4 Fast and Easy Upstate Adventures to Go On This Winter

Stone Barns Center in Pocantico Hills. Photo via Stone Barns Center

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    Make good on your new year’s resolution to turn off the Netflix marathons and get out into the world. These quick and easy Upstate New York escapes are great day trips that suit a range of interests — plus, you don’t need a car to get to any of them.

    Upstate NY Day Trip Sivananda Ashram Yoga Ranch

    Photo via Sivananda Ashram Yoga Ranch

    Take a soul retreat at Sivananda Ashram Yoga Ranch in Woodbourne.

    Calm the spirit as you stretch your limbs during a visit to the Sivananda Ashram Yoga Ranch. Full- and half-day rates, which range from $25-50 per person, include meals, yoga classes and use of the ashram’s facilities.

    Bond with nature while wandering a wooded trail, melt away your worries in the wood-burning Russian Banya Sauna, and keeping your mindfulness during a Satsang or spiritual reflection. Though the Well Being Center won’t be offering body work until summer, your winter’s stay will relax and rejuvenate.

    Getting there: There’s no direct public transportation route to the Yoga Ranch, but the organization recommends taking the Short Line express bus from Port Authority to Monticello, New York, purchasing a ticket all the way to Woodbourne. Ask the driver to drop you at the Citgo gas station in Woodbourne, where someone from the Yoga Ranch will pick you up.

    Upstate New York Winter Day Trips Bear Mountain State Park

    A bald eagle at the Trailside Zoo at Bear Mountain. Photo by Mark Skrobola via Flickr

    Go on an outdoor adventure at Bear Mountain State Park in Bear Mountain.

    Grab your long johns, pack a picnic basket and head out to the great outdoors. There’s nothing like tromping around in crisp, cold, mountain air to warm up your lazy winter bod. Bear Mountain State Park boasts hiking, biking and cross-country skiing trails and is open year round from 8 a.m. to sundown.

    Take a whirl on the merry-go-round (open weekends and holidays during the winter) and get up close and personal with nature at the Trailside Museum and Zoo (open daily). Perfect your Triple Salchow or simply impress your pals by staying upright at the Bear Mountain Ice Rink.

    Getting there: The Short Line Bus offers a daily Bear Mountain State Park Day Trip, leaving from Port Authority Bus Terminal. You can also take the Metro North Railroad Hudson line to Peekskill and a grab a 15-minute cab ride to Bear Mountain.

    Upstate NY Day Trip Peekskill Brewery

    Photo via Peekskill Brewery

    Enjoy small-town charm in Peekskill.

    Nature, culture and artisanal cuisine collide in this small Hudson River town just an hour north of New York City by train. Stroll the Riverfront Green Park, dotted with walking trails and sculptures by local artists, or take a brisk hike on the 12-mile Briarcliff-Peekskill Trailway, part of Westchester’s Blue Mountain Reservation.

    Once you’ve worked up an appetite, warm up while you nosh on locally sourced fare at foodie favorite Birdsall House Gastropub or grab sliders and a pint (or three) at the Peekskill Brewery during their happy “Hoppy Hours.” Tour the Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art, which reopens from a winter hiatus on January 31, or take in big-name music, theater, dance and children’s programming at the Paramount Hudson Valley Theater.

    Getting there: Take the Metro North Railroad Hudson line to Peekskill. Pound the pavement around town to burn calories or grab a cab to your desired destinations.

    Upstate NY Day Trips Stone Barns Center

    Photo via Stone Barns Center

    Eat local and hang out on the farm at Stone Barns Center in Pocantico Hills.

    The cold weather doesn’t stop the team at Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture. This four-season farm, learning center and culinary destination is an oasis of sustainability education and old fashioned farm fun. Stone Barns offers both a Winter Family Farm Tour and free Cold-Weather Weekend visits, which include greenhouse and animal habitat lessons. If you prefer to learn solo, take a self-guided tour with the help of the Center’s cool app.

    For the ultimate farm-to-table dining experience (though this one isn’t child-friendly), reserve a table at Blue Hill at Stone Barns, run by executive chef and environmentalist Dan Barber. It’s pricy — the tasting menu is $218 per person, with a shorter, three-course menu available for $58 at the bar — but a unique dining experience with much of the food sourced from the farm itself.

    Getting there: Take the Metro North Hudson line to Tarrytown. From the train station, take a taxi to Stone Barns.

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