After what has felt like the world’s longest winter, we are so excited that SPRING IS FINALLY SPRINGING! Trees are budding, birds are chirping (and we’re not talking about pigeons!), flowers are poking up out of the ground, and the farms are preparing for the warm arrival of fresh produce and fur babies. There are endless festivals, special events, and locavore celebrations just outside NYC this season, so pull out your calendars and save the dates for some delicious day trips and weekend getaways.
And, if you’re a car-less New Yorker and not yet a member of our car-sharing partner ReachNow, you’ve got to give it a try! Perfect for a spontaneous escape, the fresh MINI & BMW wheels await you all across Brooklyn for instant access when you’re ready for a drive. Learn more here.
Hit the road and head for a weekend escape in the beautiful, gorge- and waterfall-covered Ithaca, NY. AGstavaganza (April 14th) is a perfect spring kick off and celebration of local agriculture. Celebrate the farms and farmers that bring fresh fare to the table, ask questions and have some fun with your whole family! Attendees will find maple, honey and cheese to sample, as well as hands on activities and demonstrations of sheep shearing and fiber spinning. Don’t miss this day of eating, drinking, learning and supporting a farmer!
Also in the Ithaca region, explore the Cayuga Wine Trail! Their 26th annual Wine and Herb Festival (May 4-6) is a fabulous event for eating, drinking and learning all there is to know about herbs and herb gardens! Collect potted plants and new recipes while savoring herb-alicious cuisine and paired local wine. Make a weekend out of it — check out lodging info here.
For a great springtime daytrip, spend an afternoon in the Hudson Valley! Head out to Westchester County for Farm Fest at Hilltop Hanover Farm (June 2). Stop by the free event for a local artisans’ fair, food, children’s games, tractor rides, hikes, and farm tours. There will be organic seedlings for sale and the farm stand will open its doors for the season!
While you’re in the area, stop by the renowned Stone Barns Center for Food & Agriculture for “Warm Weather Weekends.” Each year when the weather starts to turn and the flowers start to blossom, visitors are invited to self-guide and explore the grounds at their own leisure. Activities will take place throughout the day, led by Stone Barns educators. An example of some springtime sessions include egg collecting, meeting the lambs, bees and pigs, foraging, spring seed starting, and more. Educational and exciting for all ages – get your tickets here!
Just north of Westchester, you’ll find the bucolic Dutchess County, known as a food and wine mecca of the Northeast. Farms, vineyards, breweries, distilleries and farm-to-table cuisine dot the landscape in every direction. Visit any of these bountiful venues on your own, or book one of our direct buses from NYC for a “Wine Trail Tour.” Stops may include Clinton Vineyards, Cascade Mountain Winery and Millbrook Vineyards & Winery (stops vary by date). Wander the grounds, sip award-winning wine and shop for souvenirs throughout the day! The final stop on the tour is in the quintessential Hudson Valley town of Rhinebeck. A culinary paradise, Rhinebeck offers something delicious for any palate. The tour runs May 5, 6 and 12 – get your tickets here before they sell out!
If you’ve explored the Hudson Valley, you must venture up to the Catskills! Sullivan County is known for artisan eats, fishing, craft beer, epic views and more. If you missed New York Maple Weekends in March, don’t fret: the Jeffersonville Maple Syrup Festival takes place on April 28th. Visitors can partake in the 5K Sap Run, syrup-making tutorials, pancake eating contest, live music and more!
Or, head to Roscoe Beer Co. on Saturday, May 5th for the second annual Wild Ramp Festival, a true agricultural and culinary experience. Enjoy a day of family fun while learning about ramps, shopping the farmers market, dancing to live music and taking part in the games, activities, and craft beer! You can even purchase a VIP ticket to indulge in the Farm-to-Table Tent, featuring local chefs, ramp-inspired dishes and a sampling of beers, wine, spirits and cider.
Hop in your ReachNow and head up to Central New York for festivals, craft beer and…yoga! We can’t think of a better start to your Saturday than yoga and local craft beer. Visit Empire Farm Brewery on (date) for yoga class in their state-of-the-art brewing facility. Participants are invited to stick around afterwards for a local draft…or two! There’s so much to do in the region: hiking, biking, fishing, kayaking. Or explore the 500+ CNYFresh farms and agri-businesses in the region, or the famous Brew Trail. If you’re looking for something new and interesting, you can check out a live lumberjack exhibition at the Cherry Valley Outdoor Games (June 15 – 17)! Enjoy local food, live music, and professional lumberjack demonstrations all weekend long.
Now get out there and make your springtime escape!