When I was planning my mini-moon, I scoured the world for tropical beaches where I could sit poolside with a colorful cocktail or catch a tan (after slathering on layers of sunscreen, of course).
But beaches and warm weather locations are not ideal for everyone.
In fact, for adventure seekers who are looking for some fresh air and scheduling in a workout during their mini-moon festivities, there are other options available. The Catskills is one of them. Nestled in the southeastern part of New York state, the Catskill Mountains are rich with wildlife, hiking trails and natural beauty, and the area is home to a number of different accommodations beyond the usual hotel room. For the couple who loves to be on the go, this is a great mini-moon destination that is ready to be explored.
The Catskills offer numerous types of accommodations depending on your preferences and interests. If you and your beau prefer luxury, you must book a bungalow at Kenoza Hall, a lakefront retreat situated on New York’s Kenoza Lake, just two hours outside of New York City.
The area’s rolling hills and wide-open fields offer a beautiful, romantic escape from busy cities and crowds. The bungalows especially offer opulence and unparalleled intimacy—they are complete with a cozy bathtub, lush bathrobes and a fireplace for you and your love to sit around while sipping a glass of wine. Plus, if your better half is into billiards, you can opt for the bungalow with a full pool table in the living room for your enjoyment.
If you are looking to truly disconnect from the hustle and bustle of your normal routine, then Gather Greene in Coxsackie, New York, is the location for you. This Scandinavian-inspired nature retreat features only 17 rooms and a picturesque view of more than a hundred rolling acres available for hikes or long walks in the woods. Located between two mountain ranges—The Berkshires and The Catskills—you are guaranteed to have beautiful photos of your mini-moon together. Think tiny house meets glamping. It sounds dreamy to us.
If you are looking to get into hiking but don’t know where to start, then book a room at Hotel Lilien and have a certified New York state guide lead you on a weekend nature walk or hike. This 18-room boutique hotel (with a cocktail bar) has everything you need to stay locked in for a long weekend. There’s a wood-burning stove and outdoor fire pit; a lounge in the original wood-paneled library, where you can take a break and indulge in great literature; or savor a meal in the private dining room of the sister restaurant. If you are tired of the grounds, then the property is only a few minutes from Kaaterskill Falls and the Mountain Top Arboretum. Beware: The sunrises and sunsets will make you want to stay here all year-round.
Breweries and Cideries
It always feels like fall in The Catskills, especially when you are sipping a local cider or beer. The Catskills are home to dozens of breweries and cideries that make craft beverages from locally sourced ingredients. Maybe beer is not your go-to, but if you are in the mood to spice things up (literally), a visit to Seminary Hill Orchard is required. Schedule a tasting and stroll through the beautiful grounds to witness the growth of apples over a 12-acre orchard. The cider itself is made from blends of more than 60 apple and pear varieties. Pair it with different cheeses and meats for maximum enjoyment. If you’re lucky enough, you might even get a sneak peek at the facility itself, where all the cider-making magic happens.
The further away you are from city centers littered with lights, the easier it is to stargaze. What is more romantic than lying next to your beau on a fluffy blanket, like this biggest blanket in the world, while gazing at the night sky? One of the best places to stargaze in The Catskills is at the Maurice D. Hinchey Catskills Visitor Center, which frequently hosts events like a full moon party or meteor shower viewings that truly showcase the magic of the galaxy. Make sure to keep an eye out for its organized events. If you’re not feeling that, then find a corner of your accommodation with the best celestial view; you’ll be starstruck either way.
It goes without saying that hiking is one of the best activities to do while in The Catskills, and there are dozens of paths (of differing skill levels) to choose from. However, if you are tired of hiking or if the weather is less than ideal, then opt for golf, fly-fishing or horseback riding. The beauty of The Catskills is that it is an activity-packed getaway, so you are unlikely to get bored.