A restful vacation near Upstate NY?
August 17, 2010 11:22 AM   Subscribe

I’m physically and mentally exhausted and I don’t know how to have a restful vacation anymore. For years I’ve come home from our typical vacations tired and stressed out by too much planning, too much decision making, too much driving and/or flying, and a wife who thinks we have to fill each day with sightseeing from dawn to dusk. This year we only have a week in mid-September and I’m looking for some ideas and suggestions for a more relaxing vacation that’s within about a six-hour drive of western NY.

I’ve been thinking about Vermont, the Adirondacks, the Thousand Islands or the Berkshires, but I’m open to other destinations and activities. I would like to stay in moderately priced lodging ($150/night or less) with comfortable beds (no double size rock-hard hotel mattresses with scratchy sheets).

We’d both like to go somewhere scenic. My wife likes streets filled with unique little shops and I don’t have a problem with some sightseeing. I also don’t mind visiting a number of places as long as we’re not changing hotels almost every day. I’m not sure what I’d like to do to relax or have fun, but I would like it to include sleeping late, doing some walking and running, and spending some time in a pool or hot tub (indoor is OK).
posted by someonesomewhere to Travel & Transportation around New York, NY (19 answers total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
Woodstock and the whole Catskills. So many places to see, so much beauty - and you can get holistic treatments all over the area that will keep you calm and centered.
posted by watercarrier at 11:32 AM on August 17, 2010 [2 favorites]

The places you mentioned sound nice. I'd say pick anywhere where you just find a small house by a lake with a mountain nearby. Maybe your wife can compromise on the shopping for a trip or let you sleep in and have some alone time while she does the busybody stuff? Try picking somewhere closer than a 6 hour drive if possible too so you don't feel as much of the pressures from travel.

Plan nothing -> Go on vacation -> do whatever the hell you want -> come home.
posted by zephyr_words at 11:40 AM on August 17, 2010

1000 Islands! Lots of towns to choose from, cute shopping areas, beautiful scenery. Some places only accessible by boat.
posted by coupdefoudre at 11:45 AM on August 17, 2010

i used to be an uberplanner and the ppl around me depended on me & other uberplanners to plan everything. loads of fun but became increasingly exhausting. i took a cue from the ppl around me and started to just wing it. i've had just as much fun doing what i felt like in the moment. with some very basic general planning: where to sleep where to go (or wing that too!). it's been an exercise but i've had some of the best times...i may never plan again!

also, i delegate: you take care of food, you take care of sleeping quarters, you in charge of desination, me in charge of hot tub :)
posted by UltraD at 11:46 AM on August 17, 2010

Maybe take a look at Niagara-on-the-Lake? Unless you have a reason not to include Canadian places to vacate to.
posted by Citrus at 11:48 AM on August 17, 2010

Have you considered coming north to Canada? Deerhurst Resort in Huntsville, Ontario is about a 3.5-hr drive from Buffalo and offers pretty much everything you’re looking for. It’s a classy place with a ton of activities in a really beautiful surrounding. Lots of small towns in the area (Huntsville itself is very nice) and plenty of boutique shopping. Can also take a day trip to Toronto (less than 2 hrs away) to satisfy your wife’s desire for sightseeing (though there is plenty to see in and around Deerhurst as well).
posted by yawper at 11:49 AM on August 17, 2010

Would you or your wife be interested in something like a meditation retreat? If you did that, the time would be scheduled and structured (perhaps appealing to your wife), but the planning would be handled by the retreat organizers, and the focus would be on relaxation (which is what you're looking for).
posted by ocherdraco at 11:53 AM on August 17, 2010

Does anyone have any specific suggestions about where to go or stay? Canada sounds good but I'm not sure if we'll have time to get enhanced drivers licenses so we can get back across the board.
posted by someonesomewhere at 12:13 PM on August 17, 2010

Old Forge, NY
Inlet, NY (next town over from Old Forge)
Raquette Lake, Blue Mountain Lake and Long Lake. The towns over from OF and Inlet.

Adirondack.net has lots of information.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 12:21 PM on August 17, 2010

The New Paltz area is nice - I've stayed at Minnewaska Lodge, which is out of the price bracket you specified, but there were other B&Bs and small hotels in the area. New Paltz is a college town but has some interesting small shops, and Woodstock is a convenient day trip.
posted by catlet at 12:23 PM on August 17, 2010

This doesn't address the issue of a specific place, but the most relaxing vacation I EVER had was an archaeological dig. Working physically 6-10 hours a day was exhausting (my husband and I are desk job people), we got up when we were told, ate when we were told, did what we were told, had no access to the internet, and basically made NO DECISIONS AT ALL (even food choices were quite limited and lunch was just whatever we got), not even when to break for tea. This no-decision state was wonderful. Plus we were exhausted every night and slept like logs.

I have never come back from a vacation so refreshed!
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 12:32 PM on August 17, 2010

I've come to the conclusion that the most restful vacations I've had are the ones that focused on outdoor physical activity. It sounds contradictory, but if you plan a vacation around kayaking, cycling, hiking, camping, sailing, skiing, canoeing, surfing, golfing, or any other such activity, you are not compelled so much to multi-task and cram activities into your day. A singular focus may prove to be more restful to the mind.
posted by kaudio at 12:39 PM on August 17, 2010 [1 favorite]

Wherever you go, you might check out Vacation Rentals By Owner (VRBO) to see what's available for lodging. We've rented great houses for $100-150 a night and the owners usually had some fantastic local knowledge.
posted by golden at 12:44 PM on August 17, 2010 [1 favorite]

Is Cape Cod too far away from you?

Just sit on the beach all day. Stay on the bayside near Brewster, and when the tide is low, the water recedes like a mile or something - so fun to walk and look for sea critters in little tide pools!

The negative ions from the ocean surf are good for you, too. Then back to your beach blanket. Return to the beach that evening with a glass of white wine to watch the sun set .... Wash. Rinse. Repeat.

There are shops and stuff for your wife to enjoy. September is THE BEST on the Cape because the weather is great, but the tourists are gone. Heaven.

Nantucket and the Vineyard work, too:)
posted by jbenben at 12:55 PM on August 17, 2010

Okay, I don't think it's a question of location so much as it is your travel partner. If your wife HAS to be doing something on your vacation, every moment from dawn till dusk, it doesn't matter where you go because she'll still be wanting to DO something, unless you go somewhere where there is nothing to do whatsoever, no tours or shops.

(And even then, you never know. I went off to a remote area of Washington for vacation and the only time I got to lounge around was because my travel partner got herself injured one day, and another half day we had to wait around for a maintenance fix on the house we were staying in. Other than that we were doing the usual out-at-dawn-drive-around-shop-all-day stuff she does every trip anyway.)

Will your wife insist that the two of you be together 24-7 on every trip, doing everything together? Or could you perhaps talk her into leaving you at the hotel all day while she shops? Because it seems to me that if she doesn't like relaxing and you need to relax, the only solution is for both of you to not spend all day every day together.
posted by jenfullmoon at 12:57 PM on August 17, 2010 [4 favorites]

I went to lake george as a kid and stayed in a cabin on the lake I loved it.
posted by bravowhiskey at 1:36 PM on August 17, 2010

I spent a weekend at Mount St. Alphonsus this summer and it was lovely - a huge, crazy old building, gorgeous grounds. It's a former Catholic seminary and the art is... well, Catholic, but if you can get past that it was a lovely place to hang out.
posted by restless_nomad at 9:05 PM on August 17, 2010

I also think your problem might be your partner, who just has a different idea of what a vacation is. Whatever you do, make sure your vacation has very little opportunity for sightseeing!!! So your answer is "what do you want to do?".
posted by xammerboy at 10:23 PM on August 17, 2010

I think we're going to "wing it" and wander towards Rutland/Windsor/Woodstock VT. Last year I didn't get the downtime my wife promised me. This year I think she understands that I'm either going to have a restful vacation or we're going to start taking separate vacations from now on. We'll see. Thank you for the advice.
posted by someonesomewhere at 5:54 AM on August 18, 2010

« Older Troubleshooting distortion within turntable.   |   Could we survive a dive into water from out... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.