The Perfect 5 Hour Apple Picking Itinerary: For Adults

The time is ripe for apple picking, and there’s no better place to plan an East Coast orchard trip than New York State– the second largest apple producing state in the US! But with hundreds of apple orchards to choose from, each with its own personality, it’s hard to know where to start.

While a visit to one of New York’s orchards is great for all ages, if you are sans child you probably prefer to forego the frenzy of families and theme park style. Adults only trips typically calls for laid-back vibes, casual drinks, and plenty of food.

So whether you’re from upstate, downstate, or the Tri-State area, it’s time to grab your car keys and your apple-tite for adventure. Here is your perfect 5 hour apple picking itinerary– for adults!

Pennings Orchard

Approximately 1.5hrs north west of NYC is pick-your-own Pennings Farm and Orchard, not to be confused with Pennings Farm Cidery next door (run by the same family, better for those with kids or large groups). It’s $30 per bag (cash only) but will fill with enough apples to satisfy four persons, or several apple pies worth. The orchard trees here seem to go on endlessly with ample options to choose from. It’s quiet, picturesque, and even comes with a few friendly farm animals hanging around.

Plan to spend approximately an hour of time here.

BONUS: Love drive-in movies? The Warwick Drive-In is less than half a mile away!

Pennings Orchard
The Drowned Lands Brewery

All that apple picking at Pennings is bound to work up a thirst. Drive approximately 7miles north east to Drowned Lands Brewery, a pandemic born brewery that encourages visitors to slow down and stay awhile. The dog-and-family friendly location has food trucks on premise Friday through Sunday, which can be enjoyed inside the 15,000 square food modernized industrial-style building or outdoors on the patio/grass area with picnic tables, fire pits, and sweeping views.

Plan to spend 1.5-2 hours of time here.

BONUS: If you’re a fan of the unusual, be sure to drive around and explore the grounds of this former medium-security state prison site (prior to being a prison, the buildings date back to 1914 as a recovery facility and reform school).

Drowned Lands Brewery
The Helm

No day trip is complete without regional hospitality. Only a 15 minute drive south from Drowned Lands, and through the quaint town of Greenwood Lake, is The Helm. Craft beer, cocktails, and comfort food anchor this lakeside restaurant as a local favorite in Hudson Valley. #TakeTheHelm.

Plan to spent 2 hours of time here.

BONUS: Be sure to walk across the street to The Helm’s dock and take some photos with Greenwood Lake in the backdrop.

Screenshot of exterior courtesy of @The_Helm649 Instagram

If you have suggestions of places to explore in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut or beyond be sure to tag me @NikkiOnTheDaily!

Visit Apples From New York or I Love NY websites to help round out your New York State visit this fall!

Socially Distant Hiking Tips

It’s a beautiful Saturday morning. The sun is shining and the temperature is in the upper 60s to mid 70s with a light breeze. After being cooped inside all week nature is calling. So, you lace up your hiking boots and prepare for a day trip to the great outdoors. But when you finally arrive you realize everyone else had the same idea. Lot after lot filled with cars, with dozens of additional vehicles lined up along the roadway. You were almost certain you could abide by social distancing rules at a state park then suddenly you feel defeated. What now? Do you turn around and head home? Before you arrive to find yourself in this circumstance, dreading a potentially wasted trip, here are five ways to navigate the situation before making that U-turn.


Arrive early. You know the saying ‘the early bird gets the worm’? Be the bird. Look up what time the park opens and aim to arrive within an hour of that time to avoid the crowds. It may seem like the simplest advice but many of us prefer our sleep over sensibility. In this case, by the time all those sleepyheads arrive around noon you’ll be finishing up your well-deserved, uninterrupted nature walk.

Take the drive. More often than not, the general public prefers the easiest option which generally means whatever is right in front of them. The first two, three, heck even six lots might be full, but the further you drive into the park the better your odds are for avoiding crowds.

Visit AllTrails, a go-to for trail enthusiasts with suggestions on which nature walk is best suited for you. It’s detailed guide tells you everything you need to know– distance, approximate time, route type, elevation gain, photos, and even public reviews. It’s an ideal source for planning ahead or even on the spot when your original plan falls through. Keep in mind, the less reviewed destinations are also the most likely to provide a spacious environment.

Google it. While AllTrails finds tailor-made trails for hikers based on park or trail name, Google maps is a great resource for those who aren’t quite sure what they’re looking for. By simply mapping out a radius, Google will disclose the nearest parks. It’s sort of like getting lost in the right direction.

Bring a mask. Being surrounded by nature won’t always guarantee the social distancing you might need. Our new reality is that most parks even have signs stating a six feet mandate. If you’re truly stuck with either lace up or go home, at least be prepared the way you would anywhere else. Some nature is better than none at all.




A Glimpse Into NY Police During COVID-19

When COVID-19 first broke out no one in the United States thought much of it, since it began on the other side of the world. But for New Yorkers the world is a much smaller place when taking into account air traffic from JFK and Newark International Airports, both under 15 miles from Manhattan and less than an hours train ride. According to the JFK’s website, JFK had over 34.6k flights in January of 2020, only a slight decrease from 35.6k in December 2019, and Newark had 35.1k in January, down from 36k in December. Both hubs serve as not only destinations but connections to cities all around the world, a hotbed for pathogens to spread. This is back when China first began seeing a spike in illnesses, cause still unknown at the time.

America sat back in its recliner chair as the city of Wuhan, China began to make news. For most of the population this was the first time they ever heard of Wuhan and its over 10 million inhabitants– now infamously known for its Huanan seafood market (noted as the live animal market). Meanwhile, back in NYC, in a few weeks time COVID-19 was already running rampant through a population of 8.3 million. New Yorker’s walked around blind to a virus that couldn’t be seen, and still had yet to be identified. Now, months later, as citizens socially distance themselves by staying at home those on the frontlines are in the trenches. And NYC police officers are no exception, reporting to duty as normal to keep the city alive and safe.

City officers, especially those stationed at highly trafficked locations, are one of the highest jobs at risk for exposure. Fortunately, as alerts for COVID-19 began to rise the department enforced precautionary measures. Memos stated that those feeling sick or showing any symptoms (cough, fever, difficulty breathing) were to take a sick leave and self quarantine immediately for 14 days. Only those who tested negative were allowed to return to work. But, according to the CDC, symptoms don’t begin to appear until anywhere from two to 14 days after exposure. It was only after people began testing positive that gloves and N95 masks were distributed. Which means as police officers were once walking around without gloves and masks the potential for infection continued to spread.

In one patrol unit, of approximately 250 officers around 15 cases reported positive with many more out awaiting results. During the pandemic there’s been a tremendous sense of understanding, as units encourage officers to remain home to focus on their health. While things haven’t needed to shift gears just yet, contingency plans include longer hours or transferring of personnel to meet department staffing needs.


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Photo by Lex Photography on

As of April 9 at 5 PM EST, NYC Health COVID-19 data reports 87,725 confirmed cases with an estimated 21,571 hospitalized. The spike in deaths rose by 1,042 in less than 19 hours– going from 4,778 at 5 PM on April 9 to totaling 5,820 at 11:30 AM on April 10. The numbers continue to climb as New Yorkers socially distance themselves, transforming the city that never sleeps into a scene out of a post-apocalyptic movie. For now, all there is to do is stay inside, disinfect as many surfaces as possible, and thank your frontline workers.