It's our third edition of Gothamist's travel content, Gothamist Getaways. A few times a year, we'll have a week of posts featuring looks at travel, food, products and tips—near and far—for making your trips more enjoyable. So sit back, dream of your next journey and let us know if you have any hints for us—email

You can stick around the city and visit the New York City Wine and Food Festival or hop on a bus at Port Authority to the Meadowlands for a sugar high at The Chocolate Expo, but these festivals held a bit further from the city offer folks an excuse to see foliage while enjoying some good eats. From pretzels to pickles, these food festivals are sure to satisfy any foodie in search of a weekend break.

International Pickle Festival

Pickle lovers: This November take a road trip to the 17th International Pickle Festival held in the Rosendale, NY at the Rosendale Community Center.

Pickles (© HSNPhotography/istockphoto)

The festival attracts artisanal pickle makers and serious crowds, so get there early. Sample varieties of pickles and other pickled products, then sign up for a pickle juice drinking contest or the pickle toss. But don’t forget to get your picture taken with the guy dressed like a pickle.

Reading Pretzel Fest

Forget the NYC pretzel vendor, the folks at the Reading Pretzel Fest are attempting to make the world’s largest pretzel (over 1000lbs). The 2nd annual Reading Pretzel Fest on September 27th is filled with pretzel competitions, a large selection of pretzel dishes, beer tasting, and good music. Although artisanal pretzels have been popping up on menus in many notable Brooklyn restaurants in the past few years, Pennsylvania is still the home of the pretzel and the perfect location for a pretzel festival.

Oyster Festival

Competitive eaters must sign up for the Oyster Eating and Shucking Contest on October 19th at 2pm. The Oyster Festival, located in the aptly named Long Island town of Oyster Bay, has carnival rides, harbor cruises and of course, oysters.

(Shutter Ferret/Flickr)

Less than an hour from the city, the waterfront Oyster Festival will be held October 18th & 19th. Hop on the LIRR to Oyster Bay, and you’ll literally be dropped at the Oyster Festival, the LIRR offers a package with vouchers for free oysters.

Garlic & Harvest Festival

There won’t be any vampires at the Bethlehem fairgrounds the weekend of October 11th-12th when the Connecticut Garlic and Harvest Festival sets up shop. If there was anything you ever wanted to know about garlic, this festival will be sure to answer your questions with cooking demos and a schedule of garlic related activities. Garlic lovers will delight in digging into a plate of deep fried garlic followed by a scoop of garlic ice cream. Don’t forget to pack some mints.

A cranberry bog in NJ (© JanaShea/istrockphoto)

Chatsworth Cranberry Festival

Did you know New Jersey has the third largest harvest of cranberries in the country? It’s also home to the 31st annual Chatsworth Cranberry Festival in the Pine Barrens, which will be held on October 18th & 19th. Take a lick of cranberry ice cream while picking up some cranberry sauce for your Thanksgiving meal. The festival attracts a lot of local artists and food vendors.

Alison Lowenstein, Gothamist Getaways editor, is the author of NYC guidebooks, and travel articles for National Geographic Traveler, Newsday, NY Daily News,, etc. When she isn’t planning trips, she enjoys jogging around the streets of NYC. Despite her athletic pursuits, her favorite food is the donut. You can find her on Twitter at @cityweekendsnyc