Day Trip to Upstate NY (New Paltz + Albany)
You don't need to take a plane to get outside of NYC! Last weekend, we drove upstate to bike on the Revolution Rail railroad tracks in the Adirondacks (yes, that's a real thing, and it's awesome. More on this later). I've done day/weekend trips upstate to go hiking in the Catskill Mountains and just get away, but if we were driving over three hours anyway, I wanted to squeeze in as much vegan time as possible. Here are my top hits for your little vegan road trip!
Where to Eat:
In my experience, New Paltz is a young and creative town full of lots of good vegan options because of the students who move to this small town from college. It's worth spending time to explore the area, but if you can only drop by, definitely go to Lagusta Lucious' Commissary. Lagusta Lucious is a artisan chocolate maker, and her Commissary location serves up lattes, cheese boards, warm food, Sweet Maresa's macarons, and baked goods. I would come here for the mac and cheese alone, which is made with a cashew bechamel and made fresh to order. They also have specials including ramen, shaved ice, and basically all my favorite things.
I've heard multiple people say they would go to Albany, NY just to eat at Berben and Wolff's. It's the first and only vegan deli in Albany, and has all popular childhood favorites (if you grew up eating delicatessens that is). They have baked goods, side dishes, and my favorite: the sandwiches!
Reuben: House-made seitan pastrami w/ russian, sauerkraut and swiss cheese on grilled Rock Hill marble rye.
Wing Burger: Choice of buffalo or bbq breaded fried chicken style seitan, shredded carrot, celery and ranch on a sesame seed bun.
Brunch: Blueberry Pancakes, Brunch Crunch
What to do:
I saw Revolution Rail Co. on one of those travel videos that encourages tourism in New York. What makes it so cool is that you can bike on old railroad tracks in the Adirondacks. You have to book in advance, since it's a popular summer activity! You bike through the trees and over the river, which is a scary but so beautiful. This unique activity is family-friendly and so worth the Instagram pics.
If you're looking for more of a indoor activity when going upstate, my friends and I really enjoyed going to a winery! Millbrook Vineyards and Winery was named "The Hudson Valley’s flagship winery," by the New York Times, and they provided an amazing personalized tour and tasting. It's good to book in advance for a tour/tasting, but they also have a cute shop where you can purchase their wine if you just want to make a quick stop.
If you're getting out of NYC, you should definitely HIKE! I would recommend Bear Mountain or Buttermilk Falls because they aren't too challenging while also being super scenic. Of course, the hike options are endless, so just do some research on what you want to see the most.
Where to Stay:
If you do choose to stay upstate versus just doing a day trip, I recommend checking out Red Robinsong Guest House, which is a vegan bed and breakfast that also doubles as an animal sanctuary and beaver rescue (they have tons of goats). You can play with the animals, bike around the woods, hike, play the board games in the house, lounge in the hot tub, or spend time time just exploring. The area is beautiful, scenic, quiet, and a nice time away from the city. Lisa and Jeff are the founders, and they're sweet, animal lovers, and A+ vegan cooks, so you'll have a great time if you come to this bed and breakfast (and you’ll be full of foods like pancakes, vegan sausages, fresh juice, etc.).