Two hours north of NYC, the charming and ultra-unique Salvato Mill is an 18th century mill reimagined as an idyllic escape. Located in Salt Point, NY, the mansion is just a few minutes from the scenic Taconic State Parkway, making it a straight shot up from NYC. Even so close to the Taconic, though, guests are guaranteed feel a world away from the big city in the area’s mix of small picturesque communities, farm land, and beautiful rolling hills. Not only is it central for travelers from NYC, but it’s also close to some of the best dining, hiking, and antique shopping New York State has to offer.
Both the inside and outside of Salvato Mill is one of a kind. Inside, Salvato Mill is filled with a mix of antiques and mid-century modern furniture and decor. It was designed and is maintained by Ariana Salvato, an artist and prop stylist, whose family bought the building as an empty shell in the late 60’s. The mills amenities include three wood stoves, a fireplace, full kitchen, four bedrooms, two living rooms, multi-level outdoor patio, walled courtyard, and 11 acres of property to explore. Outside, the mill looks much like it might have in the 1750’s: the two-part, massive stone mansion butts up to a series of streams and waterfalls that once powered its mill. Though most guests come to vacation here, it’s backdrop of cascading waterfalls is also popular for photoshoots and film locations, for names like Ralph Lauren and Elle Magazine.
The Salvato Mill dates back to the mid-1750’s, when the original structure, called Bloom’s Mill, was built. Used first as a gristmill and sawmill, the space changed owners (and purposes), with stints as a cotton mill, cider mill, and even a button factory. Somewhere along the way, Revolutionary soldiers camped on the grounds; also, the original mill burned down, and a second one was built right next to it. The crumbling remains of the first mill are still present, creating a kind of surreal outdoor space, perfect for entertaining groups.
It’s more recent history takes us to 1966, when Ariana’s parents bought the mill. Her father had just graduated with an architecture degree; her mother was an interior designer. The mill had been abandoned for many years, and the whole interior was a hollow shell, save a few steel beams and the beautiful stone walls. Years of blood, sweat, and tears—and a baby Ariana—would be next. Ariana grew up spending weekends at the house; in 1971, the family officially moved in. Twenty years later, Ariana’s father worked with a local historian to turn it into a historic landmark, along with some other buildings in the neighborhood. After her father passed, Ariana’s mother turned Salvato Mill over to her.
The Salvato Mill sleeps up to nine guests, in four bedrooms. Upstairs, guests have their pick of four different bedrooms: the master, with a queen bed, its own wood stove and bathroom; two rooms with double beds, one of which sits atop the mill’s waterfall, and a forth room with two twin beds, and a loft space with an additional twin mattress. No matter which room guests end up in, all have comfortable beds, mid-centurty modern design, and artwork by Ariana’s father, who loved to paint. Downstairs, the common spaces include a full kitchen, and a large living room with both a wood stove and a fireplace. An 10-person dining table is perfect for entertaining, as are two cozy couches that surround the fireplace. The mill has large windows throughout, connecting the indoors with the outdoors, a constant reminder of the connection with nature but also the history here.
What To Do Around Salt Point, NY: Explore a 40 Acre Garden, Hike To A Firetower, Antique Shop Through the Scenic Countryside
To spend the day outdoors, a hike up to the Stissing Fire Tower is steep but incredibly rewarding. At the top of the trail, club the firepower for unparalleled 360º views of the Hudson Valley and Catskills. It’s about two hours up and back; be sure to print directions from Hike the Hudson Valley for a play-by-play of the trails. Before the hike, take the extra 10 minute drive to fuel up on breakfast or lunch at The Farmer’s Wife. The very cute cafe in equally cute village of Ancramdale serves breakfast and lunch, but also offers prepared-food takeout. Grab breakfast or lunch inside, or get something to-go for a picnic on the hike.
For less challenging ways to take in the scenery the Hudson Valley offers, check out the Walkway over the Hudson in nearby Poughkeepsie. At 212 feet tall and 1.28 miles long, it is the longest, elevated pedestrian bridge in the world. Enjoy by foot or by bicycle and take in the views of the Hudson River and the nearby Catskill Mountains. Admission to the bridge is free, however parking is $5 in the closest lots. From May to October, Innisfree Garden is yet another way to take in the scenery, but also get in a great mini-hike. Recognized as one of the worlds best gardens, the 40-acre property encircles a lake, with several miles of trails that zig zag through a composition of rock, water, wood and sky; highlights include a mist waterfall, an oxbow stream, and a stone arches and stairways. It’s less than ten minutes down the road from Salvato Mill, and admission is $6-8. Weather and season permitting, plan on spending a couple hours here.
An all-season itinerary involves a mini-roadtrip revolving around antiques to the village of Millerton. First, stop into Bottle Shop Antiques, just a few minutes down the road from Salvato Mill. There’s a bit of everything here, and it’s especially great for homeowners or DIY lovers looking to source specific parts. In one room, there’s nothing but old bottles, and another with nothing but antique glassware—the rest is all over the place, and every inch of the walls is utilized for space. It is truly organized chaos, and a fun place to dig around. Next, head ten minutes down the road to Millbrook, with several antique shops including Millbrook Antiques Mall and Millbrook Antiques Center. These are your more traditional antique shops, both with a wide selection of home goods. After shopping around in Millbrook, head to Millerton, following scenic Route 44 all the way. When you arrive, make your first stop Irving Farm for a cup of coffee. The Millerton location of this small chain is the closest to where the coffee is roasted, just a mile down the road, so you know you’re getting the best cup of coffee around. After fueling up, stroll down to Terni’s, an old-school style general store, stocked with everything from hunting magazines, to Woolrich blankets to and Pendleton shirts. Continue your way down Main Street to Millerton Antiques Center, North Elm Home, Hunter Bee and more. If you’re still around for dinner, check out Manna Dew, who serves up new American fare in a cute Victorian-home-turned-restaurant.
Where To Eat & Drink Around Salt Point, NY: A Farm Store, Dinner at an Artist-Owned Dive Bar/Restaurant
Cooking at Salvato Mill is a joy–tune into an AM station on the house’s old-school intercom/radio, pour a glass of local wine (see: Millbrook Vineyards, Harker Wines, Clinton Vineyards), and make use of the full kitchen. Guests will find everything they need in the very organized kitchen; enjoy breakfasts in the small light-filled nook, and dinners at the proper dining table. Before arriving, stock up on groceries at Big Rock Farms, whose farm store & gourmet grocery feature some of the Hudson Valley’s finest produce, dairy, meat, honey, baked goods, coffee and more. The farm shop is located in a historic home in the heart of Stanfordville, just ten minutes down the road from Salvato Mill. For a bigger selection, head to Adam’s Fairacre Farms in Poughkeepsie, about 20 minutes from the house, where you’ll have a bigger selection. (Note that you’ll have to look elsewhere for booze, though—try Arlington Wine, just across the street.)
If you opt to go out, there are a few gems just a few minutes away from the Mill; other further recommendations are listed above in conjunction with activities. For breakfast, check out the Millbrook Diner. The interior is straight out of the 50’s, with a mini-jukebox at every table; the menu offers up your typical greasy spoon fare. For something more gourmet, check out Babette’s Kitchen, offering up offers breakfast, lunch and dinners to go. Mentioned above, farm-to-table gem The Farmer’s Wife has an additional location in Millbrook as well. All are about ten minutes from Salvato Mill in the village of Millbrook.
Our favorite dining out meal in the area is Wassaic Lantern Inn, a totally unpretentious bar and restaurant offering pizza, burger and micro brews. The pizza is cooked in a wood-fired oven and topped with local ingredients; if the pizza tastes familiar, it might be because the recipe was developed by a former chef at Brooklyn’s Roberta’s. Inside, the lodgey interior feeds hungry locals and weekenders alike; on Wednesdays, locals enjoy family-style dining. The food is fantastic, the atmosphere is perfect, and the outdoor seating in warm months is lovely. Check out neighboring Wassaic Project, an artist haven housed in a refurbished mill and livestock auction building. The space has regular events including festivals, exhibitions and open studio dates from its artist in residency program.