Saratoga Springs: Why You Should Visit Off-Season

welcome-saratoga-springsSaratoga Springs is a great getaway from NYC. The problem? Everyone knows it. When the annual thoroughbred racing season opens in July, the village is overrun with bonneted women and men with cigars. You can plan on two things: losing more than you win at the track and spending a good part of your summer weekend sitting in traffic.

The secret for a great weekend getaway to this historic upstate New York town? Hit it before the season begins. Continue reading

Before There Was Bernie: A Visit to FDR’s Home and Library

Eleanor-and-Franklin-Roosevelt-statuesI received a campaign ad from Bernie Sanders the other day. He compared himself to a legendary reformer, America’s one and only 4-term President, Franklin D. Roosevelt. Is Senator Sanders’ New Deal comparable to the old New Deal? I figured I’d take a ride up to Roosevelt’s home in Hyde Park, New York, and find out. Continue reading

Hudson Valley Spotlight: Kingston, New York

Al Smith Election Poster Hudson Valley Kingston brick wallTurn a corner in Kingston and you’ll find a surprise. For example, walking down Fair Street, I saw a campaign poster for Al Smith, Prohibition opponent, and 4-time governor of New York State. It was unusual because Mr. Smith died in 1944. Was this an omen? Will the Republican Party try to posthumously nominate Richard Nixon? The one thing to remember about surprises is that they come at you in two ways – good and bad. Continue reading

Time for a Quickie? Two Must-See Shops in Nyack, NY

Marzipan ©The Open Suitcase LLC

Nyack is a Saturday destination for many New Yorkers who arrive to bike, hike, and shop in this charming hamlet, located snug up against the western bank of the Hudson River. You can make a day of it, but, if you’ve only got an hour or so, hit up this dynamic retail duo on Broadway: The Chocolaterie and Pickwick Book Shop. Continue reading

Escape from NYC: Overnight Options in the Hudson River Valley

What do you look for in a getaway destination? I’m guessing you seek out a place that offers a variety of interesting things to do, beautiful places to stay and yummy spots for eating and drinking. Editors of travel magazines do the same when they compile their annual “Places You Must See” lists. I scroll through these drool-worthy galleries and long to hop on the next plane to Kyoto or Valparaiso or Quito or the Hudson Valley.

National Geographic 2013 coverThe Hudson Valley? Back it up. Yes, folks. NY’s Hudson River Valley was named one of the top 20 places to visit by National Geographic. I love the region and marvel at the beauty of our river, the diversity of the people, the variety of food and our rich history. I know we’ve got it all but I didn’t know the secret was out. Continue reading