When I decided a couple of years ago to go back full-time at work and stay put in NYC, I knew what I was in for: no traveling extensively abroad like I used to. I get it, no more impromptu trips halfway around the world with as little notice as possible. International travel would now involve careful planning around my work schedule.
Alas, I’ve resurrected my old ways of fulfilling my persistent wanderlust with long weekend getaways. Whether upstate New York, nearby New England states, at the beach in Puerto Rico, or even down south in charming Savannah, I almost forgot how these shorter trips are equally wonderful and highly enjoyable, especially during the summer and fall seasons.
Between all the hiking, discovering swimming holes, rock climbing, exploring small towns, historic mansions, the stunning colors of the leaves changing, and checking out the many farm-to-table dining scene, I find they satisfy me just as much as any international trip.
Last weekend, we recently discovered Copake Lake in upstate New York for Michael’s birthday celebration. I was originally looking at Airbnb accommodations in the Catskills, Rhode Island beaches, or the Berkshires, but immediately changed our minds once we saw the lakeside house.
Nestled between the verdant, rolling hills of the Berkshires in Massachusetts and the beautifully preserved town of Hudson, Copake Lake provided us with what we were hoping and expecting from a NYC escape – a small quiet neighborhood right next to the lake perfect for rest, relaxation, and small explorations.
Our Airbnb was perfectly well-equipped for a lakeside getaway: BBQ grill on the outside patio, a working fireplace, a fully-loaded kitchen with stainless-steel appliance, three cozy (read: small) rooms, a fire pit outside in the yard with surrounding adirondack chairs, and kayaks(!).
Best of all, Zita, Michael’s cane corso dog had more than enough room in the yard to run around all day and nibble on as much grass as she wanted.
The other best part about our stay: our host, whose name happens to also be Michael (two Michaels in one weekend!) made us breakfast on both mornings. Think homemade stuffed mini muffins, granola and trail mix, yogurt, and a large fresh fruit platter sprinkled with Louisiana’s famous “Slap ya mama” seasoning. It couldn’t get any better than that!
Since Copake Lake is within a stone throw away from Taconic State Park, straddling both New York and Massachusetts border, we went for an easy hike to see one of the famous natural attractions in the area: the Bash Bish Falls. Legend has it the waterfalls was named after a beautiful Native American woman who was accused of committing adultery and was tied to a canoe down the falls as punishment. Apparently they found the broken pieces of the wooden canoe but never Bash Bish’s body.
We stumbled Depot Deli right outside the parking lot entrance to Bash Bish Falls State Park where they surprisingly had a huge selection of craft beers from all over the United States, and even a handful from Germany and Belgium!
Dad’s Copake Diner was the perfect place for a late lunch after a small hike in Bash Bish Falls.
Tips & Tidbits
- Looking for your own weekend getaway in Copake Lake? I highly recommend Michael’s place on Airbnb!
- For Michael’s birthday dinner, they easily accommodated us at The Swiss Hutte without reservations, a beautiful inn and restaurant within a short drive from Copake Lake in the town of Hillsdale. Delicious food with impressive portions! A restaurant we highly recommend!
- For our last night, we drove out to the town of Hudson and had dinner at The Food Studio, a Vietnamese/Asian inspired restaurant using local, sustainable ingredients from farms nearby. Once again, we were very impressed with the quality and portions of the food!