Upstate Summer Diary

Upstate Summer Diary

Upstate in summer is a particular joy. Shoes are off. The sun sets late. An ease takes over and stays. There’s swimming and grilling and friends. It’s a warm blur of lazy mornings, shady afternoons, fireflies, hikes and bikes and discovering new places, plus visiting old favorite spots. If you haven’t been upstate in a while, or if you’re here all the time, here are a few spots we love.



Head to the restaurant or stay overnight at the newly opened Hotel Kinsley. I’m biased here; this is my husband’s new spot and it’s a total delight. It’s a seasonal and locally sourced menu designed around the harvest of regional farmers. It opens June 18th for dinner, with lunch and brunch to follow. The hotel is upstairs, great for anyone wanting to explore Kingston on foot or venture out to see all Ulster and Dutchess counties have to offer. Then, visit The Kingston Standard for a small-batch beer brewed on site. Before heading out of town, stop by Hops Petunia for divine flowers, Rough Draft for books and Village Coffee. If you’re there on a Saturday, don’t miss the farmers’ market on Wall Street.  



Tivoli’s newly-opened Fortunes Ice Cream’s fresh homemade Hudson Valley version is a must. Try flavors like smudge stick. And if a little falls on the kids’ Doonyaya t-shirts, also handmade in Upstate, New York, so be it. Then browse clothes, toys and more at Tivoli Mercantile. Brunch is great on the corner at Hotel Tivoli. Nearby, at Bard, pick up vegetables from the school’s farm (most of their produce goes to the school’s dining hall, but the public can also buy what they pick). And stick around for Summerscape, seven weeks of opera, theater, dance, film, and music.



Events at the Fairground are crowd-pleasers, as are Sunday farmers’ markets in Rhinebeck. Catch a movie at Upstate Films and eat at the classic Italian Mercato. Kids enjoy Samuel’s Sweet Shop and Land of Oz’s toys and for the adults, lots of eye candy at the Sawkille showroom for hand crafted furniture. You can also pick your own flowers and strawberries at Greig Farm or Brittany Hollow. There are amazing hiking trails in the area including Poet’s Walk (it has this majestic name for a reason), Montgomery Place and Clermont State Park.



As you’re walking through this charming town, stop at Gaskin’s. They have locally sourced American classics from grass-fed burgers to more delicate fish. Or pick up provisions at Otto’s Market. You’ll find great hostess gifts, summer wares, and antiques at Mary McGill, Alder & Co. and Luddite Antiques



Ravenwood’s farm shop in a 19th century barn is a lovely option for fresh produce, baked goods and shopping wares from local artists and brands. And if you have a chance to go to one of their farm dinners, do! Close by, gardeners delight at the relatively rare finds at the Catskill Native Nursery, where all plants (perennials, fruits, shrubs and trees) are native to eastern North America. If you’re in the market for antiques or house wares head to the Black Barn in High Falls. Proprietor Ron Sharkey has been selling antiques in the Hudson Valley for decades. The barn itself is gorgeous and contains a mix of curated furniture and artisanal goods, plus Maison dar Moroccan finds. Don’t miss the freshest meat available 24 hours a day out of a vending machine (really) at Applestone in Stone Ridge. Minnewaska has beautiful hiking trails around a lake on top of a mountain


Other favorites:

Hawkins NY, Hudson

Fish & Game, Hudson

Drive In, Hyde Park 

The Maker Hotel, Hudson

River to Ridge Trail, New Paltz

River Town Lodge, Hudson

Image courtesy of @ravenwoodny