Escaping New York City: Minnewaska Lodge, New Paltz, New York

Escaping New York City is easier said than done. The city, for all its worth, is also a black hole of culture, routine, and routinely doing things that are cultural. Wind-blown faces of darkly clad, fast-walking, coffee-drinking, cigarette-smoking intellectuals ornament the city’s streets, and even though we often exclaim desires of conducting a mass exodus, arm in arm with the handful of actual friends we have in this city, the plan frequently fails, wrapped in an excuse. “You know I’d love to, but I have to work through the weekend.” or “Eh, the traffffffffic.” or “Well, what are we going to do there? I can sit in the park here too and without all the hassle.” No, Mr. Excuse-Maker. You cannot sit in a park in NYC and come home with the same feeling of content as you would from sitting in the woods upstate. You know, without homeless folks and tourists providing background music to your Saturday meditation.

Just a ten minute drive from New Paltz, New York, a cool little town only 90 miles or so upstate (that means a 1.5 hour drive or 2 hour bus ride on one of the Trailways buses that leaves every day from Port Authority), is the Minnewaska Lodge. And it is cool. The lodge sits adjacent to The Mohonk Reserve and it’s only a short distance from Minnewaska State Park. The astounding cliff views steal the show at this lodge (where can you get those in NYC?). They glisten beneath the sunrise while you eat the complimentary breakfast in the Great Room.

Our private deck off of our room definitely beat out the fire escape we have in Brooklyn. It was the only barrier between us and a field of fresh snow. The bed was the kind of bed you always hope for at a hotel: supremely comfortable. Eco-friendly toiletries draw attention to the lodge’s overall sense of duty to nature–to which it owes much of its success.

Dear New Yorkers: Do yourselves a favor and skip town for a couple of days to head up to the New Paltz area. While you’re there, eat at Hokkaido at 18 Church Street. Some of the best sushi I have ever had. And actually make this trip. You know, instead of just making a plan to make a plan.

By: Elizabeth Seward

Photos by: Ben Britz and Elizabeth Seward

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