Gallery: 6 Easy Eco Escapes From New York City

Red Tail Ridge Winery

It's always nice to relax with a glass of good wine, but it's even nicer to do that at the vineyard itself. Set on Seneca Lake in the heart of New York's Finger Lakes Region, Red Tail Ridge Winery is a scenic, peaceful escape for vino-lovers -- and it is the only winery in the Empire State that has a LEED certified operations building. The facade is designed with fieldstones from Red Tail's own land, and geothermal power is used to heat the building, where the winery makes its small-batch wines. Run by a husband and wife team, Red Tail grows Teroldego grapes, a red Italian grape variety grown primarily in the northeastern region of Trentino-Alto, and specializes in dry wines. Make a weekend of the trip by booking a room at one of the dozens of hotels and bed and breakfasts around Seneca Lake. (Red Tail Ridge Winery; 846 State Route 14, Penn Yan, NY; five hour drive from NYC)

Buttermilk Spa

There are plenty of spas you could visit in the city, but walking out into the muggy, crowded city streets after your massage is a bit of a relaxation buzz-kill. At the Buttermilk Falls Inn and Spa, you can indulge yourself in a serene Hudson Valley atmosphere. Owned by Robert Pollock, founder of SoHo’s Great Jones Spa, Buttermilk is dedicated to a green philosophy. They use only naturally crafted, organic products for all of their treatments, and the sauna and steam room are powered with solar and geothermal energy. A day pass to the spa is only $35 plus the cost of services, which include massages, facials, herbal therapy, yoga classes, and more. To make it a weekend trip, book one of the ten rooms at the spa’s quaint Buttermilk Falls Inn. An old trading post overlooking the Hudson River, the inn offers just as much relaxation as the spa itself. (Buttermilk Falls Inn and Spa; 220 North Road, Milton, NY; two hour drive from NYC)

Handsome Brook Organic Farm

If you really want to get back to nature and get your hands dirty, book a weekend at the Handsome Brook Organic Farm. Handsome Brook is a sustainable farm nestled between the Catskill and the Adirondack Mountains, where you can actually become a part of the farm’s day-to-day operations. On your stay, you can help pick the vegetables and weed the berry patches or you can groom and feed the animals. Handsome Brook wants to give you a fun, educational experience that deepens your relationship with the land and your food. You can be as busy as you desire, or you can just kick back and relax on the farm house’s wide front porch. (Handsome Brook Organic Farm; 4132 East Handsome Brook Road, Franklin, NY; three hour drive from NYC)

Storm King Art Center

To immerse yourself in great art without being trapped in a museum all day, visit the Storm King Art Center. Located just an hour north of the city in the Hudson Valley, the 500 acre outdoor museum is filled with more than 100 pieces of sculpture and land art from some of the most acclaimed post-war modern and contemporary artists. The peaceful sanctuary is a calming escape from the chaos of New York. Set in Mountainville, NY, Storm King extends the idea of a sculpture garden to an entire landscape, beautifully celebrating the relationship between nature and art. Unencumbered by walls, the artworks are set within a magnificent exhibition space created by the distant mountains, the waving fields, and native woodlands of Storm King. The striking view of a sculpture from across the field, half a mile away with the mountains rising behind it is considered just as carefully as the native plants that surround its immediate location. If you don’t have a car or don’t want to rent one, Coach USA offers bus day trips for just $45. (Storm King Art Center; 1 Museum Road, New Windsor, NY; one hour by car)


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1 Comment

  1. natesmithny June 23, 2013 at 6:24 pm

    Found your blog doing research for my own article on Storm King – it’s magical, right? Wasn’t so keen on Fire Island though… Anyway my wife and I want to check out some of the other destinations. Thanks for posting!