Happy New Year, EscapeMakers! This time every year, we tend to reflect on our health and self, often looking for a detox of some sort to bounce back after the hectic holiday season. Whether you’re participating in a dry January, committing to a new diet or exercise routine, challenging your mind to explore new ideologies, or simply focusing on better mental health for the new year, we’ve come up with some gorgeous and relaxing wellness getaways where you can sneak away from the chaos for a weekend and focus on being the best version of yourself!
One great way to clear your mind is a good old-fashioned road trip! Fill up your travel mug, flip on an energizing playlist and cruise down the open road…a generally warm welcome when compared to the crowded city streets and sidewalks. If you’re car-less, like most NYC-ers, we’ve got the perfect solution to your road trip woes: ReachNow. A free-floating car sharing service, members can pick up any of their BMW and MINI vehicles for as long or as little as they like and pay as they go! EscapeMaker has partnered with ReachNow to help more city-dwellers get away to some of the amazing destinations and tourism regions just outside New York City: the Hudson Valley, the Catskill Mountains, the Finger Lakes, the Skylands Region, the Poconos, the Champlain Valley and more. Throughout 2018, we are teaming up on eco-travel initiatives.
It couldn’t be easier to start your road trip to a wellness weekend getaway. Need inspiration? See below where ReachNow can take you! Plus, from January 29th through February 11th, ReachNow has a reduced day rate. Drive for just $79 for 24 hours. That’s a savings of more than $30 in comparison to the usual day rate.
Head up to Sullivan County in the Catskill Mountains (2.5 hr drive from NYC) for some mind-clearing and muscle-loosening yoga with a view. Sat Nam Center for Higher Consciousness is both a yoga studio and private holistic wellness yoga retreat center. Offering daily yoga classes, workshops, flotation therapy, private and group retreats, and more, this mountain oasis is perfect for soul-searching, relaxation and resetting. Committed yogi? Visit Sivananda Ashram Yoga Ranch as well to experience simple living close to nature in order to quiet the mind and prepare for meditation. This powerful and peaceful retreat center has a long list of workshops and events for January and beyond. Whether you want to focus on cultivating virtues, positive thinking, beginners yoga, meditation, or vegetarian cooking, they’ve got it all!
Hop in the car and head to Dutchess County in the fresh and beautiful Hudson Valley (2 hr drive from NYC). Here you’ll find a very special place for spiritual rejuvenation, The Chapel of Sacred Mirrors (CosM), which was designed as an enduring sanctuary to inspire and evolve the creative spirit. Open Friday – Monday from noon to 6pm, CosM also hosts special events all year long: talks & workshops, yoga, art classes, full moon gatherings, book discussions and more. Stay overnight on site, or check into one of the quiet and charming B&Bs scattered all across the Hudson Valley.
While you’re in the Hudson Valley, treat yourself to some luxurious relaxation in Westchester County (1.25 hr drive from NYC). Just 25 miles north of the city, Castle Hotel & Spa offers a haven for tranquility on a breathtaking hilltop, with unspoiled views of the Hudson River Valley. The 8,000 square-foot Sankara Spa features amenities such as steam, whirlpool, relaxation lounges, and a private VIP treatment room. Private health and fitness classes are available by reservation. Treat yourself!
Wellness comes in many forms and interpretations. Perhaps your version of wellness is about getting back to the land and eating real, whole foods that come directly from hard-working farmers and producers near New York City. The perfect weekend package awaits you in Tompkins County’s Ithaca (4.5 hr drive from NYC)! The Artisan Bread Baking Farm to Fork Package features a two-night stay at the Inn B’tween Farm B&B, along with space in one of Wide Awake Bakery‘s all-day break-making workshops. Spend time using your hands, understand the history and science of break-making, draw meditation from the kneading and patience, and eat fresh-made bread from locally grown wheat and ancient grains there and in your daily life! Available workshop dates: January 27th, February 10th, February 24th, and March 10th.
If your idea of wellness involves being outside — breathing in the frigid air — drive up to Central New York (3.5 – 5.5 hrs drive from NYC), where you can experience endless winter activities and snow-covered land for meditation, appreciation, and a good increased heart rate. Spend a weekend hiking, snowshoeing, skiing or snowmobiling. The most popular wintertime paths belong to snowmobilers, who cruise more than 2,000 miles of well-groomed trails after the snow flies for the first time. In fact, Old Forge is the “Snowmobile Capital of the East” thanks to 300 inches of annual snowfall.
For more wintry sports fun, take the scenic drive to Luzerne County in Northeast Pennsylvania (3 hrs drive from NYC). Ski and tube across the fresh powder at Montage Mountain with family and friends and leave your stress behind. With local food, regional craft beer, festivals and a long list of weekly events on site, it will be hard to just stay here for just the weekend!
And, of course, if wellness to you simply means leaving your cell phone and grueling schedule behind to enjoy uninterrupted local food and drinks with your family or friends, then drive up to the Great Western Catskills (3-4 hrs drive from NYC) to visit some of the best local farms, farm stores, and craft beverage producers in the region. Visit the Wayside Cider Tap Room in Andes for mountain ciders made in the Catskills, set in a restored barn with live music and local eats. Or head to Awestruck Ciders in Sidney for a lesson on the art and science of creating crisp, hard cider. Check out the award-winning Union Grove Distillery in Arkville for craft cocktails, take-home bottles and special events. Can’t think of a sweeter way to spend a wintry day than a glass of cider made from famous New York Apples. Bop around to one or two of the dozens of local farms and farm stores that sell their goods all year round. From honey and maple to poultry and meat to farm-fresh eggs, there’s no lack of fresh eats in the Great Western Catskills.