upstate new york: a weekend away
I can take exactly 0 credit for this perfect weekend itinerary - all credit goes to E and H, the loveliest friends who are the most incredible hosts. On a recent fall weekend that felt more like summer, they took us around, showing us all the most adorable places and generally convincing us we were on vacation. We so rarely make it up there, and every time we do it feels like a real get away, just a world apart from our little Brooklyn corner.
See below for a few favorites. While I can't guarantee you'll be as lucky as us to wake up to homemade shashuka or strawberry scones, I can say that you'll have a really delightful time.
Westwind Orchard: My number one request for this visit, after being taken there years before. Former fashion photographers opened this gorgeous apple orchard a few years back, and have since expanded into homemade pizza on the weekends, incredible ciders (including working closely with Aaron Burr), raw honeys, and just generally become a community hub. Pop in on a summer weekend for an incredible Italian pie with local produce -- when we visited, this included purple potato and sage--and whatever dessert treat Nonna has baked up that day (lucky us - fresh donuts!). Super kid friendly, and this year it seems they were also showing movies on Friday and Saturday nights.
Boice Brothers Dairy: Our friend E's childhood favorite, this local dairy in Kingston is a total neighborhood spot, that happens to have some of the most delicious frozen yogurt I've ever experienced. Order a birthday cake dip, or do like the true pros do and get yourself peanut butter sauce - the most creamy, addictive topping I've had in years.
Brunette Wine Bar: Brunette should be all style, no substance. The whitewashed brick walls, casually artful flowers sprinkled here and there, and framed power ladies in the bathroom are all a Pinterest dream. But then you take a look at the menu and realize they're not messing around: interesting oranges wines, a nice dry cider, and to top it off, incredibly smart snacks, and you've got yourself a really, really nice afternoon.
Storm King Art Center: An enormous sculpture garden, with 500 acres of rolling fields and dozens of enormous installations, Storm King is one of those places that is constantly on the list of to dos, but never seems to happen. It's just remote enough to require a drive, and despite having talked about going for years we had never made it. And how I regret that! Spending a few hours walking through, and stumbling into Calder, and Sol LeWitt, and Richard Serra, was magical in an utterly new york way, and is going on the list of things to do every year (really).
Tuthilltown Distillery: Makers of Hudson Whiskey (the ones in the adorable rounded bottles), Tuthilltown is an adorable farmhouse style restaurant & distillery. Pop in for a cocktail made with their own spirits, sit out by the creek, slap away a few flies, and question all your life choices as you contemplate never going back to the big city.
Minnewaska Lake: Going upstate and not going on a hike is a really silly thing to do. Minnewaska Lake is well, a gorgeous lake, with trails all around it. When we were there, the colors were just beginning to show, the air was brisk, and it could not have been more beautiful.
Fish & Game: Zak Pelaccio's James Beard winning restaurant is smaller than you might expect, but a fire is roaring, the lighting is cozy, and the food is delicious. Zak has an appreciation for using fire and bringing together what I think are referred to as "global flavors." Toss in a cocktail or two, and it's an awfully nice way to end the day. (Also: while there - wander around the town. Hudson has become as ritzy as they come, but still has a ton of charm. Lots of great furniture and interior spots, for those who like design.)
**Bonus: Hasbrouck House: A totally separate trip, but requires a postscript -- Hasbrouck House opened last year, from the folks at the Gowanus Hospitality Group (famed for the Green Building, where we got married!). Every detail of the space is a dream - from whimsical wallpaper, to bathrooms with heated floors, frette robes, and what seemed to be a never-ending pile of cider donuts at the front desk. True hospitality, and I can imagine nothing more fun than staying for a fall weekend, cozying up at the bonfire and eating s'mores, which yes they provide with every room.