What To Do Around Audrey’s Farmhouse: Visit a Farm Stand, Hike Minnewaska State Park, Take a Dip in a Swimming Hole
Audrey’s Farmhouse is located in the central Hudson Valley, where there’s no shortage of great stuff to do. Of course, the main draw that brings tourists from the whole world to the Hudson Valley is its outdoor attractions—and for good reason. The region offers a host of fantastic trails, picturesque farms, and scenic views that will literally take your breath away.
To spend a day outdoors, head to Minnewaska State Park for hikes that range in difficulty and time. Novice hikers will enjoy the short hike to Awosting Falls, a 60 foot waterfall that drops into a clear, wide pool before turning into a stream. The hike down to the falls is an easy 40-minute round trip from the parking lot, with much of it being a flat carriage road. From there, you can walk or drive up the steep hill that leads to Lake Awosting, an incredibly scenic lake atop the mountain. During summer, there’s a small beach for swimming here as well. Speaking of swimming though, the swimming hole at Split Rock is another major attraction, with crystal clear water and a waterfall you can hang out underneath. Be prepared to get there really early though, or try on a weekday—the parking lot is tiny, and it fills up fast. Last, our favorite hike in the region is at Sam’s Point Preserve, located in the highest section of the Shawangunk Mountains. At a 4-5 hour hike, it’s a bit more of a commitment than the others, but SO worth it! Multiple features at this landmark hike include a waterfall, ice caves, cliffs, pygmy pine fields, a birch forest, blueberry fields, and numerous vistas. Admission is $10 per car in Minnewaska State Park, though Awosting Falls and Lake Awosting share an entrance—and are therefore one admission fee.
Last, the region is full of farms, and it’d be a shame to visit and not take home some edible souvenirs. We’re big fans of Tantillo’s Farm in Gardiner, with a farm market, bakery, an ice cream stand, outdoor seating area, and some of the best damn cider donuts on the planet. Visitors should note that the farm stands and markets in the area are only open seasonably though—for a list of farms in the area with hours and availability, check out Ulster County Alive’s list for the New Paltz/Gardiner/Wallkill area.
Where To Eat and Drink Around Audrey’s Farmhouse: A Restaurant in a Landmarked Barn, Beers at a Farm-to-Table Brewery, or Cruise the Shawangunk Wine Trail
Because of its proximity to the aforementioned Hudson Valley farms and a nearby colleges—including a culinary school—New Paltz has quite the food and drink scene, ranging from low-brow to high-brow. For something in the middle, we love the Village Tea Room, a restaurant and bake shop housed in a landmarked 200-year old building. The atmosphere here can best be described as cozy; since the building is so small, only 6 or 7 tables can be sat at once in the downstairs dining room. The menu, which changes seasonally, is farm-to-table and includes a high tea menu of tea and light fare during afternoons; the larger menus for lunch and dinner menu are fantastic. Save room for dessert, or just pop in to try one of their baked goods. Another great dinner option in town is A Tavola Trattoria, serving up farm-to-table Italian fare. The food is to die for, but unfortunately vegetarians might be hard up to find many options here; we usually fill up on appetizers and split an entree. For more options and a more casual atmosphere, our new favorite restaurant in town is Huckleberry, which recently opened last winter. Though we didn’t get to try the food, the cocktails and great beer selection were more than enough to have us back twice in one weekend. It also has a great patio area, with two freestanding wood stoves with plenty of comfy seating around them. We can’t imagine a better way to spend an evening than cozying up to one of the fires on a cool night, drinks in hand. (Note that these three recommendations are just scratching the surface though—New Paltz has dozens of restaurants and cafes. You’ll find every type of cuisine, from Caribbean to Turkish to Contemporary American in this cute town.)
Speaking of booze, there’s a couple breweries, distilleries and wineries within a 20 minute drive of the B&B that are worth checking out. First, Tuthilltown Distillery is a must-go for bourbon lovers, just ten minutes down the road in Gardiner. Pick up a bottle of their famous Hudson Baby Bourbon straight from the source—or take a tour and dine in their restaurant, Tuthill House at the Mill. During warmer months, dine or enjoy a cocktail on their patio, which overlooks the waterfall and creek that used to power the mill here. (Psst—we love this place so much we did a full post about it!) If you’re in the mood for a more casual meal, another gem in Gardiner is the Village Market & Eatery, with takeout or dine-in salads, sandwiches, burgers and the like.
Last, beer lovers should visit is West Town Brew Works, who combines their love of beer and the outdoors at their farm brewery, housed in an old barn. The hops are grown on-site; any other ingredients are grown by farming neighbors, making this a true farm-to-glass brewery. For all you vino lovers out there, check out Whitecliff Vineyard, which is part of the larger Shawangunk Wine Trail. The wine is good enough, but the views at the vineyard are absolutely breathtaking; you can easily kill an afternoon (as we have) with a couple glasses of wine, soaking up the views of the dramatic white cliffs that make up Shawangunk Ridge.