When Starbucks puts the Pumpkin Spice Latte back on the menu, there is no doubt that it is officially fall. Along with all of the pumpkins, scarves and warm drinks, the changing of the season ushers in the gorgeous transformation of leaves. While New York City may not be the most obvious place to experience fall foliage, there are quite a few stunning sites worth exploring. Here are the top five spots to take in the autumn leaves.
1. Fort Greene Park
Frequently visited by poet Walt Whitman in the 19th century, this park is one of Brooklyn’s oldest and loveliest. Home to almost 40 different kinds of trees, this park is the perfect place for any nature lover. Be sure to follow the Tree Trail, a marked pathway with helpful descriptions of the wide range of foliage. The peak time to see the leaves change here is the last week in October through the first week in November.
2. Prospect Park
A 585-acre oasis in the heart of Brooklyn, this park is another masterpiece by Frederick Law Olmstead and Calvert Vaux, the same architects who designed Central Park. The sugar maples across the south side of the 60-acre lake are some of the first to change to a brilliant orange in the fall. A bonus: The reflection of the trees in the ponds and lake creates a beautiful effect.
3. The New York Botanical Garden
Whether you walk, take the garden’s tram or canoe, The New York Botanical Garden offers 50 acres of beautiful views. With more than 30,000 trees, many approximately 200 years old, the botanical garden has a unique selection for any visitor. Take a look at the What’s Beautiful Now section under the Garden and Plants tab on the garden’s website before heading over and exploring.
4. Wave Hill
Located on the Hudson River in the Bronx, Wave Hill is a 28-acre public garden and cultural center. The park is perfect for walks full of beautiful scenery. Check out the Notable Trees section of the website before heading over to see a select group of special trees in their gardens. Peak viewing time is the last week in October through the first week in November.
5. Empire State Building
For a unique view of the city’s foliage, head up to the 86th or 102nd floor of the Empire State Building. Both floors feature panoramic views, perfect for seeing miles of changing trees. There is an additional fee for the 102nd floor, but the scenic perspective from the top deck makes the fee worth it.
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