February 14th will soon be upon us… can’t you just feel the love in the air??
Ulster County is a destination for lovers this time of year. What could be better on a cold winter’s day than to spend some quality time with your love, enjoying a delicious meal and some sweet treats to go along with it? There’s lots of ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day here in Ulster County with your love, so much so, that for the ambitious, it may be hard to fit your whole desired Hudson Valley itinerary into one single, love-filled day. This 2018, Valentine’s Day falls on a Wednesday (which is a little bit of a bummer for those trying to squeeze in plans around weekday work schedules), but who says you can’t celebrate the weekend before and/or after and turn Valentines Day into a weekend long love-fest?
We’ve got some suggestions on how to surprise your love with an exciting and romantic weekend getaway (or ‘staycation’ for Ulster residents!) that will please a range of couples... We’re going beyond your typical and traditional Valentine’s Day related activities here, so let’s jump right in!
A Sweet & Sinful Weekend in New Paltz
If you and your love are looking for a weekend of relaxation and laid back exploring, New Paltz is just picture perfect this time of year. There’s no denying that Mohonk Mountain House oozes a spirit of cozy, woodsy sophistication that is hard to parallel in our area. With personal fireplaces in guest rooms, an award-winning spa, the stunning and serene views from rocking chair front porches and great food and activities, Mohonk Mountain house is a sought after getaway for lovers in any season, but especially surrounding Valentine's Day. After a lazy morning of sleeping in, take a drive down the mountain and follow scenic Albany Post Road to Robibero Family Vineyards for a romantic afternoon of sweet and sinful indulgence. The Sweet & Sinful Revenge Wine & Cupcake Pairing will feature tastings of Robibero’s own wines, paired with delicious, mini Moxie cupcakes. After a highly successful event last year, they’ve added more dates and seatings than they’ve had in the past- with 5 seating times on February 10th and 11th, 2018 and also February 17th, 18th and 19th, 2018 (at 11:30am, 12:45pm, 2:00pm, 3:15pm & 4:30pm, tickets in advance at Robibero’s website). After an afternoon of sinful snacking, it’s a good idea to walk some of it off on a leisurely stroll through the village of New Paltz, taking in the eccentric shops, street art, and picture perfect views of the Shawangunk Ridge from the newly re-built Carmine Liberta bridge overlooking the Wallkill River and farm flats. When you’ve walked off your cupcakes and worked up an appetite again, there is no shortage of restaurants and cuisines available directly in the village, but for a quiet, relaxing and truly romantic dinner, bring your love to A Tavola Trattoria, a small, cozy, authentic Italian restaurant, with a loft overlooking Main Street and the heart of the downtown village.
A Jammin’ Weekend on the Mountain
Not every couple is looking for the standard, traditional wine & dine related Valentine’s Day events, which is super convenient for us here in Ulster County, because there’s much more here to do than just those activities. If you’re looking to escape a bit further into the woods, but still be near many of the great Valentine’s Day related suggestions and events in New Paltz, venture to the other side of the Minnewaska and Mohonk Preserves to the Honors Haven Resort and Spa in Ellenville, where they will be hosting their 2018 Winter Folk Music Weekend, February 9th-11th, 2018. This laid back winter folk music festival is an ideal event for musicians or music lovers, who are interested in informal jamming, singing and playing spontaneously and on your own schedule (For more information about the festival, visit http://www.folkmusicny.org/FAQ_Weekend.html). Weather permitting, this area of Ulster County is known for its hiking and scenic beauty… take a hike, or a ride, through the scenic Shawangunk Ridge for beautiful vistas of the valley and beyond. When you’ve worked up your appetite, Aroma Thyme Bistro in Ellenville is a local favorite for fresh, farm to table meals and a large selection of local brews and wines as well. On Sunday, February 11th, 2018 from 2:00-4:00pm they’re hosting a cupcake and wine/beer/mixed drink tasting- where you can pair cupcakes with your drink of choice (RSVP recommended for this event).
A Competitive & Athletic Weekend on the Slopes
Active couples looking for excitement and a little competitive spirit this Valentine's Day can get their hearts racing and bloodpumping by spending a weekend skiing and snowboarding on gorgeous Catskill Mountain Slopes. The weekend following Valentines Day this year also happens to coincide with Presidents Day weekend, and Belleayre Mountain in Highmount, NY is holding a President’s Style Torchlight Bash on Saturday, February 17th, 2018, with food, drinks, live music and a torchlight parade at dark so you can keep up the fun after the lifts have shut down. While Belleayre doesn’t have their own onsite lodging (yet!), there are plenty of places to stay if you’re looking to spend the long Presidents Day weekend/belated Valentines Day. Emerson Resort and Spa is located only 20 minutes from the mountain, in the town of Shandaken, with luxury accommodations where you and your love can wind down together after a long day on the slopes (bonus, quirky perk for couples who dig ‘Roadside America’ attractions- Emerson Resort is also home to the world’s largest Kaleidoscope). For couples looking to escape to nature, the northern part of Ulster County delivers, but admittedly, it is a bit further of a drive when you want to leave the mountain and explore nearby attractions. For a quick bite, and to experience one of Ulster County’s favorite diners, hit up the nearby Phoenicia Diner (we know- a diner might not sound overtly romantic, but we’re sure you won’t be disappointed with the food, service and atmosphere; and after a weekend of skiing, a good fuel up is in order!)
And if a Valentine’s Day weekend just isn’t in the cards this year for you and your honey, the old standbys are always appreciated for a romantic night together: grab a bottle of locally made wine from any of the wineries on the Shawangunk Wine Trail, a box of delectable Krause’s Chocolates (from either of their shops in Saugerties or New Paltz) and make a reservation to any of the amazing Ulster County restaurants, or just enjoy that chocolate and wine from the comfort of your own couch.
Do you and your sweetheart have a favorite Valentine’s Day tradition here in the Hudson Valley? Where is your favorite place to spend some quality time with loved ones? Share them with us, below!