"One’s destination is never a place, but rather a new way of looking at things." So said Brooklyn-native Henry Miller, and while we certainly know what he was getting at, we also have to insist that changing your location can alter your mind as surely as your state of mind can alter your destination. With that said, we've picked five places where you can go this summer and look at things in a whole new way. After all, everyone needs to escape once in a while, and each of these destinations—Montauk, Newport, the Berkshires, the Hudson Valley, and the Finger Lakes—offer distinct pleasures and forms of retreat. Soon, your familiar world will be nothing more than a receding landscape, your new adventures will start to take shape on the horizon, and the truth of the matter will become clear: all you needed was an escape. And it's not so much that you needed an escape from something, just an escape to something: something new, something better, so that you can eventually come back home and start all over again.
Just over an hour's drive north of New York City, the Hudson Valley has become a major destination for anyone who loves food, wine, natural beauty, and a chance to feel like you're a million miles away from the bustle of city life. Our favorite spot to head to is the Mohonk Mountain House, a sprawling castle-like estate that bears no small resemblance to the hotel in The Shining. Lest you think that we mean that in a negative way, let us assure you, that there's nothing we like more than wandering aimlessly through a hedge maze or drinking in the perfect hotel bar. As long as you don't run across any kids muttering red rum red rum
, we think you'll be just fine.
Photos: Rory Gunderson
Mohonk Mountain House
1000 Mountain Rest Rd, New Paltz, NY 12561; mohonk.comThe Village Tea Room and Bakeshop
10 Plattekill Ave, New Paltz, NY 12561Brook Farm Project
60 Gatehouse Rd, New Paltz, NY 12561
While hardly the undiscovered, end-of-the-road fishing town it was a few decades ago, Montauk is still decidedly more low-key than other South Fork coastal towns—it has a lot of beachside charm working in its favor. There's still an abundance of natural beauty, including the spectacularly silvery light that the East End is known for, and plenty of places to enjoy the simple things in life. We're talking about everything from the perfect lobster roll to a rustic-chic hotel room to an unforgettable sunrise on the beach. These are the things you leave New York to find in Montauk. They're all right there for you.
Photos: Bailey Roberts
161 2nd House Rd, Montauk, NY 11954
The Lobster Roll
1980 Montauk Highway, Amagansett, New York 11930
2025 Montauk Highway, Amagansett, New York 11930
The grandeur of Newport is that of a long-ago era, one of robber barons and railway magnates, and, at first, it seems almost antithetical to what a modern New Yorker would want in a vacation spot. But, in fact, it is Newport's differences that make it so perfect; it's like everything you know is subverted, leaving you with a new perspective on the world. Enjoy the small-town, seaside charms, and marvel at the Gatsby-esque levels of architectural decadence. And don't forget to spend a day wandering the bird sanctuary, appreciating the duality between man-and nature-constructed wonders.
Photos: Lauren Schaefer
The Chanler at Cliff Walk
117 Memorial Boulevard, Newport, RI 02840
Tallulah on Thames
464 Thames Street, Newport RI 02840
Norman Bird Sanctuary
583 3rd Beach Rd, Middletown, RI 02842
White Horse Tavern
26 Marlborough St, Newport, RI 02840
THE ONE WELL bag FISH LURE: dreaming fishing tackle ALTER socks, shoes and scarf ELEMENT METAL ARTS anchor ring MR. NATTY lip balm and soap
Castle Hill Inn
590 Ocean Ave, Newport, RI 02840
There are some places that are perfect for every aspect of you: body, mind, and spirit. The Kripalu Yoga Center, on a sprawling lakefront property in the heart of the Berkshires, is one such place. Escaping to Kripalu means that you're promising yourself that you want your mind to be in accord with your body, that you want to maintain an inward focus while also taking pleasure in the beauty that you see externally. This vacation might not initially seem as decadent as a beachside resort or a trip through wine country, but in a way it's really the truest indulgence possible. Learning how to be mindful of yourself and fully in tune with what your body needs is the greatest way we can think of to escape the mundanities of everyday life.
Photos: Daeja Fallas
Kripalu; 57 Interlaken Rd, Stockbridge, MA 01262; kripalu.org
The Finger Lakes region of New York has an almost magical effect on those who visit. Gone are all the obligations that burden you when you're home. Gone are all the responsibilities that fill every waking moment. Everything disappears save the extreme natural beauty of the region and your willingness to get lost as you explore the fields and lakes, gorges and waterfalls. Visit one of the area's acclaimed wineries, like the Red Newt, and let every Dionysian fantasy you've ever had take over. Soon you'll return to the more Apollonian existence of New York, where everything is ordered and perfectly in its place. So enjoy your escape while it lasts. The Finger Lakes are meant for exploring.
Geneva on the Lake
1001 Lochland Rd, Route 14, Geneva, NY 14456, genevaonthelake.comRed Newt Winery
3675 Tichenor Rd, Hector, NY 14841; rednewt.com
Photos by Samantha Casolari