As warm afternoons give way to cool, crisp evenings, cities awaken from their summer nap, abuzz with new openings, performances and cultural events. Vibrantly hued country roads become stamping grounds for food festivals, wine tours and leaf peepers.

Rather than retreat to the sofa when it's time to put away the hammock, check out these fall getaway itineraries. They are all within a few hours' drive from Baltimore.

Festive fall cities


This city, filled with historic sites, also offers world-renowned arts venues and cultural communities. The question isn't what to do here, it's how to get it all done. Here's a sampling:

Leger: Modern Art and the Metropolis (Oct. 14-Jan 5). This highly anticipated show, in the only U.S. stop on its world tour, features Fernand Leger and his post-Cubist masterpiece "The City, 1919," accompanied by pieces by Leger's avant-garde colleagues Piet Mondrian, Alexandra Exter and Francis Picabia. Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, 215-763-8100,

Life and Death in Pompeii (Nov. 9-April 27), premiering at the Franklin Institute, invites visitors to experience what happened to the unprepared residents of Pompeii 1,900 years ago.The Franklin Institute, 222 N. 20th St., 215-448-1200,

Design Philadelphia Festival (through Oct.18) offers views into Philadelphia's creative industries, with over 100 events, including open studios, exhibitions, lectures, runway shows, and workshops.

Philadelphia Film Festival (Oct. 17-27). The 22nd annual event also includes the debut of the Philadelphia Film Society's new digital and 35-mm projection theater. 2023 Samson St.,

Dance Africa Philadelphia! (Nov. 7-9) presents three days of African dance, music, lectures, exhibitions, and the Afro Beauty: Health and Wellness Marketplace. Various venues in West Philadelphia,

First Person Arts Festival (Nov. 6-16). The only festival of its kind in the world, the event celebrates the power of storytelling. Scheduled artists include Toni Morrison and Philadelphia's first poet laureate, Sonia Sanchez.

New York

As the temperatures drop, this metropolis heats up, offering hundreds of diversions each week. Many of the once-ignored outer boroughs — Brooklyn, the Bronx and Queens — have become epicenters for progressive-minded entrepreneurs and artists. And New York's subway can zip you there (and everywhere) in a matter of minutes for just $2. Here's a sampling of what's happening this fall in the Big Apple:

Open House New York (Oct. 15-16). The city drops its members-only stance during this event, inviting visitors into some of most exclusive off-limit sites and landmarks, including the intriguing New York Marble Cemetery.

The NYC Food Film Festival (Oct. 23-27). This five-day event provides opportunities for foodies to watch screenings of food-related films and then sample those foods.

Lincoln Center's White Light Festival (Oct. 24 to Nov. 23). This festival features more than 20 performances and films by artists from more than a dozen countries.

The ING New York City Marathon (Nov. 3) covers 26.2 miles through five boroughs. Onlookers should claim their perches early between 60th and 96th streets.

Broadway: Samuel L. Jackson stars as the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. in "The Mountaintop," opening Oct. 13 at the Bernard B. Jacobs Theater. With so many shows available, it's worth looking into discounted "rush" tickets. For that, you'll need to walk up to the box office about an hour before the performance or check out the deals on

New York Comedy Festival (Nov. 6-10). Stephen Colbert and Larry David are two of the headliners featured in the dozens of performances at this annual event.

'The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk' (Oct. 25-Feb. 23), the first international exhibit of the famed designer's work, is at the Brooklyn Museum (200 Eastern Parkway), its only East Coast