R5 Making a Quick Getaway

Nearby excursions where you can relax, rejuvenate, and engage in a little retail therapy.


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This summer, do you see yourself luxuriating in a heavenly spa in Washington, Connecticut, or biking around Provincetown, Massachusetts, in search of the perfect plate of oysters? How about hunting for crafts and antiques in artsy Milford, Pennsylvania, or touring the extravagant manses of Gilded Age society in Newport, Rhode Island? Planning the perfect getaway is one of the highlights of the summer. But what—and how many—should you choose? Here, we offer our help with a menu of 15 dazzling destinations: one for every weekend in June, July, and August (we throw in an extra one for September). Happy trails.


Destination: Pennsylvania

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Cliff Park Inn

Milford, PA

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Distance from White Plains: 90 Miles




Set on a 900-acre bluff high above the Delaware River, this casually elegant, 1820s country inn showcases 14 charming guest rooms and an inviting front porch offering endless parkland and forest views.


BEST ITINERARY: The only inn located within the 70,000 acres of the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, Cliff Park is the ideal jumping-off point from which to engage in outdoor pursuits. Just steps away from the front porch, hike or bike along the seven miles of wooded trails leading to dramatic overlooks and scenic waterfalls; boat, canoe, kayak, tube, or raft along the minutes-away Delaware River; or take a refreshing dip in the spring-fed lake at the nearby High Point State Park. Some other appealing alternatives: play golf (the inn has its own towering pine tree-shaded, nine-hole golf course); poke around the artsy shops and galleries of the quaint little adjacent town of Milford; or just sit on a Victorian rocker soaking in the soothing vistas from the porch. 




WHAT/WHERE TO EAT: Look no further than the inn’s own Cypress Dining Room for superb continental American cuisine with Asian and French influences. Visiting gourmands will appreciate the talents of its Culinary Institute of America-trained executive chef, Joshua Musselwhite.  We’re  still swooning over the prosciutto-wrapped mission figs starter ($7.95) and Charleston crab cake entrée ($20.95), but whatever you choose, be sure to leave room for the scrumptious warm apple cobbler ($6.50). Other on-site dining options include the adjacent Maple Room, a more intimate setting with fireplaces, and the pub, with its 1920s horseshoe mahogany bar, for more casual fare, with entrees from $7-$14.



BY THE WAY: Score points with your significant other by having the inn prepare a wine-and-hors d’oeuvres picnic, perfect to nibble on while watching the sun set.


THE DETAILS: Cliff Park Inn, 155 Cliff Park Rd, Milford, PA; (800) 225-6535;  www.cliffparkinn.com. Costs: $129 to $249 per night (ask for a room with a sun porch). All prices include continental breakfast.                      


Hotel Fauchère

Milford, PA

Distance from White Plains:  90 Miles



Once a tony destination for wealthy Manhattanites including Andrew Carnegie and D.W. Griffith, Milford is now being re-discovered by artistic types looking for a nearby weekend retreat. At the center of the revitalization is Sean Strub, the editor of Milford magazine and restorer of the 1880 Italianate Hotel Fauchère and its 16 gorgeously appointed guest rooms.


BEST ITINERARY: Gifford Pinchot, a native of Milford, was a huge player in America’s conservation movement and became chief forester under Theodore Roosevelt, so naturally there’s plenty of preserved parkland to explore—70,000 acres to be exact. It’s an easy hike through the Delaware Water Gap to Raymondskill Falls, the highest waterfall in the state (only four feet shorter than Niagra). Complete the visit with a trip to the Pinchot Residence, Grey Towers, an 1886 French-style manse designed by Richard Morris Hunt that easily could double as a Hogwarts. When you get back to town, the downtown strip will be in full swing, with the artsy shops ready for you to peruse their antiques (best bet: Patina Interiors Antiques and Gifts, 320 Broad St, 570-296-1128), crafts (The Gallery at Forest Hall, 101 W Harford St, 570-409-0902, www.galleryforesthall.com), and other impulse items if you’re interested in, say, an old carousel horse (The Craft Show, 120 E Harford St, 570-296-5662, www.milfordcraftshow.com). End your downtown excursion with a trip to The Columns (608 Broad St, 570-296-8126, www.pikehistory.org), a roadside museum of historical ephemera famous for housing the bloodstained flag that cradled President Lincoln’s head after he was shot at Ford Theatre.


WHAT/WHERE TO EAT: Fine dining in America can trace its roots back to Milford when Louis Fauchère opened an offshoot of his previous place of employment, Delmonico’s—the country’s first restaurant to serve a menu noted for its quality cuisine—in his namesake hotel. Today, the hotel’s Delmonico Room still offers indulgent dishes like sage- and goat-cheese-stuffed veal chops and roasted guinea hen. (Save room for the bourbon vanilla crème brûlée.) A more casual dining experience lies in the hotel’s lower level, where Bar Louis patrons munch on burgers and malanga chips under an enlarged photo of Andy Warhol and John Lennon by Christopher Makos. If you entertain the crazy notion that you should actually leave the hotel, the Dimmick Inn down the street (Harford and Broad Streets, 570-409-1212, www.dimmickinn.com) is a mainstay for steak, chops, and ribs, or the Water Wheel Café, Bakery and Bar (150 Water St, 570-296-2383, www.waterwheelcafe.com) serves a combination of fish, pasta, steak, and Vietnamese cuisine under a working water wheel.


BY THE WAY: Besides Richard Morris Hunt’s Grey Towers, other area edifices were designed by McKim, Mead, & White, Calvert Veaux, John Roebling, and Fredrick Law Olmstead, who also designed the town’s cemetery.


THE DETAILS: Hotel Fauchère, 401 Broad St, Milford, PA; 570-409-1212, www.hotelfauchere.com. Room rates range from $275 to $350 per night and include continental breakfast.


The Lodge at Woodloch

Hawley, PA

Distance from  White Plains: 150 Miles 




The reputation of owners John and Ginny Lopis, former top execs at the original Canyon Ranch Spa in Arizona, was enough to land their new destination spa in the 100 Best Spas of the World (Insider’s Guide, 2006) in its first few weeks of operation. The honor is well deserved.


BEST ITINERARY: You could start your day at 7:15 with a brisk hour-and-a-quarter hike, followed by a muscle-toning class, the Hydra Challenge, kickboxing, Boot Camp, or spinning (or all of the above for Type-A types). Or you could tone it down a notch with a Yoga for Restful Sleep, Qigong, or T’ai Chi class, followed by soothing indulgences in the spa (try the native stone massage). Or you could just laze away time under a hydro-massage water wall in the upper indoor hot tub, which spills over to a second water wall cascading into another hot tub, overlooking the swimming pool, which opens onto the whirlpool on the terrace with a view of the woods and lake. There are cooking demos in a knock-your-socks-off gorgeous Viking-equipped kitchen, an art studio to unleash your inner Picasso, an outdoor fire pit to lounge by with friends, a living room with fireplace, and a library where you can curl up with a good book. Indeed, John Lopis says that many guests never leave the premises except to tool around the one-mile loop that weaves around the 75 wooded acres. But for those who do venture off the reservation, there is kayaking in the nearby Delaware River, mountain biking, fishing, golfing, and tennis, even an outdoor amphitheatre in the middle of the woods that offers summertime concerts.


WHERE/WHAT TO EAT: The restaurant Tree offers organic, gourmet spa cuisine, most from local resources. Appetizers include corn-and-crab chowder; grilled calamari with spinach salad; and curried shrimp with figs. Entrée dishes include seared blue-fin tuna, lavender roasted chicken breast, and coconut pad Thai. There is dinner music nightly. An assortment of teas and treats are available all day and breakfast and lunch both feature a buffet and menu selections. (Loved the baby bison burgers!)


BY THE WAY: This is not the Poconos of heart- or Champagne glass-shaped tubs. It’s high-end luxury and service in a stunning setting—but relaxed; it is common to see people lounging over breakfast and lunch in bathrobes or sweats.


THE DETAILS: The Lodge at Woodloch, 109 River Birch Ln, Hawley, PA; (570) 685-8500; www.TheLodgeAtWoodloch.com. There are 58 spacious rooms with private verandas with woods or lake views. From January 1 through June 30, rates range from $450 to $620 per person mid-week, $525 to $700 per person weekends; July 1 to October 31, rates range from $575 per person to $700 per person mid-week, $685 per person to $835 per person weekends, including three meals a day (wine and spirits are extra), classes, and one spa treatment.


Destination: Connecticut


Mayflower Inn and Spa

Washington, CT

Distance from White Plains: 60 Miles




Last year, Mayflower Inn, the fabled five-star, five-diamond, Relais and Châteaux property in Litchfield County, Connecticut, added a spa house on its 58-acre retreat. Travel + Leisure magazine named it the No. 1 spa in the country in 2006.


BEST ITINERARY: Just walking into the white sanctuary that is the Mayflower Spa transports you to another realm—heaven maybe. Plan on spending as much time here as possible. The setting is so ethereal, we really wouldn’t have been surprised to see aestheticians floating around on gossamer wings. And do indulge in as many treatments as possible: the Wild Lime Shiatsu Fusion Massage (a shiatsu/Swedish combo that leaves you in a state of nirvana and smelling amazing); Sweet Violet Facial, which includes a foot treatment and hand, arm, and shoulder massage; the Japan Ritual, which massages you into another dimension. A spa concierge is there to help you choose from the dozens of classes, treatments, and experiences. There is a full complement of workouts from the morning constitutional—a brisk 45-minute guided hike around the countryside—to cardio dance to Pilates to yoga and stretch classes. This is the place to try something new: join a knitting circle, earn the art of fly fishing, take part in a dream-interpretation workshop, meet with a nutritionist or hypnotherapist, or learn about sound therapy using crystal “singing” bowls.


As beautiful as the spa is, do get outside and enjoy the ground’s gorgeous gardens, including a maze and labyrinth walk. Go kayaking on Bantam Lake, hiking or mountain biking at the nearby Steep Rock reservation.


WHERE/WHAT TO EAT: Whether you order from the regular menu in the main dining room or choose spa cuisine, you are in for a treat. From the heaping bowls of fresh berries at breakfast to the super fresh salad-bar offerings at lunch, each meal is a visual and tasty delight. For dinner, among the choices are roasted hook-and-line swordfish with potato pancake and plum-tomato caviar; rack of lamb with grape tomatoes, balsamic onions, and picholine olives with garlic purée; or grilled filet mignon in a red-wine reduction. But dieters need not worry. Spa guests are treated to wonderfully delicious and low-cal dishes, like seared ahi tuna with baked wonton and black bean salsa or chicken with braised baby vegetables. While alcohol consumption in the spa dining room isn’t encouraged, it is allowed.  And spa guests can always go into the dark-paneled bar if they prefer an apple martini to a passion fruitini.



BY THE WAY: Destination spa guests receive fresh warm-up suits and tees each day so just bring your sneakers, bathing suit, and hiking boots. Cellphone service is extremely spotty, but Internet access is available.



THE DETAILS: The Lodge at Woodloch, 109 River Birch Ln, Hawley, PA; (570) 685-Mayflower Inn and Spa, 118 Woodbury Rd, Washington, CT; (860) 868-9466; www.mayflowerinn.com. During the week, the Mayflower offers all-inclusive three-, four-, or five-night packages in one of 30 rooms or suites; three spa cuisine meals a day; snacks, treats, and beverages; a personal assessment of your needs, goals, and preferences; and unlimited access to all scheduled treatments, classes, and salon services; from $4,500 per person (all tips are included). There is a two-night minimum stay on weekends; rooms  range from $450 to $750, suites from $900 to $14,000 and guests have access to the spa on an à la carte basis. 


Destination: The Legendary Inns of Newport

An elegant trio of quintessential New England B&Bs





This ultra-luxe 19th-century Renaissance-style Victorian inn offers just five lavish guest accommodations, each with at least one fireplace and a marble bathing salon with a whirlpool tub for two. Experience such unique complimentary features as a “bath butler” menu of 30 different fragrant soaps and an aqua bar with 22 still and sparkling bottled waters.





This grand Victorian manor house, former home of legendary Newport artist Beatrice Turner, is perched above the Atlantic just 100 yards from Newport’s famed Cliff Walk and its largest beach. Its 16 luxurious guest quarters—13 in the main house and three in a separate cottage—are gracefully appointed with fireplaces, grand antique beds, exotic bathing salons, and fine antiques and original paintings. 





This charming inn features 13 distinctive guest quarters, all with gas fireplaces, fine Mascioni linens, and original paintings by Newport artist Beatrice Turner. In addition to afternoon tea, it offers a complimentary wine event every day from 5 to 6 pm, with three or four wines from its own cellar paired with artisan cheeses and other gourmet goodies.


Best ITINERARY: For the ultimate peek into how the other half lived, touring Newport’s historic “cottages” (mega-mansions to you and me) is a must. For a unique “back-door” perspective, stroll along the famed Cliff Walk with its breathtaking water views. (Tip: Leave the Jimmy Choos at home and wear sturdy walking shoes instead; the path can be tricky to maneuver in spots.) Also check out the International Tennis Hall of Fame Museum, the Newport Art Museum, and the Touro Synagogue (the oldest synagogue in the US). And do throw your clubs in the trunk; the sweeping ocean and bay vistas at the public access Newport National Golf Club (324 Mitchells La, Middletown; 401-848-9690; www.newportnational.com) more than compensate for any less than Tiger-worthy shots.

WHAT/WHERE TO EAT: Newport is a gourmand’s delight. Our favorite dining destinations include the shorts-and-flip-flop-friendly The Landing Restaurant & Bar (30 Bowen’s Wharf;
401-847-4514; www.thelandingrestaurantnewport.com) for just-caught seafood and spectacular free sunsets; Twenty-Two Bowen’s Wine Bar & Grille (22 Bowen’s Wharf; 401-841-8884; www.22bowens.com) for Angus beef and its 600-label wine list; and, for the ultimate elegant gourmet dining the Spiced Pear Restaurant at The Chanler at Cliff Walk (117 Memorial Blvd; 401-847-1300; www.spicedpear.com) with its dramatic Atlantic Ocean views and seasonally-inspired continental cuisine.

BY THE WAY: Newport is hopping (read: super-crowded) in the summer months. Pack a hoodie and go in late September or October instead to enjoy lower prices and shorter lines. Whenever you go, make dining reservations beforehand, and plan to skip lunch and indulge in your inn’s sumptuous afternoon tea instead.

THE DETAILS: Abigail Stoneman Inn, 102 Touro St. Costs: $250-650 per night. Adele Turner Inn, 93 Pelham St. Costs: $135-525 per night. Cliffside Inn, 2 Seaview Ave. Costs: $155-$595. (All costs include gourmet breakfast and sumptuous afternoon tea.) For reservations for all: (800) 845-1811 or visit www.legendaryinnsofnewport.com.


Destination: New Jersey

Lambertville House

Lambertville, NJ
Distance from White Plains: 100 MILES

An in-town boutique hotel dating back to 1812 and now offering 26 luxuriously appointed guest accommodations.

Best ITINERARY: Browsing the shops is the big attraction here and the antiquing is world-class. Antiques aficionados should absolutely not miss the Golden Nugget Antique Flea Market (Rte 29, Lambertville; www.gnmarket.com), held every Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday.

WHAT/WHERE TO EAT: Dining at the Marsha Brown Refined Creole Kitchen & Lounge (15 S Main St, New Hope, PA; 215-862-7044; www.marshabrownrestaurant.com) is an absolute must. Sample sophisticated Cajun and southern cuisine like sautéed catfish and authentic family recipes for eggplant Ophelia and Granmere’s Comfort Custard in the dramatic soaring sanctuary of this handsomely converted 125-year-old former stone church complete with stained-glass windows (entrées $20-$35; only dinner served).

BY THE WAY: If possible, plan a Wednesday visit when crowds—and competition for that must-have McCoy vase—are fewer at the Golden Nugget Market. FYI: many of Lambertville’s eating establishments are BYOB; the inn sells bottles of wine, or stop by nearby Welsh’s Wines (8 S Union St; 609-397-0273).

THE DETAILS: Lambertville House, 32 Bridge St, Lambertville, NJ; (888) 867-8859; www.lambertvillehouse.com. Costs: $200 to $395 per night; includes a European-style continental breakfast.

Woolverton Inn

Stockton, NJ
Distance from White Plains: 100 MILES

this romantic 1792 stone manor is set on 10 secluded pastoral acres amidst gently rolling hills dotted with grazing sheep.

Best ITINERARY: Enjoy the outdoors. Cycle along an unspoiled country lane, drift down the Delaware River on a tube, or take a 20-minute drive into Doylestown, Pennsylvania, and tour Fonthill Museum, noted ceramist Henry Mercer’s “concrete castle.” Or head to the adjacent towns of Lambertville, New Jersey, and New Hope, Pennsylvania, to browse through their extraordinary collection of antique shops and art galleries.

WHAT/WHERE TO EAT: The area abounds with fabulous foodie-worthy choices. A favorite: the romantic Sergeantsville Inn, (601 Rosemont-Ringoes Rd, Sergeantsville; 609-397-3700; www.sergeantsvilleinn.com;entrées $16-32). Also consider the cosmopolitan Hamilton’s Grill (8 Coryelle St, Lambertville; 609-397-4343; www.hamiltonsgrillroom.com; entrées $19-26; BYOB); ask to be seated outdoors in the courtyard in nice weather.

BY THE WAY: Wireless Internet service is available, but there are no TVs.

THE DETAILS: The Woolverton Inn, 6 Woolverton Rd, Stockton, NJ; (888) 264-6648; www.woolvertoninn.com. Costs: $145-$425 per night including a country breakfast and afternoon refreshments.

Destination: New York

Chestnut Inn at Oquaga Lake

Deposit, NY

Originally built in 1928, this charming inn and restaurant directly on the lake was fully renovated in 2005. It is a member of Select Registry’s Distinguished Inn’s of North America.

BEST ITINERARY: There’s little reason to move off the verandah, overlooking this pristine little lake, unless it would be to move onto the dock for drinks, or over to the terrace for a bite. Okay, on chilly nights, cozying up on the overstuffed sofa by the massive fieldstone fireplace is pretty nice, too. But for those who can tear themselves away from the view, it’s worth moseying into downtown Deposit for a little slice of small-town Americana.

WHERE/WHAT TO EAT: In stark contrast to the homey lobby, the dining room is chic and sleek with black tables and parsons chairs, the perfect backdrop for stylish and whimsical table settings.Start with a lobster martini or beet-and-goat cheese gateau, then move on to diver scallops, coffee-crusted port tenderloin, or a black-and-bleu rib-eye. For more casual dining, the Waterside Tavern serves burgers, soups, and salads.

BY THE WAY: Note the beautiful woodwork throughout the inn, harvested from local North American chestnut trees (now extinct).

THE DETAILS: The Chestnut Inn at Oquaga Lake, 498 Oquaga Lake Rd, Deposit, NY; (607) 467-2500; www.chestnutinn.com. Twelve suites ($179 to $331), five rooms, one handicap-accessible, ($119 to $209) and a four-bedroom cottage that sleeps 12 to 14 people ($2,200 to $2,793 per week) and includes a private dock and boat.

Emerson Resort & Spa

Mount Tremper, NY

Just six months after being named “The Most Outstanding Inn in North America” by Conde Nast Johansens, the inn at the Emerson Resort & Spa in Mount Tremper, New York, burned to the ground. Today, two years later, a bigger, more modern inn has risen to take its place. Featuring 52 guest accommodations in both the adults-only inn and the family-friendly Lodge, the resort houses the only Mobil Four-Star spa in New York state.

BEST ITINERARY: Get away from it all. With an award-winning spa to soothe your stress, a plethora of outdoor activities, and gorgeous mountain views, the Emerson provides the perfect weekend escape. The resort features two places for guests to stay: The inn, which opened in March, is adults-only and has 25 suites (including five duplex suites). The Lodge, a bit less expensive, is primarily reserved for families, with such conveniences as movie nights for kids on Fridays and Saturdays.
The spa is the centerpiece of the resort. Enter through the antique 17th-century Indian doors. A great bet: the signature Poultice Pack, a Thai-inspired massage. Looking to bond with your significant other? There are “couples suites” at the spa—reserved for a minimum of two hours.
There are plenty of outdoor activities to boot. Consult with the resort’s Outdoor Adventure Concierge, who will be happy to set you up with streamside hiking trails, mountain bike tours, or horseback riding. Visiting the resort in the winter? There are four ski slopes in the area—including Belleayre Mountain, only 15 minutes away. Make sure to vist the resort’s Country Store, where you can watch a 10-minute show in the world’s largest kaleidoscope (free for inn and lodge guests).

WHAT/WHERE TO EAT: The inn’s Phoenix Restaurant is open daily for breakfast and dinner. The seasonally changing dinner menu, created by Scottish-born Executive Chef Ross Fraser, features Asian-inspired cuisine fused with local Hudson Valley ingredients. Some favorites include the salad of popcorn and poached pear, goat cheese-filled ravioli, and Thai green curry chicken. (Entrées range from $18-$34.) End your meal with wonderful locally made ice cream and one of the resort’s signature teas. Breakfast is an eclectic mix of light starters (fresh-baked oatmeal); standard favorites (eggs Benedict, Belgian waffles); and Scottish-inspired dishes (poached smoked cod with a lightly poached egg).

BY THE WAY: Currently, there is no cellphone service anywhere in the resort (although they’re working on it), but free WiFi is offered.

THE DETAILS: Emerson Resort & Spa, 5340 Route 28, Mount Tremper, NY; (877)688-2828; www.emersonresort.com. Rooms at the inn: $425-$725; rooms at the lodge: $190-$400. Special packages available.

The Garrison

Garrison, NY

Set in the middle of 300 acres in the Hudson Valley, The Garrison is home to breathtaking views of the Hudson River and Highlands.

Best Itinerary: It may be less than an hour’s ride away from the heart of Westchester, but a weekend at The Garrison is a perfect place for an escape. Spend the night in one of the four charming rooms at the inn, complete with goose-down duvets, and plasma TVs. After you awake and enjoy a complimentary breakfast of fresh fruit and bagels, shuffle down the hall—it’s okay if you’re still in your bathrobe—for a super spa treatment. The Arcona facial is first-rate. If you’re not into just lolling about, play golf on the gorgeous Dick Wilson-designed course. If golf doesn’t move you, perhaps a yoga class will; classes are held in the light-filled, century-old handball court.

While here, take the opportunity to explore the Hudson Valley. Visit Boscobel, an 1808 house museum, with one of the nation’s largest collections of furniture and arts from the Federal period (www.boscobel.org; 845-265-3638). Or spend time at modern art museum Dia: Beacon (www.diabeacon.org; 845-440-0100). And if you’re in the area between June 12 and September 2, check out the Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival, which is showcasing Richard III and As You Like It this season (www.hvshakespeare.org;

What/Where to Eat: The Garrison’s own Valley Restaurant features American-inspired cuisine made with regional ingredients—some of it grown in its very own garden. We loved the buffalo ricotta cheese-and-truffle ravioli and the poached Alaskan salmon.

By the Way: Given its small size, The Garrison has a no-cancellation policy.

The Details: The Garrison, 2015 Rte 9, Garrison, NY; (845) 424-4747; www.thegarrison.com; Four rooms available, $250 for one night; two-day packages starting at $475/couple.

The Lodge and Skana: The Spa at Turning Stone

Verona, New York

Luxurious suites with fireplaces and an exquisite new 33,000-square-foot spa, salon, and fitness center in the Mohawk Valley.

BEST ITINERARY: There is something for everyone here. Spa babies can easily spend the day in this gorgeous Native American-inspired spa getting pampered; try the Oneida Signature Harmony facial that incorporates warm stones, hand and foot treatments, and a scalp massage along with a facial or the Leaves and Flowers “balancing remedy” that includes a salt scrub, mineral bath, and full body massage. Exercise buffs can swim, work out, take fitness classes, scenic sunrise walks, and daily T’ai Chi and yoga classes. The spa itself is drop-dead gorgeous with a 20-foot arched ceiling and a huge circular fireplace, walls of rounded fieldstone, tree-root chairs, buffalo robe rugs, and tables made from decorative drums suspended under glass. (The décor is meant to be reminiscent of a traditional—if extremely upscale—Oneida longhouse.) A unique offering here is an American Indian Sweat Lodge ceremony with storytelling, drumming, chants, prayers, and of course, sweat. Golfers have three championship courses (Turning Stone will host the opening round for the PGA Tour’s 2007 Fall Series) along with a golf dome with driving range, two simulators with 18 courses, undulated putting green, and chipping area. Want to catch a show? There is an 800-seat showroom featuring acts like Steely Dan (June 1), Huey Lewis and the News (June 5), and the Beach Boys (June 27). And of course, for high rollers, there is blackjack, poker, roulette, craps, and slot machines in the adjacent casino.

WHERE/WHAT TO EAT: There are 20 dining options at the resort, ranging from quick snacks to gourmet dining. Wildflowers, the property’s flagship restaurant, received the 2007 AAA Four-Diamond Award and serves traditional continental cuisine. Carnivores will love Rodizio Churrascaria, an all-you-can-eat Brazilian steakhouse. Peach Blossom has pan-Asian fare; Forest Grill serves up man-sized steaks and chops.

BY THE WAY: The resort has yet to receive a liquor license, so it’s BYOB.

DETAILS: Turning Stone Resort and Casino, 5218 Patrick Rd, Verona, NY; (800) 771-7711; www.turningstone.com. Costs: $295 to $495 midweek to $395 to $595 weekends. Or splurge on the Presidential Suite, a 2,900 square-foot three-bedroom palace for just $3,500. Butlers are available at extra charge.

Destination: Massachusetts


Lenox, MA

This very posh but delightfully unpretentious Tudor-style hotel sits on 117 secluded acres and has 24 exquisitely restored and luxuriously appointed guest quarters.

BEST ITINERARY:  The scenic Berkshire area is home to a host of world-class cultural jewels. Picnic on the lawn and enjoy a sonata under the stars at Tanglewood, the summer home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra (www.tanglewood.org); take in a ballet at Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival (www.jacobspillow.org); tour the charming Norman Rockwell Museum (www.nrm.org); poke around an antiques shop (www.berkshireantiquesandart.com); or revel in the second largest collection of Renoirs in the country at the renowned Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute (www.clarkart.edu). But do leave plenty of time for the leisurely experience of the incomparable charms of Blantyre itself. Shoot a few hoops of croquet, cool off in the outdoor heated pool, play a set of tennis, explore the woods, or tee off on a golf course literally a stone’s throw away. After your excursions and exertions, repair to Blantyre’s intimate “Potting Shed Spa” to soak in the extra-deep hot tub, or just lounge in the soothing greenhouse area and enjoy the scenic country views.

WHAT/WHERE TO EAT: Dinner is formal here. Expect exceptional French-style dishes like roast squab with foie gras and braised king salmon with caviar (the Maine lobster Caesar salad starter is a must) and flawless service. Take your dessert in the Music Room and engage in a friendly game of chess, backgammon, or Scrabble by the fireplace as a pianist plays classical selections and Broadway favorites. Don’t feel like dressing up? Blantyre offers 24-hour room service complete with Martha Stewart-worthy presentation.

BY THE WAY: Take care when packing: whites are preferred for tennis and croquet with smooth-soled shoes required for the latter, and jacket and tie are requested for men at dinner. Can’t bear to be apart from your favorite canine companion? Request pet-friendly accommodations and ar-range for such services as room sitters, walking attendants, massage therapy, and oil portraits (prices upon request).

THE DETAILS: Blantyre, 16 Blantyre Rd, Lenox, MA; (413) 637-3556; www.blantyre.com. Costs: $550+ includes continental breakfast; two-night minimum on summer weekends.

The Brass Key Guest House

Provincetown, MA

A fenced-in enclave of historical buildings with 41 exquisitely appointed rooms surrounding a lushly landscaped courtyard with pool and hot tub.

BEST ITINERARY: You could hang by the pool all day but, at some point, you really should leave this gated oasis and explore: P-Town is Mardi Gras, New England style. It’s just one block to Commercial Street, the main drag, which is filled with people, well, in drag. As we ambled down the road, we saw painted signs pointing us toward Oz. How could we resist? At Oz Gallery (234 Commercial St, 508-487-0913, www.ozgalleryptown.com), we easily could have blown our mortgage payment. Ditto at the shops, especially the zen-like Wa (220 Commercial St, 508-487-6355, www.waharmony.com) with its antique rice baskets, austere tableware, and wood vases. If you’re itching for more action, rent bikes (Ptown Bikes, 42 Bradford Rd, 508-487-8735, www.ptownbikes.com) and tool around town or take the National Seashore bike trail, minutes away. There are guided canoe-and-dune tours and marsh walks; walking tours of historic Provincetown (visit www.nps.gov for info). If you’re itching for action of the other sort, there are plenty of bars and nightclubs, most with a primarily gay clientele, although all are welcome.

WHERE/WHAT TO EAT: The locals all go to the Portuguese Bakery (299 Commercial St, 508-487-1803) for the malassada—an utterly sublime fried pastry; this is one of just two places on the East Coast that sells them. For people-watching, have breakfast at Bubulas by the Bay (183 Commercial St, 508-487-0773, www.bubulas.com). The Lobster Pot (321 Commercial St., 508-487-0842) is a local institution. We walked by the open kitchen where the oyster man was literally shucking and jiving and a waitress was boogieing down the aisle. We were in love with the place even before we tried the clam chowder, fourth time winner of the P-Town chowder cook-off. Our Florida-born and bred waitress claimed the key lime pie was the best she ever had—we agreed. Go early or plan to wait a while—they don’t take reservations. A visit isn’t complete without a scoop or two of ice cream from Louis Brothers—the black raspberry and butter pecan are to die for. The late-night gathering spot is Spiritus (190 Commercial St, 508-487-2808). It is so popular that in season, the police show up at 1 am to direct traffic!

BY THE WAY: The ninth annual Provincetown International Film Festival runs June 13 to 17 (www.ptownfilmfest.org).

THE DETAILS: The Brass Key Guest House (67 Bradford St, Provincetown, MA, (508) 487-9005 www.brasskey.com). 41 rooms; weekend rates in June start at $160 for standard rooms, $225 for superior. During high season, June 22 through September 9, weekend rates start at $235 for standard, $315 for superior.

Century House

Nantucket, MA

This 1833 inn, just a short walk from town and the ferry, attracts an artsy crowd; every room is filled with original artwork and photography from former guests.

BEST ITINERARY: Start your day with a cup of coffee and a bowl of innkeeper Gerry Connick’s homemade granola with fresh berries on the wrap-around verandah. Then, walk into town, rent bikes, and ride to Siasconsett beach—a 15-mile loop. If you wimp out, a shuttle bus runs along the route and can pick you and bike up. Hang out at the beach and explore the town where sweet little cottages coexist with huge family compounds. Reward yourself later with a drink at the Club Car Lounge and Restaurant (1 Main St, 508-228-1101). The exterior look familiar? It was the bar shot for the old TV series Wings.

WHERE/WHAT TO EAT: In Siasconset, you can’t beat the view overlooking the beach from the patio at the Summer House’s Beachside Bistro (12 Ocean Ave, 508-257-9976). This postcard-perfect view has a price: expect to pay $22 for a burger (okay, so it’s Kobe beef), $24 for a lobster roll.

For dinner in town, reservations are a must during summer months. For those that don’t take reservations, like Black Eyed Susan (10 India St, 508-325-0308), expect to find lines waiting outside. Black Eyed Susan is BYOB, cash only, and the menu “reflects the vagaries of the market and the whim of the chef.” Centre Street Bistro (29 Centre St, 508-228-8470) is teeny-tiny—only 20 or so seats inside—so eat outdoors and enjoy the parade of people ambling by. The crispy chicken with buffalo mozzarella and tomatoes was wonderful, as was the tenderloin with goat cheese and shiitake mushrooms and mashed potatoes in phyllo. For tapas, head over to Cinco (5 Amelia Dr, 508-325-5151); for global cuisine like truffle-butter poached lobster, try Gallery Beach (54 Jefferson Ave, 508-228-9641), and for “neoglobal” cuisine, try Lo La 41° (15 S Beach St, 508-325-4001), which serves cuisine found around latitude/longitude 41° such as Sardinia sardines. Of course, no trip to Nantucket is complete without lobster and The Nantucket Lobster Trap (23 Washington St, 508-228-4200) has kept the same menu since it opened in 1975. Get your lobster boiled, broiled, or baked and stuffed along with all the fixin’s.

BY THE WAY: Unless you have your own boat, you’ll need to take the ferry in Hyannis (visit www.steamshipauthority.com for scheduling info). The walk from the ferry to the Century House is less than 10 minutes along cobblestone streets.

THE DETAILS: Century House, 10 Cliff Rd, Nantucket, MA; (508) 228-0530; www.centuryhouse.com. Rooms range from $155 to $395 per night, the suite from $325 to $595.


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