Deirdre Gartner is a well-known travel and lifestyle influencer with an affinity for all things New York. Her soon to be released book, Dearest New York: A Love Letter to the Big Apple is a visual treat for anyone who dreams of a life in New York City. Deirdre’s book, just like her Instagram, tells the story of a city that offers many things, but especially romance and history. Nothing is more fun or visually captivating than the changing of seasons, and autumn in New York is filled with cozy and spooky activities for visitors and locals alike. We asked Deidre to give us her top five fall musts. This forthcoming release by fellow New Yorker has us falling in love with the city all over again, and looking forward to the fall season. Dearest New York: A Love Letter to the Big Apple is set to be released on October 15th, but you can pre-order it now. 

My Top 5 “Fall Musts” by Deirdre Gartner 

There is an intangible, imperceptible shift in the air- but make no mistake, it’s there. Autumn in New York is officially here, debuting her annual collection of breathtaking beauty. It is truly the most magical time in the city and with so many events going on it’s hard to narrow down to a handful, but here are some of my favorites. Cheers to fall festivities and Halloween happiness.

Photography by Deirdre Gartner. Follow her on Instagram

Central Park Trying to describe the singular sensation that is Central Park is like trying to describe, well life itself! Each of the park’s 843 acres is a most coveted haven from the madness of Manhattan, containing a treasure trove of art, entertainment, culinary delights and people watching. From late September through November nature’s magic takes over, turning the park into a burst of fall fabulousness with bold and bright swaths of orange, red and gold. Bundle up and have a picnic on Cherry Hill, take a spin on the Central Park Carousel, a selfie on the iconic Bow Bridge or in front of any one of the 70 sculptures scattered throughout the park.

Union Square Greenmarket Pull on your coziest sweater and head to the Union Square Greenmarket. Open year-round, this is the best time to go and indulge in a profusion of late summer produce, apples, bittersweet, fresh-made donuts, bales of hay, cornstalks and naturally pumpkins of all sizes, shapes and colors, it is a sight to behold that often makes me feel as if I’m in the middle of a pumpkin patch on the North Fork of Long Island, not right in the middle of Manhattan

The Annual Village Halloween Parade Seemingly overnight from the East Side to the West Side, scary, cozy and uber creative Halloween décor takes over the city. Goblins, ghosts and massive spiders appear in hidden doorways, townhouses, stoops, apartment buildings, lobbies, restaurants and parks. The festivities culminate on Halloween night at the Annual Village Halloween Parade where more than 50,000 zombie’s ghouls, ghosts, and giant puppets take to the streets for a night of revelry. The theme this year is Upside/Down: Inside/OUT. The parade starts at 6th Avenue and Canal Street and proceeds northwards to 15th Street..

Ghost Tours at the Merchant’s House Museum Door’s slam, floorboards creak, voices call into the dead of night at what is called “Manhattan’s Most Haunted House”. Hear tales of decades of otherworld activity and the story of the Treadwell family that lived at 29 East 4th Street for 100 years on one of the Merchant ‘s House Museum’s candlelight ghost tours.

Afternoon Tea When the crisp autumn air arrives, I love to get dressed up, grab a couple of friends and head out for an elegant afternoon tea party. Is there anything more satisfyingly decadent than a leisurely afternoon spent sipping a warm cup of tea while eating finger sandwiches, tasty desserts and of course scones with jam and cream? Three of my favorite spots are: The Whitby Hotel, 18 West 56th Street, Baccarat Hotel, 28 West 53rd Street, and the newest tea spot in town, Blue Box Café inside Tiffany & Co., 610 5th Avenue.