With the rise of COVID-19 came the fall of many exciting things planned for the summer. At a time when many need it most, hopping on a plane to vacation is no longer an option. That said, this unconventional season doesn’t mean taking a break is impractical. With these destinations just a few hours away, they make the perfect day trips to take from the Greenwich and the New York City area and make the most of summer 2020.
Photo: Courtesy of Blantyre
The town of Lenox ─ nested in the beautiful Berkshire mountains─ and the neighboring areas are quintessential places to hike, visit beautiful historic properties, and enjoy stunning scenic views. Start your day with a hike at the
Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary amidst its trails and 1,000+ lush acres. Up for a challenge? Climb to the summit of Lenox Mountain for an unparalleled panoramic view of the Berkshires. The trails offer a range of hiking options suited to all levels, from .3 to 7 miles.
Photo: Courtesy of Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary
A trip to the Lenox area isn’t complete without visiting a renowned Berkshire mansion.
The Mount, home of
Edith Wharton in 1902, offers the opportunity to explore the extensive property and gardens and uncover the rich history of Wharton and the estate. Deemed “a great American house designed by a great American writer,” the Mount offers a glimpse into the life and legacy of one of America’s greatest authors. The Cafe, Main House, and Bookstore are anticipated to open in early to mid-July. Speaking of Great Estates, we have just listed
Ethelwynde, the last remaining Great Estate of private residency in Lenox.
Photo: Courtesy of The Mount
Next up is fine outdoor dining at
Blantyre Country Estate: starting July 1st, Blantyre will debut
Café Boulud to the Berkshires for the first time─ offering “the finesse of seasonal French cuisine along with the warm hospitality of a neighborhood cafe.” Using fresh and locally sourced ingredients, Chef Daniel Boulud’s team will offer dinner Wednesday through Sunday (with weekend brunch service). Guests should expect a lovely gourmet meal consisting of summer French classics with a twist. Reservations are available
Photo: Courtesy of Blantyre
A historic town settled in New York’s Hudson Valley, Rhinebeck offers many opportunities for relaxation and rejuvenation. Head over to
Mirbeau for dine-in
breakfast or lunch or to pick up a pre-prepared
picnic basket consisting of everything from a feast to a tablecloth and plates. Open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, their restaurant “Willow” by Charlie Palmer offers progressive American cuisine featuring produce from “emergent food artisans, craft distillers, and multi-generational farms.”
Photos: Courtesy of Mirbeau Rhinebeck
Just a few minutes down the road from Mirbeau,
Ferncliff Forest is the perfect place to take a stroll, bike, fish, or enjoy a picnic. For a rewarding experience, climb the “Fire Tower” ─one of Rhinebeck’s biggest attractions─ that offers breathtaking, far-reaching views from the top.
Photo: Ferncliff Forest Website
Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome is the perfect place to visit for their extensive collection of historic aircraft and antique vehicles. On July 14th, the museum and aerodrome will open to the public, featuring Wright-era planes and the opportunity to go on a thrilling
Photo: Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome Website
Finally, if you’re interested in spending more time in Rhinebeck, the nearby area has no shortage of luxurious overnight accommodations.
Troutbeck Inn and
Mirabeau Hotel are all wonderful options to consider.
Home to the beautiful Yale campus and nearby college town, New Haven is the ideal place to spend a day exploring. Drive down to
Louis' Lunch for a cozy spot to savor some upscale comfort food. Recognized as the birthplace of the original Hamburger Sandwich, Louis’ is well known for their tasty classics. This charming, family-owned restaurant is currently offering takeout for lunch and dinner.
Photo: Louis' Lunch Website
Recently reopened to the public,
Yale Bookstore (a Barnes & Noble College Store) has something to offer for everyone who walks through its doors. Its fine selection of books, gifts, and apparel are among the highest caliber of nearby bookstores; the perfect place to get lost in the shelves for hours.
Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana, commonly known as
Pepe's Pizza, is among the best bites in New Haven. Settled in the Wooster Square neighborhood, the popular and fan-favorite restaurant is offering dine-in, takeout, and delivery options. Its one-of-a-kind coal fire oven gives the world-famous pies their delectable “crisp, charred, and chewy crust”─ a memorable meal not to be missed.
Photos: Diana Delucia & Tom McGovern
After a meal at Pepe’s, head outdoors to enjoy the beautiful summer weather. Directly overlooking Long Island Sound,
Lighthouse Point Park offers remarkable views paired with refreshing ocean air. It makes a quaint, peaceful spot to have a meal or walk alongside the water. The 1847 lighthouse and its beachfront location are a favorite among locals, open 7:00 AM to 8:00 PM daily.
Photo: Visit Connecticut Website
If you want to picnic on the beach, grab your pass and head to Tod's Point. On your way, stop by Balducci’s or Aux Delices for anything from takeaway lunch or dinner to dessert and drinks. Don’t have a pass? No problem─ drive down to Binney Park across from the Perrot Library to enjoy the beauty of the surrounding nature.
While it’s easy to order a book from Amazon, now more than ever it’s important to buy local and support local business. Stop by
Diane's Books in Central Greenwich, offering curbside pickup with books delivered directly to your car. The store is well-regarded for its friendly staff who are happy to help you find your perfect next read. You can find Diane’s summer reading list and place your order
Each of these day trips is the perfect escape from routine, offering a variety of experiences from hiking, exploring, and dining. With all locations accessible from New York and Greenwich, you don’t need to look far to plan your one-day getaway.
*In the midst of the ongoing COVID-19 situation, days & hours are subject to change. It’s always best to check the website or call ahead for the most up-to-date information available before planning a visit.
This month's issue: Created by Greenwich High School Student Ambika Grover
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