BEAR MOUNTAIN INN
55 Hessian Dr, Bear Mountain, NY
visitbearmountain.com; (845) 786-2731
Distance by car: 45 minutes
Originally constructed as an open-air pavilion in 1915, the stone-and-wood Bear Mountain Inn began operating in the 1940s as a rustic hotel on 10,000 Hudson River-side acres for city slickers in search of wilderness experiences. When lodge rooms became a bit too rustic, the beloved inn closed for renovations and has now been resurrected as a forest-luxe establishment. Guests who stayed here as kids, however, will recognize timber benches and seating handcrafted by park workers in the 1920s and preserved in the inn’s lobby.
ROOM: Plaid blankets, log-pole furniture, leather-and-carved-wood seating, and granite-and-marble bathrooms in woodland hues speak to a change in camping getaway styles and expectations. Ask for one of 12 rooms with a park view.
BOARD: Slated for an end-of-2012 opening is the Vintage Restaurant. For now, enjoy organic and local food in the casual 1915 Cafe. Better yet, grab a bottle of local wine, artisanal bread, and a cheese platter at downstairs Market 15 and eat en plein air within Bear Mountain State Park. Inn staff will be happy to prepare a basket for you.
ONLY HERE: Ride on a bobcat, fox, raccoon, or other creatures on the carousel in the park. Take a paddleboat on Hessian Lake or hike one of many trails within the park.
WHILE HERE: Beginning in the fall, Bear Mountain Inn plans to bring back some old-fashioned weekend festivals: gingerbread-house-making contests, chili cook-offs, ice-carvings, Winterfest. Check the website for coming events.
JUST THE FACTS: Rooms and suites cost $189 to $469 a night.