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    Travel Guide: Hudson Valley and The Catskills

    Best place for a quick weekend away? St. Barths for some serious R&R or the Hudson Valley (including in the winter!) – Stevie Benanty

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    Just north of New York City lies two of the state’s hidden treasures: the Hudson Valley and the Catskills. Charming towns ringed by small farms and riveting nature make for a perfect getaway year-round. Spring brings fresh produce and maple syrup, summer has long sunny days and country festivals. Apple picking and visiting the pumpkin patch with fall foliage is unmatched while winter yields a pristine wonderland perfect for activities in the snow. Travel by Amtrak or car from NYC and consider the following itinerary:

    RHINEBECK

    Nestled along the Hudson River, this scenic town combines Dutch history with a sophisticated city vibe. Lovers of art and specialty shops bring cosmopolitan culture to the village atmosphere, making it ideal for New Yorkers looking to escape the city.

    REST at Old Stone Farm, a dreamy rural hideaway with an entrepreneurial spirit. It’s about two hours from New York City and focuses on personal wellness. Its founders, a promoter of “conscious capitalism” and a passionate spiritual healer, transformed the restored farmhouse into a healing environment and meeting place for influential thinkers. The grounds feature acres of old cedar forests and lush gardens, as well as the opportunity to spend time with friendly resident horses. The B&B offers massages, yoga, a spa and a restaurant, which serves breakfast every day and all meals Wednesday through Sunday. Rooms start between $299 and $599, while the guest house starts at $999. You can book a room here.

    DINE at Market Street, an elegantly rustic restaurant at 19 West Market Street, a scenic 12-minute drive from the hotel. Proudly serving contemporary Italian cuisine with farm-fresh ingredients, the restaurant is a great place to have a nice yet casual meal, soak in the atmosphere and people-watch among the locals. Neapolitan pizza is an ideal choice. You can make reservations here.

    EXPERIENCE the Dutchess County Fair. Another short 12-minute drive from the hotel, it comes to town for six days each August. New York’s second largest agricultural fair, it hosts half a million people annually. Meet (or buy!) farm animals, learn how maple syrup is made, watch pig racing, then buy some gourmet jam, fudge, and chocolate-covered apples. Admission is $15 for adults, plus more for rides. Alternately, attend similar events throughout the year.

    MILTON

    A hamlet in the heart of the Hudson River Valley, this quaint village west of the Hudson River provides a fantastic way to become acquainted with the local land. Its residents are the enthusiastic farm-to-table types who enjoy a bucolic ambiance with top-notch luxuries.

    REST at Buttermilk Falls Inn, a 75-acre estate west of the Hudson and less than two hours from New York City. Featuring fairy tale views and a farm-to-table restaurant, it also has a luscious spa and relaxing pool complemented by stunning natural streams and waterfalls nearby. Rates range from $250 to $500 for a room, up to $650 for a guest cottage and $900 for a guesthouse. Book here and connect on Instagram.

    DINE at the Inn’s own restaurant, Henry’s at the Farm. Serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner, this inspired establishment sources its food from local farmers practicing organic and humane agriculture. The restaurant is used by locals and tourists alike, especially to celebrate special occasions. Relax among refined yet rustic décor and be sure to sample the bar’s Lavender Sidecar, made with the lavender-infused honey from on-site beehives.

    ENJOY the picturesque Lake Minnewaska in the mountains, a 40-minute driver from the Inn. Hike, picnic or go boating on the serene water for a different view. In the winter, try ice fishing—a much-loved local sport—and snowmobiling.

    HUDSON

    The river’s namesake, this extremely walkable and historic city bills itself as “Upstate’s Downtown.” Hudson’s lively urban environment is tucked away in some of the state’s best nature. Stroll the time-honored streets to meet the area’s proud and independent locals who run farms, shops, salons, museums and more.

    REST at the Hudson Merchant House, a historic inn about two hours north of New York City. A 1700s ship captain’s home, it offers an authentic country experience just steps away from lively shops and eateries. Its interior is colorful yet classic, and rooms range from $200 to $400. Book here.

    DINE at Fish & Game for the area’s best fresh cuisine. It’s open for brunch and $55 three-course, prix fixe dinners. Clientele are sophisticated yet fun, and ordering off the restaurant’s much-lauded wine list is a must. Fish & Game also has a popular bar with excellent beers on tap. The menu is seasonal and seafood, like the East Coast Oysters, is recommended. Just an eight-minute walk from the hotel, reservations are recommended and can be made here.

    SHOP at Hawkins, a brief 10-minute walk from the hotel. Working with artisan collectives and encouraging innovative handmade production, Hawkins promotes a unique modernist aesthetic. Browse hundreds of home decorations including rugs, linens, bowls, and chairs. Connect on Instagram.

    PHOENICIA

    A gorgeous hamlet in the Catskills next to the Hudson Valley, Phoenicia’s residents are enthusiastic about the surrounding nature and contribute to the town’s warm, homey atmosphere. Phoenicia, along with its unique stores and restaurants, is welcoming in a way that only small Catskill villages can be.

    REST at Graham & Co, about a three-hour trip north of New York City. Classic Catskill inspiration is evident in these simple yet grand accommodations. Ideal for any vacation, it features a fire pit, badminton court, free bikes and a pool. Rooms range from $99 to $275. Book here and follow their Instagram.

    DINE at Phoenicia Diner, a short, three-minute drive from the hotel. Frequented by locals and visitors alike, the diner cooks up fresh food with a distinctive twist. It serves breakfast all day—and a lot more!—in classic diner fashion. Try the skillets for a unique and satisfying meal and follow them on Instagram for some drool-worthy photos.

    SHOP at Phoenicia Flea, a one-of-a-kind market with curated creations from Catskill makers and merchants. A new nomadic market founded in Phoenicia, it pops up in a different city each month. Its celebrated wares include jewelry, apparel, apothecary and furnishings, and fans of vintage styles will find it utterly enticing.

    One of Upstate NY’s most sublime natural landscapes, the Catskills offer an unparalleled escape a short distance from New York City. Choose a weekend to leave behind the hustle and bustle, and relax into the rhythm of life in the Hudson Valley, where each hamlet welcomes guests as if they were old friends.

    stevie benanty

    stevie benanty

    Founder of a conversation.

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