The autumn foliage season will soon be upon us and if you'd like to avoid the expense of a Vermont resort (or the high gasoline cost of a 4 to 5 hour drive to get there) you can still see peak colors and do your "leaf-peeping" locally.
One of the best places to view the foliage is, believe it or not, right here on Long Island at the Meadowbrook Parkway between Hempstead Turnpike and Merrick Road. But if you want an all-day viewing experience, try going across the George Washington Bridge to the Palisades Parkway,
and take it north along the Hudson River to New York's Bear Mountain State Park. From there, you can take Route 9W north to enjoy the pageantry of a full-dress parade by the Corps of Cadets at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, or the fall spectacle of an Army football game (call 845-938-4011 for schedules). Or, if you're an inveterate bargain hunter, take Route 6 west to the Woodbury Commons Retail Outlets Center in Harriman, where you can save (heh, heh) even more money.
To find out the best dates to see the colors, you can call toll-free at 800-CALL-NYS, or access the State's tourism website at www.iloveny.state.ny.us.
Other low-cost fall activities in the coming weeks include: nature films on weekends at Nassu County's Garvies Point Museum and Preserve in Glen Cove (call
516-571-8010), the Patchogue River Festival
September 24 (631-475-0121), and the Long Island Fair at Old Bethpage Village Restoration October 5 to 10 (516-572-8400).
Also, if you're a Fleet bank customer, you can get free admission throughout September to a number of top museums in the Northeast, including, locally, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Whitney Museum in Manhattan, and in Suffolk County, the Vanderbilt Museum in Centerport. You can pick up a brochure with the details at any Fleet branch, or visit www.fleet.com.