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If the current election jargon is getting to you and you’ve had just about enough of “the Man”, you should head for the hills as so many have done before, to Woodstock.
Woodstock is one of those idyllic Hudson Valley towns, nestled into the catskill mountains, known for its rural beauty and sweet little main street dotted with good food, good drink, and shops; and of course, there was that concert.
The connection to counter-culture goes much deeper than that one festival back in 1969 and the magic that has lured artists & musician here for decades is still present.
These days, Woodstock is an artsy community of hippies-with-money. Sure you’ll still see a tie-dye here and there, and the omnipresent guitar sculpture, but the town has grown in sophistication, as have the residents that built it up.
There is great food to be had, like Joshua’s, serving farm-to-table ingredients with a Middle Eastern twist, and amazing bakers like Bread Alone, which frequents the Union Square farmers market in NYC. The local flea market was a real treat, where I stumbled upon Farmer Stevegrowing eclectic and delicious produce, as well as the heir to Mr. Pickle, Keith Perry of Perry’s Pickles. The family has been pickling upstate for decades. I grabbed up a jar of the dill carrots, the green beans with jalapeño and the pickled red onions… Amazing!
After a great day soaking up the vibe in Woodstock, we headed over to Saugerties on the Hudson, just 15 minutes east, for a comfortable and unexpectedly refined dining experience at Miss Lucy’s Kitchen. With a beautiful rustic interior, you can choose between farm-table seating or a warm generous bar, where they hand-make your cocktails on demand in front of you. The menu is chock-full of culinary delights made with local, sustainable ingredients. Most notably, the desserts are divine.
The owners, Marc Propper and Michelle Silver, are a great story for the growth and revitalization taking place in the Hudson Valley. They moved to the country after 9/11 and invested in the town of Saugerties. They purchased an historic bombed out building and over the course of years restored the building to the showcase of the town. Now it serves as Miss Lucy’s Kitchen, as well as an office and a rental property upstairs.
Since then, they have expanded down the street, to open a BBQ spot named Cue. Enjoy outdoor seating and a bar, with fresh smoked and sauced dishes. While there, we saw the first of their coming fleet of food trucks.
Now that you’ve had a proper Woodstock/Saugerties daytrip, you can either b-line it back to the city (along with everyone else on the Thruway) or you can casually stroll down the street from Miss Lucy’s to the newly opened luxury hotel Diamond Mills (2012 Editors’ Pick — BestNewBoutiqueHotel, Hudson Valley Magazine).
If you decide to spend the night, as we did, then a quick morning jaunt across the river to Hudson will greet you with the most delightful breakfast treat in Dutchess County, Cafe Le Perche. It’s the real deal, with a vintage bread oven brought over from France brick by brick. The bread and pastry are amazing, scones to die for.
No matter how long you stay, a visit to Woodstock (and Saugerties & Hudson) are great ways to forget about the coming election for a minute and immerse yourself in a pre-Thanksgiving helping of the Hudson’s bounty…