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Fall Outings in The Capital Region

imagesOur region is one of the most beautiful in the country, particularly at this time of year. Ten minutes outside of the city, you can be steeped in vistas of fall foliage, and charmed by near endless local attractions.

If you’re interested in a weekend of adventures in arts and architecture that’s close enough by to allow for you to get home early to the dogs and the sitter, we recommend exploring one or more of the following options—tastes of the world of High Art with no pretense.

This weekend launches the eighteenth annual Film Columbia, a seven-day film festival in Chatham, NY. 30-minutes from Albany, Chatham features a picturesque main street that will be lively and energetic for the duration of the festival, with bistros, grills, and the Crooked Piece of Junk Coffee Bar to sate your appetite between films. This close to the festival, most of the movie passes are sold out, but tickets to individual shows are widely available. C’mon. You know you want to watch Frank Langella’s Dracula a week before Halloween on the big screen!

Or, you could take a day to head to Hudson and visit Olana, Frederic Church’s masterpiece. The historic site is filled with Church’s art, and you can tour his studio and home, carefully preserved by the Olana Preservation Society. For two more weeks of the season, the site offers tours of the Victorian home and grounds on foot (with a guide or with the support of a virtual map and tour) or via horse and carriage, as well as some special events including author visits and food truck picnics, and given our recent spectacular weather, there’s hardly a better way to spend a few hours. Note: if you prefer guided tours, those typically book in advance, so you’ll want to call ahead. images

And if you’d prefer spending the whole day outdoors, perhaps it’s worth checking out the OMI Sculpture Fields, sprawling over 60 acres of farmland, with large and surprising installations, some of which are changed out annually. No appointments are necessary, and the current exhibits are an absolute delight.