fall STAY.eat. PLAY
There are so many fabulous towns to visit throughout the Hudson Valley, each with its own unique flavor, replete with things to do and places to see. If you are looking to spend some memorable weekends around the region, check out these itineraries for a well-rounded experience! This issue we highlight a weekend’s worth of activities in New Paltz, Gardiner, Phoenicia, and Stone Ridge. Stay tuned for more!
At the base of the gorgeous Shawangunk Ridge sits Gardiner, with its great eateries, natural beauty, and small town charm. Gardiner boasts a beautiful and unique ecosystem that was named one of the world’s “75 Last Great Places” by The Nature Conservancy. If seeking a comfortable lodge in close proximity to the majestic “Gunks”, consider Minnewaska Lodge. Nestled at the foot of the rugged Ridge, Minnewaska Lodge is a uniquely designed, 26-room property on 17 acres with breathtaking views.
For a true Shawangunk experience start your day at The Bistro Mountain Store—a retro full service deli and grocery store with everything you need for a great day in the mountains, located right at the base of them! Then take a Shawangunk excursion with Alpine Endeavors. Get your heart racing as you experience world famous rock climbing and mountaineering courses, or guided hiking tours of all levels. It’s a great way to safely enjoy the locals’ favorite rock scramples, fall colors, and expansive mountain vistas. If you’re seeking an even bigger heart-thumping experience, head over to Skydive The Ranch where you can see the entire Valley as you fall from up to 13,500 feet.
And what’s better to warm your body after a cool fall day in the woods than a nice local whiskey? Visit Tuthilltown Spirits, New York’s first whiskey distillery since Prohibition, for tastings and tours. Tuthilltown Spirits distills vodkas from apples grown at orchards less than five miles away and whiskeys using grain harvested by farmers less than 10 miles away. Next door, enjoy homemade American cuisine featuring prime steaks, grass-fed beef, seafood, and pasta in the unique setting of the Tuthill House. Gardiner also boasts antique shops and boutiques and two award-winning wineries. Cafe Mio, another fabulous restaurant option on Route 44/55, offers a variety of locally grown cuisine in a fresh atmospere.
A weekend in Gardiner wouldn’t be complete without visiting some of the fabulous farms. Meadow View Farmstand on Phillies Bridge Road sells local grass-fed beef and operates with natural farming techniques year-round. Wright’s Farm on Route 208 is Hudson Valley’s largest family operated farm market—watch them making homemade apple pies or jams in their farm bakery. During September and October join Wright’s Farm for pick-your-own apples and pumpkins. Also, in nearby Modena take pleasure in a plethora of farm fun at Hurds Family Farm. Enjoy apple and pumpkin picking, hayrides, farm pets, bonfires, and a cornfield maze.
New Paltz is a charming town with abundant restaurants, bars, shops, and people watching. It is known for its vicinity to the famous climbing of the Shawangunk Ridge. The quaint shops, bike trails, and festivals in New Paltz attract folks from throughout the region.
When staying in New Paltz, there is nowhere as remarkable as Mohonk Mountain House. Built on the deep-blue waters of Lake Mohonk in 1869, this grand Victorian castle is one of America’s oldest family owned resorts. Discover thousands of acres of pristine forest and winding trails. Mohonk offers tennis, golf, swimming, boating, children’s programs, horseback riding, carriage rides, and spa services. See the hiking article in this issue for great fall hikes throughout the Mohonk region.
To experience a well-rounded New Paltz vacation, get into the heart of Main Street—which begins with Water Street Market. Water Street Market is a hip and vibrant European-inspired community of boutiques, stores, galleries, and restaurants set on the banks of the Wallkill River. Enjoy outdoor patios, courtyard concerts, and a tranquil waterside environment. While at Water Street Market, discover The Cheese Plate, offering the finest cheeses from around the globe along with a selection of gourmet chocolate, jams, breads, and biscuits. Himalayan Arts, also at Water Street Market, has Tibetan items that can turn your home into a sanctuary. Continue your shopping on North Front Street in unique shops like Handmade and More, a store with unique handmade crafts and gifts.
A short walk will bring you to the stone houses of historic Huguenot Street, where you can learn about some local American history. Then head back to Main Street for dinner at A Tavola, a rustic Italian trattoria that keeps the tradition of sourcing the highest quality local ingredients; or pick up some great take-away foods and specialty drinks at Main Course. While you are in the area enjoy over 3,000 square feet of contemporary art exhibits at DM Weil Gallery space, which offers the look and vibe of an exclusive Soho style exhibition space, but with the majestic Shawangunk Mountains as a backdrop.
The next day, put on your jeans and enjoy the local farm fun. Visit Jenkins-Lueken Orchard to hand pick a wide variety of apples and run in the corn maze, or Wallkill View Farm for a wonderful pick-your-own pumpkin patch, local produce, hay rides, and corn maze. Then relax at the Robibero Vineyards. Set on a 42-acre property nestled in and around the breathtaking Shawangunk Mountain ridge, Robibero Family Vineyards is one of New York’s newest wineries. You’ll have to come back to New Paltz again, to experience more restaurants, hikes, shopping, and vineyards!
Phoenicia is a beautiful place to visit any time of year. Plan to come more than once and get to know some of the locals. Swing by in the winter to ski, in the spring to fly-fish, in the summer to go tubing, and in the fall to camp and enjoy the foliage.
For a luxury experience, stay at Emerson Resort and Spa, an extraordinary destination offering the reassuring feeling of being a world away. Enjoy comfort food favorites at the Catamount Restaurant right next to the resort, and indulge in one of the soothing treatments at their Forbes four-star spa.
Then, head to the quaint, picturesque Main Street for some mountainside shopping! Stop in at Tender Land Home, a beautiful store with furniture, home accessories, jewelery, and gifts. The Nest Egg, another favorite, is an old-fashioned country store, offering relaxed shopping and mountain hospitality, with gift lines including Minnetonka Moccasins, Blue Bird Soap, Hagen-Renaker, and Black Dome Press. The Nest Egg makes their own fudge, so don’t forget to ask for a sample! There are some surprisingly wonderful restaurants speckled along Phoenicia’s Main Street, too. Enjoy dinner at Ricciardella’s, where you can eat your creative meal either fireside or at one of the popular window tables overlooking Main Street.
Grab your breakfast the next morning at Brios, and enjoy their collection of traditional homemade recipes—both eclectic and extensive. Then take a hike in the beautiful fall foliage of the Catskill Mountains. Another beautiful outside excursion should be a ride on the historic Catskill Mountain Railroad, with inspiring vistas and a feel of the old-time Catskill commute. To relax at the end of your active day head back to Main Street for dinner and drinks at The Sportsman’s Alamo Cantina, a tavern and eatery that serves Mexican cuisine with a flair—from Tex-Mex burgers to Alamo wings and everything in between.
Also, consider a day trip to nearby Margaretville, or visit Frost Valley in the nearby rural hamlet of Claryville for outdoor, experiential and educational opportunities, camping, and environmental education. In Claryville and Margaretville there are many beautiful hiking trails, waterholes, and rural B&Bs and stores, it’s definitely worth the trip.
Stone Ridge is a vibrant historic community that maintains a balance of local charm combined with picturesque country roads, fine stores, galleries, restaurants, inns, and shopping. The Main Street Historic District was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1988. For a comfortable and charming stay (and great food!) try the Inn at Stone Ridge, right in the heart of Stone Ridge’s historic Main Street set on 150 acres of lawns, gardens, orchards, rolling fields, and untouched woods. Another nearby historic stone building to lodge in is the The Stone House Bed & Breakfast at the Cornelis Kool House in Hurley, with architectural features dating back to the original Dutch settlement of New Netherland.
From there head over to Stone Ridge Orchard where you can pick your own apples. The orchard boasts two centuries of farming apples as well as many other crops. The Catskill Mountain climate provides the perfect conditions for creating high-quality, farm-fresh fruits and vegetables that you can’t find just anywhere. Gill’s Farm is another exciting farm experience where you can purchase fruits, vegetables, flowers, baked goods, dairy products, and cheese and enjoy fall farm activities—including a giant pumpkin cannon!
If you prefer dining out, there are many wonderful restaurants awaiting your appetite! From some local pizza or a deli sandwich at Crossroads Deli at the corner of Lucas Turnpike and Cottekill Road to fine dining at the nearby Marbletown Inn restaurant, on Route 209 right over the Kingston border, you’ll find something to please everyone in your family.
The next day you can head right into Stone Ridge’s village shops. Make sure to stop by Whispered Dreams, a metaphysical shop. They offer massage, Reiki, and psychic readings, and their gift shop features the work of many local artisans. End your Stone Ridge experience by taking the kids to Cherries Deli & Ice Cream to get anything from sandwiches, wings, burgers, fries, hard and soft ice cream, and frozen yogurt!