stuffed.. Right?’. A Holiday dedicated to eating my face off?! I’m in!)

My birthday

I’m not much of a birthday person (the first time I got an actual birthday cake was last year!) but this year I celebrated all week long, it seemed. I started my birthday week with an awesome hip hop show in a tiny club in New York (Angel Haze, for those who are interested.. She’s amazing!), followed by seeing The Book Of Mormon on Broadway. I’d tried the ticket lottery two times and third time’s a charm was definitely true here when I won two VIP box tickets. If you’re not familiar with the Broadway ticket lottery: several shows hold a ticket lottery every day during which you can win tickets to the show for a fraction of the normal prize. (Here is a list of plays and the times of each of their lotteries). I paid $32 for a VIP box ticket that normally goes for $189!! This is even better than the TKTS discount tickets booths in Times Square but of course you’re not guaranteed to win if you decide to try the lottery. I also treated myself to a visit to the Museum Of Feelings, taking half a day off work on a sunny day, and it was such a good reminder of how much I love the flexibility my lifestyle gives me. Yes, I might have worked all day on my birthday on a big project I needed to finish, but I was able to take half a day off when I thought it was too nice out to waste the afternoon in front of my laptop.birthday


Breaking down with the car on a highway

I broke down with the car on the highway … in Germany On my last day in Germany, I was going from Berlin to Leipzig to see my brother and my nieces, and the car broke down on the highway. If you know German autobahns, you know how fast cars are going there, which means I was terrified waiting for time tow truck on the side of the road while cars and lorries were whizzing by me at over 100 miles per hour. It didn’t help that my cell phone was running out of battery in that very moment… to make a long story short: I was towed eventually, and luckily I wasn’t alone in the car while waiting in the dark to be ‘rescued’. In the grand scheme of things, this was a minor nuisance, however, and once I got to New York, things went extremely well – I can’t believe there wasn’t a single incident since I got to the States.

What’s new with Globetrottergirls

Even though I had such a fun-filled month, I also worked my b*tt off. I’ve still got a ton of content from my latest trips to share with you, and I’ve got to see a first preview of the video footage shot in Tel Aviv last month (I don’t hate myself on camera!). I also wrote several travel guides and am happy to stay put for a while to be able to edit video footage, and to sift through the thousands of photos I’ve taken this year that I still want to share them with you.New York November

What’s next for me

I have another month in New York before I get ready for my departure to warmer regions, and I am planning to fully indulge in holiday cheesiness. Ice skating, marveling at the Christmas window displays in 5th Avenue, checking out the Christmas markets, making Christmas cookies, cooking a big Christmas dinner, and ringing in the New Year with friends. I don’t know what it is about New York but this seems to be the only place where I don’t ever itch to travel somewhere else. This might change as soon as temperatures drop to uncomfortably chilly levels, so we’ll see how I feel a month from now about leaving New york autumn 2015

read more

Polaroid of the week: The Museum Of Feelings, New York City

no thumb

polaroid of the week usa new york city museum of feelingsThis week was a very celebratory one, since it was not only my birthday, but also Thanksgiving! Knowing I’d be having a stressful weekend because of a freelance project I’ll have to finish by the end of the month, I decided to perk up my week with some fun activities – including finally seeing The Book Of Mormon (which I highly recommend seeing if you’re into Broadway shows), the highly anticipated Angel Haze concert, then of course my first traditional family Thanksgiving in the U.S., and visiting the Museum Of Feelings, which I ended up enjoying much more than I’d expected. Or maybe it was because I didn’t really know what to expect that I left it feeling so mesmerized.

I will write in more detail about all the fun things that made this week great in my monthly round-up, and it’d be impossible to pick a favorite, but I wanted to highlight the Museum Of Feelings because some of you might actually be in New York in the next couple of weeks and have the chance to experience it for yourself.

The museum is just a pop-up museum, open for three weeks (until 15 December), it’s free, and it aims to trigger our emotions and feelings through scents, colors and sounds. It’s hard for me to even describe what it is, but picture yourself walking through a number of rooms all of which have a different focus – there is a kaleidoscope, a jungle of green LED vines, or a glowing pink room with cushy carpet and vanilla lavender scent.

The museum itself says:

Open up to an emotional journey, use your eyes, ears, fingers, imagination, soul and nose. Feel your way through every moment. Twist your inner muse to ‘on’. Be brave, beautiful, colorful, vulnerable. Turn your emotions into art.

Isn’t that beautiful? If you go, you might see me there – I think I’ll have to experience it again before it closes its doors again.

read more

Polaroid of the week: Beach day in Coney Island

no thumb

polaroid of the week usa new york city coney island creek parkThis month just keeps getting better and better.. Another amazing week here in New York is coming to an end, and I am even more excited about next week with my first Thanksgiving on U.S. soil and my birthday coming up, which both will undoubtedly be the highlights of the week.

But back to last week. Looking back, I am not sure how I fit it all in (AND get a decent amount of sleep!), but I finally made it to the Whitney Museum (highly recommended if you’re an art lover), caught up with old friends, and started working my way through the list of bars and restaurants I’ve been wanting to check out for ages (which, as new places are constantly being added to said list, is a lifelong task, I’ve come to realize), spent time in some of my favorite neighborhoods in Brooklyn and Manhattan, followed a strict exercise regimen (to offset all the yummy food I’ve been eating since I got back to New York), got lots of work done and have had a few good nights out (I am so happy to be back in a place with such a vast selection of excellent craft beers).

My favorite day of the week was a day spent exploring parts of Southern Brooklyn that I hadn’t been to yet with a fellow photographer: the little known Calvert Vaux Park right by Gravesend Bay and Coney Island Creek Park, which is on the other side of Coney Island, across from the famous boardwalk and amusement park. The main reason for us to visit Calvert Vaux Park was the ship graveyard on the south side of the park, where a few rusty shipwrecks make for amazing photo ops. Coney Island Creek Park, which we visited afterwards, had some equally as great photo motives, like fishermen who were walking out into the freezing water to throw out their nets, and the hungry seagulls that were surrounding them, the views over the Verazanno-Narrows Bridge (pictured) which connects Brooklyn with Staten Island, and the slowly sinking sun, which resulted in a warm, soft afternoon light – perfect for photos.

The ideal ending to a day spent outside in the fresh air? A hearty meal, of course. I finally got to continue my hunt for the best pizza in New York and tried a place that had been on my pizza list for a long time: L&B Spumoni Gardens in Brooklyn’s Bensonhurst neighborhood. Both of us agreed that we felt like we had walked right into a scene from the Sopranos: this place was so old-school Brooklyn and wonderfully tacky – a treat not only for our tummies but also for our eyes and ears. Highly recommended if you want to try a slice of Sicilian-style pizza and want to get to know a part of Brooklyn tourists don’t go to.

read more

Colorful New York: A fall foliage road trip

no thumb

I am not sure when I started to dislike fall, but I think it must have been during my years in England. Fall, or autumn as the Brits say, always seemed to define itself through rain and foggy days, and while those misty London mornings could be romanticized initially, the novelty wore off quickly, replaced by the melancholy over yet another rainy day.fall leaf bear mountainOnce I packed up my London apartment and started traveling, I started chasing the sun and skipping spring, winter and autumn completely. Until I happened to be in the U.S. in October a couple of years later, amazed by how colorful and sunny this season was in the Midwest. It was my first time experiencing pumpkin patches, corn mazes and pumpkin spiced treats. Suddenly, autumn felt wonderful, and not dreary at all. Instead of rainy days and grey skies, I was enchanted by blue skies and autumn leaves in vibrant colors.Dani with leaves 2015When I was told that those colors weren’t even the most colorful ones in this country, but that the trees in the New England states on the East Coast had even more vivid fall colors in October, I put a New England road trip on my travel wish list right away.bear mountain fall leavesI was hoping to finally fulfill this dream last year, but you might remember that I ran out of time when I came back to New York for a few weeks in October and ended up going only on a day trip to the scenic Seven Lakes region in Upstate New York.bear mountain lake new york autumnSo this year I was determined to finally head up to Vermont. Spoiler alert: I still didn’t make it there! However, I managed to go on an upstate road trip for several days, instead of just a rushed one day out-of-town getaway. And yes, I could’ve made it all the way up to New Hampshire and Vermont, but I wanted to set some time aside to enjoy the scenery, go on hikes and unleash my inner child in the leaves (which I did), picking up farm-fresh apples and stopping in random little towns along the way, instead of spending all too much time in the car.tannersville new york pumpkinsSpeaking of the car: I gave the new Silvercar app a try, which is quite different from your usual car rental experience. I’ve rented cars in Manhattan before, and it’s usually neither cheap nor pleasant, especially if you plan to go away over a weekend. Tiny rental offices in Manhattan, long lines, and often mediocre customer service, given the amount of customers car rental clerks have to deal with here on a daily basis.dani silvercarWhat makes Silvercar different from other car rental companies? First of all, the entire Silvercar fleet is made up by silver Audi A4s. You always know exactly which car you get. Secondly, as I mentioned above, it’s an entirely app-based experience, which makes sense in today’s world where I do pretty much everything on my smartphone – be it renting apartments via the AirBnb app or hotels through the app, deciding which restaurant to eat it with the help of Tripadvisor and Yelp, or navigating directions with GoogleMaps.bear mountain daniWhen you’ve made your booking, you’ll receive a text message confirming your booking and on the day of your reservation you’ll get a text from Silvercar asking you to send a text when you’re about ten minutes away from the rental location, giving the valet a heads-up to get the car out of the garage for you. I opened the car by scanning a QR code on the windshield, and after a short introduction to the functionalities and perks of the car, including how to connect to the in-car wifi and Bluetooth and how to use the navigation system (all of which are included in the price), we were ready to go. The whole process didn’t take longer than five minutes and not having to wait in line at a rental office felt york fall foliage road tripIf you’d like to give Silvercar a try – they are currently operating out of ten cities in the U.S., and their New York location is based in Midtown Manhattan, close to the Lincoln Tunnel and West Side Highway, conveniently located to get you out of town quickly. Day rates prices fluctuate from $79-99 for a weekday and $129 for a weekend rental, which is in line with every other car rental companies in Manhattan. But none of the others can guarantee you an Audi A4 and the premium valet experience at that price! So instead of getting an average car for this rate, why not try Silvercar and get a fabulous car and a select experience instead?fall road tripShortly after crossing the George Washington Bridge and leaving Manhattan, we found ourselves surrounded by brilliant fall colors along the Palisades Parkway, which would bring us to our first destination: Bear Mountain State Park, about 50 miles north of New York City. We wanted to attempt climbing up to the peak of the mountain, from where I knew we’d have fantastic views over the Hudson River and when the weather was good you could see four states from the top of Perkins Memorial Tower atop of the mountain: New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Pennsylvania.bear mountain viewThe hike, which took about three hours in total, was steep at times, but the panoramic vistas were definitely worth the climb.Bear Mountain leavesMy plan was to stay in cozy cottages or B&Bs throughout the trip, which is why I spent hours researching places on AirBnB. I am recommending some of my favorite finds at the end of this post.bear mountain views daniWe crossed the river and continued on east of the Hudson River because we wanted to stop in Poughkeepsie the next day, where we wanted to cross the Hudson once again – but this time, on foot. The Walkway Over The Hudson, which is at 1.28 miles the longest pedestrian bridge in the world, seemed like the perfect place to take in the fall foliage from. At 212 feet above the river’s surface, it isn’t for the faint at heart but I kept my fear of heights under control by staying away from the rails.poughkeepsie autumn colors new yorkI loved how beautiful the yellow leaves on the trees on the path leading up to the bridge looked, forming a natural ‘tree tunnel’. The walk over the bridge and back takes about an hour, depending how often you stop to take pictures.poughkeepsie autumn colors hudson river walkwayAfter that, we headed further north into the Catskill Mountains west of the Hudson River. For the drive I chose route 32, which passed through the towns of New Paltz, Kingston and Woodstock – and it ended up being unbelievably scenic at this time of year. We couldn’t help but stop in several of the towns to check out some antiques shops and galleries along the main roads. new york fall foliage road tripSeeing these charming towns all dressed up for autumn, with pumpkins decorating entrances of houses and window sills, stacks of hay, fall flowers and restaurant menus denouncing seasonal specials, filled me with so much joy.

We stopped on the side of the road to pick up some farm-fresh apples, but we could’ve easily filled the car with just about everything the farmers were offering: homemade jams, pumpkins in all shapes and sizes, apple cider and fresh honey.tannersville new yorkThe next morning, I woke up just in time to witness a spectacular fiery red autumn sunrise, the air wonderfully crisp, the kind of day that is perfect for a hike through the woods and is waiting to be finished with a mug of hot apple cider by the fireplace. new york fall foliage road trip sunriseWe had made our way all the way into the Catskills Mountains, but the further north we went, the barer the trees had become – here, the leaves had already fallen from the branches, leaving the ground covered in brown and red leaves.kaaterskill falls new york autumn leavesThat wasn’t a bad thing though – on our hike to the Kaaterskill Waterfalls the leaves felt like a soft carpet on the ground, causing a crackling sound in the otherwise silent forest as our feet touched them. I could have spent many more days hiking in the Catskills – a list of trails I had found online made me wish I had time for some of the longer hikes in these mountains.New York Kaaterskill FallsBut luckily the Catskills are en route to Vermont’s scenic Green Mountain Byway, which I hope I’ll finally make it to next year. new york fall foliage road trip barn

Practical information

The State Of New York publishes a fall foliage report for all regions, which helps you to find out the perfect time to go. Find out more about Silvercar here, or download the app for iOS here / for Android here. Towns along the way worth stopping in: Rhinebeck, Catskill, Tannersville, Woodstock and New Paltz.bear mountain hudson river viewsPlaces to stay near Bear Mountain:  

Check out this place in Warwick (about half an hour from Bear Mountain), this one in Garrison (about 15 minutes away) and this cottage in Beacon (about 30 minutes away).

Places to stay in Woodstock:  

I love this cottage, this cozy cabin, this well-priced studio, and this cabin just outside of town.

Places to stay in Catskill:  

There are plenty of rentals here because Catskill is lovely – check out this apartment right in the center of town, this dreamy cottage, this wooden cabin, and this gorgeous creekside farmhouse.

If you’re not using AirBnB yet, you can get $20 off your first booking by signing up through this link. bear mountain new york hike

Have you done a fall foliage road trip? I’d love to hear all about it in the comments below!

read more
1 2 3 8
Page 1 of 8