Ideas for a 5 day solo escape from New York
October 12, 2011 4:27 PM   Subscribe

Any ideas for a 5 day residential escape from New York for a UK tourist

I am on holiday in New York visiting friends, and it's been one hell of a trip, but I'm thinking of getting out of the city for the last 5 days or so on a solo trip. I fly out of JFK on the eve of 20th and the earliest I can leave is this Saturday.

My first thought was some kind of meditation retreat but I can't find any with good dates.

Perhaps I am asking for recommendations for a rural hotel that would welcome a solo traveller looking for quiet for reflection and writing.

Or I'd be open to the idea of an organised tour. Any and all ideas welcome.
posted by choppyes to Travel & Transportation (9 answers total)
Maybe Mohonk Mountain house? It's a Victorian retreat built in 1869 and it's about 2 hours North of Manhattan.
posted by sharkfu at 4:55 PM on October 12, 2011 [1 favorite]

Great Smokey Mountains National Park.
It is an beautiful place, but even more so in the fall with leaves changing colors.

Fly into Knoxville, TN. Rent a car and drive to Gatlinburg. That is very cool little town. Stay there, and decompress.
posted by Flood at 5:30 PM on October 12, 2011

Love the Mohonk Mountain House! Lots of great walks and hiking, the big hotel is classic Americana, also there's a spa...but it's all rather expensive, I think? Got quid?
How about hopping on the Acela to Boston, then transfer to Portsmouth New Hampshire & spend a few days there - lots of walks, brew pubs, river activities, nice people, concerts and sweet galleries. And leaf peeping!
The Jersey Shore is off season and very quiet now. You can walk the beach for miles on a grey afternoon, stay in Bay Head (last stop for the NJ Coast Line train out of Penn Station), check out the commercial fishing fleet, eat fresh scallops, watch the ocean, drink at the Broadway with the locals.
Cape May is beautiful, again off season and more long walks on the beach, all the old Victorian homes and B&Bs plus there's the ferry to go over to Lewes Delaware for the day, if you like boat rides.....
Can you tell I wish I had five days off!??!
posted by henry scobie at 5:54 PM on October 12, 2011

Walkway Over The Hudson is a train bridge that's now open for pedestrian use as part of the Hudson Valley Rail Trail; it also serves as a bicycle path. The Ulster County portion of the Trail runs toward New Paltz, where the aforementioned Mohonk House resides.

If you do decide to try out New Paltz, Bacchus is a pub with great meals and a wide selection of beers. (They even has a yard glass!) A pool hall is located next door, and if music's your fancy, Rhino Records and Jack's Rhythms are within walking distance, as is Barner Books.

Should you fancy a trip to the Poughkeepsie side of the Hudson River, the Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center at Vassar College has an excellent collection of artworks ranging from the Antiquity to the Postmodern Era. Admission is free, though the gift shop is open to non-students by appointment. Vassar is also home to WVKR, a community radio station.

Other local attractions include the Vanderbuilt Mansion, Franklin Delano Roosevelt's Estate and Locust Grove, Home of Samuel Morse. The sailing ship Clearwater, which was conceived by singer Pete Seeger, calls the Hudson its home.

As it's October, Kevin McCurdy's Haunted Mansion and Headless Horseman Hayrides and Haunted House are Halloween favorites, while Barton Orchards will be showcasing their annual Corn Maze.

Along with the spectacular fall foilage,there's also a small number of MeFites who live Upstate. An impromptu meetup could be arranged, if you like.
posted by Smart Dalek at 5:55 PM on October 12, 2011 [1 favorite]

Eastern Long Island is really wonderful in the fall. You've missed the mad tourist season. If it were me, I'd take the train out to Montauk, walk on the beach and visit the lighthouse, hike in Hither Hills state park, hang out in town (or any of the hamptons town this time of year are nicer than in summer) and breathe salt from this side of the Atlantic before returning to yours. I can't recommend a specific hotel, but there are many.
posted by Tylwyth Teg at 6:58 PM on October 12, 2011 [1 favorite]

Do you want public transit accessible?

Also a monastery might work well. This one is Episcopalian. Monks tend to be pretty unpushy about the religious aspect of things.
posted by Jahaza at 6:59 PM on October 12, 2011

Casting another vote for Mohonk Mountain house. I went there when I was a little kid, came back as an adult, and it still felt like the most magical place in the world. You can pretend you are in Hogwarts, pretend you are in another century (ignore the computer room), or sit in the rocking chairs on the creaky wooden porch and pretend life is peaceful.
posted by Sylvia Plath's terrible fish at 7:02 PM on October 12, 2011

The Mohonk has become insanely expensive, sadly. Henry Scobie's suggestions are great, especially Portsmouth NH. But you can't get there on the train from Boston; you'll have to take the C and J Trailways bus from South Station Boston to Portsmouth, then a can from the bus depot to downtown. All easy to do, though.
posted by Miko at 7:40 PM on October 12, 2011

Or MArtha's Vineyard. This is the absolute best time of year to go, and it's the best place I know for writing and reflecting. You can get there from South Station Boston by bus as well, and maybe from Providence though I'm less sure of that.
posted by Miko at 7:40 PM on October 12, 2011 [1 favorite]

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