Thursday, March 23, 2017

Savor the local flavors at our top ten food festivals!

The Hudson Valley Catskills region is a foodie’s paradise, offering visitors a chance to sample everything from farm-to-table delicacies to down-home comfort foods, and there’s no better way to savor the flavor than to enjoy a day at a local food & wine festival.

Come and celebrate!  Communities organize food festivals to celebrate their local specialties, inviting visitors from near and far to come enjoy the carefully crafted recipes that define their favorite cuisine.  

To help you make the most of your stay, we’ve put together a list of our favorite festivals in the Hudson Valley Catskills region, where you’ll find everything from farm-fresh blueberry pie to savory garlic ice cream, all within an hour’s drive.

Top Ten Hudson Valley Catskills Food Festivals

Rip Van Winkle Wine Brew and Beverage Festival
May 13     Catskill, N.Y.
A festival that’s fun for all, featuring a wide variety of wineries, breweries, distilleries and craft beverages, along with a large selection of craft and food vendors.  Enjoy Live music throughout the day. This event is set on the beautiful banks of the Hudson River and the Catskill Creek which make for a great backdrop. Held rain or shine. 

The Catskills Greek Festival
July 6-9     Callicoon Center, N.Y.
Everyone is welcome!   4 days of fun for the entire family!  Enjoy traditional Greek food and experience the music and lively Greek dancing. Games and rides for the children. Raffles, prizes and much more!  A spectacular fireworks display will light up the sky on Sat.   

The Blueberry Festival
Aug. 12     Ellenville, N.Y. 
The nearby town of Ellenville pays tribute to their berry-picking history each year with the Shawangunk Mountain Wild Blueberry Festival which features performances by local musicians, handcrafted gifts, cultural events, entertainment, and of course- all things blueberries!  A blueberry pancake breakfast and a blueberry pie competition are among the highlights of this festival, located just south of the Catskill Mountains.  

The Bagel Festival
Aug. 13     Monticello, N.Y.
Abandon your low carb/Paleo diet for the weekend and indulge in some bready goodness, just this once.  Visitors can enjoy an all-day street fair complete with vendors, lots of food, rides, games, and live music, a the Bagel Festival Parade, a Best Bagels contest, and even a Bagel Triathalon where you’ll roll, stack, and toss bagels instead of eating them.

Hudson Valley Rib Fest
Aug. 18 - 20     New Paltz, N.Y.
THE place to be for lovers of finger-licking good food in the Northeast. This three-day event is actually two events in one – a food festival and a sanctioned Barbeque Contest where winners can advance to the national finals in Kansas City! Includes Kansas City Barbeque Society Contest, food vendors, live entertainment, cooking demonstrations and children’s country games. 

Hudson Valley Wine & Food Fest
Sept. 10-11     Rhinebeck, N.Y.
The Hudson Valley Wine & Food Fest is a celebration of the bounty of New York. The event features hundreds of wines from all over the state, NY distilled spirits, craft beers and gourmet specialty foods from all over the country. Learn more about wine with our educational seminars and brush up on your culinary skills with cooking demonstrations from regional celebrity chefs throughout the weekend.   

Jennie Bell Pie Festival
Sept. 16     Kerhonkson, N.Y.
While pie is at the heart of the festivities, with home-baked pies for sale all weekend (until they run out), a visit to the two-day extravaganza will also include hayrides, craft and food vendors, a talent show (with cash prizes), the farm’s petting zoo, amusement rides and games and live music with a local band on Saturday. 

Taste of New Paltz
Sept. 17     New Paltz, N.Y
The Hudson Valley’s renowned wine, cuisine and agricultural bounty are on display with Taste of New Paltz, the flavorful annual opportunity to sample some of the best mouth-watering fare from the region’s finest restaurants, caterers, farm markets, brew masters, and wineries, all in a single day. 

Hudson Valley Garlic Festival
Sept. 30 – Oct 1     Saugerties, NY 
Celebrating all things garlic, A visit to the Garlic Marketplace, with tons of gourmet garlic, this fantastic festival features garlic-enhanced foods.  There’s everything from garlic sausage, pulled pork, and garlic soup to garlic green beans, and garlic ice cream! Visitors also enjoy constant entertainment, cooking demonstrations, an Arts and Crafts area featuring over 80 vendors, and more! 

Rosendale International Pickle Festival
November 19     Rosendale, N.Y. 
The Rosendale International Pickle celebrates the town’s quirky spirit and beautiful landscape with an amazing celebration of pickles, gherkins and cornichons. The kooky extravaganza features pickle exhibitors from around the region, pickle dishes designed by renowned chefs, live musical performances from local acts and pickle-inspired clothing and jewelry. It's a pickle-lover's paradise!

Planning to visit one or more of these exciting Hudson Valley Catskills food festivals? The Hudson Valley Resort & Spa is at the center of them all, so give us a call today and we'll help make the most of your stay!

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Taste the Tradition: Hudson Valley Maple Syrup Season

Growing weary of winter weather?  Here in the Hudson Valley we know for certain that spring is on its way when our local Maple Syrup producers start tapping their trees!

That’s right- it’s maple syrup season, and that means plenty of opportunities for you to experience the maple syrup harvest yourself! 

Local maple producers throughout the region are inviting you to come visit and enjoy their exciting hands-on programs exploring the journey of maple syrup from the tree to the table.

Did you know that the process of making Maple Syrup hasn't changed much since colonial times? Producers begin by drilling a small hole in the trunk of the Sugar Maple tree and inserting a small tube.  The clear, slightly sweetish maple sap collected from these “taps” is then boiled down to create the beautiful amber syrup we all know and love.  Would you believe that it takes more than 40 gallons of sap to produce just 1 gallon of syrup?  

New York is now the second largest producer of maple syrup in the US, and this proud tradition is gaining more momentum in response to consumer demands for healthier options.  Did you know that ounce for ounce Maple Syrup contains more calcium than milk, and more potassium than bananas?  Sweet!

Come and taste the tradition.  Check out these exciting maple syrup events happening this March and take part in the delicious heritage of the Hudson Valley maple syrup harvest.  Spring is on it’s way, and there’s no sweeter way to celebrate the season!
Join the Mohonk Preserve for a short hike leading to a sweet treat.  Learn how to make maple syrup the traditional way.  This fun and educational woodland excursion includes an easy 1-mile hike so be sure to wear boots. Reservations are required.

A fun open house where visitors can see how maple syrup and other related products are made, this family oriented event is sure to delight visitors of all ages. Visitors can sample and purchase the maple products in addition to participating in a variety of interactive activities to make your visit more memorable.  

Visitors will enjoy tours of the sugarbush and demonstrations of how the sugar shack operates as well as a sweet treat: samples of different grades of syrup will be offered and all maple products will be available for purchase.

Gather in the cozy log sugar house and watch as syrup is made using a wood fired 2'x6' evaporator.  Explore the variety of maple equipment on display and a live tapping demonstration.  Enjoy free samples of syrup with maple popcorn, apples in maple syrup, maple tea, lemonade and maple donuts available for purchase.   
Of course, the Hudson Valley Resort & Spa is at the center of it all!  You can come and enjoy all of these Hudson Valley maple syrup season events because we’re offering some sweet deals.  Want to experience the season without sapping your savings?  Visit today to book your stay.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Cross Country Skiing for Health and Wellness

Chase away those winter blues while getting in shape: Cross Country Skiing is the perfect way to get out and enjoy the scenic winter wonderland of the Hudson Valley!  This popular and healthy outdoor winter activity can be fun for the whole family and provides an excellent aerobic workout which will have you looking and feeling your best by spring.

Most people know how important it is to remain active in the winter months, but with snow on the ground it can be difficult to get motivated.  While we all have the best intentions of hitting the gym from time to time, the prospect of watching sitcoms under florescent lights while pacing on a treadmill hardly inspires enthusiasm.

Cross country skiing is a great alternative!  You’ll love getting out in the sunshine to explore the beautiful natural winter landscapes found at popular Hudson Valley cross country ski destinations.  With more than 18 km of groomed trails with sweeping Hudson Valley and Catskill views, nearby Minnewaska State Park is popular choice.

Cross Country Skiing not only tones and strengthens every major muscle group; it also provides an excellent cardio-vascular workout.  Just an hour on the trail at a moderate pace can burn more than 500 calories while boosting your metabolism and lifting your spirits!

It’s well known that moderate exercise and sunshine can help fight depression, so cross country skiing is a great way to ward off the winter blues.  There’s no reason to suffer from “Cabin Fever” this year when a scenic winter wonderland of natural beauty awaits you.

Not sure where to start?  Most ski shops provide expert advice on selecting gear which will suit your tastes and budget, and many offer rental equipment and classes for beginners.  Check out our Top Ten Tips for Cross Country Skiing in the Hudson Valley, and you’re sure to start out on the right foot.

Top Ten Tips for Cross Country Skiing in the Hudson Valley

  1. Learn the rules.  Visit a Cross Country ski center and inform the staff that you are new to the activity.   They’ll be happy to help you learn the ins and outs, discuss trail etiquette and even point you to trails best suited to your skiing ability.
  2. Dress in layers.  Because cross country skiing is an aerobic activity; many beginners tend to overdress for the cold.  However, you can overheat quickly if dressed too warmly. Wear moisture-wicking underwear with a lightweight fleece top with tights and a weatherproof outer shell.
  3. Take a pack.  You need a larger pack for winter cross-country skiing trips than you would for hiking in summer. Bring extra clothing and gear (e.g., a snow shovel) to stay comfortable and safe.
  4. Don’t forget the wax.  Keep some “glide wax” packets handy so you can keep your "no wax" skis gliding smoothly all day.  Apply only to the smooth surface of the ski base. For waxable skis, find a few grip waxes that cover the full range of temperatures you're likely to encounter.
  5. Stretch before and after your trip.  This helps prevent muscle soreness and keeps you flexible. Gently stretch the quadriceps, hamstrings, gluteus muscles and calves.  Cross-country skiing is also a great upper-body workout, so don't forget to stretch your biceps and triceps, too!
  6. Start slowly.  Walk the trail with a pair of poles but without skis. This is the easiest way to get acclimated to the opposite-arm, opposite-leg movement required in cross-country skiing
  7. Protect yourself from the sun.  Even on overcast days, reflected light off the snow and prolonged exposure can cause sunburns and even "snow blindness". Wear suitable sunscreen and sunglasses with good UV protection.
  8. Drink plenty of water.  Drink regularly, even if you don't feel thirsty. Staying hydrated helps you to stay warm, and dehydration is the first step towards hypothermia.
  9. Practice Negotiating Hills.  Climbing uphill, make sure your body is centered above your feet and that your shoulders, hips and feet are aligned. Think about taking little steps up the hill, and try not to bend too far forward at the waist. Descending downhill, keep your body aligned above your feet. Once you’re skilled enough on skis, you can tuck into the position that Alpine racers use.
  10. Stay in Control.  To slow your descent when skiing in groomed tracks, carefully lift one ski out and set it at an angle to the track. Put pressure on the inside edge of that ski, in a "half snowplow" formation. Don’t press too hard, though, or you may catch your ski and stop too suddenly.
Eager to give it a try?  The Hudson Valley Resort & Spa is just minutes from some of the Hudson Valley’s best cross-country skiing!  Give us a call when planning your visit to the well groomed and popular trails at nearby Minnewaska State Park, the Mohonk Preserve and we’ll help make the most of your stay.  We’re only 90 miles from NYC… you’ll just feel a world away.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Seven Simple Tips for Safer Holiday Travel

More families travel long distance to visit with friends and family during the holiday season than during any other time of the year.  Keep yourself and your loved ones safe this holiday by following these seven simple tips for safer holiday travel.

Before starting out, make sure your vehicle is properly tuned and mechanically sound.  Consider having a mechanic inspect the vehicle for potential problems so they can be corrected before they become BIG problems on the road. 

Timing is everything!  Try and steer clear of high density traffic by planning your route carefully and coordinating your departure time to avoid high-use areas such as large cities and major interstate highway exchanges during peak traffic hours.

Know your route.  Don’t rely strictly on GPS guidance- familiarize yourself with your driving directions and plan alternate routes in case of an emergency, detours, or traffic jams.

Don't drive drowsy!  More than 30% of fatal accidents occur during the early morning hours and often involve only one vehicle- often the result of driver fatigue. Keep your family safe overnight with a comfortable room at an affordable hotel.

Don’t rush.  Allow extra time for your travel than necessary so you can slow down, reduce your stress level, and remain alert while driving.  Excessive speed is a factor in most fatal automobile accidents.  Remember that it is better to arrive at your holiday party late than never at all. 

Avoid dangerous driving conditions.  If bad weather is looming with snow or ice projected to impact roadways along your route, consider postponing your travel plans, revising your departure schedule, or altering your route to avoid these hazards.  

Remain mindful of basic safety protocol: buckle up, keep your hands on the wheel and your eyes on the road, remain a safe distance from other drivers, and never, EVER drink and drive. 
By applying these seven simple tips for safer holiday travel and by observing proper safety protocol and driving regulations while on the road you can hope to enjoy a safe and happy holiday season with your loved ones both near and far.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Hands-On History: Explore our Local Antique Shops

Antiquing has become a popular pastime in the historic Hudson Valley, and many travelers enjoy the opportunity to discover tangible treasures from the past which speak to our region’s rich cultural history.

 You never know what you'll find hidden among the shelves of a great country antiques shop!  From vintage clothing, furniture and jewelry to preindustrial farm implements, tin toys, old-fashioned technology and unusual curiosities, our local antiques and collectibles dealers have something for everyone.

So where to begin?  Our guests simply love these nearby antiques shops and vintage dealers- they’re just minutes away and you’re sure to find a special treasure you’ll cherish for years to come.
Old Brick House Antiques 
5858 Route 209 Kerhonkson, NY 12446 (845) 626-5206
Interesting, fun, relaxing shopping experience with something for everyone to enjoy. Antiques, collectibles and home accents. Americana, art, country, ephemera, furniture, glass, primitive and textiles. Open daily, 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. or later. Year-round, except Wednesday.
Rose Hill Antiques
5066 Route 209 Accord, NY 12404 (845) 626-7155
Buying and selling antiques and collectibles. 1500-square-feet of 19th and early 20th Century antiques and used furniture. Something for everyone.
The Vintage Barn
176 Lower Whitfield Road, Accord, NY 12404 (845) 706-5796
Antiques and collectibles, vintage housewares, ephemera, toys and more.  Open most weekends, noon - 5 p.m., or by appointment. Closed December - April.
Downtown Antiques 
23 Main Street Accord, NY 12404 (845) 706-1070
Primitives/rustic to decorative for home, cottage and garden. Cupboards, ironstone, lighting, art and more. Open Sunday 11 a.m. - 4 p.m. and by appointment.
Want more to explore?  Head to the nearby town of New Paltz where you’ll find a half-dozen other exciting shops to check out, including The Antiques Barn, Medusa Antiques, Horsefeathers, and more!

Antiquing is a great way to spend the day while visiting the Hudson Valley Resort & Spa, where there’s always something new to discover just around the corner.

With a seasonal 18 hole golf course, Jacuzzi, sauna and steam rooms and full service health spa on site, as well as indoor and outdoor pools, tennis & basketball and more- you'll feel a world away just 90 miles from NYC.  Give us a call today, and we'l l help make the most of your stay!

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