Rebecca Louie

Rebecca Louie

Rebecca Louie is the author of the critically-acclaimed guide, "Compost City: Practical Composting Know-How for Small-Space Living" and founder of eco-blog TheCompostess.com. A lifestyle journalist of over a decade, she splits her time between Queens and the Catskill Mountains.

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Upstate New York is packed with affordable, adorable listings that boast mountain, woodland and water-side vistas. It’s no surprise that the tantalizing taste of spring in the air has second-home-seekers craving Mother Nature and all of her jaw-dropping views.

Check out these lakeside getaways, all at about two-and-a-half hours or less from Brooklyn, and all priced under $200,000.

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The bar at Brown’s Brewing Co.’s Malt Room in Troy, N.Y. Photo via Brown’s Brewing Co.

If you crave a cold, frosty mug of beer served steps from the brew kettles in which they were crafted, look no further than Upstate New York. According to the New York State Brewers Association, there were a whopping 207 breweries within our borders as of 2014 — which makes for a whole lotta local libations. Here’s a guide to four fantastic New York State breweries to quench your thirst.

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Kamasi Washington and Patrice Quinn at the Bearsville Theater in Woodstock, N.Y. Photo by Alejandro Storm via Bearsville Theater

If you crave a little culture during an Upstate escape, these top venues will be music to your ears. After a long day of sightseeing and outdoor adventures, soak in the local scene and unwind at these spots that range from a historic theater to former vaudeville stages.

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Skiing, snowboarding and snacking go hand in hand. Photo by Nassfeld via Flickr.

After a long, exhilarating day of shredding everything from bunny slopes to black diamonds, you deserve a hearty, decadent meal. Slope-side après-ski scenes may be good for a quick beer as you swap ski boots for comfy kicks, but for the ultimate upstate foodie experience, fuel up at these awesome spots near the Catskills’ most popular mountains.

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The world north of New York City has been a muse for countless writers, photographers, musicians and artists who draw inspiration from its wild corners and storied past. If you can’t slip away for a weekend retreat, bring the rolling hills, quaint towns and quirky characters of Upstate New York right to your living room with a good book.

We tapped the well-read team at The Golden Notebook, the fabulous Woodstock, N.Y., independent bookstore, for a list of their New York State must-reads.