According to the all-too-true joke, ’round these parts there are only two seasons: winter and roadwork. But there’s actually a third: leaf-peeping season. Watching the trees abandon their lush jewel tones in favor of a fleeting, fiery splendor is one of New York State’s genuine pleasures, and the Finger Lakes set the perfect stage.
The ephemeral beauty of the morphing leaves also provides an airtight excuse for a trip to Ithaca at the southern end of Cayuga Lake, the longest of the glacier-etched digits. Beyond the changing leaves, other great reasons to make the roughly 2-hour drive this fall include Jeff Tweedy performing at the State Theater on September 24 and the mighty Tompkins County Library Book Sale in October as well as the chance to chomp your way through Ithaca’s vibrant food scene like Pac-Man.