NYC’s whirlwind lifestyle is intoxicating. Sometimes it leaves you in a state of euphoria; other times you wake up feeling embittered, exhausted, and a little bit nauseous. With millions of people filling up every square inch of space, the sense of anonymity is inescapable and can make the city feel void of humanity.
Luckily, an escape to upstate can restore anyone's faith in civility. Rhinebeck, New York is a particularly gracious and charming town. Just two hours north of Manhattan, its tiny main street, Market Street, is straight out of a Norman Rockwell painting. Predating The American Revolution and tucked away in the hills of the Hudson River Valley, Rhinebeck thrives as an artist and craftsman enclave today. A picturesque breath of fresh air, it’s the perfect place for refilling any urbanite’s depleted chutzpah tank.
Fill up on some French fare at a cozy, fuss-free bistro for brunch before strolling around town. Get some spectacular Thai food for dinner after exploring the historic district. And, don’t forget to try out one of the neighborhood's bakeries for a sampling of the area's sweet treats. Calico's iconic red interior is worth a peek; either stay for some some coffee or grab a few pastries to-go.
- Arielle for brunch.
- Aroi Thai Restaurant for dinner.
- Le Petit Bistro for some after dinner bites and wine.
Once known as the Violet Capital of the World, Rhinebeck’s flourishing floral industry met its demise after the bud became a symbol of lesbian love in the 1930’s. Fortunately, the ignorance of early 20th century America couldn’t completely ruin the town’s vitality; Rhinebeck’s gradually gained popularity over the years despite experiencing this economic loss.
In fact, nowadays, Rhinebeck's spirited culture is a grand departure from its traditional roots. Home to a growing LGBT community, the area is a progressive hotbed that welcomes all walks of life. This, juxtaposed by the architecture of the historic district and centuries old structures like the Beekman Arms makes for one whimsy, little getaway.
- Northern Dutchess Botanical Garden.
- Al Stickle 5 & Dime Store and Periwinkles.
- Plan your visit to coincide with The Rhinebeck Arts Festival (on September 27th and 28th) or New York State Sheep and Wool Festival (on October 18th and 19th!).
Getting to Rhinebeck can be a little tricky. It's accessible by Amtrak from Penn Station (take it for about $30 RT to Rhinecliff station and you'll end up about 1 mile away). For a more direct route, rent a Zip Car for the day.
Have a reliable recommendation or sweet spot to share? Go crazy in the comments section below!