A Guide to Enjoying the Great Outdoors in Harriman State Park

Weekend Guides|

Did you know: New York’s second largest park is just 30 miles from NYC? Harriman State Park is a haven for hikers, cyclists, and lovers of the outdoors. Known for its 31 lakes, it also features 200+ miles of hiking trails, along streams, woods, and beautiful vistas of the Hudson Valley and NYC. Sound overwhelming? Let us help!

A Guide to Portland, Maine

Destination Guides|

Just over 300 miles from NYC, a trip to Portland, Maine is likely just how you picture it... which is, filled with lighthouses and lobster rolls. This historic sea town marries the old world and the new world — from its cobblestone downtown streets to a bustling dining scene, it's unclear if the region is better known for its classic New England maritime vibes, or its modern, world-class food scene. We say you don't have to choose; it's called Vacationland for a reason, after all. To get here, the drive from NYC to Portland, ME clocks in about five hours. Or hop on a plane: direct flights from offered by JetBlue JFK take just over an hour, and tickets are really reasonably priced. Where to Stay in Portland, Maine: the Francis Hotel & Spa Sun-filled room at the Francis Hotel & Spa in Portland, Maine. The hotel is on the National Park Service’s Registry of Historic Places. All photos by Erin Lindsey/Escape Brooklyn. Blending historical charm and modern amenities, the Francis Hotel & Spa was originally a palatial home for a wealthy family, created by architect Francis Fassett around 1881. Starting in 2015, the current owners (two brothers from Maine) spent two years restoring the Francis after it had been abandoned for over a decade, making sure to preserve original details while adding beautiful new touches. It’s notably on the National Park Service’s Registry of Historic Places; several rooms have incredible details like ornate tiling on floors, original doors, wavy glass windows or beautifully detailed crown moulding. Each of the Francis' fifteen guest rooms are unique with slightly different features — but all feature work by local artisans, from custom-built furniture and lighting fixtures to the art hanging on the walls. (We stayed in the Terrace King, which featured a private deck.) Linens and bedding are soft and comfortable; bathroom products are from Malin + Goetz. A beautiful one-room spa onsite offers treatments like deep tissue and therapeutic massages as well as body wraps and scrubs. Several food and drink themed packages are available to guests, including Tandem Breakfast in Bed or an in-room "brewery crawl" with samplings from Portland's local breweries. Other bonuses include pet-friendly rooms, superb Covid safety measures in place, and a 24/7 text concierge so you can always be in touch for assistance or even local recommendations. Best of all is its location, in the charming Parkside neighborhood, steps away from some of Portlands best shopping, meals, and drinks. Slightly removed from the Old Port and the crush of its (#basic) tourists, you'll love feeling like a local when you can wake up and walk across the street to grab breakfast from Portland's very best coffee shop, Tandem. What to Do in & Around Portland, Maine: Visit Portland's Iconic Lighthouses, or Daytrip Up the Maine Coast Personal favorite: Spring Point Lighthouse in Portland Maine. Portland stands as one of the few working waterfronts left in the United States; wandering ...

A Guide to Saranac Lake, Adirondack Mountains, NY

Weekend Guides|

At six million acres large, the Adirondack Mountains are the largest protected natural area in the lower 48 states. The park is bigger than the Yellowstone, Everglades, Glacier, and Grand Canyon National Park combined — and it’s right in our backyard! Many New Yorkers think the Adirondacks are too far for a weekend; but the park begins just 215 miles from NYC, easily reached in under four hours. (Or catch the daily flight from JFK to SLK!) From there, we’re heading deeper into the park, along the most beautiful stretch of road imaginable through the Adirondacks High Peaks region, the scenic town of Keene, and finally to the village of Saranac Lake. Upon arrival in Saranac Lake, visitors find a historic community that blends outdoor adventure with authentic small-town Adirondack vibes. Its tagline, “decidedly different” rings true: it’s far less touristy than its sister city to the east, Lake Placid, home of the 1932 and 1980 Winter Olympics and was built up for the massive tourist influx. By comparison, Saranac Lake feels decidedly laid back, preferring community vibes over touristy ones. Throughout the entire Adirondack region — from Lake George to Lake Placid to Saranac Lake — its villages, lakes and mountains converge with waterways, forest trails, and dirt roads to create a nature lover’s paradise. Wondering the best time of the year to visit the Adirondacks? The answer is year round! This Upstate destination offers outdoor attractions in all four seasons. Known best as a winter wonderland, in snowy conditions visitors flock to Whiteface for its signature slopes. But summer offers just as much, if not more, adventure, as the lakes, rivers and ponds thaw and snowmelt transforms the landscapes into lush greenery. Spring through fall, hiking, paddling, and swimming opportunities are as bountiful as the vast landscapes in the Adirondacks. Check out our guides below for the best places to hike and get outdoors – plus where to stay, eat and drink during your stay in Saranac Lake. Where to Stay in Saranac Lake: White Pine Camp The Hermit's Hut at White Pine Camp is tucked away from most of the other cabins. There’s no shortage of lodging in the area, from modern hotels to Airbnbs to glamping, plus a few Adirondack Great Camps. Those unfamiliar with the term Great Camp might be misled by its name — an Adirondack “camp” actually refers to what wealthy people in the early 1900’s used as their summer homes. The luxurious-meets-rustic cabins and cottages give visitors an authentic Adirondack experience that isn't possible with other types of lodging. The finest example in this region is White Pine Camp, located in Paul Smiths NY, with perfectly rustic and cozy lodging overlooking Osgood Pond. Thirteen distinctive cabins and cottages feature soaring roof lines, hand-built Adirondack style furniture, stone fireplaces or wood stoves, and breathtaking views. Trails through the property are perfect for leisurely strolls, while ...

Introducing: the Escape Club by Escape Brooklyn


Escape Brooklyn is thrilled to introduce our monthly newsletter: the Escape Club. Each month, subscribers will get access to discounts and giveaways to some of our favorite Upstate hotels, Airbnbs, restaurants, shops and more with loads of discounts and perks, exclusive to our Escape Club members. Looking to buy Upstate? Every month, we interview a Catskills/Hudson Valley real estate professional to share their unique perspective on the market. They’ll leave us with some insightful tips, too. Last, keep up to date with all the exciting new openings, plus the best best events, in Upstate NY. Escape Brooklyn is powered of a tiny team of women freelancers, led by Founder & Creative Director Erin Lindsey. Currently Escape Brooklyn is funded by advertisers, but by charging a small amount monthly to our very large audience, it expands our bandwidth to bring much more content to your fingertips – including discounts, giveaways, and Upstate insider information you won’t find anywhere else. Your financial support is much appreciated, and 1% of our profits go directly to battling climate change. Click Here For More Info, or to Join the Escape Club


Hiatus Haus in Roxbury, NY

Recent Stays|

The spacious, newly renovated Hiatus Haus is privately tucked away on a dead-end road, sleeping up to seven guests. In the morning, cook up a pancake breakfast (mix provided to guests!) to enjoy on the deck, overlooking the mountains — then head out for the day into Roxbury, beginning at the incredible Pakatakan Farmers' Market, before heading for a dip the area’s swimming holes, or exploring its many hikes and other small towns. (Skiiers and winter sport enthusiasts take note: in winter, guests enjoy proximity to Bellayre and Plattekill Mountain, both just 20 minutes from the house!) Alternately, guests may find themselves drawn to stay in place and enjoy the house, whose wall of windows lets the sunshine pour in throughout the day. Late afternoon is the perfect time to head to the yard for a game of bocce ball next to a large stone fire pit; or hang on the deck for an al fresco meal and light up the home’s second fire pit, conveniently located on the deck. 

Night Fox A-Frame in Livingston Manor, NY

Recent Stays|

Offering two bedrooms, this design-forward home shares one bathroom, a kitchen, and a living room/dining room area stocked with fun board games. Enjoy meals at the long dining table, or head outside for al fresco dining in the fresh Catskill Mountain air.

Cabin on the River in Narrowsburg, NY

Recent Stays|

This magical riverfront cabin is an oasis of tranquility and mid-century modern design, situated on the banks of the Ten Mile River. Spend summer days cooling off in the river, then move to the streamside dining table for al fresco dinners. At night, a fire pit on the deck is the perfect spot to get cozy – or gather round the fire pit in the front for an expansive view of the stars.  The centerpiece of the outdoor oasis is the creekside wood burning hot tub, giving off serious "spa in the forest" vibes. Load it up on your arrival to get the water warming, then spend the day alternating between creek dips and hot tub sessions.  This sweet getaway sleeps six guests, with games and books for kiddos – and dogs – so bring the whole family! For easy drinks and dinners, location is walkable to Blue Fox Tavern; and just a few minutes into the town of Narrowsburg, with its great shopping, farm-to-table restaurants, river activities, and more. Check the Escape Brooklyn Guide to Narrowsburg for more information on the area.

Shell House Half Dome in Roxbury, NY

Recent Stays|

Built in 1996, the Shell House was created as a prototype for future dome structures, and personal retreat, for architect Seymore Rutkin and his wife. Its design was intended to be a part of the outdoor environment, but protected from it — giving the feeling of an amphitheater in reverse, with a beautiful view of the Catskills as the main attraction. After years of preservation and few renovations, these days, the Shell House is an extraordinary Airbnb and artist retreat, with four bedrooms sleeping ten guests. Stunning communal spaces and unique rooms will make this a stay you won't soon forget: from its 25-foot ceiling living room, with floor to ceiling windows; to its four bedrooms with stunning views of the Catskills; to a pink clad bathroom with a soaking tub, illuminated by the natural light coming in from a porthole.

White Pine Camp near Saranac Lake, NY, Adirondacks

Recent Stays|

Dating to 1907, the incredible White Pine Camp was originally developed as summer homes for the wealthy — known as “camps” in the Adirondacks region — overlooking Osgood Pond. It passed through many hands, including President Coolidge; White Pine Camp even served as the summer White House for the President and his family. (Rumor has it that the President spent more time fishing than his executive duties during his time here!)

Hastings Hideaway in Grahamsville, NY

Recent Stays|

This newly renovated home, Hastings Hideaway, is just 115 miles from NYC – and with five bedrooms, it's spacious enough for 12, yet cozy enough for two. Check in and hole up in this roomy home with multiple gathering spaces —  including two living rooms — one with a cozy wood burning stove. In summer months, take advantage of beautiful views from the deck while BBQ-ing or enjoying your morning cup of coffee; then hike the nearby Red Hill Fire Tower and Sundown Wild Forest, followed by a beer at the local brewery, or head back home to take advantage of the newly installed steam shower for two.


Q&A: Tinker Street Tavern in Woodstock, NY


Amid a global pandemic, Tinker Street Tavern opened in July 2021. Aesthetes will find the space delightful; not a single opportunity to pay homage to the bar’s musical history was missed. The historic property was once owned by Albert Grossman — who managed Dylan, The Band, Janis Joplin and Todd Rundgren to name a few.

Before & After: Camp Caitlin


Caitlin Cowger, owner of Camp Caitlin, has a piece of advice when it comes to buying your Upstate dream home: “Don’t look for the house of your dreams. Renovate the house of your dreams.”


Willow Pointe in Parksville, NY

Real Estate|

Two hours from New York City in Parksville, NY, this eco-friendly home backs up to 500 acres of protected state land. New build traditional architecture meets eco-friendly design on a beautiful one-acre parcel.

Sprague Creek Farmhouse in Livingston Manor, NY

Real Estate|

Two hours from NYC, Sprague Creek Farmhouse is a lovingly renovated farmhouse with attached guest cottage. This newly renovated 3BR/1BA home (plus 1BR/1BA cottage) sits on nearly 20 acres down a quiet country road just three miles from Main Street Livingston Manor – and nestled close to acres of wild forest.

Main house with three bedrooms, one bathroom + office, one bathroom | Attached guest cottage with additional bedroom and bathroom | 1,952 square foot home | New Septic | New roof | Farmhouse sink | Wood stove | Creek frontage with deck | Two-story barn | Wraparound porch | $699,000 |

Listed by Megan Kinealy-Hill at Country House Realty. Open House Saturday, July 30th, 11 am-1 pm at 506 Grooville Rd, Livingston Manor 12758. For information or showings, contact Megan at 845-985-5116.

Approached from the driveway on a quiet road, a wraparound chair porch greets visitors and overlooks lilac bushes and abundant greenery, towards a private stretch of Sprague Creek. Thoughtful gardens ensure blooms throughout the warmer months, including daffodils, peonies, lavender, thyme and roses. 

Enter through the front door, into the sunny and spacious living room, featuring two walls of windows and a cozy wood stove. The open floor plan leads naturally into the generous and well-appointed kitchen, with a large center island with butcher block counter, whitewashed cabinets, and farmhouse sink. The stainless steel appliances include a five-burner range with hood, refrigerator, dishwasher, and wine fridge.

The dining area sits just off the kitchen and living room and offers double doors on the porch, offering an easy compromise on the question of whether or not to dine al fresco. There is ample room here for a large dining table.

Upstairs, a spacious primary bedroom features a large, west-facing window and generous closet space. Just across the hall is a thoughtfully appointed full bath and second bedroom. At the end of the hall is the office, with its own private balcony and the staircase to the third-floor bedroom with skylights and vaulted ceilings.

Back on the first floor, the attached cottage is accessed through a shared mudroom. A cozy bedroom offers space for a queen bed and easy access to the full bathroom. The main living space centers around a classic wood stove, and features an efficiency kitchen and its own private deck. High ceilings and lots of windows keep this space feeling light and airy.

Down the driveway and across the road, included in the sale is a two-story barn in excellent condition with electrical service – perfect for a workshop or studio. Two additional sheds offer more storage. Just beyond the barn and down a short set of stairs, a generous platform deck sits over Sprague Creek. It’s the perfect place for lounging next to the water with a good book or an evening bonfire.

The Sprague Creek Farmhouse is just minutes into the town of Livingston Manor, boasting a lively Main Street; the nearby destination The …


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