Where to go in the northeast for a weekend reunion?
April 19, 2017 7:33 AM   Subscribe

I'm looking for a town for a weekend reunion of 10-11 people, in the northeast, that's relatively easily accessible. I'd like recommendations for a specific town, rather than a region.

I'm looking for a place for a weekend reunion of friends - 10-11 of us, in early August. Most of us will be coming from the Boston-DC corridor (largest group from NYC) but some will be flying in; ideally we'd be within an hour or so of a major airport; I think more than 2 hours is tough. Something on a train or bus line would be ideal. We'd like to stay in one large house/b&b but are happy to share rooms. There is some preference to do this outside a major city - we were in DC last year - but if you have a great city suggestion (not NYC or DC) that's an option. We don't need a lot of stuff to do as the main plan is to hang out and catch up, but we would like places to walk/run outdoors and perhaps a cute downtown or cultural thing to see would be nice, and we need access to a grocery store. I'm looking for suggestions for a specific town, and why rather than something general like "the Berkshires! the Catskills! Hudson River Valley" etc - those are regions under consideration though.
posted by john_snow to Travel & Transportation (18 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Northampton, Massachusetts, seems ideal. Good sized town, nice downtown, easily accessible. Less than an hour from Bradley.
posted by General Malaise at 7:38 AM on April 19, 2017 [2 favorites]

Portsmouth, NH has all you ask and more.
posted by kapers at 7:46 AM on April 19, 2017

Greenfield and Amherst Mass are smaller than Northampton but still have fairly active downtowns. Great Barrington, Mass is about an hour from Albany International. Saratoga Springs is very nice and less than an hour from Albany though it will be expensive in August.

On preview, Portsmouth is a great choice, too.
posted by plastic_animals at 7:55 AM on April 19, 2017

Hershey, Pennsylvania might be a good option. You've got the park, and the hotel, and Amish country nearby.
posted by empath at 8:06 AM on April 19, 2017

I spent a magical weekend at Salvato Mill, a restored mill that's been turned into a higher-end AirBnB, 2 hours outside NYC, with a group of friends (we were 6 adults and 2 children). It was amazing. It has lots of places to sleep, so as long as some of you are ok sharing, it should be ok for 11 people.

I was there in the early spring and found it a bit cold- it's a large space with some stone walls- but then again, I am always cold. If you have always-cold people among your group, tell them to bring their electric blankets. It was fantastic though. Full kitchen- we went shopping and cooked a gorgeous dinner together- and lots of nice green space outside.
posted by pseudostrabismus at 8:10 AM on April 19, 2017

You can take an Amtrak right to Brattleboro, VT and Manchester, NH is a good option for an airport an hour and 40 minutes from there. Really excellent food options, great book store, coffee shops.

The thing is finding a place to accommodate that many people (walkable distance to a town) might be tricky to find. (I often look for a group of 10 and the pickings can be slim)
posted by beccaj at 8:11 AM on April 19, 2017 [1 favorite]

Lake George in NY might work for you, though it has a bit more of an outdoors emphasis. I know there are conferences/small conventions held there, so that might help with the large-group-housing problem mentioned above.
posted by praemunire at 8:22 AM on April 19, 2017

Portland, ME is a great city and it has my second favorite small airport in the US. Easy flight from NYC and looks like there are direct flights from DC as well.
posted by that's candlepin at 8:40 AM on April 19, 2017 [3 favorites]

Assuming you count Bradley, TF Green, and the Jetport as major airports, pretty much all of inhabited New England is within a one-hour drive of a major airport. Is there something more specific that you're looking for? Without knowing more, I'll suggest Kennebunk, Maine; Lake Winnipesaukee, New Hampshire; and Newport, Rhode Island. Kennebunk has the cute downtown. Lake Winnipesaukee has the summer fun. Newport has the cultural stuff. Saratoga Springs might be nice, although August will be racing season.
posted by kevinbelt at 10:04 AM on April 19, 2017 [1 favorite]

Portsmouth, NH is great but not that accessible to public transport. You can take a C&J Trailways bus there from connection points in Boston, including Logan Airport and the train, but will need an Uber/cab/pickup from there to your residential location. I might suggest doing a house rental near there in Rye Beach - plenty of big houses, some right on the beach, very relaxing - but you'll need at least a couple cars to get back and forth to town, although it is a wonderful and easy bike ride too if people have bikes.
posted by Miko at 10:34 AM on April 19, 2017

Sorry, I should have been more clear - major airport is something like JFK/Newark/Boston. Some folks are coming from Europe and a couple others from across the US. For this group Jetport or Albany aren't good options, although actually BDL might work. The main problem is that we are spoiled for choice which is why I am looking for specific place recommendations! A two-hour range from Boston or NYC airports is still a huge number of places.
posted by john_snow at 10:38 AM on April 19, 2017

Montauk is two hours' drive from JFK; there's a train from Penn Station (and points in Queens) that goes right to town center. The town is full of taxis. There is a supermarket, lots of restaurants, beaches, mini-golf, hiking, biking, fishing, surfing, and shopping. Live music is not hard to find, and there is some cool art in the area (Pollock-Krasner house, Dan Flavin in Bridgehampton).
posted by xo at 10:52 AM on April 19, 2017

The Eastern Shore MD is within 2hrs of IAD / DCA / BWI - all major airports.

Ohiopyle state park is just out of range (3 hrs), but it's a wonderful place with lots to do
posted by askmehow at 11:13 AM on April 19, 2017

Portsmouth, NH is 1 hour from Boston Logan.
posted by Miko at 11:59 AM on April 19, 2017 [1 favorite]

Hudson, NY is a cute little town with a lot to eat, within range of outdoor activities, and within two hours of NYC.

I liked hiking in Harriman State Park (also right out of NYC), but I'm not sure where the best town in that area is.
posted by oryelle at 1:01 PM on April 19, 2017

Providence, RI, has enough to see and do, great restaurants, its own airport (plus coach service from Logan, on Bonanza Bus lines), and plenty of lodging. AAA baseball, Lovecraft stuff, historic houses, a zoo, the RISD museum, beaches, a minor league hockey tram, several colleges...so much!
posted by wenestvedt at 3:12 AM on April 20, 2017

Williamstown & North Adams, MA fit your description pretty well: two major art museums (the Clark & Mass MoCA) for the rainy days, and oodles of outdoor activity spots on the slopes of Mount Greylock. The downside is that even put together they're smaller than most of the other options mentioned here (so their "cute downtowns" are pretty small); and they're farther from the major airports (3 hours from BOS & JFK, but about 1.5 from BDL and 1 from ALB.)
posted by Johnny Assay at 6:04 AM on April 20, 2017

Also, have you considered Martha's Vineyard? It's really, really easy to get there on public transit from Boston Logan, and a more relaxing and yet interesting place can hardly be found. IT has excellent public transit infrastructure, so all ages can get around the island easily, and puh-lenty of large house rentals. Great for kids, for adults, nature lovers, music lovers, beach goers, shoppers...In your group I would recommend staying in Oak Bluffs, which has lots of things to do for those who like to stroll downtown and people-watch and stuff, but anywhere on the island puts you in reach of shopping, beaches, kayaking, kid stuff, hiking, biking, eating....
posted by Miko at 9:05 PM on April 20, 2017

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