Still need to book a summer getaway? we got you. The following are a list of my go-to spots for weekends where my family and I have just needed to decompress. New York is teeming with options (and Airbnbs, of course), but these are places I actually have been and can recommend. Epicenter researcher Alia Warsco called all of them to gauge availability; what follows is their status as of last week. Even if it looks like a place is booked, I recommend calling and seeing if there have been any cancellations (because Covid) or if you want to try to book for later in the year. Happy holiday!
—S. Mitra Kalita
80 NY-214, Phoenicia, NY 12464
I love the Graham for its proximity to downtown Phoenicia (eat breakfast at Sweet Sue’s) and a great nearby hiking trail that is that rare combo of challenging enough and family friendly. The motel-style rooms exude funk and Brooklyn. We love the pool in the summer and the board games in the lounge. And the breakfast feels fresh, thoughtful and abundant (fruit, breads, good coffee). During one stay, we got a flat tire and the hotel clerk moved heaven and earth to help us get to our destination on time. That’s hospitality.
Bunkhouse (two twin beds) available 8/26-8/28 for $150/night
Two-night minimum on weekends
2258 Co Rd 41, Roxbury, NY 12474
I confess I haven’t been here in years but the rooms are off-the-hook funky and the surrounding area is gorgeous. It’s a bit further into the Catskills than some other places (a three-hour drive from western Queens). My family loves the decor and spa.
Many options and themed rooms available Labor Day weekend: from Classic Contemporary ($184.67/night) to Genie’s Bottle ($474.67/night)
No night minimum
15 Bay Ave, Aquebogue, NY 11931
This boutique motel is not so far into the North Fork (the hamlet of Aquebogue is technically in Riverhead) so it won’t take you all day to get there. But you’re super close to farmstands (we love Golden Earthworm), vineyards (we love Paumonok, Jamesport Vineyards and Clovis Point) and right on the beach. Breakfast is served in a charming picnic basket and the outdoor furniture is cooler and more comfortable than anywhere else we’ve been. Disclosure: This is where most of Team Epicenter recently stayed for our staff offsite in June.
Available all August + Labor Day, $695-$729/night
Three-night minimum stay on weekends
864 S Undermountain Rd, Sheffield, MA 01257
This Berkshires getaway is affordable, optimized for Covid-19 safety with multiple families and boasts great hiking trails for all seasons. It’s impossible to get the kids out of the pool in the summer (unless you tell them you’ll wade in the nearby brooks and swimming holes) and the sauna is fabulous all seasons. We’ve been here several times and with large groups have been able to take over the basement (with a distinct speakeasy vibe) and dance the night away. Two rooms have kitchens and it helps if one of the people in your party snags one of those rooms. There’s lots to do in the area; our favorites are downtown Great Barrington and the boyhood home of W.E.B. Du Bois. The lodge has no availability left this summer but we list it with hopes something might open up or you book for a later date.
61475 N Rd, Greenport, NY 11944
This modern facility was carved into the cliffs overlooking the Long Island Sound in the North Fork. It’s very family friendly with movie nights and s’mores and a great pool. The units boast a kitchen and living room (with a pullout couch) and downtown Greenport is under a 10-minute drive. We also love the nearby Audubon Trail; it’s under 2 miles, so great for little ones and if they’re lucky they’ll see turtles and herons.
Available most weekends in August + Labor day, Condos average $609-699/night, sleeps six
Two-night minimum stay on weekends
2 E Main St, Beacon, NY 12508
I loved this place for the ease of getting here (I took the train!) and the proximity to DIA Beacon and so many galleries and restaurants. The breakfast is incredible and I love the turbine from nearby Fishkill Creek on the property – the gushing water is the soundtrack for your entire weekend. The Roundhouse is a former manufacturing facility and its decor leans into the industrial look.