Sam Brown’s Favorite Fall Drive

First let’s get straight some of the strict criteria a fall drive has to meet to be a part of one of the most anticipated times to hit the road. We have our expectations!

My Official Fall Drive Check List:
• Sinuous a la “car commercial” road
• Sweeping vistas
• Elevation changes
• Barns, barns and more barns
• Pleasant farm animals
• Homes you wish you could live in
• Farmers Market
• Cool diner for lunch
• Winery

My favorite fall drive this year has all of the above and then some. As an agricultural area in Dutchess County in the Hudson Valley of New York, it has some of the most beautiful land you’ll ever set your eyes on. Winding country roads that dip you deep into valleys where the foliage consumes you soon lifts you above it all onto its hilltops to reveal a sweeping scene straight out of a painting from the Hudson River Valley School.

It’s also known as horse country so you’ll see horses grazing on rolling pastures next to their immaculate barns. And then there are the homes that make you “oooh” and “aaah” as much as the fall colors. You can roll along enjoying the enchanting farmhouses with fishing ponds, federalist mansionettes and the turn of the century estates of those who once made a lot of money providing milk to NYC.

To get there, search “Salt Point NY” on Google Map. Now zoom-out and find the main routes of 82 and 44. Use these two routes as your “bookends” and all the roads in between become your playground. There’s not a bad one in the bunch. Some of my favorite roads to go down are Bangall-Amenia Road, County Road 83 and Carpenter Hill Road. These three will give you a nice taste of all the fall drive criteria. Eventually, you’ll end back on Route 44 and follow it to the town of Millerton, NY.

1. Millbrook Vineyards & Winery

In the month of October, Millbrook Vineyards and Winery holds family portrait days on their beautiful grounds that can be turned into wine labels for holiday gifts. Because nothing says, “this is why I drink” than a photo of your kids on a bottle of wine. And the wine is fantastic as well!

2. Village of Millerton, NY

Stretch your legs, walk around and drop some dough in the charming village of Millerton, NY. It’s a charming hamlet with antique shops and art galleries, including Gilmore Glassworks, where you can see the glass blowing art is alive and well.

3. Harney and Son’s Tea

Harney and Son’s Tea headquarters and factory are just outside of Millerton. I know, I thought they were English, too, but they have a beautiful tea shop in town with a tasting room and knowledgeable staff. First tasting is free; you can make a choice from two full walls of tea. The shop sells all types of pots, cups and brew baskets.

4. McEnroe Farm

McEnroe Farm has a must-stop farmers market. A large sign out front marks what vegetables are fresh from their 1,000-acre family farm. Pour yourself a hot cup of coffee and stock up on their homemade jams and pickles. Party season will soon be upon us and you’ll need hostess gifts. There are also wonderful fresh baked goods and old fashion donuts; these however, need to be consumed immediately.

5. Oakhurst Diner

Oakhurst has a perfect diner setting that offers a non-traditional diner menu. Last time I was there, they had a nice chicken Biryani for dinner. For diner purists, don’t worry; they still have items like cheeseburgers, vanilla milkshakes and deep-dish apple pie.

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