Taconic Distillery

Dutchess for a Day!

An escape tactic is typically necessary for NYC locals to detox from the inner city pressures any time of year, even if just for a day - it's very possible and SO worthwhile! Ben and I recently had the opportunity to take a fall tour of Dutchess County with some lovely hosts from Dutchess Tourism and Hudson Valley Bucket List, and I wanted to share some new highlights of beautiful places to visit if you need to get a refresh from the city life in Upstate NY.

Upper Landing Park was our first stop, which is where we took the elevator 21-stories up to enjoy an expansive view across the Hudson River (behind me in the photo below, will take you south, to NYC) along Walkway Over the Hudson - a state historic park. Ben and I have been once before, years ago, for an Autumn overnight getaway in New Paltz (NY), while at a fantastic local Airbnb (there is a lovely trail, quaint town with nice restaurants, great shops and antiques).

Walkway Over the Hudson is tremendous, and close to the adorable town of New Paltz, NY.

We took about a 45-minute drive through the Hudson Valley for a tour & tasting at Millbrook Winery. We lucked out on the weather, but the foliage had not started to turn quite yet, but we had a fun and thorough tour of the beautiful space thanks to the team there. We were in awe of the delish lunch provided to us by Beacon Pantry - based nearby in Beacon, NY (add it to your Fall to-do-list, too!).

We were whisked off for some local whiskey and spirits at Taconic Distillery. We met the owner and sampled their variety of whiskeys - of course, I was partial to their Bourbon Whiskey with Maple Syrup, but I am a fan of sweets. We wound up with a bottle of whiskey, which was so fine that we finished it within a week!

On our way back to the train station, we made a brief-but-scenic stop to the historic estate at Locust Grove - which is also a nature preserve and museum with tours of the mansion (villa built in 1850).

Nature crush! Spy those small mountains behind us (don't make me go back to Manhattan ;)).

WHAT I'M WEARING...

  1. Pants - (you can't see here, sadly, but they are stirrups and super high waisted! (Squeee) I picked up at A Current Affair vintage show 10/17 (my only buy as I'm currently on a budget! lol the pants are that good ;)) from (of course) The Goods! By Liz Baca, a super rad, sweet stylist with a one-eyed pup named Booboo.
  2. Baret - by Valfré
  3. Cropped Top - by Top Shop
  4. Boots - PSkaufman x Lenni the label Chelsea Boot n1001 in snake (Pssssst... Follow PSkaufman on Instagram to get the goods on sales - which is how I got these babies ;)).

There are so many mini day-trip adventures possible from NYC (we usually go without a tour guide, but couldn't pass up that opportunity :)). I hope this helps you determine your next destination!

Happy Fall, ya'll! What are some of your favorite fall getaways?

xoLauren

All photos by Lauren A. Oosterlinck and Ben Edwards, Copyright 2017

Upstate Escape Pt2: The Orchards.

If I could escape ... New York City, may be the city "where dreams are made of", but as grand as it can be, it can be just as rough, to say the least. I frequently find myself with an urge to escape the madhouse of NYC, but especially in the Fall. Going Upstate is one of the best "things to do" during Autumn, but it is also all-too-easy to get up there. Ben and I have taken various excursions Upstate on our days off (which are on week days, a blessing in disguise, the overpacked way good places are in the metro area on weekends, no joke). I haven't driven regularly in over 6 years, since I moved from the 'burbs of Indiana, which is bad, for me, but taking the subway, train or taxi/car makes it easy to lose track. That said, the easiest way to travel up to the charming, scenic (did I mention peaceful?) Upstate NY attractions is to take a train via the Metro North railroad system - the ride itself is a foliage tour! Weather can be so hit-or-miss in the Fall, but thankfully, we had a couple of good travel days to see some new places. 

One of our two stops on this day trip was about a 90-minute train ride to two orchards - literally, across the street from one another - easy and lovely! We ventured the Metro North to Croton Falls station, where there was a friendly local car service right in the small parking lot across from the train - amazing. On our list was to check out Harvest Moon Orchard and Farm, and the unforgettably named Outhouse Orchards...

Outhouse Orchards boasts a corn maze and hay rides during peak season. Sadly, weather prohibited us from going until the week just after what they consider peak season, but that didn't keep us from enjoying the pumpkins, hot apple cider, fresh pie (we bought a caramel apple - divine) and apples. There was a hay ride, but it seemed to be a pre-arranged group, because the driver disappeared into the woods after stopping the tractor. There was an awesome tractor sitting on the grounds, so I couldn't resist pretending I was driving it - in spiked pleather jacket, over-the-knee boots and giant black hat, of course. And, to our glee, the corn maze was still intact, but since it was "past season", we could sneak in for free, SWEET... as caramel apple pie.

http://www.outhouseorchardsny.com/

I love animals, and eating turkey, but I could not bear it for Thanksgiving after watching these guys hang out and interact. They are so sweet and funny.

And the chickens, the colorful chickens roaming about freely! All of the goats, chickens and turkeys we found in these photos were at Harvest Moon Orchards. Harvest Moon, literally across the street from Outhouse (haha), is a bit more up-market, due to having a terrific little bar, with fantastic local spirits, attached to their general store. 

As it was after high-season - a blessing and a curse - we were not allowed in the orchard at Harvest Moon. We were told by the barman, that there is a beautiful view at the top, sigh. But we consoled ourselves by petting the surprisingly friendly goats nearby on the farm. The goats were so adorable and affectionate, I wanted one as a pet after about 5 minutes!

Although we missed out on orchard bliss, we also consoled ourselves by enjoying the bar connected to the market there, trying great local cider flights in the sun. There were a plethora of fine options, but in the end, and without a car, we had to take home  Neversink Spirits Aged Apple Brandy and Taconic Distillery Rye Whiskey - for some fine Fall beverages to remember them by once we returned to the city.

http://www.harvestmoonfarmandorchard.com/

What I'm wearing:

  1. Tall black suede flat boots by Zara
  2. Grey jeans by Sunrise51 Jeans via Alloy shop
  3. Studded faux leather jacket - Spitalfields Market, London find
  4. Big black wide brimmed hat by Zara

Photos and video by Lauren Oosterlinck and Ben Edwards, 2016.