21 Instagram-Worthy Views Just Outside New York City

Photo via @anna.steglinski.
Fall foliage in the city is one thing. But, changing leaves in the neighboring woods, forests, and parks of New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Connecticut? Well, that's a completely different ball game.
And, while our autumn weekend to-do lists are already filled to the brim with apple and pumpkin picking, farmers' markets, and more, there's nothing like taking some time for yourself (or with a significant other or friends) to soak in the best that nature has to offer. We're talking sweeping views that you're sure to love, whether or not you're an outdoorsy type.
From an old estate on the Gold Coast of Long Island to a New Jersey reservation with one of the best views of New York City you haven't seen yet, the scenes ahead are bound to inspire you to take a day trip or two this fall. As for those Instagrams? Filters are optional — keep reading to see why.
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Photo: via @teliscope.
Eagle Rock Reservation
If there's one thing New Jersey does better than New York, it's serving up those killer views of the Manhattan skyline. Tucked away in suburbia, Eagle Rock Reservation has picturesque outlooks of, well, everything. Picnic while soaking in the sights — or hike along the Lenape trail if you're looking for a little dose of adventure.

Eagle Rock Reservation, 424 Eagle Rock Avenue, West Orange, NJ; 973-268-3500.
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Photo: via @abelleinbk.
Oheka Castle
Who knew there was a mini-Versailles right in our backyard? Oheka Castle, the former private estate of financier and philanthropist Otto Kahn, boasts an expansive garden and a 109,000-square-foot mansion. Tour the grounds while indulging in some tea and biscuits, or check into a suite for the evening and prepare for an adventure fresh out of The Great Gatsby.

Oheka Castle, 135 Westgate Drive, Huntington, NY; 631-659-1400.
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Photo: via @rhnath.
Bushkill Falls
Nicknamed the "Niagara Falls of Pennsylvania," Bushkill Falls certainly has some big shoes to fill. The eight waterfalls begin at the top of the Poconos and crash into the Delaware River, which makes this the perfect destination for hiking and exploration. Here, you'll certainly feel at one with nature.

Bushkill Falls, Bushkill Falls Road, Bushkill, PA; 570-588-6682.
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Photo: via @aaalbanese.
Blue Hill Farm
If you're a fan of Greenwich Village eatery Blue Hill, its upstate Center For Food & Agriculture should be at the top of your weekend to-do list. Tour the greenhouse and pastures, step up your agricultural A-game, and take in a fresher-than-fresh "farmer's feast" at the world-renowned Blue Hill restaurant.

Blue Hill at Stone Barns, 630 Bedford Road, Pocantico Hills, NY; 914-366-9600.
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Photo: via @joebork.
Grounds For Sculpture
Art seamlessly meshes with nature at this Central Jersey outdoor museum, where visitors can pose amongst works from both emerging and established artists. Play hide-and-seek behind Magdalena Abakanowicz's "Hand-Like Tree: Cecyna," grab a refreshment at The Gazebo (an open-air ice cream shop!), or take part in a curator walk to fully immerse yourself in the craftsmanship.

Grounds For Sculpture, 126 Sculptors Way, Hamilton Township, NJ; 609-586-0616.
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Photo: via @mrssaracassidy.
Snug Harbor
Hop on the ferry and head to the northern coast of Staten Island. There, you'll find the Snug Harbor Cultural Center and Botanical Garden, a hidden escape for art aficionados; it's home to Art Lab, the Staten Island Arts, the Newhouse Center for Contemporary Art, the Noble Maritime Collection, and its own artist-residency program (SHARP). Comprised of 28 buildings and 83 acres, this quiet oasis is one of those places certain to make you forget you're still in New York City.

Snug Harbor, 1000 Richmond Terrace, Staten Island; 718-425-3504.
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Photo: via @psychadelic_bee.
Manasquan Reservoir
Welcome to the real Jersey Shore — Snooki and muscle tees not included. This Monmouth County reservoir is a relaxing haven perfect for fishing and boating, or just strolling along the water while taking in the deep-blue hue. You can also hit the beach or head into town for dinner and a movie.

Manasquan Reservoir, 311 Windeler Road, Howell, NJ; 732-919-0996.
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Photo: via @andreafranchini.
The Philip Johnson Glass House
The Connecticut home of late architect Philip Johnson has become a historic landmark for its modern, minimalist design and creative use of glass. Following Johnson's death in 2005, his dramatic house became a destination for artists, architects, and admirers of both disciplines. Arrive to gawk at the unconventional structure, stay to see its impressive gallery collection, which includes pieces by Andy Warhol, Julian Schnabel, and Jasper Johns.

The Philip Johnson Glass House, 199 Elm Street, New Canaan, CT; 203-594-9884.
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Photo: via @anna.steglinski.
Letchworth State Park
Why head to Arizona when the "Grand Canyon of the East" is within a day's drive? A venture through Letchworth State Park delivers the most colorful fall foliage, the likes of which your Instagram filter can't even comprehend, plus the Genesee River and its 20 roaring waterfalls. It's so large, you might get lost — but you definitely won't get bored.

Letchworth State Park, 1 Letchworth State Park, Castile, NY; 585-493-3600.
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Photo: via @lanolan.
Queens County Farm Museum
Is there a better way to spend the weekend than by feeding goats, strolling through crops, or eating freshly picked veggies? (Talk about farm-to-table.) The city's largest undisturbed farmland is situated right in Floral Park — where it's been since 1697. Make your way to Queens County Farm on a whim, or plan ahead for one of its many events where you can learn beekeeping, sheep-shearing, or wreath-making.

Queens County Farm Museum, 73-50 Little Neck Parkway, Floral Park, NY; 718-347-3276.
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Photo: via @vanessavaz73.
Montauk Point Lighthouse
It's the oldest lighthouse in New York, so naturally it comes with a serious amount of history. Start at the bottom in the double keepers' dwelling and work your way up to the Turtle Cove lookout, where you can see the Atlantic seemingly go on for days. Really, there's nothing like the Hamptons in the off-season.

Montauk Point Lighthouse, 2000 New York 27, Montauk, NY; 631-668-2544.
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Photo: via @areefahaha.
Stokes State Forest
The Sussex County, NJ retreat sits smack dab in the middle of the Kittatinny Mountains — so you're guaranteed a serious dose of wildlife. Picnic along Stony Lake (where you can swim in the summer), check out the waterfalls at Tillman Ravine, or hike to the top of Sunrise Mountain for a trifecta of views: New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania.

Stokes State Forest, 1 Coursen Road, Branchville, NJ; 973-948-3820.
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Photo: via @lanaonline.
Bear Mountain State Park
The hills are alive! This New York state park offers numerous biking and hiking trails on its way up, so you'll get in some activity before staking out a spot at the top and staring into the abyss for the rest of the day.

Bear Mountain State Park, 55 Hessian Drive, Bear Mountain, NY; 845-786-2701.
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Photo: via @pinkbowtienyc.
Locusts On Hudson
Nestled on the banks of the Hudson — just down the road from Franklin Delano Roosevelt's former Hyde Park home — you'll find the kind of retreat one would only expect from famed hotelier Andre Balazs. Walk along the 76-acre estate (which was built in 1797) and soak in the luxury and elegance of a bygone era.

Locusts on Hudson, 135 Old Post Road, Staatsburg, NY; 212-965-4352.
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Photo: via @mas_nyc.
Wave Hill
This public garden and cultural center may be in the Bronx, but it feels more like you're in your own little secluded world. Wander through its 15 gardens or check out a current exhibit while taking in views of the Hudson River and Palisades. Isn't it amazing how much nature you can find just a subway ride from Times Square?

Wave Hill, West 249th Street (at Independence Avenue), Bronx; 718-549-3200.
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Photo: via @patrick_scalisi.
Mine Hill Preserve
Take a journey back in time at the Mine Hill Preserve, a 19th-century iron-making complex turned historic site. Located inside the Roxbury Land Trust, the industrial-era remnants (including old furnaces and mining tunnels) sit among acres and acres of untouched land. It's part history, all impressive.

Mine Hill Preserve, Roxbury, CT; 860-350-4148.
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Photo: via @jackieaud.
Kittatinny Canoes
Sometimes, we all need a little bit of adventure. And, while taking in the Delaware River from above can offer a picturesque landscape, getting in the water is an entirely different story. Get that adrenaline pumping by kayaking, canoeing, tubing, or rafting through the waves — oh, and don't forget to check out the amazing scenery while you're getting wet and wild.

Kittatinny Canoes, 1147 Delaware Drive, Matamoras, PA; 800-356-2852.
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Photo: via @fitzfied.
Mashomack Preserve
This preserve is big — and by big, we mean it makes up over one-third of Shelter Island. Bird watchers and animal lovers, this one's for you: The location is filled to the brim with nesting ospreys and plovers, as well as an array of other wild creatures. Leave your bike at home (it's not allowed, anyway), and clear your mind with a walk along the coastline.

Mashomack Preserve, 47 South Fouth Ferry Road, Shelter Island, NY; 631-749-1001.
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Photo: via @tonoflife.
Fosterfields Living Historical Farm
Channel your inner farmer at this 200-acre locale by visiting livestock, touring the 1854 estate on the property, The Willows, or participating in old-school activities: churning butter, milking cows, the works. Look out in the distance, and all you'll see is land, land, and more land. How refreshing.

Fosterfields Living Historical Farm, 73 Kahdena Road, Morristown, NJ; 973-326-7600.
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Photo: via @megannieds.
Allamuchy Mountain State Park
Adventure-seekers can reach the top of Allamuchy by hiking or rock-climbing, and they'll be rewarded with views of Cranberry Lake. If you're not looking to test your fear of heights, opt for boating down the Musconetcong River for something just as incredible.

Allamuchy Mountain State Park, 800 Willow Grove Street, Hackettstown, NJ; 908-852-3790.
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Photo: via @kajadedijer.
Saugerties Lighthouse
While the interior of this red-brick lighthouse is typically reserved for overnight guests (just another excuse to spend a night at the bed and breakfast), the exterior and surrounding scenery are equally noteworthy — and open to the public. Hike the trails, picnic on the beach, or admire the magic of the Hudson River from kayak or canoe.

Saugerties Lighthouse, 168 Lighthouse Drive, Saugerties, NY; 845-247-0656.
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