While Upstate New York has always held a strange place in my heart, full of memories of long drives to visit my grandparents, in the past few years, I have vowed to discover its towns and explore what it has to offer. Recently, I had the opportunity to spend a winter weekend in Saugerties, New York, thanks to a great deal on Jetsetter. I booked immediately and surprised my mom with a girls weekend getaway.
While, she was initially shocked at our destination, once she saw where we would be staying, Diamond Mills Hotel, she understood why I had booked it. We decided that at least if the town had nothing to offer, we could rest and relax in the beautiful space offered by the hotel.
But, as soon as we turned onto Partition Street, we realized that wouldn’t be necessary. Full of adorable restaurants and shops, we knew it would be the ideal spot for our winter weekend getaway.
Where to Stay
Diamond Mills Hotel: A former paper mill, the now luxury, boutique hotel is located on Esopus Falls and each of the thirty rooms at the hotel offers a view. The balcony would be perfect to enjoy drinks on during warmer weather, but even in winter it offered the sounds of the falls and the ideal spot for a quick photo opportunity.
The rooms were comfortable and welcoming with touches of modern conveniences like an iPod docking system, radiant heat in the bathroom floors, and reliable Hi-Speed Internet access. The beds were so comfortable, we hardly wanted to get out of them each morning to explore, but there was so much for us to see.
Included in the hotel rate is a welcome cocktail at the hotel’s restaurant, The Tavern, as well as continental breakfast and afternoon coffee and cookies in the lobby. It has all the personal touches of a family owned inn, with the privacy and comfort of a modern hotel.
What to Do
Hike to Saugerties Lighthouse: Even if hiking is not normally your thing, this is the place to do it. About a five minute drive from the hotel, this spot is any easy walk, even in the snow. My mom is not a hiker, but she wanted to do something outdoors while we were in Saugerties. The scenery was stunning, and even though it got colder as we neared the lighthouse, it was worth it for the view. The lighthouse is only accessible during low tide, which also makes for icy conditions in the winter. Still, it’s a quick and easy walk, one that’s well-worth it for the gorgeous pictures you can take.
Wander Around and Shop: The town of Saugerties isn’t very large, but a quick walk from the hotel will give you some sightseeing and shops to browse around in. Everyone in town is so nice, you’re bound to make a few new friends while you’re at it. As the snow fell down outside, we spent our first morning exploring the little strip of stores. Most of our time was spent in Inquiring Mind Bookstore, where we played with puppets and browsed the bookshelves. It’s a place you could spend all day in, especially since there’s a coffee shop in the back and tables for chess. Another favorite was Light House, which carried unique items for the home.
Treat Yourself at the Spa: Savor Spa is not located in Saugerties, but it’s worth the trek outside of town. Not knowing if we were going to book treatments or not, we stopped in on our drive back to Saugerties from Woodstock. As soon as we met some of the staff and saw the facilities, we knew we wanted to get treatments. After breakfast on Sunday, my mom got a reflexology treatment and I got a massage. Not only is the spa eco-friendly, but a portion of each facial and massage purchased is being used to build a schoolhouse for children in Nicaragua through Pencils of Promise. They also carry their own brand of organic beauty products, Om Aroma & Co., which I highly recommend. I’ve been using their face cleanser since I’ve returned home, and my skin has never looked better.
Where to Eat:
Miss Lucy’s Kitchen: Listed on the Jetsetter’s listing of Diamond Mills, I knew I wanted to have a meal at Lucy’s Kitchen well before we arrived. But, as we drove past it on our way in Friday night, we fell for the adorable decor of aprons that lined the windows. Still, we waited and had lunch there on Saturday and loved it so much that we could have gone for every meal, especially because the menu changes each day. We heard great things about the duck spring rolls, but they weren’t on the menu during our stay. My recommendation would be the pastrami sandwich and blood orange margarita or chai sidecar.
The Tavern: Not your average hotel restaurant, The Tavern offers quality dining in the most beautiful setting. We started at the bar, which had an excellent menu and a spacious area for guests. For dinner, we sat near the fire with a view of the falls and I had the duck, while my mom enjoyed her burger. The restaurant was a gorgeous space with a big outdoor area overlooking the Falls, which is utilized during warmer months. While everything we had was delicious, my Mom and I still can’t stop talking about the Prince Edward Island Mussels.
Love Bites Cafe: While it may not appear too special from the outside, looks are deceiving. The bright decor, warm smiles, and extensive menu make this place a must for brunch. While we couldn’t sample the adult beverages since it was before 12am on a Sunday, we enjoyed coffee and a chai tea. I also loved my pumpkin bread french toast sticks; it was like eating dessert for breakfast, but better.
Inquiring Minds Bookstore: Definitely get a coffee from this spot, it’s delicious and you can tell it’s made with love. The selections seem endless and the staff is so kind. While you’re at it treat yourself with a cookie, they are made at much Mor bread, a local bakery.
Saugerties wouldn’t have been my immediate pick for a weekend destination, but we quickly fell for its charm and impressive food and beverage scene. It took both of us by surprise, and we are both planning separate trips back in the spring to experience a everything we still didn’t get to see. If you’re looking for a quick getaway and are located in the New York City area, I would highly recommend Saugerties.