How has the popularity of upstate New York as a destination changed in recent years?
In recent years, the popularity of upstate New York as a destination has significantly increased. The region has seen a surge in visitors, particularly city dwellers, who are seeking a retreat from urban life and a closer connection with nature. The COVID-19 pandemic has also played a role in this increased popularity, as people have developed a renewed appreciation for open spaces and outdoor activities. Upstate New York offers breathtaking landscapes, scenic views, and a sense of community that attracts tourists from all over the world.
What is the significance of the Catskills in upstate New York?
The Catskills hold immense significance in upstate New York. From the 1920s to the 1970s, it was a beloved vacation destination, especially for the Jewish community. The Catskills were home to iconic Borscht Belt resorts like Grossinger’s and Kutsher’s, where people could enjoy all-inclusive vacations with entertainment and amenities. These resorts hosted legendary performers like Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong, Rodney Dangerfield, and Jerry Seinfeld, creating unforgettable moments in entertainment history. While the popularity of the Catskills declined over time, the memories and nostalgia associated with this era still live on.
What are some examples of boutique hotels in upstate New York and what makes them unique?
Upstate New York is home to several boutique hotels that offer unique and unforgettable experiences. One example is Inness, located in the Hudson Valley. Inness combines a boutique hotel, restaurant, and member’s club, creating a luxurious and immersive package for guests. Eastwind Hotels recently opened a new property along Esopus Creek in Ulster County, adding to their stellar portfolio of exceptional hotels. Piaule Catskill is a design-forward mountain retreat that offers orthogonal-shaped cabins and a serene escape from daily life. These boutique hotels not only provide luxurious accommodations but also embody creativity and charm, making each stay truly memorable.
Growing up in upstate New York was a truly magical experience. I spent the happiest days of my childhood at a Russian bungalow colony near the town of Ellenville in the Catskills. Surrounded by nature, I learned to appreciate the simple joys of life and the beauty of the great outdoors.
Now, as I sit on my porch in the mid–Hudson Valley, I find myself reminiscing about those days. The sounds of birds chirping and the sight of a fat groundhog peeking out of his hole bring back a flood of memories. It's incredible how a place can hold such a special place in our hearts.
One of my favorite pastimes in the region is indulging in the delicious local cuisine. GioBatta Alimentari, a charming local restaurant, serves the most incredible gnudi di cavolo nero. The thick, soupy kale sauce perfectly complements the bread, creating a mouthwatering combination of flavors.
But it's not just the food that makes upstate New York so special. The breathtaking landscapes and scenic views are simply unmatched. Driving along the Hudson River, with purple mountains ahead and curving riverbanks behind, is a truly exhilarating experience. Every turn reveals a new vista, a new moment of awe.
After spending countless summers in upstate New York, I decided to make it my permanent home. I bought a house not far from where I spent those summers as a child, and now I split my time equally between this rural part of the state and the bustling city of New York.
In recent years, upstate New York has seen a surge in popularity as a destination. The amenities, especially the food and drink options, have grown significantly. Many city dwellers have flocked to upstate, especially since COVID-19 brought about a renewed appreciation for nature and open spaces.
What's most fascinating is that upstate New York still maintains its charm and sense of community. Artists and writers have formed close-knit colonies, creating a vibrant and creative atmosphere. It's a place where ideas blossom and new perspectives are fostered.
As the popularity of upstate has grown, so too has the emergence of new hotels in the region. These hotels are not just places to rest your head; they are works of art in their own right. Creativity flows through both their lodgings and their kitchens, offering guests an immersive and unforgettable experience.
The Catskills, in particular, hold a special place in the hearts of many. From the 1920s through the 1970s, it was a popular vacation destination for Jewish people. The Borscht Belt resorts, such as Grossinger's and Kutsher's, provided all-inclusive vacations with entertainment and amenities. Icons like Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong, Rodney Dangerfield, and Jerry Seinfeld graced the stages of these hotels, creating unforgettable moments.
However, as times changed and preferences shifted, the Catskills experienced a decline in popularity. Many of the old hotels have fallen into disrepair and have been abandoned. But the memories and nostalgia associated with the Catskills live on, reminding us of a bygone era.
Upstate New York is also home to a multitude of scenic waterfront restaurants. These hidden gems offer not only delicious seafood dishes but also breathtaking views of the Hudson River. Imagine dining on crab cakes and clam chowder while taking in the sunset over the water. It's a truly surreal experience.
From waterfront restaurants in Catskill and Coeymans to Poughkeepsie and Beacon, there is no shortage of options. Café Pitti in Newburgh serves dishes cooked in a wood-fired oven, including their famous truffle steak pizza and lobster ravioli. And for those looking for a riverside setting, The River Grill in Newburgh offers expertly crafted margaritas and fresh tacos.
To fully immerse oneself in the beauty of upstate New York, staying at one of the many boutique hotels is a must. These hotels offer not only luxurious accommodations but also a unique and unforgettable experience. Inness, located in the Hudson Valley, combines a boutique hotel, restaurant, and member's club into one exquisite package.
Eastwind Hotels recently opened a new property along Esopus Creek in Ulster County. This expansion adds to their portfolio of exceptional hotels that provide guests with an unparalleled experience. Piaule Catskill, a design-forward mountain retreat, offers orthogonal-shaped cabins and a serene escape from the busyness of everyday life.
Scribner's Catskill Lodge caters to social and sport-seeking travelers, providing a home away from home in the heart of the Catskills. Hotel Lilien in Tannersville is a chic mountain getaway housed in a refurbished Victorian-style estate. It exudes elegance and charm, making it the perfect place to unwind and rejuvenate.
Habitas Staatsburg, the first property in the USA for sustainably-led hospitality group Habitas, offers a truly unique and conscious travel experience. With a focus on sustainability and community, it creates a space where guests can connect with both nature and each other.
These are just a few examples of the incredible boutique hotels that can be found in upstate New York. Each one offers its own distinct charm and character, providing guests with an unforgettable stay.
Upstate New York is a region of endless beauty and charm. From the stunning landscapes to the close-knit communities, there is something truly magical about this part of the state. Whether you're exploring the historic Catskills, dining at a waterfront restaurant, or staying at a boutique hotel, upstate New York offers a long reach and exciting experience that will stay with you forever.
References: - The New York Times - Hudson River Park's website - Curbed - Hudson Valley Magazine