(StatePoint) With the onset of crisper weather and changing leaf colors, fall is the ideal season for a road trip close to home. From scenic drives to exploring historical and cultural areas to hiking and outdoor pursuits, there are lots of activities and nearby places for New Yorkers to discover this fall.

Here are some destinations to consider this season:

Journey to the Great Gatsby Era at the Vanderbilt Museum


Elegant iron gates welcome visitors to Eagle’s Nest, former estate of William K. Vanderbilt II (1878-1944) and home of the Suffolk County Vanderbilt Museum in Centerport. View the dazzling vista of Northport Bay. Set on 43 acres, the 24-room Spanish Revival mansion and museum -- listed on the National Register of Historic Places -- transport you to the Great Gatsby era. Enjoy centuries-old paintings and furnishings collected during world travels. Join a guided tour of the living quarters. Hear tales of the family and its famous guests. Explore intriguing collections in the natural-history and cultural-artifact galleries. Stroll gardens and tour the Marine Museum and animal habitats. Visit the state-of-the-art Charles and Helen Reichert Planetarium for an astronomy program or spectacular sky show. For details, visit www.vanderbiltmuseum.org.

Immerse Yourself in a Rural Escape to Schoharie County


Halfway between Albany and Cooperstown, Schoharie County is an incredibly accessible rural escape, offering both solitude and connection. Ribbons of country roads weave through stunning landscapes blotted with agriculture and scenic vistas. Hike the Long Path or Vroman`s Nose (pictured above). Savor fresh produce from many farms and markets. Experience underground cave systems and witness our nation’s bird take flight along the Schoharie County Eagle Trail. Sip your way through the Beverage Trail then rest your mind and body in a country homestead. Immerse yourself in all the wonderful things woven throughout Schoharie County. Learn about local attractions, dining, lodging and more at VisitSchoharieCounty.com.

Follow the American Dream at the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island


Walk in the footsteps of the more than 12 million immigrants who followed their American dream to the shores of Liberty and Ellis Islands. A quick ferry ride from Lower Manhattan or New Jersey’s Liberty State Park brings you to the historic building where more than 30 percent of Americans can trace their ancestry. Visit the American Family Immigration History Center on Ellis Island to research your connection to Ellis Island. Sessions at the History Center help support The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation’s mission to preserve and honor these two beloved American monuments. Complete the experience with a visit to the Statue of Liberty Museum on Liberty Island, home to Lady Liberty’s original torch. For ticket information, go to StatueOfLiberty.org.

Taste Autumn at New York’s First Farm Cidery


Nothing says autumn like fresh apples and cider in upstate New York. Celebrate the Empire State’s coveted crop at Nine Pin Cider, New York’s First Farm Cidery, in downtown Albany. Nine Pin’s mission is simple; they support New York agriculture by producing quality craft ciders using 100 percent local New York apples and fruit. Visit Nine Pin’s tasting room at 929 Broadway in Albany for a rotating selection of nine premium and limited small batch New York hard ciders, as well as local beers and cocktails. Can’t choose just one cider on tap? Try a flight of all nine! Pair with their gourmet sourdough personal pizzas or small plates. Also, check out Nine Pin’s private campfires. For information, visit www.ninepincider.com, call (518) 449-9999 or follow them @ninepincider on social media.

Photo 1 Credit: (c) Suffolk County Vanderbilt Museum

Photo 2 Credit: (c) Trampoline Advertising & Design for Visit Schoharie County

Photo 3 Credit: Courtesy The National Park Service

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