316 Old Stage Rd, Saugerties
You don’t have to be an animal lover to stay at the Homestead, a farmhouse that is part of Catskill Animal Sanctuary (CAS). But you probably will be by the end of your stay.
CAS was founded in 2001 by Kathy Stevens, who dreamed of a place where formerly farmed animals could live out their lives in peace and safety. The Homestead opened in 2012 to provide an immersive experience for CAS members (memberships start at $40/year, and you’ll need one to stay here). The 1813 farmhouse has been meticulously restored, down to its original wide-plank floors and exposed-brick walls. Upstairs, you can choose from three pristine rooms that all share a large, modern bath (don’t worry, there’s a half-bath downstairs as well), or select the suite with its own kitchenette and private bathroom. Each room is named for a beloved sanctuary animal — Rambo, Samson, Paulie, and Dino — and portraits of the namesakes are displayed and available for sale (proceeds benefit the nonprofit Sanctuary). Ceiling fans keep each room nicely cool; in fact, the lack of air-conditioning invites you to open the windows and be serenaded by nature’s night music. Only vegan food is allowed on the property, and Compassionate Cuisine vegan cooking classes are held regularly. If you’re not a vegan, a binder is available listing local restaurants so you can indulge off-site. Friendly pets are allowed to stay with their owners (a well-behaved Boston terrier named Lucky was a recent guest), but they can’t visit the sanctuary.
Guests can roam around the Catskill Animal Sanctuary down the hill, but we advise you to book a tour, to get up-close and personal with the likes of Tommy the rooster and the porcine Sister Mary Francis, plus various goats, chickens, and sheep.
A delicious breakfast awaits at the Homestead’s family-style dining room table. Yes, it’s vegan, but you’ll be more than satisfied by the home-cooked meals they serve up. Made-to-order waffles and pancakes are so yummy, you’ll find yourself signing up for their cooking classes and (maybe) reconsidering your omnivorous lifestyle.
Rates: Summer weekend rates start at $155/night.
A Homestead stay earns you a visit with animals like Zeke, here with Sanctuary founder Kathy Stevens.
Explore the Esopus Creek and Hudson River with I Paddle New York: Kayak and stand-up paddleboard (SUP) rentals and tours. (61 S Partition St, Saugerties; 845.532.7797)
Escape bad weather at the 2,000 sq ft Inquiring Minds Bookstore and Café, recently named one of Huffington Post’s top 50 independent bookstores in the country. (65 Partition St, Saugerties; 845.246.5775)