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Need to get out of NYC on my birthday

My birthday is coming up and I have a rare access to a car. I need to take little day trip somewhere... that has some good food and scenery. Maybe upstate? Maybe Long Island. I looked at lunch at Mohonk Lodge in New Paltz and it seemed a little pricey ($65pp). Any suggestions? I work in an inner-city high school and would love a breath of fresh air!

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  1. Oh! How about Blue Hill Stone Barns? You could take a little tour of the farm and then have lunch there.

    2 Replies
    1. re: potluck

      That was actually the top of my list! It's a good trip?

      1. re: nicholel

        its a easy trip apprx 32 miles from mid town nyc...n a weekend with no traffic 45 mins

    2. I was thinking Blue Hill also, like potluck said you could take a little tour of the farm or not to far from there (you would need a car though) are the tours for the Rockefeller estate. Blue Hill is part of the Rockefeller estate but I was thinking of Kykuit....the big house........ http://www.hudsonvalley.org/content/v...
      Or if you would like to be down by the river maybe something like Red Hat Grill in Irvington...... http://www.redhatbistro.com/
      or Harvest on Hudson in Hastings on Hudson...... http://www.harvest2000.com/hoh/
      you would not need a car for either of the last 2, they are right by the train station.
      Mohonk Mountain House is a beautiful place but it's a far ride and I would only go if it was good weather and I think I would eat somewhere else in the New Paltz area. I've eaten at Mohank and while I really enjoyed the brunch there, dinner was not worth the price. But if your up for a day of hiking, the grounds are beautiful.

      2 Replies
      1. re: GIOny

        I also second Blue Hill for an out of the city experience. I much prefer the Blue Hill in WC to that in the city...

        1. re: RawTunaFan

          So Blue Hill it was. Was a cool experience. We had a tour by one of the gardeners who was very knowledgeable about the whole operation. Made me want to bring my students there. Afterwards we had a simple lunch in the cafe. But we weren't too hungry as we sampled fruit along the way.

          Really pretty place. The hogs were adorable - so friendly and fat. They looked very happy living out in the woods.

      2. You could drive over the Tappan Zee to Piermont (NY) and have dinner at either Kelly's Xavier's or Freelance Cafe.


        1 Reply
        1. re: cavandre

          No lunch at Xaviers in Piermont or Freelance. The food at Mohonk Mountain house is less than worthy of the long drive - lunch is a very institutional buffet. Blue Hill is a good bet, Red Hat too.

        2. Do you want lunch or dinner. My favorite restaurant is the Iron Forge Inn in Warwick, but it's only open for dinner. Excellent food and beautiful location though. www.ironforgeinn.com

          1 Reply
          1. re: Avalondaughter

            Look more toward lunch. But that place looks grand. Maybe I can get a Saturday dinner out of it!

          2. i think the name is thayer hall, in west point academy, weekdn buffets, short dirive, great scenery etc etc

            1 Reply
            1. Mohonk Mountain House s the ultimate getaway, and they have room specials, spa services, indoor pool, and much more.
              Well worth the money!

              5 Replies
              1. re: dinerfan

                Good grief. It may be beautiful with a gorgeous spa, but hardly the ultimate getaway if you like good food.

                1. re: wincountrygirl

                  I've heard from friends that Mohonk has always had pitiful food. It might be past its prime as a resort as well, there seem to be lots of better choices in that area. And if you are going to drive 2 hours to New Paltz, the downtown area has some really good restaurants.

                2. re: dinerfan

                  Mohonk is one of the most beauitiful setting year round. Jfood loves the place. The drawbacks - some think the rooms are a little stodgey and the food is that of a low-medium grade cruise ship.

                  1. re: jfood

                    CH is about the food, not the view, isn't it? Even the defenders of Mohonk agree that the food is pretty awful. And these days there are lots of beautiful restored and converted B & Bs with stunning situations.

                    If we want to stay in this general area, the Depuy Canal House has awesome food and is a gorgeous environment as well. This one is definitely worth an excursion, IMHO. I have done the drive and back to the Depuy just for the food and a few hours in the countryside. The chef/owner, John Novi, has received much acclaim in his many years of owning the place. Highly preferable to Mohonk in my book.

                    Depuy Canal House
                    Route 213
                    High Falls, NY

                  2. Happy BIrthday Nichole - I just read about Saugerties, NY yesterday. It was listed as one of the top 10 small towns. Sounds like they have several nice B & B's and restaurants in the area. I plan to add that to my list of places to visit. Whatever you do, hope your B-day is special

                    1. Ditto on the birthday greetings, best wishes and all praise to you for what you do.
                      It appears my endorsement of Mohonk is probably not to be credited. Beautiful and impressive, though, it appears the food is lacking in the basic fundmentals of quality common to this board. My parents went there for decades (Yale Law reunions with old pals) had joyous times, so sentiment intruded.
                      Canal House looks intriguing, I'll have to try it. And Poughkeepsie is a fun college town to play around in for an afternoon, if that's on the way.
                      Good luck and many happy!

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: dinerfan

                        Thanks! Did get away for a day - we ended up doing the shorter Blue Hill trip. Was really beautiful. Both Mohonk and Canal House look intriguing. Need to find a well-priced weekend. Getting out of the city is so important for me but it rarely happens. No car and scads and scads of papers to grade (I have 163 students this year).

                        1. re: nicholel

                          You don't need a car to get to Mohonk as if you make arrangements ahead of time, they will send someone to pick you up at the bus station and you certainly won't want to leave the property while you are there as it is so beautiful. That doesn't solve the "well-priced" issue, though!

                      2. I love this place up in the Catskills. It's further north than what everyone else has mentioned, but nothing is prettier than driving through the little towns in the Catskills in the fall.

                        1. Happy (belated) birthday - and many thanks for following up and letting us know where you went and how you enjoyed it. I've been "lurking" and wondering what you decided! Glad you had such a great time.