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7 Super Restaurants Near New York Comic Con

It’s that time of year: The season when it’s perfectly acceptable for grown men to wear their underpants over their tights. That’s right. New York Comic Con is coming.

From October 5 – 8, the mother of all geek conventions descends upon New York City’s Javits Center. After watching panels on Black Panther, catching a movie or two, and seriously scaring yourself in the Jigsaw escape room, you’re going to be hungry. Very hungry.

The Javits Center is absolutely massive, and it’s so far west in Manhattan that it’s practically falling into the Hudson River. In other words, unlike other Manhattan neighborhoods, things are kinda spread out. You’re not going to want to do any extra walking, or to scout five different cafes before deciding where to eat. Luckily, we’ve done the homework for you, so you can save your feet for cruising the exhibition halls. Here are seven excellent eateries, all within walking distance of the Javits, where you can go get your grub on.

Friedman’s

The pancakes, waffles, and fried chicken at Friedmans are good enough for any superhero – you’d never guess that the entire menu is gluten-free. The restaurant (which is named after economist Milton Friedman) also serves local veggies and antibiotic-free meats.

Gotham West Market

This giant food hall houses 10 vendors under one roof – from ramen to tacos to Blue Bottle coffee – so there’s a little something for everyone in your posse. Eater describes the fare at Gotham West Market as “interesting and high-quality food,” and there’s a bonus: cocktails, which many food halls don’t have.

Rustic Table

Fresh local food and a cozy, industrial vibe are what you’ll find at Rustic Table, which literally has a reclaimed-wood farm table running down its center. Fresh pastries, fine coffees, and lighter fare like sandwiches are all on the menu.

Clyde Frazier’s Wine and Dine

If you’re a Comic Con cosplayer who still wants to catch the game, Clyde Fazier’s Wine and Dine is the right spot for you. This sports-themed restaurant in Hudson Yards features American cuisine with global flair, an extensive cocktail menu, and a serious collection of whiskeys. With its free-throw basketball court – the spot is named from the former Knicks player who’s a partner in the business – and more than 40 television screens, it’s a place where sports fans and fanboys can co-mingle.

Tavola

Tavola‘s menu is based on the regional Italian fare of Puglia, Rome, and Sicily, and uses many ingredients carefully sourced from these regions, some of which are exclusively imported for the restaurant. Known for it wood-burning ovens, which were handcrafted in Naples, Italy from Vesuvian volcanic clay, this classic trattoria offers meat, fish, and pasta dishes, as well as true Neapolitan pizza.

Larb Ubol

New York is a melting pot of people and cultures, and the result is some damn good, authentic food. Larb Ubol is an authentic Thai restaurant specializing in cuisine from the country’s northeast Isan region. The restaurant’s decor is cheerful and relaxed, though perhaps a bit DIY, but don’t let that distract you: Even the hardest core Thai food lovers will be pleasantly surprised by the extensive menu and intensely delicious dishes.

Print

Located in a repurposed printing factory, Print is dedicated to seasonal, sustainable cooking and offers a menu that’s updated daily based on available ingredients that are collected by the restaurant’s “in-house forager.” Bookend dinner with a cocktail at the Press Lounge, Print’s sister venue located upstairs in the same building, which has spectacular views of the city.

Plated Food

8 Affordable New Orleans Restaurants (That Locals Love, Too)

There’s never a bad time to visit New Orleans, but Halloween has got to be one of the best. In addition to all of the usual food, culture, and general wackiness the city has to offer, the annual Voodoo festival is a weekend-long music and arts adventure. More than 65 bands, immersive art installations, a beer hall, and, of course, amazing costumes are all part of the experience. The food on-site is made by some of the city’s top local chefs, but at some point, you’re going to have to eat outside of Voodoo. When you do, here are eight top picks for uber-delicious, not-too-expensive, super-chill places to go. These locals-approved restaurants might be busy, but they won’t be overrun with tourists.

Pizza Delicious
Neighborhood: Bywater
It’s really hard to get pizza that tastes like it’s from New York outside of New York. But the aptly named Pizza Delicious makes it possible. Their thin crust is crispy but still doughy, and also completely satisfying. Funky toppings (sriracha pineapple, anyone?) and house-made pastas will further delight your palate.

Jack Dempsy’s Restaurant
Neighborhood: Bywater
Don’t let its hole-in-the-wall appearance fool you: Jack Dempsy’s serves up some fine New Orleans fare. With recipes passed down through generations, the fried seafood platters, po’ boys, and mac n’ cheese here are the real thing. This is Southern-style fill-you-up food – you won’t leave hungry.

Satsuma Cafe
Neighborhoods: Marigny, Bywater
Local, fresh, and healthy is the mission at Satsuma, which serves up scratch baked goods, fresh juices, and fine coffees, plus salads and sandwiches. With cafés in two locations – in the Bywater and the Marigny – it’s a great place to fuel up for the day.

Bacchanal
Neighborhood: Bywater
Bacchanal describes itself as “a wine laboratory where food music and culture collude with Holy Vino,” and it’s a wonderful place to gather. With live jazz in the courtyard seven nights a week, patrons pick their poison from the “Old World” wine shop (yes, there are cocktails, too), then move into the dining rooms or backyard to enjoy the Mediterranean-meets-NOLA menu. This is a popular destination with locals and tourists alike; expect a wait most evenings.

The Joint
Neighborhood: Bywater
The ribs, brisket, slow-cooked pork, juicy chicken and house-made sausage at The Joint are all smoked right out back. Add some proper sides and fixins, sit back, and enjoy the shack-like décor. This isn’t just some of the best BBQ in New Orleans, it’s some of the best anywhere.

Juan’s Flying Burrito
Neighborhoods: Uptown, Garden District, Central Business District, Mid-City
If you have a hankering for some really good Mexican, head to Juan’s Flying Burrito, which calls itself “the world’s first Creole Taqueria.” This crowd-pleaser serves interpretative traditional Mexican mixed with local ingredients, so if your squad is on a Margarita kick, this is the place to go. And with locations in four neighborhoods, you’re never too far from one.

Casamento’s Restaurant
Neighborhood: Garden District
For more than 90 years, Casamento’s has served up traditional New Orleanian fare alongside Italian classics. Joe Casamento, an Italian immigrant who opened the space, covered the eatery floor to ceiling in tile, and the original décor still remains. (Be sure to make a trip to the rest room here, which will through the incredible kitchen.) Eat anything you want off the menu, but if you don’t order the chargrilled oysters, you’re a fool.

Café du Monde
Neighborhood: French Quarter
There are plenty of great spots to eat in the French Quarter, but the famous Café du Monde really shouldn’t be missed. Opened in 1862, this New Orleans institution retains an old time-y feel, as servers in paper hats deliver plates of beignets and dark-roasted chicory coffee round the clock. It’s impossible to resist these squares of fried dough topped with mountains of powdered sugar. Is it touristy? A bit. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t go.

Beer sampler
Photo by Quinn Dombrowski and Creative Commons.

5 Pubs in Galway Where You’ll Find the Perfect Pint

With its pretty coastline, Galway is often thought of as a popular destination for summer. But with its Bohemian vibe, arts scene, and buzzing nightlife, this city on Ireland’s west coast is a great stop at any time of year. It’s especially tantalizing during the last weekend of September when, every year since 1954, the Galway International Oyster & Seafood Festival brings foodies galore to town (This year’s event will be held September 22–24.) Oyster shucking contests, talks, and tasting events are all on the menu – as are champagne and stout beers, of course.

If you’re heading to the festivities, you’ll want to partake in the local culture, too. Which, of course, means heading to the pub for a pint (or two). Beloved by tourists and locals alike, here are five pubs worth bellying up to:

Tig Coili

It’s all about the music at this charming spot, located in the heart of the city’s Latin Quarter. Here at Tig Coili, where many of the area’s best players are drawn, you’re likely to catch a lively session of traditional tunes. Fancy a seat outside? You’ll still be in luck; excellent regular buskers tend to play just outside the front door.

Tigh Neactain

Open fireplaces, live music, and an artsy, intellectual vibe can be found between the walls at Tigh Neachtain, also located in the Galway’s Latin Quarter. If beer’s not always your thing, don’t worry – whiskey is theirs. Choose from more than 130 varieties to sip on. Since 1894, this traditional pub has been a gathering place for eclectic crowds, and to this day it attracts actors, musicians, artists, business people, and tourists alike.

Bierhaus

Popular with a younger crowd, Bierhaus supplies an outstanding selection of regional and international craft brews that would surely get any American beer snob excited. But you don’t have to don a manicured beard to feel at home here – the diverse crowd is friendly and warm. Tucked into Galway’s West End neighborhood, Bierhaus has a fresh take on music and food – offering gourmet sandwiches like Banh Mi in place of traditional fish and chips.

The Quays

Yes, it’s listed in every tourist guide, but there’s a definite reason why. For almost 400 years, The Quays has served the good people of Galway and it’s happy to serve you, too. A beautiful stage and pipe organ serve as backdrop for the lively bands that play at Galway’s most famous and historic drinking establishment.

Monroe’s Tavern

Housed in a historic building, this three-story bar is large, but its interior spaces are inviting and cozy. On the ground floor of Monroe’s Tavern, you’ll encounter traditional Irish dancing and song, along with hearty pub fare. Head upstairs later in the evening, where the crowd favors more contemporary bands and a club-like scene seven nights a week. A Galway institution, Monroe’s has been family-owned for decades.

 

People at Festival

5 September Festivals You’ve Never Heard of (But Don’t Want To Miss)

Summer may be behind us here in the Northern Hemisphere, but that doesn’t mean you have to leave its good vibes behind. If you’re looking for a getaway, there are still plenty of good times to be had. Whether the festival circuit is your thing, you’re overdue to connect with nature, or you just have vacation time to use up, consider one of these off-the-beaten path adventures. From a celebration of cetaceans to famous bluegrass fiddlers, there’s a lot to do at these lesser known – but highly entertaining – festivals around the globe.

MASS MoCA Fresh Grass Festival, North Adams, Massachusetts

Located on 16 acres in bucolic, western Massachusetts, MASS MoCA revitalized the desolate industrial town of North Adams when it opened in 1999. Since then, the massive museum has grown to 28 buildings encompassing 500,000 square feet (with another 200,000 left to build out). This month, it hosts the bi-annual Fresh Grass Festival (September 15–17), where every inch of the museum’s campus becomes a pickers paradise, with fiddlers, mandolinists, singers, and more performing across stages and galleries. Pop-up shows and pros jamming out with fans are par for the course – which means you could be rubbing shoulders with names like Brandi Carlisle, Shovels and Rope, Del McCoury, and Son Little, among loads of other talent.

Life Is Beautiful, Las Vegas, Nevada

The Life Is Beautiful Festival, a three-day romp (September 22–24) through downtown Vegas, may change your whole perspective on the City of Sin. Forget gambling in daylight-dismissive casinos, this celebration of music, art, food, and ideas brings together acts like Gorillaz and Chance the Rapper, with food by Vegas’s top chefs. Dozens of artists from around the country also descend on the city, transforming its walls into a mind-blowing – and massive – outdoor gallery. If dusty fields and muddy tents just aren’t your thing, this urban extravaganza might be; it brings the full festival vibe – plus trendy cocktails (hey, it is Las Vegas, after all) – without all the dirt.

Galway International Seafood and Oyster Festival, Galway, Ireland

Oyster-loving Europeans have known about the Galway International Seafood and Oyster Festival (September 22–24) for a while, but news of its popularity is just starting to spread stateside. Shucking contests, tasting events, and celebrity chefs are all on the agenda – and we’re pretty sure people are throwing back a few pints of Guinness, too.

The Social Festival, Maidstone, England

Some of the electronic music scene’s brightest stars will show up at The Social Festival (September 29–30), which describes itself as “bringing a taste of Ibiza to the south east of England.” Celebrating its fifth anniversary this year, The Social is spread out across four giant arenas with a lineup that includes Carl Cox, Black Coffee, The Martinez Brothers, and festival founder, Nic Fanciulli. No matter the stage, electronic music fans are guaranteed a place to dance their asses off.

Hermanus Whale Festival, Hermanus, South Africa

This town on the southernmost tip of Africa leaps to life each year when it hosts the Hermanus Whale Festival (September 29–October 1) to celebrate, respect, and preserve marine wildlife. Sporting events, family activities, craft shows, an eco-village, and musical entertainment are all on the docket, but whale-watching, of course, is the main event. Ecologically-sensitive tours on land, air, and sea provide nature lovers and eco-tourists with thrilling views of majestic Southern Right whales as they return to their part-time home along the Cape Whale Coast.

 

Guy Confused by Beer

Awesome Things to Do in Munich (Besides Drinking Beer)

As far as locations to drink beer go, Munich rates pretty high on the bucket list. After my first night there, I woke up with a large bruise between my thumb and index finger – from lifting and swilling liters of beer at the Haufbrauhaus the evening before. (How do those beer maidens do it?) I also ended up on the lap of a man in lederhosen. On stage. In an Oompah band. But that’s another story.

If you’re headed to Oktoberfest, you’ve probably already sussed out the 15-plus beer tents that are part of this massive festival. But there’s so much more to Munich than beer. If you decide to take a short break from drinking, there’s plenty else to take in.

Munich is the capital city of the German state of Bavaria, and the country’s third largest city. Home to centuries-old buildings and cutting-edge architecture, it houses a fascinating array of art and culture. In the city center lies the Marienplatz, a great place for a stroll and some fabulous people-watching at one of the many cafes. Located in the Altstadt (Old Town), this square houses landmarks including the neo-Gothic Neues Rathaus (New Town hall). The building’s famous glockenspiel, a cuckoo clock of sorts, is built of chimes and life-size figures. Twice a day – at 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. – the glockenspiel reenacts fanciful stories from the 16th century.

St. Peter’s Church has been standing since the 11th century, and after many renovations and additions, it tells the story of time itself. Climbing the tower’s 299 stairs is worth it for a stunning view of the city. If the workout leaves you hungry, check out the Viktualienmarkt (Farmers’ Market) next door to find some delicious, local eats.

Considered a seminal symbol of the city, the Cathedral Church of Our Lady is also located in Munich’s Old Town. Dating back to 1468, this Gothic masterpiece was heavily damaged by air strikes during World War II, but has since been rebuilt. Climb the south tower – topped by an onion dome – for fantastic views of the city and even, on a clear day, the Alps.

Not far from the Marienplatz, the Odeonsplatz is lined with ornate 19th century buildings like the Feldherrnhalle, which was built in the 1840s in honor of the Bavarian Army. To the west, the bright yellow Theatiner Church, was built in 1662; it’s all-white interior will amaze you. The Residenz Munich is an impressive and stately palace that was built for the monarchs of Bavaria; today it’s a museum open to visitors who can peruse its lavish interiors and royal artifacts. The adjoining Hofgarten (courtyard) is a peaceful place to sit and take in the views, or relax. Beyond it lies the entrance to the Englischer Garten, a huge urban park with miles of walking trails, as well as a lakeside beer garden (just in case you start craving a brew).

West of the Englischer Garten, the Nymphemburg Palace sits on a 500-acre estate. Originally the summer residence of Bavarian monarchs, highlights include intricately painted ceiling frescoes, rococo furnishings, and expansive baroque gardens.

But Munich’s alluring – and enduring – design isn’t limited to ancient history. Marvels of modern architecture abound. The Allianz Arena – the 75,000-seat home to the Bayern Munich soccer team – was built by renowned architecture firm Herzog & de Meuron, with an inflatable plastic exterior that changes color. Other sporty design includes Olympiapark, site of the 1972 Olympic Games, which was remade into a beautifully landscaped sports facility with bicycle paths, concert venues, and restaurants.

With a such a broad and rich history, it’s no surprise Munich has its share of world-class museums featuring everything from medieval to modern art.

The futuristic BMW Museum, with its gleaming silver exterior, will delight car lovers with vintage and cutting-edge cars, as well as history of design. The Deutsches (German) Museum, is a 540,000 square foot homage to humankind’s technological achievements and understanding of science. At the Judisches (Jewish) Museum, visitors can engage in a rich and vast display of Jewish history, art, and culture that goes well beyond Germany’s borders. The Pinakothek der Moderne, meanwhile, is one of the world’s largest spaces dedicated to art, architecture, and design of the 20th  and 21st centuries.

 

High End Food

How to Eat Your Way Through Boston on a Business Trip

Boston’s answer to SXSW, Inbound is a future-forward business conference hosted by marketing and sales software firm, Hubspot. With inspiring keynotes, innovative talks, educational breakout sessions, entertainment, and tons of networking (plus cool parties), the event draws nearly 20,000 attendees from more than 90 countries, taking over the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center, and unleashing a host of smart, techie types on the city.

This year’s solid lineup of speakers includes Michelle Obama, Bozoma Saint John  (Uber chief brand officer), Judd Apatow, Brené Brown, John Cena, Mario Batali, and Billie Jean King. It’s as good a reason as any to visit Boston, where there’s plenty of history, culture, and food to keep you busy should you need a break from the intense, intellectual stimulation.

The convention center is conveniently located just two miles from Logan Airport, but it’s also not far from some of Boston’s most up-and-coming neighborhoods like Fort Point Channel, where the Institute of Contemporary Art offers a stunning collection in a visionary building that overlooks Boston’s waterfront. The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston contains more than 450,000 works, including pieces from the tower of Babel and the largest collection of Japanese art outside of Japan.

The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, located in the Fenway-Kenmore neighborhood (and walking distance from the MFA), is a local favorite. Housed in a Venetian-style palazzo, sights to enjoy here include classic paintings and sculptures, but also gardens, textiles, and furniture. What it doesn’t have? Thirteen of its original artworks, which were stolen in 1990 by a pair of thieves disguised as police officers. These pieces, by masters including Rembrandt, Vermeer, Manet, and Degas, are worth more than $500 million. The heist remains an unsolved mystery.

Boston is filled with beautiful parks and neighborhoods to stroll through, and Boston Common and the Public Garden are among its prettiest and most famous. Pull up a bench and reflect on the conference, or just watch the world go by. Nearby, on Newbury Street, is some of the city’s best shopping, where high-end retailers like Tiffany and Co. and Marc Jacobs co-mingle with funky local boutiques as well as tons of bars and cafes. If design is your thing, check out Restoration Hardware’s stunning renovation of the Historic Museum of Natural History.

If you can’t catch a baseball game while you’re in town, consider a tour of Fenway Park; built in 1912, the stadium is filled with old-time-y charm, nostalgia, and artifacts. (Plus it has really good hot dogs.) Of course, Boston’s history goes back a lot further, and if it’s Revolutionary-era lore you’re after, follow the Freedom Trail, a two-and-a-half-mile, self-guided walking tour that will lead you past 16 significant historic sites, like the Old North Church (the launching point for Paul Revere’s famous ride), the site of the Boston Massacre, and Faneuil Hall. Yes, it’s a tiny bit hokey (there’s a chance you’ll run into costumed reenactors) but it’s fascinating to think about how people lived back in the day when our country was formed.

Another extraordinary historic spot to explore is Bay Village. This often overlooked (even by locals), but incredibly charming, neighborhood is a hodgepodge of 19th-century row houses and early 20th-century Art Deco office buildings built by the movie studios that were headquartered there at the time. Grab a sandwich from Mike + Patty’s and wander through the crooked, cobblestoned streets.

Don’t let anybody (*cough, New Yorkers, cough*) tell you Boston’s food scene isn’t up to snuff – in fact, it’s superior. There are Best New Boston Restaurant lists, Best Boston Restaurant lists, Best Restaurants in Boston lists, and well…you get the point. Frankly, they’re all very good, but there are a few standouts offering various takes on regional cuisine.

Puritan & Co. in Cambridge has a contemporary twist on classic New England fare; think swordfish pastrami and pan-seared scallops with chanterelles. Likewise, Townsman downtown offers seafood towers, charcuterie, and fresh, upscale versions of New England classics. The casual KO Pies at the Shipyard is a destination as much for its meat pies (try the Irish beef stew) as it is for its location among East Boston’s boatbuilding yards. Nearby, Cunard Tavern offers rooftop views and a regional menu influenced by global flavors.

Regionally speaking, we’re serious about oysters. And while most of the restaurants listed above offer excellent varieties, a few notable Boston eateries have developed menus built around the bivalves. Connoisseurs will enjoy B&G Oysters (owned by Chef Barbara Lynch), Row 34, and Island Creek Oyster Bar.

After all that walking, eating, and drinking, there’s a possibility you’ll wake up the next day in need of a hearty breakfast. I wholly recommend Blackbird Doughnuts‘ incredible gourmet confections with a tall cup of coffee. You’ll need to get back to Inbound, after all, to figure out how to make the world a better place, or at least your own business.

Road Trip in Fall

9 Northeastern Fall Festivals Totally Worth the Trip

Sure, summer along the northeast Atlantic coast is gorgeous, but fall is really the region’s time to shine. Come September and October, leaves turn to breathtaking shades of apricot, gold, and fiery red. The days are still warm and sunny, but with just the right touch of coolness in the air. And – oh! – the food. Harvest season yields the crispest apples, pumpkins aplenty, and loads of other delicious produce, and cooler seas mean shellfish is at its best. Your generic pumpkin spice latte might hint at the flavors of the season, but for an authentic experience, here are 9 fall festivals and country fairs in New England and Canada that deliver the best autumn has to offer.

Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom Annual Fall Foliage Festival, Various Towns, Vermont

Not only is Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom one of the most beautiful spots in New England, it’s one of the prettiest places in the world. Located on the border of Canada, this region is prime leaf-peeping territory, and the Northeast Kingdom Annual Fall Foliage Festival (October 2–8) couldn’t be more quaint. This week-long event http://www.nekchamber.com/media/2017%20NEK%20FFF.pdf travels through seven towns, with driving tours that take you off the beaten path through hillside country roads to meet artisans at their homes, where they’ll feed you soup and sandwiches. Musical acts, family-style barbecues, historic mill visits, pancake breakfasts, and maple syrup sugar houses are all on the agenda. Sign up for as many – or as few – activities as you wish.

New Hampshire Pumpkin Festival, Laconia, New Hampshire

With more than 20,000 jack-o-lanterns, the New Hampshire Pumpkin Festival is a sight to behold. This two-day event (October 13th–14th) brings more than 40,000 people, 50 food and crafts vendors, live bands, carnival rides, and kids’ games together to celebrate all things fall in the town of Laconia. Last year’s event brought glory to the state’s Lakes Region when the festival regained its Guinness Book of World Records title for “Most Lit Jack-o-Lanterns Displayed”; efforts are in place to keep that title for 2017.

Freeport Fall Festival, Freeport, Maine

Best known as the home of L.L. Bean, Freeport, Maine is a bustling town on the southern coast. Its annual Freeport Fall Festival (October 6–8), brings together more than 125 New England artists and makers, live music, and fantastic local food, including a “Chowdah Challenge,” where visitors sample and vote for Freeport’s best chowder. Hosted on the L.L.Bean campus and the Freeport Village Station Plaza, the event is free and includes activities for the whole family. While you’re there, take a stroll through the hundreds of great stores, outlets, and boutiques located within walking distance of the festival, then hit up Maine Beer Company, one of the best local breweries around.

Fall Foliage Festival, Boothbay, Maine

Take a ride through history, while enjoying peak foliage season in Boothbay, Maine, when you visit the 50th Annual Fall Foliage Festival over Columbus Day weekend (October 7–9) at the Boothbay Railway Village. Beautiful crafts are front and center on the quaint Village Green, but a ride on the narrow gauge steam train is the real highlight, as you pass by gorgeous surroundings. Artisan demonstrations, live music, and a pumpkin carving contest add to the fun for all ages.

The Big E, West Springfield, Massachusetts

Officially called The Eastern States Exposition, but known to all as simply “The Big E,” this massive multi-state fair held in West Springfield, Massachusetts is the largest agricultural event on the eastern seaboard. Cooking expos, circus spectaculars, parades, country music, antique tractor shows, and an incredible butter sculpture are all part of the fun. But the fair is a functional expo, too, with farmers and ranchers participating in daily livestock shows and agricultural demonstrations. When you’ve had your fill of fair food, craft vendors, and carnival rides, move along to the competitions, where young steer workers, 4-H clubs, alpaca farmers, sheep dog handlers, cider millers, wreath makers, and far more come together to be judged on their crafts. From September 15 to October 1, nothing says fall in New England like The Big E.

Norman Bird Sanctuary’s 43rd Annual Harvest Fair, Middletown, Rhode Island

Newport, Rhode Island has become a year-round destination for tourists, and autumn is one of the best times to visit. Just four miles from the touristy city center, the Norman Bird Sanctuary in Middletown offers country charm and respite. Warm and sunny days make the end of September the perfect time for this nature preserve’s old-fashioned Harvest Fair (September 30–October 1), with it’s pony rides, mud pit tug-of-war, and greased-pole climbing contest. Food trucks and vendors bring farm-fresh local treats to the scene, alongside a beer garden and craft tents. Potato sack races, kids’ crafts, and Native American song and dance make this a beautiful way to spend a fall day with your family.

Fall Flavours Festival, Prince Edward Island

Prince Edward Island offers all the beauty and coastal charm that any traveler could want along the Atlantic Ocean. From the beginning of September through October 1, the Fall Flavours Festival attracts visitors and locals alike with the culinary delights of the island. Events include mussels and lobster boils, grilled cheese challenges, beachside feasts, and brewmasters dinners. Want to get more hands-on? You can head to Culinary Boot Camp or pick potatoes, catch lobsters, and harvest oysters with the pros. Celebrity chefs, including Lynn Crawford and Corbin Tomaszeski of the Food Network, among many others, head up several events. While there, don’t miss out on the island’s gorgeous fall foliage. Stroll the red clay roads, which are lined with brightly colored leaves, or rent a bike and hit the 270-mile Confederation Trail; built on old railroad tracks, it passes through the woods and along the coastline.

Pumpkin Festival and Regatta, Windsor, Nova Scotia

In western Nova Scotia, size matters – especially when it comes to pumpkins. The town of Windsor describes itself as Big Pumpkin Country, and that’s no joke. At its annual Pumpkin Festival and Regatta (October 9), the pumpkin weigh-in contest frequently yields entrants at over 1,000 pounds, and it’s not unheard of for blue ribbons (well, orange, actually) to go to gourds weighing more than a ton. Brave souls also race across Lake Pezaquid in massive, hollowed-out pumpkins, paddling for prizes in their painted makeshift vessels. Pretty autumn leaves serve as the perfect backdrop for spectators of all ages to cheer them on.

Celtic Colours International Festival, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia

Northeast of Windsor, Cape Breton Island comes alive for leaf peepers and music lovers alike when the Celtic Colours International Festival conjures the spirit of the Emerald Isle for nine days. Musicians from around the world share stages with Cape Breton’s best singers, dancers, and storytellers during concerts, activities, and events held in celebration of the community’s rich Irish heritage. The festival will be held October 6–14, when the leaves of Cape Breton have fully blossomed into vibrant in red, yellow, and orange splendor.

Northeastern Fall Festivals by date:

September 1–October 1
Fall Flavours Festival, Prince Edward Island

September 15–October 1
The Big E, West Springfield, Massachusetts

September 30–October 1
Norman Bird Sanctuary’s 43rd Annual Harvest Fair, Middletown, Rhode Island

October 2–8
Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom Annual Fall Foliage Festival, Various Towns, Vermont

October 6–8
Freeport Fall Festival, Freeport, Maine

October 6–14
Celtic Colours International Festival, Cape Breton, Novia Scotia

October 7–9
Fall Foliage Festival, Boothbay, Maine

October 9
Pumpkin Festival and Regatta, Windsor, Nova Scotia

October 13–14
New Hampshire Pumpkin Festival, Laconia, New Hampshire

Chicago Skyline

9 Chicago Buildings We Absolutely Adore

From its historic skyscrapers along the riverfront to the avant-garde sculptural structures in Millennium Park, Chicago is arguably the architecture capital of America. The opening of the second Chicago Architecture Biennial on September 16 further cements that reputation.

The largest architecture and design exhibition in North America, the Biennial highlights the work that is transforming the architecture and design industry today, featuring practitioners from more than 20 countries in exhibits, talks, and tours open to the public through January 7, 2018. The Biennial’s opening also coincides with Expo Chicago, an international gathering for modern and contemporary art (September 13–17), making it the perfect time to visit. Not sure where to begin exploring the city’s hundreds of architectural icons by big names like Frank Lloyd Wright and Mies van der Rohe? We’ve narrowed it down to nine spectacular buildings we think truly standout.

Marina City

Architect: Bertrand Goldberg Associates
Year built: 1968
Marina City is a famed Chicago landmark that has been featured in celebrity films (see: “The Hunter” with Steve McQueen) and on rock album covers (see: “Yankee Hotel Foxtrot” by Wilco). Located downtown along the main branch of the Chicago River, this mixed-use complex, built of reinforced concrete, features two 588-foot-tall cylindrical towers with distinctive scalloping on the facades.

Robie House

Architect: Frank Lloyd Wright
Year built: 1910
Considered the most iconic example of his Prairie style, Frank Lloyd Wright’s Robie House is a modern architectural masterpiece. Its flat, expansive planes, strong exterior horizontal lines, low-pitched roofs, and use of natural materials mimic the mid-western plains. Long bands of windows and art glass windows allow light to filter beautifully into the house, blending interior and exterior spaces. Located on the University of Chicago campus, this National Historic Landmark is an American architectural gem.

Aqua Tower

Architect: Studio Gang
Year built: 2010
At 82 stories, this 876-foot-tall mixed-use building aims to “create a community on its facade,” according to the architects at Gang Studio, whose principal is Jeanne Gang. To achieve this, Gang situated outdoor terraces on each floor of Aqua Tower, encouraging neighbors to interact. The building’s distinctive, undulating look comes from placing floor slabs at varying heights on the tower, based on views and natural light. A large green roof atop the LEED-certified building provides stunning outdoor space and views.

Jay Pritzker Pavilion

Architect: Gehry Partners
Year built: 2004
A whirl of brushed stainless steel ribbons and a billowing trellis of crisscrossing steel pipes frame this stage located in Millennium Park. Designed by the visionary architect Frank Gehry, Jay Pritzker Pavilion stands at 120 feet tall, with a stage clad in Douglas fir that can be enclosed with glass doors, allowing it to be used during cold weather. With 4,000 seats (the park’s Great Lawn, can accommodate another 7,000 people) and a state-of-the-art sound system, this is one piece of architecture not to miss.

United States Post Office, Loop Station

Architect: Mies van der Rohe
Year built: 1973
When Mies van der Rohe left Germany for Chicago, he brought the Bauhaus’s no-nonsense notions of efficiency and Modernism with him. American architecture was never the same. It’s impossible to pick a favorite among van der Rohe’s many Chicago buildings – his fingerprints are all over the city – but the United States Post Office, Loop Station at the base of the Federal Center – which also includes two imposing skyscrapers erected by van der Rohe – is as good as any for viewing for his masterful work. Set apart from the skyscrapers but still clearly part of a unit, this low, glass-and-steel structure is a paradigm of his work. The shape of the structure not only connects it to its surroundings, but also defines the surrounding public plaza while providing human scale and a light shaft into an urban canyon.

Spertus Institute of Jewish Learning and Leadership

Architect: Krueck and Sexton
Year built: 2007
Designed by Krueck + Sexton Architects, this environmentally-sensitive building features state-of-the-art program spaces, classrooms, a library, 400-seat theater, and event space. Located in the Historic Michigan Boulevard District, the Spertus Institute of Jewish Learning and Leadership‘s 10-story, faceted facade is built from 726 individual pieces of glass in 556 different shapes, allowing an astounding amount of light to penetrate interior spaces. This gesture is both practical and metaphorical – the Spertus logo is a flame paired with the phrase yehi, Hebrew for “let there be light.” Surrounded by historic buildings, that were also innovative in their heyday, the Spertus Institute strives to respect history (linear form, scale, and materials complement nearby buildings, for example) while looking to the future.

Joe and Rika Mansueto Library

Architect: Murphy/Jahn
Year: 2011
The Joe and Rika Mansueto Library at the University of Chicago features a groundbreaking, elliptical glass dome structure and solar-controlled glass. But that’s just the beginning. The building, which is primarily situated underground, can hold up to 3.5 million volumes. Because tomes are arranged in metal bins and stacked in racks 50 feet high, they require just one-seventh the space of regular stacks. When patrons request books, robotic cranes transport bins to the main floor.

The Rookery Building

Architect: Burnham and Root (updated interior by Frank Lloyd Wright)
Year built: 1888
Located in the financial district, this Chicago landmark was built in 1888 by Daniel Burnham and John Root in the style known as the Chicago School. When Frank Lloyd Wright was commissioned to remodel the central light court and lobbies of The Rockery Building in 1905, he delivered one of his most stunning interiors. The result is a dramatic, luminous space that marries the building’s original ornamental ironwork with Wright’s own vision.

Nature Boardwalk at Lincoln Park Zoo

Architect: Studio Gang Architects
Year built: 2011
Though it’s technically not a building per se, this pavilion, which also functions as an outdoor classroom, dresses up a previously dilapidated area along the Nature Boardwalk at Lincoln Park Zoo, transforming the habitat into an exhibit about pond life. Inspired by a tortoise shell, the pavilion is built from curvaceous, prefabricated wooden planks and covered fiberglass pods that allow light to filter through.