While New York City is known for its hustle and bustle; Upstate New York is a destination for fine cuisine, wineries and most importantly, slowing down.
Just outside of Manhattan, Long Island offers white-sand beaches, deep-sea fishing, surf breaks and is home to a range of world-class wineries and top-rated restaurants.
The Preston House & Hotel is located minutes from Long Island’s Hamptons on the South Fork and historic Wine Country on the North Fork. The 1905 landmark home – once owned by Henry H. Preston, the first salaried sheriff of Suffolk County – features 20 upscale rooms and suites. Situated on a private beach overlooking the Long Island Sound is The Sound View Greenport. Every room opens directly onto a waterfront deck, where guests can enjoy local wines while taking in the sunset.
Eat and drink
Owners of Sparkling Pointe Vineyard, Cynthia and Tom Rosicki have dedicated Sparkling Pointe Vineyards and Winery to producing wines of the bubbly variety. Farming 40 acres of vineyard, the couple only plants classic Champagne grape varietals – pinot noir, pinot meunier and chardonnay – each Sparkling Pointe Cuvee is an expression of the land and their skill. Additionally, at Noah’s restaurant, where native Long Islander Noah Schwart is chef, guests can enjoy fresh seafood and classic small plates.
The Riverhead Cider House offers a wide variety of naturally harvested apple ciders, local beers and wines alongside fresh local produce and bites in an effort to support Long Island’s farm-to-fork revolution.
Deep Hollow Ranch is considered the birthplace of the American cowboy and is said to be the oldest working ranch in the US. The venue offers guests cattle-herding demonstrations, horseback trail rides and more. Travellers can also visit Oheka Castle located between New York City and The Hamptons. For visitors looking to extend their experience, Oheka also offers 32 luxurious guestrooms and suits for an overnight stay.
Sail through the bays surrounding Greenport, a village in Long Island, on a Fastnet 45 named Layla with Layla Sailing. Captain Liz earned her captain’s licence sailing in the USVI, Hawaii and across the Atlantic Ocean.
The Hudson Valley is a diverse region characterised by history, mountains and farm-to-table restaurants.
The Mohonk Mountain House is an award-winning National Historic Landmark Resort and Historic Hotel of America. The resort features a wealth of recreation including a Skating Pavilion, rock climbing, and 136 kilometres of trails for hiking, mountain biking, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing. Within the house grounds you’ll also find gardens, a nine-hole golf course, tennis courts and stables for horseback riding and horse-drawn carriage rides.
Mark Twain, Henry David Thoreau and President Theodore Roosevelt have something in common; they’ve all stayed at Troutbeck. Guests can experience the Troutbeck farm-to-table restaurant, explore the expansive grounds or join a yoga, Pilates or guided meditation session.
Eat and drink
The newly redesigned and reopened Vanderbilt Lakeside offers a modern American menu featuring local ingredients, plus craft cocktails, boutique wines, and craft and local beers. Dine seated on a two-tier outdoor deck overlooking a scenic lake and lawn with trees and wildflowers or have drinks by the lakeside firepit or in The Game Room. Over at Wm. Farmer and Sons, the guesthouse, restaurant and bar is inspired by the local Hudson Valley farms, enticing diners with such dishes as crispy catfish nuggets, dry-aged steak tartare, Island Creek oysters, octopus pot pie and veal sweetbreads.
Making wines since 1839, Brotherhood is America’s oldest winery. Guests can tour the underground cellars, then visit the tasting room to sample their cabernet sauvignon, chardonnay and more. Make a stop at 1939 Restaurant and Bar – you’ll find Blue Point oysters, ‘brotherhood-style’ hot chicken and certified Angus New York strip steak on the menu at the winery’s on-site restaurant.
Upstate New York, especially Hudson Valley, is a vibrant arts destination. Dia:Beacon is a museum of contemporary art based out of a former Nabisco box-printing factory. The museum houses art from the 1960s to present day and also hosts occasional exhibitions.
Located between the Shawangunk Mountains and the Hudson River is the Shawangunk Wine Trail, a group of 15 diverse wineries in the Hudson River Region. The new facilities and refurbished wineries are upwards of 100 years old. Hard ciders, distilled spirits can also be found on the trail.
The 1000 Island Harbor Hotel offers guest rooms and suites. The hotel is in a prime location for visitors to explore all that Clayton has to offer, including the Antique Boat Museum, Clayton Opera House and Boldt Castle. The Harbor House Inn, which boasts newly reinspired decor, elegant amenities and luxurious appointments, is located at Sackets Harbor; easy walking distance to many attractions.
Eat and drink
Saint Lawrence Spirits Chateau works with local farmers for a farm-to-table experience. The restaurant also offers the opportunity to meet one-on-one with the Wine Director to set up an exclusive ‘Wine and Whiskey Keep’. Thousand Islands Club is a fine dining yacht club with a menu that offers organic steak and small plate specialities.
Boldt Castle, located near Alexandria Bay in Upstate New York, is the backdrop of a sad love story. Millionaire hotel magnate, George C Boldt started building the castle as a tribute to his wife. Just before its completion, Mrs Boldt passed away and Mr Boldt was too distraught to complete it. Travellers can visit Boldt Castle for unique views over the archipelago of islands.
The 1000 Islands-Seaway Wine Trail features eight family-owned wineries with views of the St Lawrence River, island castles and farmland. The region produces whites, reds and rosés using different varieties of grapes, including hybrids that can withstand extreme seasonal temperatures. Sample the flavours of the area at Otter Creek Winery in Philadelphia or Busted Grapes Winery in Black River, among others.
Read next: Tantalise your tastebuds in the best wine regions of 2019