Our USA lifestyle Editor, Norah Bradford, offers some inspired recommendations on discovering the good ol' USA!
As the travel lockdowns recede, in a year where travel planning has been largely replaced by worries of health and wellness the idea of an old school road trip becomes very attractive. The ability to take advantage of cheap gasoline and control your physical environment in the car or RV plus the fact that this is probably a type of vacation not experienced for some time combine to make it the obvious getaway. Here are three ideas for hitting the open road...
ROAD TRIP: Explore Up-State New York
Head North out of New York City and take a round-trip through the Catskills to the North-West and then to the Adirondack Mountains before looping South through the Hudson Valley. Here are some of the potential highlights.
Hawks Nest, Upper Delaware Scenic Byway, Sullivan County NY
A similar distance from the Hamptons, North-West of New York lies the South-West portion of the Catskill Mountains and the Upper Delaware Scenic Byway. Drive North from Port Jervis on County Road 97 and experience the foliage and sights. Stop at the iconic Hawks Nest to view the river and forests on the winding road made famous in car commercials and for bikers on the East Coast. Visit the small cozy towns such as Barryville for their Farmers Market.
Relax at the The Lodge at Woodloch
One of Travel + Leisure Magazine’s World’s Best Award winners for top destination spas located just inside Pennsylvania near the tri-state intersection of New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Drive through the Pocono Mountains and the town of Narrowsburg, home to the annual Eagle Fest event and the Narrowsburg Film Festival to experience a world class spa and golf facility. www.thelodgeatwoodloch.com
Stay at Kenoza Hall
Recently opened from the team at Foster Supply, Kenoza hall is a 22-Room Victorian designed hotel located on a 55 acre lakefront retreat. Dining is currently outdoors for breakfast and dinner with picnic lunches to enjoy on the spacious grounds.
On the National Geographic Magazine list of must-see places a drive through the Hudson Valley is a welcome escape from the pressures of City life and a must-do. Make a weekend of it and drive from New Paltz through the Shawangunk Mountains Scenic Byway en-route to Phoenicia, NY which has been named one of America’s Top 10 coolest small towns. www.iloveny.com
ROAD TRIP: Head to the Cool, Clear Waters of Maine
Take the Coastal Road Out of the City and head past some of the storied playgrounds of the East Coast including Newport and Kennebunkport on route to cozy Bar Harbor in Maine on Mount Desert Island.
Stay at The Balance Rock Inn
Stay at the former cottage of a Scottish Railroad tycoon from the early 20th Century, Alexander Maitland and enjoy the views of the ocean and the Balance Rock, a unique rock formation off-shore. The Veranda Bar & Restaurant affords views of the water and the outstanding food and cuisine served. www.balancerockinn.com
Dine at The West Street Café
A fresh contemporary look to match the local seafood brought alongside at the seafront opposite the restaurant. Come here for your food fix – chowder, lobster and the eponymous Maine Blueberry Pie and a selection of international beers on tap.
Thrive Juice Bar and Kitchen
The product of three local residents who saw a gap in the market a place which serves health-conscious diners food that can contribute to a sense of well-being and good health. With a mission to create delicious raw juices and superfood smoothies such as the blue mermaid made with banana, E3 live blue majik, brazil nuts, vegan vanilla protein powder, maca, vanilla extract, pink salt, date and almond milk. Get ready to thrive!
See the dawn at the Highest Point on the East Coast first in America
Get up before dawn and drive to the summit of Cadillac Mountain, the highest point on the East Coast of America to see the sunrise first and tick off a box on that bucket list. Coffee afterwards comes highly recommended.
ROAD TRIP: Go West! Head for the Rockies
Ever driven to Aspen? It is kind of idea no-one would normally have time to consider for pleasure. However, this is the opportunity to experience a once-in-a-lifetime tour of a substantial part of America on the way to one the World’s Jet-Set destinations, pandemic or no. Head West through Pittsburgh to Chicago and then onto Denver via Kansas City. Here are some of the things to look forward to at the destination.
Hotel Aspen, CO
The Hotel Aspen is a great choice for accommodation when visiting Aspen with any kind of budget due to it possessing the magic word - location. With local buses that stop across from the hotel every 20 minutes which take you downtown or to the base of Aspen Mountain, you will not have to carry your golf clubs, hiking gear or skis anywhere. The hotel is located just 10 minutes from the center of town and nearer 15 minutes from the Ajax Mountain ski-lifts. To the left of the Hotel about 50 feet away is the bus stop to the Snowmass and Highlands Resorts. To the right of the hotel a similar distance away is the bus stop for Buttermilk. The rooms are traditional and cozy, some have a cute stove in the corner for those colder nights.
The Hotel Jerome, an Auberge resort, Aspen
At or near the top of the list of hotels in the Jet-set skier’s town of choice in Aspen, Colorado has been the Hotel Jerome. Celebrating over 130 years of operation the Jerome has been central to life in the Town. As an Auberge resort, the Hotel has seen a number of changes and enhancements adding a hidden-in-plain-sight speakeasy experience, Bad Harriet located inside the neighboring former Aspen Times newspaper building. Chef Rob Zack who has been with the hotel for some 20 years continues to apply his culinary artistry to the modern American bistro cuisine served in the main restaurant, Prospect.
The Aspen Snowmass Company
The year-around people who make the activities flow across the four mountains whether in the winter managing some 360 trails and pulling together the instructors to make winter sports fun or in the summer taking gondola sightseeing rides or playing disc golf on Aspen Mountain. www.aspensnowmass.com
Aspen is replete with dining options of which some of the current highlights include Bosq which stands out with its sleek interior featuring whitewashed grey walls made from regional beetle-kill pine. Modern Scandinavian furniture and relaxing banquets make for charming ambiance that engulfs you in the world of Bosq and the surrounding mountains. Chef C. Barclay Dodge has created a galvanising cuisine focusing on a unique and fresh approach.
Betula Aspen boasts a large homely room with fireplace to have drinks or desert with the in-house DJ spinning his tunes making it highly worthwhile - sit and have a drink before dining - it will add to your enjoyment of the evening. The main dining-room has that feel of being a place to see and be seen - New Yorkers will gravitate here in abundance. The chef has a storied career having worked at Guy Savoie before joining Daniel Boulud at Daniel in New York before heading to Venezuela and St. Barts. The chef saw Aspen as a logical move as his customers in the Caribbean were always discussing going to, coming from, or when they were next heading to Aspen. www.betulaaspen.com
If you are friends with, or better yet are a member of the Caribou Club head there to dine in one of the most exclusive and storied clubs in the jet-set world. In days past the Club had a telephone hotline to the private jet area of nearby Aspen airport so members could ensure their ride is ready to go. Modelled in the style of Annabel’s Club in London the Caribou has a certain je-ne-sais-quois – and why not. www.caribouclub.com