Archive for October, 2013

Places to Stay in Cold Spring

Posted on: October 31st, 2013 by Erin Weir No Comments

Storm King MountainAs an historic village, Cold Spring has some very beautiful inns and bed and breakfasts.  Stay in the gorgeous historic district or directly on the river and get astounding views and a memorable holiday.

Pig Hill Inn – A perfect place for a weekend escape or a romantic getaway, the Pig Hill Inn creates a relaxing atmosphere with their beautiful garden terrace and peaceful surroundings.  Their accommodations are spacious and luxurious and they are conveniently located downtown, close to everything you could hope to see in Cold Spring.

Plumbush Inn – With just three rooms a stay at this inn will be a cozy, intimate experience to remember.  Experience personalized service, in finely decorated accommodations equipped with all the amenities you could hope for.  It’s a delightful country getaway just a short journey outside the city.

Hudson House Inn – Operating since 1832, and on the National Register of Historic Places, the staff at the Hudson House River Inn are experts in hospitality.  Sitting on the waterfront, the hotel affords stunning views of the river, West Point and Storm King Mountain.   Room features include balconies or walkout terraces, and beautiful views of the Hudson Valley.  Let the Hudson House Inn make your stay in Cold Water a relaxing one that you’ll remember for years to come.




Places to Eat in Cold Spring

Posted on: October 30th, 2013 by Erin Weir No Comments

Cold Spring is full of great places to eat.  A walk down Main St. will reveal plenty of charming cafes, pubs, and restaurants.  Here is a small sample of what Cold Spring has to offer.

Plumbush Inn – Offering fine dining, the Plumbush Inn is the perfect destination, whether you’re looking for brunch, lunch, or dinner.  The owners and staff are thoughtful and attentive and do their best to make sure all your needs are met and that your dining experience is a memorable one.  They use only the highest quality ingredients to serve creative, beautiful meals in an intimate, cozy environment.

Riverview Restaurant – Opened in 1941, the Riverview Restaurant has become a landmark in Cold Spring.   They offer a seasonal menu featuring local produce.  Sit and enjoy a fabulous view of the Hudson River and Storm King Mountain while you savor a brick oven pizza, or some delicious seafood.

Hudson House – The Hudson House offers spectacular views of the Hudson River and specializes in fresh market seafood and prime dry aged hand cut steaks.  Enjoy casual dining in the Tavern Room where you’ll find great traditional pub fare, or if you’re in the mood for something a bit more upscale sit in the River Room where you can enjoy views of the river and a full menu.  Hudson House is Zagat rated and a recipient of the Wine Spectator Award of Excellence for their fantastic wine list.

Moo Moo’s Creamery – Making homemade ice cream, in shop, everyday, Moo Moo’s Creamery offers 16 rotating flavors and plenty of favorites available everyday.

Hudson Hil’s – This charming cafe and market offers a full breakfast and lunch menu.  They highlight fresh produce from local farmers in the Hudson Valley and have a lovely wine and craft beer list.  They’re also happy to make a picnic basket for you to take on your hike or any other outing.

Things to Do in Cold Spring

Posted on: October 29th, 2013 by Erin Weir No Comments

Bannerman_Castle_on_Pollepel_Island_viewed_from_atop_Breakneck_RidgeCold Spring is an exceptionally easy place to get to, being a major stop on the Metro-North train.  The train stop divides the village in two, and is within easy walking distance of just about everything in Cold Spring.

Main Street has endless hours of shopping, offering plenty of antique shops, consignment shops, and boutiques for your browsing pleasure.  It’s also a great place to stroll along and watch the sunset over the river.

Stonecrop Gardens are also a great place to walk around and take in the scenery.  This 12 acres estate is the former home of Anne and Frank Cabot and boasts an impressive collection of plants and display gardens from many different regions.

Pollepel Island, more popularly known as Bannerman Island, is another great place to spend the day.  Its popular name comes from Bannerman Castle, the warehouse on the island which Frank Bannerman used to house his military surplus company.   The island has long been thought to be haunted, not only by Native Americans, but by Dutch Settlers and the  English and Colonists as well. Walking tours and boat tours are available and reservations are required.

To get some local history, stop at the West Point Foundry Preserve.  The Foundry once drove the economy of Cold Spring and the surrounding area and allowed it to become a major participator in the Industrial Revolution. It’s an excellent place to go for a hike or a picnic.

Boscobel House and Gardens is a historic Federal style house built between 1804 and 1808.  The house has been carefully restored to reflect as accurately as possible how it would have looked in the late 18th and early 19th century.  The gardens make for an excellent place to walk around or take a picnic. Join them on Halloween for a night with Edgar Allan Poe, where he will read his stories and answers questions.

Getaway in Cold Spring on Hudson

Posted on: October 28th, 2013 by Erin Weir No Comments

759px-Main_Street,_Cold_Spring_NYThe village of Cold Spring on Hudson is an historic village established in the mid 18th century.  Bordered by the Hudson River on one side and Hudson Highlands State Park on the other, Cold Spring is just an hour away from New York City and is a great place to get away for the day, the weekend, or even an extended stay.

Local legend has it that George Washington visited in the 1770s and quenched his thirst with a drink from their “cold spring” thus giving the village its name.

Cold Spring was first settled by Thomas Davenport in 1730.  The riverside location made it ideal for trade, and a small trade outpost grew.  By the early 1800’s the West Point Foundry had been established, creating the opportunity for Cold Springs to thrive during the Industrial Revolution.  It provided munitions for the Union Army during the Civil War and was one of the largest industrial sites in the U.S.

The increase in industrial production created in influx in population.  It became a thriving village, and a cultural center, attracting artists, writers, and many prominent families, in part due to the beauty of the surrounding landscape.  During the Gilded Age well off families from New York built country mansions on the hillsides and streets, making Cold Spring a popular getaway.

When the Foundry closed just before WWI tourism began to fade and much of Cold Spring’s economy went with it.  However after WWII there was a resurgence.  Many people began to live in Hudson Valley and commute to the city.  By the 1970’s the Village was thriving again and was named a Federal Historic District.

Since it was named a Federal Historic District, Cold Spring has once again become a popular tourist destination, especially with New Yorkers looking to get away from the city.  It’s charming streets and 19th century store fronts lend themselves to leisurely walks and window shopping.  Hiking, golfing, or just sitting by the riverfront and relaxing are all favorite pass times in Cold Spring.

Getting to Cold Spring from New York City is new problem.  It’s served by major highways and by the Hudson Line.  Only an hour’s journey from the city, it’s a perfect place to come for a day or a weekend.



Experience Stowe

Posted on: October 25th, 2013 by Erin Weir No Comments

Main_Street_church,_StoweStowe, Vermont has a long history as a resort town.  Unlike much of Vermont, Stowe ceased relying completely on farming in the mid 19th century and developed itself as a resort town, utilizing its fabulous mountainside and riverside location to draw in tourists.

When skiing became popular in the early decades of the 20th century, Stowe transformed from a fabulous summer resort town to an amazing winter ski resort destination.  It’s now known for having some of the best slopes in the Northeast.  However it still has plenty to offer in the off months.

For the outdoor enthusiast, Stowe offers a plethora of things to do. The same slopes that offer fabulous skiing and snowboarding in the winter offer great hiking, and mountain biking in the warmer months.

Sterling Falls Gorge is a gorgeous area to visit.  Hike an easy trail past shimmering pools and streams and see the falls  and cascades spilling over the gorge walls.  Helpful signs along the way can tell you the history of the area and how the river was used by early settlers.

Stowe Restaurant Week allows you to eat at some of Stowe’s finest restaurants, many of which have been featured in Gourmet, Wine Spectator, and Bon Apetit.  They are offering prix-fixe menus for $15, $25, and $35 per person.  Experience some of the best cuisine that Stowe has to offer without having to break your budget.

If one of the restaurants participating in Stowe Restaurant Week doesn’t peak your interest, there are plenty of other places to eat in Stowe.  You’ll find everything from casual cafes, great bars serving plenty of local beers and finely crafted cocktails, and, like any good ski resort town, plenty of fine dining.  And it wouldn’t be Vermont if all of these places didn’t heavily feature locally grown produce and products, seasonal menus and often organic ingredients.

Stowe’s history as a resort town means that it has many beautiful places to stay.  From large, luxurious mountain lodges to small, cozy bed and breakfasts, you’ll find something with a unique bit of Stowe here.  Whether you’re looking for something mountain adjacent, something romantic and secluded, or something located right in the middle of town you’ll be able to find it.

Stowe is a beautiful mountain side village that offers great recreation.  Autumn is a beautiful time to go visit and watch all the leaves change, go hiking, and just sit and enjoy the old village charm.



Places to Stay in Stowe

Posted on: October 24th, 2013 by Erin Weir No Comments

GreenMtnsStowe has a long history as a resort town and as such has a long list of delightful places to stay.  Whether you’re looking for a big mountain lodge or a small bed and breakfast, Stowe has something to suit your needs.

Edson Hill Manor – This manor sits on 50 acres of beautiful countryside that once made up the estate of a Colorado mining prospector.  Enjoy fine dining, an amazing wine cellar, horse back riding, hiking, cross country skiing, fishing, and even cycling all without even leaving the property.  It’s the perfect place to come and relax, enjoy the view, and get away from it all.

Ten Acres Lodge – This gorgeously restored 1820’s farmhouse is the perfect blend of traditional charm and modernity.  Offering two cottages and 8 boutique suites, this inn will never feel over crowded.  It’s just a short walk from downtown Stowe, and a short walk from Mt Mansfield so most activities are right at your doorstep!

Green Mountain Inn – Located in the heart of Stowe village, this inn is just a short walk from anything you might want to do in Stowe.  Stay in luxurious, spacious rooms with great views of the mountains and foliage, and enjoy the heated pool and Jacuzzi, nightly S’mores, and daily tea and cookies!

Butler House  – Located in the Stowe Historic District, and built in 1826,  Butler House is the former home of a successful lawyer, Orion W. Butler.  They are located just across the street from Stowe’s Recreation Path and nearby to the Stowe Mountain Shuttle.  Enjoy a stay in one of their cozy apartments which provide excellent views of Stowe and the surrounding mountains.

Arbor Inn – At the Arbor Inn, hosts Michael and Cody aim to make you feel like family before your stay is over.  Enjoy beautiful views of Mt. Mansfield and the Green Mountains, as you relax next to the gorgeous Fieldstone Fireplace and sip a glass of wine.  Each room has individual temperature control and many rooms have their own fireplaces.  All rooms are equipped with a private bath.  You’ll start each day with a delicious country breakfast eaten, where you’ll have your choice of eggs, any way you like the, waffles, homefries, and more! And all eaten with a fantastic view of Mt. Mansfield.

Stone Hill Inn – Sitting in 9.5 acres and surrounded by plush forest, the Stone Hill Inn is the ultimate place to go to relax or for a romantic getaway.  Wonder the trails through the woods, find a secluded spot in the garden, or just relax on the lawn and enjoy the solitude.  This serene setting is just a short drive from Stowe and all that it has to offer.  Enjoy delicious breakfast, talks in the Great Room warmed by the large fireplace, and luxurious rooms.

Snowflake Mountain Resort & Spa – This luxury resort has been operated by the Baraw family for close to 50 years.  It has a 4 diamond AAA rating and has a wide range of excellent facilities, including a fantastic spa, sumptuous rooms, and a well renowned restaurant.  Enjoy the on site tennis courts, pools, XC trails, and golf course.



Places to Eat in Stowe

Posted on: October 23rd, 2013 by Erin Weir No Comments

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Vermont is one of the most farmed states in the country, and as such you’ll find that lots of restaurants in Stowe place a heavy focus on offering seasonal menus featuring local, fresh produce.  In Stowe you’ll find plenty of great cafes, bars, and fine dining.

Vermont Ale House – This great bar has tons an extensive list of beers on tap, including tons of local brews, and staff who know a lot about them.  They also have great ribs, burgers, and traditional bar food.  You’ll come for the beer and stay for the food and great atmosphere!

Bistro at Ten Acres –  The dining room at The Bistro is set up into three distinct spaces, each offering a unique view of Stowe and the surrounding mountains.  Their menu features typical Bistro fare as well as delicious seafood entrees, mouthwatering meats and American classics with a twist.  They also have a great list of wines, craft beers, scotches and bourbons.

Whip Bar & Grill – One of the restaurants participating in Stowe Restaurant of the Week, Whip Bar & Grill specializes in casual fine dining.  Enjoy a full menu of flavor filled delicacies prepared with products grown right in Vermont.  The bar is stocked full with Vermont’s best craft beers and their wine list is divine.  Be sure to try dessert; their Sac de Bon Bon is to die for!

Trattoria La Festa – Also participating in Stowe Restaurant Week, Trattoria La Festa is a family owned restaurant which opened in 1986 and began serving both traditional and innovative Italian dishes.  Sitting in a renovated farmhouse, this restaurant has plenty of charm, and is a warm, inviting place to have a meal.

Blue Moon Cafe – Opened in 1992, the Blue Moon Cafe is one of Stowe’s great fine dining destinations.  Their menu changes monthly as local produce changes.  They offer traditional American fare with Mediterranean and East Asian influences.  They are also participating in Stowe Restaurant Week.

Harrison’s Restaurant and Bar – Located in downtown Stowe, Harrison’s has been open for over 35 years, offering great meals and service to all their guests.  They have plenty of local craft beer, great martinis and an extensive wine list that compliments their menu which includes something for every taste.

Solstice –  When dining at Solstice, you don’t just have a meal you have a full experience.  Ingredients are drawn from local farms, are all fresh, natural, and often organic.  Their menu is ever changing so that they can provide you a meal made with the freshest, in season produce available.  The staff are welcoming, knowledgeable and helpful and eager to make your dining experience as memorable and pleasant as possible.

Check out the Participants of Stowe Restaurant Week  page to find more restaurants in Stowe.

Things to Do in Stowe

Posted on: October 22nd, 2013 by Erin Weir No Comments

Mansfield SummitStowe is best known for its fabulous ski resort, but there are plenty of things to do in the off season!

All week long Stowe is hosting the 3rd annual Stowe Restaurant Week.  Find tons of great places featured in Gourmet, Wine Spectator and Bon Appetit, among others, all offering delicious gourmet meals, prix-fixe menus for $15, $25, and $35 per person.

On Saturday the 26th of October, the Helen Day Arts Center will be hosting the Go Beer! festival, featuring 12 beers from local brewers.  Schmooze with Vermont’s top brewers and discuss their trade secrets while enjoying great beer, and food.

The same slopes that make Stowe an ideal ski destination make it a great place for other outdoor recreation too! Stowe is surrounded by beautiful places to visit that are great for hiking, mountain biking, or just sitting and enjoy a picnic while you take in the spectacular view.

Mount Mansfield is the highest peak in Vermont, and Stowe is situated just next to it.  Hike to the top, or ride the gondola up and get a spectacular view of the valley below.  There are plenty of hiking trials once you reach the top of the gondola ride as well, so you could ride up and hike down.

Smuggler’s Notch State Park is another great place to get in some hiking.  It also has great camping, and welcomes horseback riders to use their great riding trails.

The Stowe Recreation Path is a nice place to take a leisurely walk or jog and take in the beauty of the town around you.  The 5.3 mile trail is mostly flat and paved path that should be easy for people of all fitness levels to travel.  You’ll pass lots of great picture opportunities, get a chance to take in the fall foliage, and find some great picnic spots along the way.

To get a bit of local history, visit the Vermont Ski and Snowboard Museum.   Learn about the history of these sports in Vermont and visit the Hall of Fame honoring the men and women who have made great contributions to its success.  They will also be holding their 12th Annual Induction to the Hall of Fame on Saturday October 26th.  Inductees include Fred Pabts Jr, who turned his back in the family business (Pabst Brewing) to make a business out of recreational skiing, Emo Henrich, and many more.

Beautiful Stowe, VT

Posted on: October 21st, 2013 by Erin Weir No Comments

Mount_mansfield_20040926Nestled in a broad valley between Vermont’s highest peak and the Green Mountains sits the charming Village of Stowe, Vermont.  Its proximity to Mt. Mansfield makes it a popular winter destination.  Its delightful, old charm and mountainside location make it remniscent of European ski resorts.  However, Stowe is a great place to visit year round.

Though it received its charter in 1763, Stowe was not actually settled as a town until 1793, two years after Vermont became a state.  The village grew steadily and by 1800 had a population of 816.

Early settlers in Stowe grew crops to sell at market.  The biggest cash crop was potash, which was used to make lye for soap, tanning leather, and several other things in the days before our modern chemical industry simplified these processes.

During the War of 1812 potash was embargoed by the British.  Prices skyrocketed and a booming illegal trade developed over the Canadian border.  This may be where nearby “Smuggler’s Notch” got its name.

Lumber and agriculture were essential to the success of the area over the years.  At one point, at least 75% of the land in Stowe was land cleared by lumber production and used for farming.

However, unlike much of Vermont, Stowe’s economy was not centered entirely around farming.  As resorts became popular by the mid 19th century, Stowe established a famous summer resort, putting their spectacular location to good use.  The tourism brought by the resort became a vital part of Stowe’s economy through WWI.

In 1913 Swedish residents of Stowe introduced skiing to the locals and forever changed Stowe’s history.  By the 1920’s it was a thriving center for winter sports, hosting a Winter Carnival with ski jumping, skating, and much more.  Downhill skiing became popular in the 1930’s, further cementing Stowe’s reputation as a fabulous winter destination.

Stowe is famous as a ski resort, but it has something to offer all year round.  In autumn it is a wonderful place to go watch the leaves change, go mountain biking, or just relax.  This week is Stowe Restuarant Week, offering you a great chance to experience all the culinary wonders that Stowe has to offer.

Relax in the Finger Lakes Region

Posted on: October 18th, 2013 by Erin Weir No Comments

798px-Hemlock_lakeAutumn is one of the most beautiful times to visit the Finger Lakes Region.  The leaves change colors and the rolling hills come alive with vibrant hues.  The vineyards, surrounded by all this foliage, are a spectacular sight.

Much of the  Finger Lakes Region is rural and farmland, so as the season changes to autumn there are a lot of new and interesting  things to do in the Finger Lakes Region.  Enjoy harvest festivals, increased farmers markets, visit U-Picks and pick your own fresh produce, and enjoy all the fun fall activities at each of these places! Pick your own pumpkins, partake in traditional lawn games, visit petting zoos, and more!  It’s also harvest time at the vineyards, so you’ll get to see the beginning of the wine making process.  Who knows, you might even get to participate in some grape picking or grape stomping!

Now that the racing season is over, you can stop by Watkins Glen International, the birthplace of American road racing, and drive your car around the track for just $25.   You can also join them for Glentoberfest on October 26th and enjoy some great regional craft beer!

If all that driving works up an appetite, don’t worry, there are tons of great  places to eat in the Finger Lakes Region.  The  vastness of the area and the large focus on providing fresh, local food, direct from the farm means there is no end to the options before you.  In bigger cities like Rochester, Syracuse, and Ithaca, you’ll have no trouble satisfying any craving.  In smaller towns you’ll find great places focusing on providing quality meals and service.

For the same reason that there is no scarcity of restaurants, there is no shortage of wonderful places to stay in the Finger Lakes Region.  You’ll find beautiful bed and breakfasts in old, federal era homes that match perfectly their country setting and charming towns, and large, luxurious hotels that see to your every need.

The Finger Lakes Region is a largely rural area and many towns have beautiful, charming turn of the century architecture.  It’s a great place to come enjoy a slower pace of life for a while.  Come relax, enjoy a glass of wine, and watch as the leaves change colors before your eyes.