This Hudson River Cruise Combines Fall Foliage and Oktoberfest Celebrations

Savor the season with a day trip that includes German beer and gorgeous fall foliage views.

Listen up New Yorkers, you don't have to make your way to Munich or navigate complicated pandemic travel restrictions to have a memorable Oktoberfest. From now through Oct. 31, you'll be able to celebrate on board a boat while leaf-peeping along the Hudson River.

Circle Line's Bear Mountain Cruise leaves from Pier 83 in Manhattan, heading 50 miles up the Hudson River to Bear Mountain State Park. Passengers on board the approximately eight-hour round-trip journey can feast on bratwursts, pork schnitzels, Bavarian pretzels, potato salad, and beer in celebration of Oktoberfest.

After all, what better way to ring in fall than with an Oktoberfest celebration that also includes a hike through some fall foliage in one of New York's most beautiful state parks?

Cruise passengers on the Hudson Circle line cruise going along downtown Manhattan
Courtesy of Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises

Bear Mountain State Park, where the cruise stops for about two hours, offers some of the best leaf-peeping within easy driving distance of New York City, and its 5,200-plus acres offer ample opportunities to hike, bike, and more.

Tickets for this Circle Line cruise start at $69, not including food and drinks. On board entertainment from a German polka band, however, is included.

Guests must show proof of COVID-19 vaccination to board the cruise, which passes by the soaring the Palisades, cliffs that tower hundreds of feet above the Hudson River and become bright canvases of fall foliage around this time of year. (Don't be surprised if you spot a bald eagle among the colorful leaves.)

Guests are required to wear masks indoors while not eating or drinking, and cruises depart at 9 a.m.

Meena Thiruvengadam is a Travel + Leisure contributor who has visited 50 countries on six continents and 47 U.S. states. She loves historic plaques, wandering new streets, and walking on beaches. Find her on Facebook and Instagram.

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