Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Visit Local: Warwick, NY & The Hudson Valley Wineries

So Friday I turned 30. Yup, it happened. Unlike my fellow fabulous Scorpio Cassandra, there was no fan fare here on the blog. I just quietly let it happen. The few years leading up to 30 I was one of those, "What's the big deal, it's just another year?" people but as the date approached that definitely changed. I won't go into all of my turning 30 angst, I'm sure there are many of you out there who get it. Lets chat about a fun weekend getaway instead, shall we?

I love to travel but like many I'm limited by available vacation time, funds, etc. which means I usually get to take one or perhaps two long distance trips a year. That is definitely not enough for me. To satisfy my wanderlust I've been wanting to do more local traveling so as a great way to kick off my 30th year my boyfriend and I (and Milo) spent the weekend in the Hudson Valley.

After only about an hour in the car our adventure started on a portion of the Appalachian Trail that traverses the ridge of Bellvale Mountain, part of the Sterling Forest State Park. I think we might have been one week past peak fall foliage for the area but the views of Greenwood Lake from the ridge were pretty fantastic. This a 7 mile section of the trail but we only hiked about 3 miles in and then hoofed it back to the car. The trail is clearly marked however there are sections of exposed rock and some moderately steep climbs/descents so I would consider this an intermediate hike. Also, make sure the do a thorough tick check post hike. Milo had a stage 5 clinger but he was a good sport as I yanked it off of him.

Hiking the Appalachian Trail in Warwick NY
Milo on the trail

We stayed at what I think might be the only dog friendly Bed & Breakfast in the area, Meadowlark Farm. Charming is definitely the word for this place. With only three guest rooms you feel more like your spending the night at a distant relative's home than a B&B. The host and owner Dorothy is very warm and is a great resource of things to see and do. The king suite was lovely and had a private bath (with not so great shower pressure) and a comfortable seating area.

The B&B is only about 10 minutes for the Village of Warwick which is again charming and quaint and all of those lovely things. There's a nice variety of restaurants but were pretty pooped after the hike we so we had a casual meal at an Irish pub. Big thumbs up to the Blarney Station for offer vegetarian versions of French onion soup And Shepard's pie. After dinner we enjoyed our first drive-in movie (thanks to a tip from Dorothy) located about 5 miles outside of the village center.

Meadowlark Bed & Breakfast Warwick NY

Sunday we had a casual lunch in Sugar Loaf, NY. Don't let the website fool you it's even quainter than the Warwick downtown but it's worth a quick visit and a stroll. If you go check out The Candle Shop. They only sell one candle scent, the Sugar Loaf scented candle, in a bunch of shapes and sizes. The shop owners are as adorable as their little shop and you can watch them make the candles while you shop.

The Hudson Valley is home to about 25 small to medium scale wineries most of which are open to the public for tastings and tours. In the vicinity of Warwick is the Swanagunk Wine Trail 11 wineries nestled between the Shawangunk Mountains and the Hudson River. Our pace was set to leisurely so we only visited two of the wineries along this trail, Applewood Winery and Warwick Valley, but we tasted some great wines and enjoyed the drive through the countryside. I'm eager to plan a return visit in the Spring with a group of friends so we can hit up more of the wineries along the trail.

I loved this local trip and will definitely be planning more for the near future. Do you travel local? What are some of your favorite nearby places to visit? I would love some recommendations so please share!

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  1. Happy Birthday!! What a fun trip!!! I am only a few months away from the big 30 myself:)
    My favorite local trip is to Sun Valley Idaho. It is a gorgeous destination and only a few hours from me.

  2. The Hudson Valley is home of the oldest vineyard AND winery in the USA! One is very close to Warwick: the Brotherhood Winery.

    Enjoy your next visit!
    Myriam Bouchard
    Hudson Valley Traveler