Read all about Lucy’s family holiday to the Catskills and Hudson Valley! Upstate New York with the Catskills and Hudson Valley is the place to go to right now! There is a real renaissance happening. How to spend an amazing 3 days with you kids there? A wonderful trip for those families who love nature and the outdoors.
We know Lucy Wilkes, a Londoner living in Ireland, as a TRVLBEES member in two ways. She is a TRVLBEES property owner herself, who published her beautiful vacation home Bonane House on TRVLBEES. She is a mum of two who loves traveling to family friendly, stylish and eco hideaways.
Before travelling upstate we had spent 5 nights in New York City so escaping to the wilderness was the perfect antidote. I would definitely recommend a family holiday to the Catskills and Hudson Valley to families looking for a country break.
Our days were very relaxed, we were happy exploring the amazing countryside and interesting towns. The only thing I would do differently would be to go a little later in the season. We visited during Spring / Easter break and some stores, restaurants and attractions were still closed.
It really all depends on where you are staying. There is so much to do, it’s almost unimaginable to say! Hiking, fishing, biking, climbing, open farms, museums & historical sites, great food, shops and towns. New York state has it all and it’s huge; bigger than Ireland and the Netherlands combined. The Hudson Valley alone stretches around 230km from Yonkers to Albany.
My advise: choose a small patch and explore that. Chat to the super friendly locals about things to do in your area. I also found brooklyndoublewide.com a valuable resource for the kids and escapebrooklyn.com great for info on small towns.
We enjoyed, Woodstock and the counter-culture spirit it represents. Searching for wild turkeys in Callicoon, boutique shops of Narrowsburg, Rhinebeck and Kingston, Minnewaska State Park and Awosting Falls, coffee in High Voltage Cafe and the intriguing story of Mountaindale, the drive through the Big Indian Wilderness to the amazing Phoenicia Diner and the breathtaking Dia at Beacon. One thing we missed that I wish we had done was Bethel Woods Center for the Arts, located at the site of the 1969 Woodstock Festival – if you’re lucky enough to be there this summer you should definitely go for the 50th Anniversary celebrations.
The three criteria are hugely important, I want my children to be comfortable and happy but I don’t want to totally sacrifice style or eco credentials. It’s not always possible to tick all three boxes but they are the best starting point, keep those in mind from the off-set and you may get all three or at least somewhere close.
In NY we split our time between two locations Woodstock, in Ulster County and Livingstone Manor in Sullivan County both of which sit within The Catskills, a mountain range and protected park to the west of the Hudson river and 160km north of NYC.
In Woodstock we stayed in the Woodstock Way Hotel and this place is totally TRVLBEES. Pretty much brand new, built with reclaimed wood, living roof systems, bio-retention ponds, high-efficiency, low carbon footprint materials. The cosy cabins and sleek suites represent sustainable, conscious design. Staff were welcoming and friendly and the property is tucked away yet right in the middle of town. Oh and the room was huge!
Livingstone Manor is a very vibrant and sweet small town with, amongst other things, an excellent bakery and wine shop but really what more do you need! We stayed in Willowemoc Cottage 10 minutes drive from the town, a perfect away-from-it-all location ideal for walking, exploring and fresh air. Newly renovated and lovingly restored I couldn’t say about it’s eco credentials but it has bucket loads of style, a fenced garden with fire-pitt and hammock. The owners have a number of vintage pieces of furniture and the stairs are partially open so I would say kids 6+.
The whole trip to NYC and NY state trip was made in memory of my grandmother who passed away at the fantastic age of 101! She left her great-grand children a small legacy, not enough of a nest-egg to warrant saving but definitely too much to be spent on soon forgotten toys. Instead, a family decision was made to spend the money on a flight to New York – the chosen destination. So out of all the amazing things we did, it’s her I hope they remember the most, a-salt-of-the-earth good old fashioned Cockney, whose holidays were spent fruit and hop picking in the Kent Countryside!
The value in the choices we make, the importance of understanding and respecting other cultures, histories and ways of doing things, to embrace difference and embrace it with integrity and humility. How hugely privileged and fortunate we are to explore this world but to try and leave only very small tracks upon it. But also; enjoy life because it’s great being a kid!
Owning a holiday rental we are very fortunate to connect with, meet and host families looking to make wonderful travel memories with their children and I hope, in part, we help them do that. Choosing Bonane House makes them all real TRVLBEES in my mind!
Want to chekc out more accommodations for a family holiday to the Catskills and Hudson Valley, then check out the whole TRVLBEES Collection here!