A Magazine about the Hudson Valley’s local economy, published by Hudson Valley Current.

A Backyard Vacation

My wife and I recently celebrated our tenth wedding anniversary. We decided to have grandma watch the kids for five days while we went on a little vacation. The usual questions arose about where to go and what to do, but we decided that we wanted to stay local.
Our romantic getaway would be a staycation like we’ve never experienced before. We always hear about all of the nearby towns, but do we fully explore and dare to discover something new? We often get stuck in our routines of going to the same stores, taking the same drive, or staying within the invisible boundaries that mountain and other features create.
We rented a cozy cabin right near the Ashokan Reservoir. The plentiful food, wood fire, and stocked book shelves kept us busy at night while during the day we explore places we should have visited long ago. We look at Ashokan High Point almost every day, so we decided to climb to the summit (our house was almost visible in the distance). After the eight-mile hike it was off to Winchell’s Corner Restaurant in Shokan for an assortment of perfectly satisfying foods.
Part of the purpose of the trip was to take it slow for a moment, so we strolled through Phoenicia, drove some back roads or Kingston, and meandered to Ellenville. The big celebration night was spent at our favorite restaurant, Aroma Thyme Bistro.
While on our mini journey, we shopped at farm stands in Gardiner, did some people watching in New Paltz, and enjoyed getting lost on a detour in Rosendale.
This was one of the least expensive vacations I have ever had, and probably one of the most fun. We talked to new people every day—saw fresh perspectives—but we still felt it was home.
–Chris Hewitt