With the dead of winter upon us, planning an accessible getaway can help your whole family thrilled to recharge and reboot. Or, what if you really need a kids-free time away with just your significant other? Or, perhaps with another mom friend? No need to travel to the tropics for a change of scenery. Whatever your getaway needs may be, making sure you get out into nature and relax is key to staying strong through the winter doldrums. Here’s our list of close(ish) locales that make the effort a no-brainer.
If you’re looking for a luxurious, resort-style getaway that includes a spa, breathtaking hiking trails, ice skating rink, skiing, Victorian castle vibe, this is it! Just a few hours north atop Lake Mohonk, the Mountain House is the place for you – and your family. There is also the option to just come and be a Day Guest.
This adorable boutique hotel is in the Catskills, not too far from Woodstock. With bonfires to sit at and read or talk (or drink), a swimming pool, a badminton court, Tivoli radios in every room, and kitchenettes in select rooms, this is the way to have a totally sweet, quaint, chill, relaxing experience “inspired by the heritage of the Catskills.” Wouldn’t sitting by the fire feel grand? This cozy spot is, hands down, one of our favorites for character.
2258 County Highway 41
This quirky Catskills motel prides itself on retro, visually-packed decor with colors and fixtures that will definitely give you a chuckle and make you smile. They offer rooms that will give “the discerning traveler a thematic contemporary twist on the old country lodging experience.” They have a Shimmer Spa that you can also come to just for the day if that’s all you have. Some of their rooms are themed in really far-out styles; a classic, traditional bed and breakfast will not be found here.
Great Wolf Lodge
1 Great Wolf Drive
This place is a family getaway winner, and perfect for a more-than-one-family vacation, too. Nestled in the Pocono Mountains, this infamous lodge has a lot of what young kids kids want. There is so much to do in their Swim, Splash and Slide area alone, that a “weather-proof” vacation is guaranteed. You may want to book a trip here, just to hop in a warm pool! You can also ski Blue Mountain for free if you reserve the lodge for two nights. There are lots of activities and drop-off options for children, while plenty of fitness and spa action waits the adults. Quaint, rustic, hidden, high-brow, or humble, the Great Wolf Lodge isn’t. But if you are looking for an all-around fun, inclusive experience with lots of planned activities and an awesome indoor water park lined up, it’s a successful model, and it’s here.
Whether you’re a novice or an expert, skiing at Catamount is a pleasure. With an old-school lodge offering a plethora of snacks and drinks, space to gear up, and rental options that will fit all of your needs with a super-friendly staff, Catamount is timeless. Classes are offered for children and adults, or you can get passes and be on your merry way up one of the best mountains in the Northeast if no learning is needed. Catamount is smack dab in the middle of the New York and Massachusetts state lines. While in the area, you can dine and stay at the Swiss Hutte which is right on the property; catch dinner at John Andrews Farmhouse Restaurant down the road, or at Old Mill not too far away. The town of Hillsdale is charming and offers a variety of well-loved, small-scale shops and bakery-type cafes to choose from.
Right over the border from NY State into Massachusetts, Butternut is extremely family-friendly for skiing or tubing (at night, too!). Dining is a cinch here, at Prairie Whale, Great Barrington’s dining star. Started by Brooklyn restauranteur Mark Firth (of Diner, Bonita, and Marlowe and Sons fame), you will be in excellent hands. Or, if you’re looking for a more family-friendly restaurant, try Baba Louie’s, which has great pizza and salads- and a huge fish tank that kids love. Great Barrington is a picturesque, historic, and scenic town to stroll through on a winter visit. There are tons of lodging options as well, for every budget and taste.
Looking to combine art into your travels? A landslide of artistic inspiration awaits you here! From exhibitions to performances, this is one of the most prominent cultural hubs in the Northeast. “The 16 acres of grounds in North Adams, MA, encompass a vast complex of 19th century mill buildings and occupy nearly one-third of the city’s downtown business district. Listed in the National Historic Register, the site’s 26 buildings form an elaborate system of interlocking courtyards and passageways rich with historical association.” Their list of upcoming exhibits is so exciting. If you’d like to stay overnight near Mass Moca, here is their list of convenient hotels.
OMI International Arts Center
1405 County Route 22
Ghent, NY 12075
This non-for-profit residency for artists of all disciplines has so much to offer visitors, too. “Omi seeks to foster an environment of creative exploration and exchange, professional opportunity and exposure, and a stylistically and culturally diverse community for creative artists from around the world.” Right outside of scenic Hudson, NY, this Arts Center has scads of kid-friendly activities and classes as well. There are toddler programs, and saturday workshops. Check out the Fields Sculpture Park, and their vacation rentals offerings. It’s also a great place to catch musical shows.
The DeWitt Oak Hill
7803 Route 81
Oak Hill, NY 12460
Looking for a one-of-a-kind bed and breakfast? This is a diamond in the rough in what is a very tiny, almost Little House on the Prairie-esque town of Oak Hill, NY. Packed full of artists and city transplants, however, the weensey one-post village is very memorable. One of the coolest record stores ever happens to be here too. The DeWitt Oak Hill is part of what makes the area unreal and almost something out of a dream. The French and English owners also run a vintage business, so many of the beautiful items in the space are hand-curated (and for sale if you ask). The area is chock-full of fun goings-on, with this comprehensive list of local attractions. A treat, indeed.
57 Interlaken Road
Stockbridge, MA 01262
This one might be for mom (and maybe dad) only, or for best friend bonding time. There are shared rooms available here too, so no need to reserve a huge suite if it’s not in the budget. If you are into yoga and wellness, you may already have heard of Kripalu, located in the Berkshire Mountains in Stockbridge, MA. Offering a plethora of classes and workshops in health, fitness, spirituality, self-discovery, yoga, creative expression, Ayurveda, and psychology. An incredible roster of presenters come through Kripalu. There are R+R Retreats, and an incredible offering of packages for healing. Something to consider for a much-needed trip to recharge.
NOTE: Children under 14 not permitted
A resort-style “wellness” getaway, with a focus on nutrition and health, Canyon Ranch is world-famous for its restorative offerings. “The choice is yours at our spa resort in MA, where you’ll find 100,000 square feet of luxurious space dedicated to your health and well-being. Our spa complex at our Lenox, MA resort is connected to the historic Bellefontaine Mansion and our Integrative Health Center, making it easy for you to explore your options.” There are an array of services offered at Canyon Ranch, so many, it seems, that it would be hard to choose!
Perfect for a couples getaway sans kids, Mount Merino Manor a romantic, secluded Bed and Breakfast in Hudson, NY, tailored for you and your partner to relax in total peace. Their rooms are plush, romantic, and regal. “Sitting on a lush hilltop, surrounded by 100-acres of shaded woodlands, this stately Victorian has magnificent views of the Catskill Mountains and Hudson River.” Discount specials are offered.
If you are interested in exploring the actual town of Hudson, staying at the River Town Lodge may interest you. “Friends and owners Ray and Kim took over the 40-year-old Warren Inn Motel, which was first a movie theater from 1928 to 1958, and overdue for another transformation.” While in town, get a facial or take a yoga class at Bodhi Holistic Spa, dine at WM Farmer and Son, and or grab a yummy salad and beverage while sitting by the fire at Or. Hudson has numerous art/antique/vintage shops to spend hours getting lost in. A great music venue in town is Club Helskini.
Rebecca Conroy grew up in NYC, has been a Brooklynite for 20 years, and is now the mom of two incredible young kids. Aside from writing, she works in photo and film production and has a rich history in the visual arts. Being a Teaching Artist in NYC’s public school system for years has allowed her to work closely with children and her community.