Round out the end of summer by exploring a new place—you’re bound to discover a new treasure, a favorite B&B, a new hobby, or a town you’ll visit again and again.
Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream Factory
Ben & Jerry come to your home regularly, so why don’t you pay them a visit at theirs? Located in lower Bennington, Ben & Jerry’s has been expanding the palate of the ice cream crazy since 1978. Experience the 30-minute guided tour where you can indulge in eat ice cream before, during and after. (Only the “during” is free). From the classic Cherry Garcia to the brand-new Makin’ Whoopie Pie, every flavor the company makes can be tasted at the walk-up window. Before you cool off with the sweet treat, head over tothe Cow Over the Moon Theater with a short documentary. The seven-minute “moovie” describes how two childhood friends turned a $5 correspondence course on ice cream into one of the country’s hottest ice cream businesses. For more info: 802.846.1500, www.benjerry.com.
Green Mountain Railroad
Green Mountain RailroadTake the family for a train ride along the beautiful Vermont countryside. The trip ensures lots of great scenery, a friendly staff and plenty of photo opportunities to make this a relaxing ride to enjoy as you sit in the vintage railroad cars from the 30s and 50s. At the stops you’ll have plenty of shopping and historical sites to visit. Trains depart from various stations in Vermont. For more info: 800.707.3530, www.rails-vt.com.
Vermont Teddy Bear Company
Vermont Teddy Bear Company is the largest maker of hand-crafted, American-made Teddy Bears. Embraced by the scenic Green Mountains, Lake Champlain and the Adirondack Mountains, the Vermont Teddy Bear Factory colors the countryside in Shelburne. The company features The Teddy Bear Cafe which serves breakfast, lunch and snacks Monday through Friday. During the summer, the Lake Champlain Chocolates Ice Cream Stand serves decadent ice cream, sundaes, and shakes, which you can enjoy outdoors in our picnic table area. Visit their website for a coupon for the entire family to tour the factory for free. For more info: 1.800.829.BEAR, www.vermontteddybear.com.
Famous worldwide as the quintessential New England Village, Woodstock, has been described as “The Prettiest Small Town in America” by Ladies Home Journal magazine! Visit the downtown area where you’ll find quaint shops and galleries, up and down staircases, in alleys and along hidden side streets. Ride through the surrounding countryside, which is filled with surprises around every turn. There are wonderful farm scenes, historic inns and country stores where traditional hospitality is still an everyday practice. For more info: 888.496.6378, http://www.woodstockvt.com/.
Bromley Mountain Thrill Zone
Vermont’s Sun & Fun Park features Vermont’s longest water-slide ride, the all new triple track Alpine Slide, the 700’ Giant Condor Cable Coaster, SpaceBikes, Twinspin, Adrenaline Zip Line, Shoot ‘n’ Shower B-Ball, 24’ Kiddie Slide, plus the two Trampoline Things, the gravity-driven DevalKarts, a 24’ climbing wall, scenic chairlift rides, 18-hole championship mini-golf, PigDog’s Kiddie Fun Park and more, plus free family entertainment all summer long. For more info: 802.824.5522 or visit www.bromley.com.
The Fun Spot
What is the Fun Spot exactly? Well, it’s a combination of a waterslide park, roller-skating rink, laser-tag arena, video game arcade and go-kart track all rolled into one complex on the out-skirts of Lake George that can swallow whole afternoons and evenings for kids, teens, or families. Enjoy, a wide selection of video games, and an even larger selection of prizes at the ticket redemption booth! For more info: www.lakegeorgefun.com.
Lake George Village
Lake George is the summer home to family fun in the summer. Miniature golf courses galore, abundant small shops, arcades and beachfront activities make Lake George a favorite summer destination for both people from the surrounding areas and tourists from out of state. For those of you with a love of history visit Fort William Henry and learn about its role in the French and Indian War. If you leave the kids at home Lake George has a dynamic nightlife with many choices. For more info: 518.668.5755, www.lakegeorgechamber.com.
The Great Escape & Splashwater Kingdom
Always loads of family fun, the Great Escape in Lake George easily makes a great day trip. Enjoy the area’s best thrill rides and roller coasters, plus delicious food and games. Check out the park’s sixth roller coaster, which debuted last year: the Canyon Blaster! The mine train is a great family coater with two lift hills, an exciting double helix and more than 2,000 feet of track! For more information call 518.792.3500, www.thegreatescape.com.
Lake George Escape
If you are planning to stay more than a day in the area, Lake George Escape is a 5-star camping resort, offering camping, log cabins and RV efficiencies in the beauty of the Adirondacks. Only five minutes from Lake George Village, they have a one-mile Schroon River waterfront, 571 campsites and 50 rentals, canoeing, heated pool, tennis and lots of activities for adults and children. Open throughout the fall with low fall rates. For more info: 1.800.327.3188, www.LakeGeorgeEscape.com.
Lake Placid and the Adirondacks
The Adirondack region in upstate New York encompasses six million acres of publicly protected land and makes up 85 percent of the wilderness in the eastern United States. Since the 1800s the Adirondack region has been a popular tourist for everyone from U.S. presidents to families from across the country. Every year millions of vacationers descend upon the region for extreme excitement, relaxation and rejuvenation. Tucked away amidst the Adirondack High Peaks is Lake Placid. The area is a perfect mix of outdoor ruggedness and luxurious comfort. The landscape surrounding the village is inspiring and rugged, making it perfect for outdoor adventurers of all kinds. Visitors can easily partake in activities including hiking, biking, paddling, swimming, and golfing. Back inside the village on its quaint streets, visitors will find many unique and fine stores. They can also find fine dining and accommodations ranging from the simple to the exquisite. For more information on the Adirondack region and Lake Placid check out www.adk.com and www.lakeplacid.com.
The Baseball Hall of Fame
The Baseball Hall of Fame, located in Cooperstown, NY, is a must visit location for any sports fan. Said to be the birthplace of baseball and featuring Doubleday Field (named for the supposed inventor of the game) this monument to all that is baseball is a trip filled with exhibits and artifacts that will fill fans with awe. For an extra touch of nostalgia visit the Bullpen Theatre and let yourself be transported back to your childhood in a show that is sure to give you goose bumps. For more info: 1.888.HALL.OF.FAME, www.baseballhalloffame.org.
Yankee Candle Flagship Store
Discover an unbelievable mix of shopping, entertainment and dining at the Yankee Candle Museum in Deerfield. Every visit is a fresh adventure because there’s always something new. A candle lover’s dream featuring over 160 famous, true-to-life scents, plus beautiful accessories, accents and collectibles. Indulge your individual sense of style with over 16,000 square feet of exciting furnishings; accessories and more for every part of your home. Also see fascinating, free daily demonstrations of 19th-century candle making. For more info: 877.636.7707, www.yankeecandle.com.
Duck Tours of Boston
The fun begins as soon as you board your “DUCK”, an authentic, renovated World War II amphibious landing vehicle. You’ll be greeted by one of their legendary tour ConDUCKtors, who’ll be narrating. Then you’re off on a journey like you’ve never had before. You’ll cruise by all the places that make Boston the birthplace of freedom and a city of firsts, from the golden-domed State House to Bunker Hill and the Fleet Center, Boston Common and Copley Square to the Big Dig, Government Center to fashionable Newbury Street, Quincy Market to the Prudential Tower, and more. And just when you think you’ve seen it all, there’s more. It’s time for “Splashdown” as your ConDUCKtor splashes your DUCK right into the Charles River for a breathtaking view of the Boston and Cambridge skylines, the kind of view you just won’t get anywhere else. For more info: 617.267.DUCK, www.bostonducktours.com.
New England Aquarium and Whale Tours
The New England Aquarium is much more than a place to see aquatic life. The New England Aquarium raises people’s awareness of the environment through exhibits, education programs, public forums and outreach programs. Within its compact exhibit space, the Aquarium shows off everything from a lumbering, 500-pound sea turtle to a tapestry of colorful tropical fish. Or get out in the field and join the crew of experienced naturalists aboard Voyager III and discover the world’s largest mammals, the great whales. The USCG certified vessel will speed you to the rich feeding grounds of whales, dolphins, sea birds and other marine life. For more info: 617.973.5200, www.neaq.org.
What could be more magical than a field trip to a butterfly farm? Set in the woodlands of Wilbraham Mountain in western Massachusetts, looking out over a beautiful pond, tour the exhibit and learn more about the life cycle of the monarch. See the rearing areas, where butterflies are bred and raised. Lean in, and get a closer look at butterflies in various stages. Here you will find out the difference between a host plant and a nectar plant —both necessary to support the life cycle of a butterfly. For more info: 413.599.1285, www.themonarchy.com/butterfly_farm_exhibits.html.
This town, described by Norman Rockwell as “the best of America, the best of New England,” brims with history, celebrity, romance and intrigue. Every Stockbridge season is stamped with its own beauty and charm: the green and flower-filled lushness of spring and summer; a fall foliage palette without rival; the winter look of an old-fashioned Christmas card. Take a deep breath, inhale the Berkshire mountain air, slow your pace to match the town’s character and stroll the streets, pathways and gardens. For more info: 413.298.5200, www.stockbridgechamber.org.
Prime Outlets, Lee, MA
Easy to navigate in a few hours, The Prime Outlets at Lee are located in the heart of the Berkshires, less than an hour’s drive from Albany. It’s the perfect place to stock up on savings at stores such as Mikasa, Bass, Geoffrey Beene, J. Crew, Harry and David, Wilsons Leather Outlet and so much more. If you have time to spare, hit the quaint town of Lee, where you can enjoy some eclectic shops and great food. For more info: 413.243.8186, www.primeoutlets.com.
The Pine Grove Dude Ranch
You may want to bring your camera to photograph the abundant resident wildlife in Kerhonkson. The facilities are maintained and supervised by one of the best ranching staffs in the country. There is horseback riding in the beautiful Shawangunk Mountains for all levels. You will ride on personally selected mounts, chosen for their smooth gaits, gentle nature, and sensitivity to a rider’s needs. Among them are Purebred Arabians, Quarter Horses, Thoroughbreds, Appaloosa, Paints and Draft Horses. The terrain is generally hilly, through thick woods using western saddles. Optional cattle drive. For more info: 877.465.3368.
Shawangunk Wine Trail
The Shawangunk Wine Trail is nestled between the famous Shawangunk Mountains and the majestic Hudson River in Ulster County. The trail is composed of nine family owned wineries and dozens of “Associate Members” dedicated to making a visit to the Hudson Valley a memorable experience. The nine wineries on the trail all follow the tradition of the fine winemaking established by the early French Huguenot settlers who brought their wine-making expertise to the valley over 300 years ago. Scattered along the trail are many special attractions, lodgings, B&B’s and restaurants. While following the trail, you could visit a thoroughbred horse farm, a honey farm with performing bears, exciting nature trails through the majestic mountain range and road side fruit and vegetable markets to delight all the senses. There is hang gliding, camping, parachuting, fishing, horseback riding, canoeing, country fairs, antiquing and a visit to the oldest street in America where the stone houses display the way life was lived in 1650. For more info: www.shawangunkwinetrail.com.
Rocking Horse Ranch
Much more than horseback riding, Rocking Horse Ranch in Highland is for active families and couples who want the casual atmosphere of a ranch and the comfort of a complete resort at an all-inclusive price. Expert trainers teach you the basic and advanced techniques of riding. There is a fitness center, sauna, indoor and outdoor pool, wide screen TV lounge, marshmallow roasts, water slides, lake activities, kids supervised activities, and much more, making this a complete resort for the whole family. For more information about pricing and reservations: 877.465.3368.
Gillinder Glass Museum and Factory Store
Enjoy watching skilled glass craftsmen at work in Port Jervis, in beautiful Orange County. The time-honored techniques used to handcraft each piece of glass are the same as those used by Gillinder Glass (one of the oldest glass companies in the United States) for more than a century. Feel the excitement on the factory floor and the heat from the large furnaces as you watch molten glass being handled and transformed into beautiful, useful and decorative glass objects. For more info: 914.856.5375, www.gillinderglassstore.com.
Storm King Art Center
Visit the Storm King Art Center, in Mountainville, NY. America’s leading outdoor sculpture museum, an enchanting realm where art and nature meet. See over 120 masterworks by sculptors such as Magdalena Abakanowicz, Siah Armajani, Alice Aycock, Alexander Calder, Mark di Suvero, Louise Nevelson, Isama Noguchi, Richard Serra and David Smithin whose work is displayed in the 400-acre park. Bring a picnic! For more info: 845.534.3115.
Located in New Paltz, the Huguenot Historical Society invites you to journey back in time by exploring the historic house museums of Huguenot Street and the nearby Locust Lawn mansion and farm complex. While the original portion of many of the homes date to the 1680s, continuous family ownership through the centuries resulted in modifications to meet changing needs, offering the visitor a unique chance to experience the history of a Hudson Valley village through the ages. So come and experience 300 years of history! For more info: www.hhs-newpaltz.net.
The Benmarl Vineyards
Benmarl is located on Highland Avenue in Marlboro, NY. Benmarl holds NY State Farm Winery license #1 and is the acknowledged parent of the burgeoning farm winery industry that has brought fame to the new wineries of New York State. Learn the history of America’s Oldest Vineyard. Well-known wine writers and connoisseurs have praised Benmarl and its wines, including Alexis Lichine, Emile Peynaud, and Baron Guy de Rothschild. For more info: 845.236.4265, www.benmarl.com.
Woodbury Common Premium Outlets
Shop ‘till you drop at Woodbury Common, a true shopper’s haven with over 220 outlet stores. Located in Central Valley, you’ll need two days to get through all of these stores! You’ll find impressive savings at: Coach, Dolce & Gabbana, Escaada, Fendi, Gap, Giorgio Armani, Gucci, Neiman Marcus Last call, Off 5th-Saks Fifth Avenue, Barney’s, Polo Ralph Lauren, Versace, Zegna and more. For more info: 845.928.4000, www.premiumoutlets.com.
The Hudson River Maritime Museum and Rondout Lighthouse
The Hudson River Maritime Museum is the only museum in New York State exclusively preserving the maritime history of the Hudson River, its tributaries, and the industries that developed around it. Indoor and outdoor exhibits on Hudson River maritime history, a gift shop, waterfront special events, and boat rides to the historic Rondout Lighthouse are available at the museum. The Rondout Lighthouse is located on the Hudson River at the mouth of Rondout Creek, a short boat trip from the museum. The lighthouse contains period furnishings and exhibits documenting the history of the three Rondout lighthouses, their keepers and families. For more info: 845.338.0071, www.ulster.net/~hrmm/.
Catskill Game Farm
Catskill Game Farm is a great place to take the family for the day to walk and talk with the animals. The Catskill Game Farm has been a family enterprise since its beginning in 1933. They exhibit approximately 2,000 animals, representing over 150 different species from all parts of the world. Through careful conservation and extensive breeding programs, many endangered species have been preserved. Their efforts have enabled them to reintroduce nearly extinct animals back to the wild. For more info: 678.9595, www.catskillgamefarm.com.
Enjoy a day browsing through the studio showrooms of 10 nationally recognized potters working in the scenic mid-Hudson Valley of Ulster County. Their potteries, located in Bloomington, High Falls, Stone Ridge, Accord, West Park and West Hurley are close to many fine inns, restaurants, hiking and biking trails, golf courses, tennis courts and many scenic and historic attractions. If you are driving a long distance it is best to call first, as studio hours may vary due to craft fairs or other special events. For more info: www.potterytrail.com.
Culinary Institute of America
Visit the oldest culinary college in the United States and the only residential college in the world dedicated exclusively to culinary and baking and pastry arts education. The CIA was founded with 50 students in 1946 by Frances Roth and Katharine Angell as the New Haven Restaurant Institute and and is now located in St. Andrew-on-Hudson, a former Jesuit Seminary in Hyde Park. Today, 2,300 students representing every state and 30 foreign countries are enrolled at the college. When the CIA is in session the wealth and diversity of America’s cultural heritage is brought to life by the imaginative cuisine of the student-staffed restaurant in Roth Hall. For more information or for reservations: 845.471.6608, www.ciachef.edu.
Rhinebeck and the Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome
Rhinebeck is a beautiful, historic area nestled in the lush, rolling hills of Dutchess County, NY, in the scenic Hudson River Valley. With 437 sites listed on the National Historic Register, Rhinebeck comprises one of the largest historic districts in the United States. Rhinebeck boasts eight miles of an area known as The Sixteen Mile Historic District composed of 30 contiguous riverfront estates associated with the landed aristocracy in the Hudson Valley during the 18th, 19th and early 20th centuries. The Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome is a true “living” museum of antique aviation located in Rhinebeck. Visit one of the largest collections of early aeroplanes in the world, many of which regularly take to the air in all their glory during our weekend airshows. The Aerodrome features aeroplanes, automobiles, motorcycles, early engines and memorabilia from 1900-1935. For more info: 845.752.3200, www.rhinebeckchamber.com, www.oldrhinebeck.org.
Visit the world’s largest kaleidoscope in Tremper, NY. Where else can you sit inside a Kaleidoscope and feel as if you are a part of the intricate and changing colorful patters of glass? Our Kaleidoscope is a one-of-a kind experience that you and your family will remember forever. The Kaleidoscope is located in the silo of an environmentally renovated barn that houses the Emporium. For more info: 845.688.2451.
Located in New Paltz, the Mohonk Preserve provides visitors access to over 6,500 acres—including cliffs, forests, fields, ponds, and streams – and to a network of over 100 miles of carriage roads and trails for hiking, running, mountain biking, horseback riding, and cross-country skiing. Also, the internationally renowned “Gunks” cliffs offer over 1,000 technical rock-climbing routes. For more info: 845.255.0919, www.mohonkpreserve.org.
The United States Military Academy at West Point
The view of the Hudson River is breathtaking and the history rich at the United States Military Academy at West Point in Highland, NY, where some of America’s greatest leaders received their education, including: George Armstrong Custer, Ulysses S. Grant, Robert E. Lee, President Dwight Eisenhower, Douglas MacArthur, George Patton and Norman Schwarzkopf. Start out at the Visitors Center, which provides an excellent central starting point for all visitors (visitors may enter the academy grounds only by guided tours) and offers guided bus tours. Some popular attractions include: Trophy Point, the Cadet Chapel, Eisenhower Hall Theatre, Michie Stadium and the West Point Museum. The Visitors Center and West Point Museum are open to the general public on a daily basis. It is strongly recommended that visitors call the Visitors Center at 845.938.2638 the week they are traveling to West Point to check on the status of the tours. For more info: www.usma.edu.
The Thayer Hotel at West Point
Set on a hilltop in the heart of the Hudson Valley Region, The Thayer Hotel at West Point overlooks the Hudson River offers deluxe accommodations and fine dining. Listed on the National Registry of Historic Places, the majestic, Gothic-style, granite building sits at the south entrance to the U.S. Military Academy in West Point, offering dramatic views of the Hudson River and the Hudson Highlands of New York. For more info: 845.446.4731, 800.247.5047, www.thethayerhotel.com.
William Lake Resort
Since 1929 Williams Lake in Rosendale, NY, has been the recreation destination for generations of vacationers. Williams Lake is blessed by being in the midst of two regions rich in history and natural beauty—the Hudson Valley and the Catskill Mountains. Activities in and around the lake include swimming, boating, fishing, tennis, hiking, mountain biking and much more. For more info: 800.382.3818, www.willylake.com.
Sugar Loaf Crafts Village
Located in Sugar Loaf, NY, this creative community is an interesting mix of practicing artisans, eclectic shops and galleries. Established in the early 1700s, many of the buildings are still being used today. There are over 60 art studios and craft shops that each with its own distinguished reputation. Stroll the boardwalks and smell the aromas from the candle shop and restaurants. For more info: 845.469.9181, www.sugarloafartsvillage.com.
Enjoy a Surrey ride to the Sunny Hill pavilion overlooking beautiful Lake Loree in Greenville, where guests are treated to weekly barbecue cookouts. Casually dine outdoors in the fresh country air while you watch the paddleboats and rowboats drift by. The 10-acre lake is well stocked and offers anglers the thrill of reeling in a variety of game fish. The lake also offers the opportunity to take a paddleboat or rowboat ride. Also enjoy lighted horseshoe, shuffleboard and tennis courts. The Entertainment Center located under Garwayne Hall provides fun for all with a miniature golf course, pool tables, ping-pong and video games. For more info: 518.634.7642, www.sunnyhill.com.
1000 Islands Region
1000 Islands and the Saint Lawrence Seaway
When you visit the Saint Lawrence Seaway, don’t miss the 1000 Islands region. The 1000 Islands offers an eclectic variety both attractions and communities to visit. Make sure to visit Heart Island, home to the Boldt Castle and Yacht House. The 120-room structure was started in 1900 and has been in major restoration since 1977. Take the family to see dinosaurs. Prehistoric World features nature trails where you will meet up with 50 life-sized reproductions of prehistoric animals. Or take a tour of the 1000 Islands on the Gananoque Boat Line. If history is your curiosity visit Upper Canada Village where you’ll meet numerous characters from the past immersed in re-creating all that was a part of life in the 1860s. These are just a few of the possible places to spend time in the 1000 Islands of the Saint Lawrence Seaway. For more info: www.visit1000islands.com.
New York City
As the flagship of the largest network of metropolitan zoos in the country, the Bronx Zoo is the heart of the Wildlife Conservation Society and its work to save wildlife and wild places around the globe. With award-winning, cutting-edge exhibits featuring over 4,000 animals, there is no other zoo in the world that offers the diversity, superb viewing, and world-renowned expertise that assures a rewarding experience and the knowledge that visitors can make a difference in the world around them. Whether you’re nose-to-nose with Western lowland gorillas in the famous Congo Gorilla Forest, spotting snow leopards in the naturalistic Himalayan Highlands Habitat, or experiencing almost an acre of an indoor Asian rain forest, you’re always within roaring distance of the world’s most amazing wildlife. For more info: 718.220.5100, www.bronxzoo.com
The Southern Berkshires:
Endless choices, wonderful hospitality
A particularly easy and rewarding day trip from the Capital Region is a visit to the Southern Berkshires of Western Massachusetts. In just about an hour’s drive you can find yourself in a spectacularly beautiful region with a rich history that is also an integral part of “America’s Premier Cultural Resort.”
The main North/South road is Route 7, while the main East/West road is Route 23. Charming towns abound in the Southern Berkshires and a leisurely drive will bring you to such peaceful outposts as Alford, North & South Egremont, Monterey, Mount Washington, New Marlborough, Otis, Sandisfield and Sheffield. Great Barrington, founded in 1766, is the Southern Berkshires’ largest town, commercial hub, and center for tourism.
Historically speaking, the Southern Berkshires has much to offer. Think back to your history class in your elementary school days and the name Daniel Shays is probably rattling somewhere around your memory bank. Shays, a Captain during the Revolutionary War, led a rebellion by farmers against politicians and unfair laws affecting farmers and workers. The last battle of Shays’ Rebellion took place in Sheffield in 1787, when Colonel John Ashley quelled the insurgence of New England farmers.
Legendary African-American scholar and civil rights activist W.E.B Du Bois (1868-1963), was born and raised in Great Barrington. The site Du Bois (pronounced “dew boys”) inhabited in his boyhood is now a National Historic Landmark. To learn more about this fascinating American original, be sure to visit the newly established Du Bois Center of American History at 684 South Main Street in Great Barrington (413.644.9595).
If recreational activities such as hiking, mountain biking, kayaking, running or just an old-fashioned leisurely stroll are what make your heart sing, your day trip to the Southern Berkshires is just what the doctor ordered. Located amidst rolling hills, winding rivers and sparkling lakes, the area is your destination for outdoor adventure for every age and inclination.
Hikers have an opportunity to see the vast and diverse population of wildlife in the wilderness at Bartholomew’s Cobble, a National Natural Landmark in Ashley Falls, as well as Benedict Pond in Beartown State Forest in Monterey, and Bash Bish Falls in Mount Washington State Forest. Not to be missed is Monument Mountain north of Great Barrington that features an 800-foot vertical rise that leads to the summit where you’ll find breathtaking views of the Southern Berkshires, which inspired literary giants Nathaniel Hawthorne and Herman Melville.
The picturesque downtown Great Barrington Housatonic River Walk is a community nature and walking trail developed by the Great Barrington Land Conservancy and created completely by volunteers. The easy accessibility of the River Walk right in the heart of the Great Barrington dining and shopping corridor of world-class restaurants, boutiques, and galleries right along side grocers and hardware stores that have been around for almost 100 years makes for a fun-packed day.
For the antiques aficionados among you, the antiques shops of the Southern Berkshires offer a treasure trove of possibilities. This region has been referred to as an “Antiques Mecca” by Leslie and Leigh Keno of “Antiques Road Show” fame.
Of course, no trip to the Berkshires would be complete without taking advantage of the tremendous variety of arts and cultural opportunities available. Just a brief sampling includes the newly restored Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center, the Norman Rockwell Museum, The Edith Wharton Restoration, The Colonial Theatre, Tanglewood, Berkshire Choral Festival, Barrington Stage…the list goes on and on.
For details on these and so many more arts and cultural institutions just a short drive from the Capital area, contact the Southern Berkshire Chamber of Commerce Visitor and Information Center at 800.269.4825 or visit www.southernberkshirechamber.com. Or, while in the area, visit them at 362 Main Street (Route 7), Great Barrington (Searles Castle and directly in front of Bill’s Pharmacy). Open daily 9:30am-6pm.
Each August for the past 34 years, antique enthusiasts have set out on a quest to find treasure at the Madison Bouckville Antiques show in Madison County. Just a 90-minute drive down scenic US 20 from the Capital Region, this show has continued to grow in size and lore each year, laying claim to one of the Central Leatherstocking Region’s biggest events of the summer. This year’s show, August 15-20, promises to be bigger and better than ever with increased dealers and new activities.
Visitors to the show will find that it really is several smaller shows and one huge show combined into one. From Monday the 14th right through Sunday the 20th the fields lining US Route 20 are filled with dealers of all shapes and sizes. There is plenty of parking, but one of the few free parking areas is at the Madison County Tourism Visitor Center. Come early, because their 200 free spaces tend to fill by noon each day. You will also find antique dealers, farmer’s market vendors and food vendors at the visitor center along with tourism information about Madison County and the Central Leatherstocking Region.
On Friday, the main show field opens for the weekend. You can buy an early bird pass to visit dealers while they unpack their wares on Friday or buy a weekend pass and shop all day Saturday and Sunday. New this year on the main field is appraisal alley. For a small fee you can bring your antique and have it appraised by experts in the field. Along with more than 1,000 dealers in one spot, the show offers free parking and shuttle services to and from the parking lot.
While many people have made the short trip down US 20 to the August show, even more people are discovering the unmatched antique experience this sleepy community offers year round. With over 30 cozy shops, co-ops and other services, the Madison and Bouckville communities open their doors to people who are hunting and scavenging for the unique gift, piece of furniture or part of their past that will complete their home or office.
After a day of hunting for that perfect antique a good meal and a comfortable night’s sleep awaits. With over 30 B&B’s and country inns within a 20-minute drive of the antique community, it makes for the perfect weekend getaway, or week long escape from the realities of every day modern life. Choose to stay at the Colgate Inn on the village green in Hamilton where New England meets Leatherstocking, or pick a true country experience at any of the local B&B’s.
While known for the antiques and collectibles found in the Madison-Bouckville area, Madison County offers so much more from great museums, miles of hiking trails to a vibrant arts scene.
The villages of Cazenovia and Hamilton offer wonderful New England style atmospheres and provide downtown shopping districts and dining that are second to none. Spend the day in Cazenovia shopping at places like the Cheshire Cat, Cazenovia Abroad, Cazenovia Artisans or one of many other unique stores or galleries. After shopping the afternoon away, see a show at the Cazenovia Theatre (for ticket and show information call 315.655.STAR) or listen to live music at one of the many restaurants in the village. If a Scottish atmosphere is what you desire, spend the night at the Brae Loch Inn where each room is a picture of luxury. Check in during the off-season and get your room, dinner and a fireplace for under $200. It is the perfect way to spend a relaxing weekend.
Hamilton, home to Colgate University, blends New England charm with a bustling and growing arts community. Great Inns such as the Hamilton Inn or Colgate Inn offer great dining and beautiful accommodations for your trip. The Picker Art Gallery at Colgate University and the Earlville Opera House provide big city cultural opportunities right in the heart of New York State. Don’t forget to check with the music department at Colgate to see what programs they have planned as well.
While in Hamilton you can take the opportunity to get back to nature. The nearby Brookfield State Forest provides miles of hiking and horseback riding trails. If an equine weekend is what you are looking for, two local B&B’s offer the opportunity bring your horse with you. Bridle Creek B&B in Hamilton and Endless Trails Guest House in Hubbardsville both offer easy access to the Brookfield Trail System and stables for your horses.
From vibrant fall foliage to the warmth of a spring day, anytime is perfect to make this short trip.
For more information, a travel guide for Madison County, hotel reservations or an antique guide, call the offices of Madison County Tourism at 800.684.7320 or visit www.madsiontourism.com.
Herkimer County in the heart of the Mohawk Valley is full of history, culture and activities related to the Erie Canal, the Adirondack Park and Revolutionary War. On the eastern end of the county at Little Falls you will see Lock 17 on the Erie. With a drop of over 40’ this is the highest lock in the state…higher than any on the Panama Canal! While in Little Falls visit the state historic site the Herkimer Home. This restored home of General Nicholas Herkimer, hero of the Battle of Oriskany, is open all season with tours and activities related to the era.
In Herkimer, the county seat, start at the Herkimer County Historical Society located on the Historic Four Corners and the original site of Fort Dayton build in 1776. The 1873 Herkimer County Courthouse, 1834 Jail Museum and the 1834 Reformed Church occupy the other three corners.
Just north of Herkimer on Rt. 28 visit the world famous Herkimer Diamond Mines Resort and KOA Campground. There you will find double-terminated quartz crystals, believed to be close to 500 million years old. Diamond prospecting for any size group is great fun.
The Adirondack Park is located in the northern portion of Herkimer County. Enjoy the many lakes and State Parks. Enjoy a wilderness journey aboard the Adirondack Scenic Railroad beginning in Old Forge. While in Old Forge visit Enchanted Forest/Water Safari, New York’s largest water theme park and a family favorite vacation destination, or enjoy a cruise of the Fulton Chain of Lakes aboard the Old Forge Lake Cruises.
Herkimer County is the perfect spot for a day trip or a full week vacation. There are many community festivals throughout the summer including one of the largest, the Little Falls Canal Celebration during the second weekend of August. You can ride through Lock 17, visit artists at work at the Mohawk Valley Center for the Arts and enjoy music in all the parks throughout the city.
For additional information on Herkimer County call the Chamber at 315.866.7820 or visit www.herkimercountychamber.com