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    North of NYC North of NYC By Houlihan Lawrence By Houlihan Lawrence by

    Even the most staunch Manhattanites will admit fall foliage is something the city simply can't compete with (and although stained concrete is a growing design trend, it doesn't change color with the seasons).  Heading northward, the autumn hues become all the more dramatic, making the Hudson Valley prime for peeping trees as they shed their leaves.  So we thumbed through our latest Portfolio to find the best properties in Westchester and beyond for taking in the turning of seasons:

    SCARBOROUGH | 842 Sleepy Hollow Road | $8,900,000
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    We don't think we'd risk offending neighboring communities by calling Sleepy Hollow Country the uncontested fall capital of Westchester—it's universally known among these parts.  Immortalized by Washington Irving and colonized by robber barons escaping the city when train commuting was as newfangled as the iWatch,the region's rich heritage is thoroughly embodied by the square foot within this Mott Schmidt-designed heirloom estate. The confluence of architectural significance and panoramic Hudson River vistas make Rabbit Hill a remarkable property any time of year, but the changing colors of autumn make it all the more spectacular.

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    WOODSTOCK | Ashokan House | $3,800,000
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    Is "Earth's Curvature View" an advanced search filter on Zillow? Like an eagle's nest cresting the summit of Ohayo Mountain, it's hard to describe this bewitching wonderland of indoor and outdoor spaces with words alone. The living space conveys refinement and luxury, yet the effect on the senses is deep and primal: panoramas without interruption of earth, water and, every fall, the colors of fire burned into the landscape as the woods shed their seasonal wardrobe.  Down a long and winding road you'll find even more classic '60s rock references than double entendres of Beatles songs on real estate blogs (see what we did there?) in a legendary Catskill town that needs no introduction.  From hiking and canoeing in summer to skiing and sledding in winter, it's a place to enjoy an active lifestyle year-round.

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    GHENT| 90 Downing Road | $1,095,000
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    You might know Ghent from small-batch artisan cheese labels or a friend's country house—the friend that's impossible to make plans with because they're falling back in the north country leaf-peeping from their porch.  This spectacularly-sited c.1830 farm could be your chance to upstage them.  The main residence, with hand-hewn beams and other defining features of an antique farmhouse, evokes the simple rural sophistication that has long drawn urban weekenders to this surreal spot.  Also on the property is a two-bedroom, two-bath guest house with five-stall barn, 10 acres of fenced paddocks, a dressage arena and miles of cleared trails.  50 additional acres are also available, if the advertised 53.46 aren't enough for your fancy.

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    SARATOGA SPRINGS | 240 Fitch Road | $4,470,000
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    Stepwise Farm, the northernmost property in our portfolio, is an objet d'art equestrian property in one of the world's most revered horse-centric communities.  George Washington was President when the main residence, the c.1795 Griswald House, was erected, which underwent a thorough restoration towards the turn of the last century that added additional square footage.  The 211+ acre property boasts a bluestone pool, 14-stall Shedrow-style barn, lighted round pen, nine run-in sheds, a caretaker's house and several outbuildings.  Whether at home, on horseback or shooting hoops in the most scenic basketball court we've ever seen, the Adirondack foothill forests perform a fall foliage tour de force annually that never ceases to amaze.

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    MILLBROOK | 530 Killearn | $4,250,000
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    Autumn, autumn everywhere.  If this Millbrook home wasn't architecturally appropriate enough for the season with stained shingle, Hunter Green trim and river rock highlights, you'll see the turning leaves of the Taconic Hills from just about every room of the 5,500-square-foot, National Parks Lodge-like home, designed by noted architect Dean Davis.  A wrap-around stone terrace and heated pool provides additional vantage points.  All mere minutes from Millbrook Village.

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