How to Spend a Fall Weekend in Oneida County
Are you one of those people that the second September 1st hits, the fall décor comes out and coffee order switches to pumpkin lattes? Whether you thrive in fall or feel indifferent, you’re probably still looking for things to do this season! We’ve come up with a list to help you plan your activities… from where to stay, what to eat, where to pick produce and more!
Book a unique local bed & breakfast! We have so many great places to stay in Oneida County with a collection of name-brand hotels, camp sites and cabins and cozy bed and breakfasts. Book whatever fits your budget and needs! But here’s a list of some of our favorite b&bs.
-Rosemont Inn (Utica, NY) – Guests will feel enjoy the historic character and romantic vibes of this restored 1866 Italianate Victorian inn. In the mornings, wake up to a delicious, 4-course farm-to-table breakfast. They work with nearby farms to provide fresh eggs, quality meats, sweet milk, sharp cheeses and more.
Rosemont also provides guided farm tours from July-early October. You’ll get the VIP treatment at Wormont Woolies and Kingfisher Farm, two spots where Rosemont buys food from. Stock up on some fresh produce and enjoy the beautiful views of the Mohawk Valley.
-The Golden Maple Tree Inn (Barneveld, NY) – Located just 15 minutes north of Utica with easy access to the lakes, forests and mountains of the Adirondacks. Guests will enjoy the gorgeous décor with top-notch service. You can even learn about the history of the home and its ties to the Declaration of Independence! Don’t miss the signature breakfast from Chef/Owner Rob (seriously, his Instagram is drool-worthy).
-The Arbor Inn of Clinton (Clinton, NY) – Offering guests tranquility and generous hospitality in this charming, country b&b. It sits on five private acres and is located behind Hamilton College, overlooking the beautiful Mohawk Valley. Sit on a porch and sip your coffee or relax in this renovated 1850’s farmhouse. During your free time, hit the trails at Hamilton or head into the Village of Clinton for shopping and food!
Blueberry Brooke (Deansboro, NY) – The ideal setting for rejuvenation and reconnection, surrounded by forests, streams, and acres of blueberries. This exquisitely renovated 1860’s farmhouse offers five luxury guestrooms, workshops and retreats! The owners will blow your mind (and tastebuds) with the daily breakfast. Blueberry Brooke is located about 10 minutes from Clinton!
Now that we’ve covered where to stay, let’s talk about what to do! We’ve mentioned that we love living in an area with wide open spaces, fresh air, farms, food and of course a lot of fall activities! There are so many options so we’re going to give you a list but encourage you to click the links and check out these locations’ websites and Facebook pages for more info!
-Cayo Industrial Horror Realm (Rome, NY) – Cayo continues to bring the horror this year! Beginning October 2, they’ll open for a post-apocalyptic horror maze inside an industrial warehouse. Masks are required! This year’s theme is Conspiracy 20-20. Check their website for other details!
-Wagner Farms (Rome, NY) - Area 51.2 UFO Base Haunted Halloween Event kicks off October 2 and runs every weekend through Halloween. Wagner Farms is also a great location for family activities so check their Facebook page for other events and ideas (like a haunted corn maze, wagon rides, etc.).
Fort Rickey Discovery Zoo (Rome, NY) – Fall Fun Festival is happening now through November 1 (weather permitting). This year, reservations are required to keep the amount of visitors limited & admission is $7 per person. Families can explore the grounds with the option to add other activities like deer feeding, tractor pull rides and more!
-Utica Zoo (Utica, NY) – The Zoo hosts events year-round. Currently, they’re running Night Prowl events with different weekend dates through 11/14. Pre-registration is required as these are facilitated tours around the zoo where kids will learn about nocturnal animals with the chance to meet some. They also have other events geared towards all ages (even adults) so check their social media and website!
Pumpkin Everything, Please (and apples!)
-Twin Orchards Apple Farm (New Hartford, NY) – Fresh sweet apple cider, hot cider donuts and apple cider slushies… yum! They sell other local products like Adirondack Cheese, honey and maple syrup. There are also soups for sale and in the fall, their country store transforms into a fall festive atmosphere!
-Clinton Cider Mill (Clinton, NY) - Open through Thanksgiving, this is a must-visit! They’re known for their delicious cider donuts, but the food doesn’t stop there! They have other goodies like pies AND pot pies, hot soups, Croghan bologna, maple syrup and SO much more. Don’t forget to check out their apple press!
-North Star Orchards (Westmoreland, NY) – Great location for U-pick apples (which has officially started!), baked goods and plants and flowers. There are also U-pick pumpkins, wagon rides and so much more!
-Pumpkin Junction (Sauquoit, NY) – This is a pumpkin farm, Halloween store and has a free COrNFUSION corn maze! Visitors can purchase items like pumpkin-carving kits, holiday décor, pumpkin flavored food (soda, fudge, taffy, etc). and more!
-Get your caffeine fix at two of our favorite local shops, Character Coffee (Utica, NY) and Utica Coffee Roasting (Utica & Clinton). Character has introduced some delicious drinks like the Bourbon Reynolds Latte, Pumpkin Spice Lattes and Pistachio Caramel. Utica Coffee has a fall menu too but even if you don’t live locally, you can buy their products online and on Amazon!
Here For The Food & Drinks
Heart of New York Beverage Trail – our beverage trail keeps growing & there are so many good options this fall! If you’re staying up north, check out Prospect Falls Winery and Woodland Farm Brewery. Don’t miss our two new breweries; 7 Hamlets Brewing Company and Bagg’s Square Brewing Company! If you’re staying the western region of the county, check out Villa Verona Vineyard. Several of these locations offer space, music and of course food to pair with your beverages!
CNY Cheese Trail - Located throughout four counties in Central New York, this trail will allow visitors a mix of activities ranging from seeing goats to learning about butter churns to sampling the most delicious cheeses! We highly recommend calling these locations for visiting to learn more about their hours and restrictions!
-Babe’s at Harbor Point (Utica, NY) – Babe’s has been running cool events throughout quarantine and are currently hosting their own Oktoberfest through October 4. Check their page for specials, upcoming events & don’t miss their brunch! This spot is ideal for families, couples and friends.
-Oneida Lake Brew Haus (Verona, NY) – If you’re looking for a spot that’s scenic and also offers delicious food and brews, this is your spot. The sunsets are not to be missed and are usually paired with live music! Plus, this is located less than three miles from Sylvan Beach and Verona State Park if you’re looking for other adventures!