"Picking" the Right Birthday Celebration
September 21, 2006 12:37 PM   Subscribe

Autumn in New York City & Birthday Celebration filters: My gf wants to go apple-picking (again!).

My gf loves the experience of heading out into the country on a sunny, crisp fall day, stopping by an orchard for apple picking,a hayride and fresh donuts, and celebrating her birthday at a nice restaurant on the way home (Cheesecake Factory was last year's choice).

Here's my dilemma: While I enjoy all of these, too, I'm a once- or twice-a-year driver and HATE the stress associated with navigating the highways near NYC in a rental car as dusk descends.

Hive mind, I appeal to you: find me an orchard near public transportation from NYC, or propose an alternate celebration that would feel very much like the above. The happy birthday girl will thank you.
posted by NYCinephile to Travel & Transportation around New York, NY (8 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Have you tried driving from nj? I'm partial to Terhune Orchards, which is just outside of Princeton...
posted by armacy at 12:47 PM on September 21, 2006

You could take Metro North to say, Poughkeepsie, and then rent a car there. Although this is now a NY exurb, it won't be as bad as NYC with the caveat that the Hudson Valley is possibly at its most crowded in the autumn.

The best NY apples are usually found around drumlin fields way upstate, roughly from Rochester down through the finger lakes to Binghamton and then towards Albany.

You can combine apple picking with leaf-peeping, hiking, and hippie-observing in say Saugerties, New Paltz, or Woodstock.
posted by xetere at 12:55 PM on September 21, 2006

I suggest you take the Harlem Line out to Katonah. The train stops in the little downtown area just two roads wide that you can walk up and down for windowshopping or actual shopping. If you walk beyond the commercial area, the residential area is also very sweet, and excellent for a crisp autumn walk.

For dinner, I recommend the Blue Dolphin, a little diner a few blocks from the station with excellent Italian fare.
posted by Sprout the Vulgarian at 12:59 PM on September 21, 2006

I looked in CT and there aren't any orchards near train tracks (not the ones that currently run, at least).

However, if you're willing to do a combination and rent a car from one of the train stations for the afternoon, there are plenty about 25 minutes of New Haven, right off the highway.
posted by cobaltnine at 12:59 PM on September 21, 2006

Let me get this straight: it's HER birthday (once a year) and you're trying to get out of a bit of unpleasant driving on this one day? I say either have HER drive or just suck it up and be nice. It's only once a year.
posted by Lockjaw at 1:55 PM on September 21, 2006

I second the "take the train and then rent a car" route. For sure I know that you can take Amtrak to New Haven, and there is an Avis in the station and another rental place 1 block away. I haven't done the train to Poughkeepsie and rent a car, but I looked at it one time, and there is a rental place within walking distance.

Tickets to New Haven on Amtrak Acela were about $70 (but I lucked out with discounts).
posted by plemeljr at 8:57 PM on September 21, 2006

Don't bother taking the Acela if you go into CT, just take Metronorth like all the commuters do; it runs $28 round trip on weekends, $33 during the week. Hertz, Enterprise, and Avis all have rental cars in New Haven (note that they close at 4 pm on Sat.) and Hertz also has one at the Stamford station.

Or just suck it up, rent a car in the city, and go across the Tappan Zee down the Merritt to someplace like this one, which appears to have many of your farm qualifications.
posted by cobaltnine at 10:10 PM on September 21, 2006

Response by poster: We actually headed to my home state of Pennsylvania and attended the National Apple Harvest Festival. Hollabaugh Fruit Farms, located nearby the festival, offers pick-your-own and a variety of freshly picked apples, including some outstanding Fujis. The trip also provided a great opportunity to visit historic Gettysburg.
posted by NYCinephile at 3:25 AM on October 10, 2006

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