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A Weekend in Saugerties

Saugerties is a small town in Ulster County. It has been on my “to visit” list for ages and our family finally got the chance to see this Hudson Valley town. Saugerties is a weekend touristy town. Visitors beware: many of the town’s restaurants and shops are closed during the week, so plan accordingly! There’s enough to see and do for a weekend stay. However, it’s also close enough to Westchester County that you can visit for just the day.

Where to Stay:

Diamond Mills Hotel
Thank you to the Diamond Mills Hotel for hosting NY Foodie Family. As always, all opinions are our own.

The Diamond Mills Hotel (25 S. Partition St.) – We stayed at the Diamond Mills Hotel for one night. This is a 30 room luxury boutique hotel located conveniently within walking distance to many shops and restaurants.

Diamond Mills Hotel - Hotel Room

We stayed in a room with two Queen beds. We all commented on how soft the beds were. The room was light and bright and the hotel provided bathrobes for you to wear, if you wish. I didn’t realize that I absolutely need a bathroom with heated floors until I got to experience it firsthand in our hotel bathroom!

Diamond Mills Hotel Waterfall

The highlight of this hotel is being able to walk out on your balcony to this view! The in-room Keurig was appreciated, since I got to enjoy an early morning cup of coffee out on the balcony, while everyone else was still sleeping.

What to Do:

Falling Waters Preserve waterfall

Falling Water Preserve (996 Dominican Lane, Glasco, NY) – This is a Scenic Hudson Valley park that has two small waterfalls. There are three different trails, all of which are super easy and very scenic. There are plenty of benches along the trails for hikers to sit and enjoy the views.

Kayaing on the Esopus Creek

Kayaking – We booked a last minute kayak rental with Gail from I Paddle NY. She rents out kayaks, tandem kayaks, and Stand Up Paddleboards as well as offers a variety of kayak tours. Rentals and tours are available spring through fall.

Opus 40 (50 Fite Road) – I’d be remiss not to mention Opus 40, as this is THE attraction that I think Saugerties is most well-known for. I had waited until the last minute to purchase tickets, since the weather during our visit was looking iffy. By the time I went to purchase tickets, they were no longer available for Sunday. I hope to visit Opus 40, possibly in the spring, with just my husband, as my children have already expressed their lack of interest.

Saugerties Lighthouse (168 Lighthouse Drive) – During our visit, the Saugerties Lighthouse and the adjacent areas were unfortunately closed to visitors. We drove by hoping to at least take some pictures, but had no luck. During non-Covid times, there are two guest bedrooms in the lighthouse that can be rented out! Visitors can hike to the lighthouse, accessible by a half-mile nature trail. Tours are scheduled on Sundays, by appointment only (during non-Covid times).

Seamon Park

Seamon Park (5 Malden Avenue) – Owned by the Village of Saugerties, this park is free and open to the public. Fall is a great time to visit Seamon Park, when the mums are in bloom. In non-COVID times, there is a mum festival on the first Sunday in October. (Open daily 9 AM – dusk)

Shop – Partition Street is filled with lots of shops. From bookstores, to home decor, antiques, and clothing, there are plenty of stores for you to shop ’til you drop.

Where to Eat:

Alleyway Ice Cream

Alleyway Ice Cream (135 Partition Street) – Alleyway Ice Cream is literally located down an alleyway off Partition Street. I had been drooling over Alleyway Ice Cream’s Instagram pics for ages and was so happy to finally get to try their ice cream. I was disappointed that they were out of “Thai Tea Cookies & Cream” flavor during our visit. I was really looking forward to it. But I enjoyed both the “Honeycomb Chocolate Swirl” and “Ube Heath Bar”. (Open Wednesday – Sunday)

Diamond Mills Tavern Sticky Tofu

Thank you to the Diamond Mills Tavern for hosting NY Foodie Family. As always, all opinions are our own.

Diamond Mills Tavern (25 South Partition Street) – The Diamond Mills Tavern sits adjacent to the Diamond Mills Hotel. The restaurant just debuted its new fall menu and has both indoor and outdoor seating. They have a varied menu that offers some vegetarian options. The Sticky Tofu appetizer, pictured above, was a favorite and the appetizer portion was huge!

Diamond Mills Tavern Butternut Squash Carpaccio

I enjoyed the tofu with the Butternut Squash Carpaccio Salad.

Diamond Mills Tavern Carnivore Pizza

My meat-eating son enjoyed the Carnivore pizza that has prosciutto, bacon, salami, pepperoni AND sausage! My husband had the Beet (yes, beet) Wellington and my daughter enjoyed the Impossible Burger. I’m just disappointed that we were too full to try some of their new fall desserts! (Open Wednesday – Sunday for lunch and dinner and brunch on weekends)

Josie's Coffee Shoppe

Josie’s Coffee Shoppe (174 Partition Street) – Stop by Josie’s for your morning caffeine fix. There are also a variety of pastries to get your sugar fix as well!

Love Bites Cafe Sweet Chili Cauliflower Wings

Love Bites Cafe (69 Partition Street) – This cafe’s menu features locally sourced ingredients and offers vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free options. My son devoured the Chicken and Waffles. The Bohemian Club was tasty, but a bit messy, as is often the case with foods featuring portobello mushrooms. But our favorite were these Sweet Chili Cauliflower Wings! (Open Friday – Sunday)

Slices of Saugeries Grandma Slice

Slices of Saugerties (71 Partition Street) – No joke, their Grandma style Tomato, Basil, Mozzarella slice was so good, we had to go back for another slice on our second day! There’s a reason this is a “Best of Hudson Valley” winner! (Open 7 days a week)

Brine Barrel Pickles

Brine Barrel (237 Partition Street) – We stopped at Brine Barrel before we headed back home to get some pickles to go. We got a combo of half-sour, dill, and sour dill pickles to bring home. They did not last long in our house before we devoured them!

As you can see, there is lots for visitors to enjoy during a weekend in Saugerties! It is close enough to home that we can’t wait to go back and visit the restaurants and attractions that we didn’t have time to enjoy on this trip!

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A Weekend in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

A Weekend in Corning, New York.

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Fall Fun at Kelder’s Farm


*Please note that we visited Kelder’s Farm last October. Things may look different this year due to COVID and social distancing.

If you are looking for something to do with the family this October, enjoy some fall fun at Kelder’s Farm in Kerhonkson. We visited Kelder’s Farm last October to enjoy a day of fall family fun. There is so much to see and do for families with kids of all ages.

Kelder's Farm - World's largest Garden Gnome

First, you HAVE to take a picture with the World’s Largest Garden Gnome!

Kelder's Farm corn maze

The main reason we visited Kelder’s Farm was to walk through the corn maze. This was a fall bucket list item for me and Kelder’s Farm has two corn mazes that guests can enjoy! The mazes were challenging enough but not impossible.

Kelder's Farm Apple Cannon

We all enjoyed shooting apples from the apple cannons!

Kelder's Farm feeding the animals

One of our favorite parts of the farm was visiting the animals. We purchased bags of feed and some vegetables and enjoyed feeding them to the goats and alpacas.

Kelder's Farm Bounce Pillow

My kids weren’t interested in jumping on the pillow, which is included with the admission.

But we all enjoyed climbing the hay bales!

Kelder's Farm mini golf

We played a round of miniature golf. While picturesque with foliage, we found the course in need of some TLC.

Kelder's farm pumpkin patch

When you visit in the fall, you can go apple picking and pumpkin picking. Some vegetables may still be available in the U-pick section. Check directly with the farm for availability and pricing. The farm is fairly large and they have a tractor-driven hay ride that you can take down to the corn maze and pumpkin fields.

Kelder's Farm cider donut

Kelder’s Farm serves food at The Ice Cream Barn including pizza, burgers and of course, ice cream. While we didn’t eat at the Farm (we crossed the street and enjoyed pierogies at Helena’s Pierogies), we of course couldn’t pass up cider doughnuts! We had to wait a little bit, but it was worth it for hot, fresh doughnuts!

There is so much to do at Kelder’s Farm that you can easily enjoy a full day visiting the farm.

The Details:
Kelder’s Farm
5755 US Route 209
Kerhonkson, NY 12446
(845) 626-7137

Hours: Open ever day except Wednesday: 10 AM -6 PM
Closed Wednesdays

Tickets:
Farm Pass: $13.99 + $1.50 online fee ($16 at the door)

Ultimate Farm Pass: $19.99 + $1.75 online fee ($22 at the door)
includes everything in the Farm pass plus $3 food/drink coupon, unlimited apple cannon shots and a bag of animal feed

Tips:
*Due to COVID-19 all guests must wear masks and practice social distancing.

*Arrive early to avoid crowds!

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Apple Picking at Soons Orchards






Strawberry Picking at Saunderskill Farms

There’s nothing like biting into a juicy, ripe strawberry and enjoying the burst of sweetness that hits your tongue. In mid-June, there’s a short two to three week window, when strawberries are ripe for the picking at farms throughout New York State. For the second year in a row, we visited Saunderskill Farms in Accord, NY and highly recommend the strawberry picking here.

Saunderskill Farms is an eleven generation family-owned farm. The farm is a recipient of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s “Tricentennial Award” for being operated by the same family for over 300 years! Of course, this year, due to social distancing, strawberry picking looked a little different. Masks had to be worn and social distancing rules applied. However, it was the same enjoyable family experience!

When you arrive, go to the Farm Market to purchase baskets. This year, only quart baskets are being sold, for $5 each.

When you get to the enclosed field, you will see the rows of strawberry plants.

As you can see from this picture, the strawberries are in different stages of ripeness. So, you may have to do some searching. But there were plenty of strawberries! They were just hidden under the large leaves.

We filled these two quarts in about fifteen minutes! There were so many ripe strawberries. We discovered last year, that freshly picked strawberries do not last as long as store-bought strawberries. So we didn’t pick as many this year.

After you pick your strawberries make sure to stop back at the Market to do some shopping. You can find fresh fruit, vegetables, frozen fish and meat.

You’ll also find the farm’s homemade pickled vegetables, fruit butters and jelly as well as locally made honey, syrup and more. They sell soups, sandwiches and other food to-go and have tables outside, if you are looking to eat on site. At the Bakery you can pick up fresh cider donuts, homemade pies, pastries and other homemade baked goods.

We picked up some Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip cookies and a piece of cherry pie to take home with us.

If you are looking for flowers and plants, make a stop at the greenhouse. Here you can find not only annuals, perennials and vegetable plants, but also seeds, fertilizer, tools and more.

You have a couple more weeks to enjoy strawberry picking before the season ends. Although we picked our strawberries quickly, we packed a cooler in the car to store them in. It was a beautiful day, so on the way home we stopped in nearby New Paltz for some lunch and walked around Main Street. It was a day out that the whole family enjoyed.

The Details:
Saunderskill Farm
5100 Route 209
Accord, NY 12404
(845) 626-CORN (2676)

Open: Tuesday – Sunday: 7 AM – 4 PM

Parking: There is plenty of free parking

Cost: $5 per quart basket

*Masks are required

*Social distancing rules apply

*Arrive early! By noon, the parking lot was packed and they were limiting the number of guests inside the Farm Market.






Minnewaska State Park Preserve

We have not been hiking or doing many outdoor activities with the recent heat waves. But we know that fall will be here before we know it, bringing some cooler weather. Therefore, we want to post about our recent hikes so you can start to plan some outdoor family activities for when the weather gets a little more comfortable. A great family hike can be found at Minnewaska State Park Preserve.

Minnewaska State Park Preserve is located in Kerhonkson, New York (Ulster County) and is about an hour and fifteen minute drive from northern Westchester County. Warning, this is a very popular state park! On a beautiful day in mid June, we had to wait about fifteen minutes just to enter the park, since the parking lots were full.

The Preserve is over 22,000 acres with over 50 miles of hiking trails. You will not be able to see it all in a day! I am a waterfall lover and I wanted to visit Minnewaska State Park Preserve after hearing about Awosting Falls.

From the parking lot it’s a short walk to get to the trail heads. We first started on the Awosting Falls red-blazed trail which lies adjacent to the Peter Kill stream. There are a series of smaller waterfalls, that of course we had to photograph! As you walk further down the trail there’s even a spot where you can stand above Awosting Falls.

The trail heads downhill into the woods before you arrive at the bottom of Awosting Falls. The falls are 60 feet tall and plunge into a large, clear pool. The amount and strength of the falls depends on the rainfall. Fortunately, the day of our visit there was a rewarding waterfall.

After spending some time taking in the beauty of the falls we continued our hike. We returned back up the way we came to the beginning of the red trail. We then switched to the orange-blazed Sunset Carriageway Trail towards Lake Minnewaska. This was about a 20 minute uphill hike to the lake.

But the views are amazing! And if you really want to, you can drive to the upper parking lot, skipping this hike altogether. Lake Minnewaska is less than one-half mile long and is surrounded by white cliffs. If you’re feeling really ambitious you can hike around the lake. We weren’t feeling very ambitious…..or more like our children weren’t feeling it.

I didn’t realize that visitors can swim in Lake Minnewaska, or I would have had the kids wear their bathing suits. The swimming area is roped off and staffed by lifeguards. Luckily, it wasn’t super hot the day that we visited, so we sat on the dock and enjoyed a snack and water break. There’s also a bathroom across from the lake if you need a rest stop. After our snack break we continued on the red trail until we reached the start of the blue trail, Castle Point Carriageway. At this point we decided it was a good time to turn around and make our way back to the car.

Like I mentioned, Minnewaska is very popular and was very crowded the day we went. Trails were filled with hikers, dogs, (SO many dogs! We felt a little left out that we didn’t have a dog to hike with) and mountain bikers. Although horseback riding is allowed on the trails, that is one thing we didn’t see on our hike.

The Preserve is located on the Shawangunk (“Gunks” to the locals) Mountain ridge, which is more than 2,000 feet above sea level. Altogether we hiked about four miles and saw some beautiful views. However, we never made it to the peaks of any mountains. For more serious hiking and trail tips, I highly recommend checking out Hike the Hudson Valley’s write up on the park. Mike writes super informative hiking guides for trails throughout the Hudson Valley, which we have referenced many times!

We didn’t get a chance to visit the Nature Center or to see Lake Awosting, another lake in the Preserve, where swimming is also allowed. Plus, with all of the hiking trails available, there are plenty of reasons for us to make a return trip.

The Details:
Minnewaska State Park
5281 Rt. 44-55
Kerhonkson, NY 12446

Hours: Park hours vary by season. Please check out the website for the most up-to-date information.

Parking: $10 per vehicle or free with the Empire Pass

Notes:
*There is a Nature Center that is open on weekends and holidays from Memorial Day through Columbus Day. Hours are 10 AM – 12 PM and 1 PM – 4 PM.

*If you are visiting the park to go swimming, park in the upper parking lot, or you will have a decent hike ahead of you to get to the lake.

*Again, check out Hike the Hudson Valley’s guide to Minnewaska State Park Preserve for information on hiking the trails!

*Minnewaska State Park Preserve has a carry in, carry out policy. Make sure if you are bringing food in to also bring a bag to store your garbage.