Check out Bear Mountain Inn, Mohonk Mountain House, Pig Hill Inn, Cornucopia Bed & Breakfast or others
Whether your ideal babymoon is sipping hot cocoa by the fireplace in your cozy cottage, taking ice skating lessons and hiking the Appalachian trails or learning how to cook the perfect farm-fresh meals, here’s some advice: Have a romantic fling before those sleepless nights arrive along with your bundle of joy.
Here are some babymooning options not too far from home.
Just 45 minutes north of Manhattan is the historic Bear Mountain Inn and Overlook Lodge , built in 1915 alongside Hessian Lake. The newly renovated 15 guest suites in the Inn pay homage to the Adirondack architecture with oversized chairs and plush amenities. For more rustic charm, select among the four stone cottages with wood-burning fireplaces and kitchenettes.
The lodge has a more rustic edge, with an oversized fireplace in the lobby and large leather chairs to take in the panoramic views of the Hudson River. Bear Mountain activities include scenic sky chair-rides to the 8,200-foot summit, mountain biking from the top, hiking and golfing in Bear Mountain.
Don’t miss a trip to Lucas Candies in nearby Haverstraw, N.Y., just 11 miles from the Bear Mountain Inn and Overlook Lodge. This 116-year-old candy company is older than Hershey’s, and currently run by the fourth generation of the Lucas family.
Walking in to the building, built in the late 1800s, is like walking back in time. There’s the original cash register just inside the candy shop doors — and it still works. Nick Lucas is in the back making chocolates just like his forefathers, and family members scurry about the space, helping guests and decorating for the holidays. Walk out with a bag full of Lucas Gobs, PMS bars, and Tiger Butter fudge. These creamy morsels will certainly sweeten your babymoon.
A babymoon on a grand scale calls for the all-inclusive Mohonk Mountain House , a seven-story Victorian castle built in 1869 on the cliffs above Lake Mohonk. Just 90 minutes outside New York City near the Catskill Mountains, Mohonk is a designated National Historical Landmark.
The place is overseen today by more than 20 third-generation members of the Smiley family, the owners. Room rates include meals, afternoon tea and cookies and most resort activities, such astennis, water sports, ice skating, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing during the winter months.
The fall months bring specialized wine tastings, cooking lessons and antique tours in the Mohonk Barn Museum on property.
But there’s so much more. The Spa at Mohonk was recently voted number two in Conde Nast Traveler magazine’s Top 100 Resort Spas in the U.S. There’s an indoor heated swimming pool with underwater surround sound and a solarium with a stone fireplace. Yoga, Pilates, Qi Gong, aerobics and water classes are offered daily. During the evenings, guests melt in front of open campfires and munch on gooey s’mores to campfire music with sing-alongs and storytellers. Special two-night packages for special occasions include extras like fresh flowers, a welcome gift and a bottle of wine in your room.
Cold Spring-on-Hudson is a picturesque area on the shores of the Hudson River in Putnam County, just 60 miles north of Manhattan, and a quick ride on Metro-North.
For an intimate retreat, indulge at the Pig Hill Inn , built in 1825 with nine rooms, now individually decorated with antiques and period pieces. Guests rave about the farm-fresh meals, in particular the delicious apple crumb cake and apple Danish French toast. The Enchantment and Tranquility rooms feature Jacuzzi tubs, with the Tranquility tub boasting enough room for two.
Nearby, guests can tour the Vanderbilt, Roosevelt and Boscobel mansions along the Hudson, take one of the many hiking trails or even tackle the Appalachian Trail. A fun day trip to Bannerman Castle on Pollepel Island will not soon be forgotten. Bannerman Castle was built in 1851 by Scottish businessman Frank Bannerman, intended to replicate a Scottish castle, and can only be accessed by boat (kayak or passenger boat), rain or shine.
Cornucopia Bed & Breakfast in Southbury, Conn., is a classic New England Inn, dating back to the early 1800s when the main structure, The Moseley House, was built.
Today the house features five exquisite guest rooms, each with its own special charm. Guests enjoy strolling the gardens, sitting on a park bench in front of the lily pond, playing board games in the keeping room before the ever-burning fireplace or reading in the gazebo. Along the Connecticut wine trail, visitors find charming New England shops, antiques, art galleries, wineries and historic museums.
The Bishop’s Orchards Winery in nearby Guilford, Conn., offers year-round wine tastings, seven days a week. There are popular varietals: Pearadise, made with pears, apricots, raisins and dried mango; and Happily Impeared, blended with Bishop’s pear and apple ciders. Apple-picking runs through October, as does the massive corn maze that you can happily lose yourself in.
The Jones Winery in Shelton, Conn., offers Autumn Sip & Savor suppers on select days through December. These elegant, farm-style family meals include educational discussions on farm-to-table foods, paired with farm wines. Foodies also love The Harvest Kitchen Farm-to-Table Cooking Studio , classes where students prepare fresh afternoon meals under the instruction of farm staff. Then the cuisine is enjoyed as a group. Classes include the Southern Holiday Brunch, Elegant and Easy Thanksgiving, and the Swedish Buffet.
IF YOU GO
Oktoberfest is a huge tradition along the Hudson Valley. Check out the many activities through October at visit bearmountain.com
The Bear Mountain Inn — Rates run from $149/night, call 845-786-2731 or visit visitbearmountain.com. Check out the Bear Mountain State Park activities at bigbearmountainresorts.com
Lucas Candies — 6 Main St., Haverstraw, N.Y., call 845-947-1220 or visit lucascandies.com
Mohonk Mountain House — All-inclusive rates from $450/night (baswed on double occupancy), inclusive of meals and most activities. Call or visit mohonk.com
Pig Hill Inn – Rates run from $150/night, call 845-9247, or visit pighillinn.com
Bannerman Castle — Guided and self-guided tours run through October 2012. Please call (845) 220-2120 for reservations, or prideofthehudson.com/pollepel-schedule.shtml
Cornucopia Bed & Breakfast — Rates from $175/night, including a full country breakfast. Call (203) 267-6772, or visit cornucopiabnb.com/
Connecticut Wine Trail — Visit the 21 vineyards along the state’s wine trail, visit ctwine.com
Litchfield Hills Bed & Breakfast — For more bed and breakfasts along the Connecticut wine trail, visit litchfieldhillsbandb.com/
Bishops Orchards Winery — Call 866-2BISHOP or visit www.Bishopsorchardswinery.com
Jones Family Farms — Call (203) 929-8425 or visit jonesfamilyfarms.com for more information on holiday cooking classes.