Trading views of sludgy pavements for exquisite snow-capped mountains sure seems like the perfect antidote to offset winter city blues. Although the new year might be fresh, the daily grind of life overall has been stale for a while (work from home, eat at home, essentially keep-doing-everything at home)-and spending time in the great outdoors has never seemed more appealing.
So it’s time for a recharge and change of scenery. With COVID-19 cases in NYC still rising and the pandemic appearing to be nowhere near done, we’ve rounded up 12 of the brightest, coziest, lift-your-spirits-up Airbnbs to escape the city with your COVID bubble. Located just a couple of hours away from NYC, these Airbnb destinations are geared towards getting you somewhere else-frankly anywhere else-but inside your tiny walk-up apartment. So cue up the road-trip playlists, grab your snow boots, and let’s goooo already.
Be sure to check each property’s listing for the latest details on their safety protocols and requirements. And as always, please social distance responsibly and mask up.
Marlboro, NY 2 guests, $284 per night Distance from NY: 1 hour, 25 minutes by car This cozy off-the-grid glass dwelling (powered by solar panels) is situated on 30 acres of rolling hills and quite literally lets guests fall asleep while gazing up at the stars. A true escapist retreat (that doesn’t sacrifice luxury), it includes both a modern stainless steel kitchen and firepit with outdoor lounging furniture. The square footage may seem miniscule but it’s the outsized panoramic views that create unforgettable impressions-from spectacular sunsets to vineyards and apple orchards, witness nature at its poetic best. Things to do nearby: Explore nearby downtown Marlboro, in addition to must-visit art destinations Dia: Beacon and Storm King Arts Center.
Tivoli, NY Up to 5 guests, $377 per night Distance from NY: 2 hours by car This gorgeous open plan loft in Hudson Valley embodies all of the coziest design features one would seek for a wintertime getaway-a library of books to enjoy by the wood-burning stove; a set of hanging egg-shaped chairs for a cozy tête-à-tête; a brass-pipe railing in patina supporting the wooden staircase; and an old rustic farm table for family dinners (complete with the rustic kitchen to prepare them). The Barn sits on a four-acre property, has multiple walking paths along the creek, and includes a firepit to enjoy toasty campfires. Things to do nearby: Walk over to The Corner for a Moroccan inspired farm-to-table menu or head to Tivoli General for local beer and cider or provisions for an indoor picnic. Visit the beautiful campus of Bard College to see architecture by Frank Gehry.
Shandaken, NY Up to 6 guests, $524 per night Distance from NY: 2 hours and 10 minutes by car Understated, modern, and architecturally stunning-this 1970s house features a wraparound balcony-style deck, southern exposures, and windows throughout, enthralling guests with gorgeous mountainside views. Choose any bedroom you like, as they all have king-size beds. Prepare expert meals in an open kitchen that includes everything from Shun knives to a professional Bertazzoni range; while the outdoor living area comes with an open fire pit, where guests can also access a charcoal grill. Things to do nearby: Taste the menu of hip eatery Phoenicia Diner and then check out the tap list at Woodstock Brewing or West Kill Brewing. Ski at Belleayre Ski Resort, hike trails at Panther Mountain and Tremper Mountain, and visit the viewing platform of Kaaterskill Falls.
Stamford, CT 2 guests, $327 per night Distance from NY: 1 hour by car When American sculptor Gutzon Borglum was building Mount Rushmore, parts of it were assembled right in his Stamford studio-site of the aptly named Zen House, a 3.5 acre private estate in southern Connecticut. Highlights among the many eye-catching design features include the all-glass exterior facing the lap pool and original stone wall that looks like an entrance to Frances Hodgson Burnett’s Secret Garden. The property is gorgeous and vast, transporting guests to their very own scenic hideaway. Things to do nearby: Hiking, skiing, and horseback riding are on offer nearby, in addition to an array of restaurants like Meli-Melo Creperie, The Inn at Pound Ridge by chef Jean-George, Bartaco.
Germantown, NY 2 guests, $425 per night Distance from NY: 2 hours by car The hamlet of Germantown is home to this magnificently restored, Scandinavian-inspired barn (which previously housed horses). Design details include airy, wood-beamed ceilings complemented by floor-to-ceiling windows; antique-style furnishings include a clawfoot bathtub and Victorian chaise (that practically begs someone to come recline on it); and a bedroom loft with postcard-worthy views. The 14-acre property features open fields, a private pond, gently sloping hills, and walking paths through wooded acreage to explore the grounds. Things to do nearby: Located between Hudson and Rhinebeck, order takeout from local restaurant Gaskins, along with unique antique shops in town.
Bearsville, NY 2 guests, $195 per night Distance from NY: 2 hours by car Inhaling the aroma of freshly brewed coffee (which the hosts of this guest house graciously offer) as you absorb exquisite mountain views certainly sounds like the perfect wintertime escape. Set in the secluded woods of Mount Guardian, this Hudson Valley cottage features a cozy wood stove, well-stocked kitchen, and offers plenty of serenity (there’s even a hammock). The interiors are homey, tasteful, and offer plenty of respite from the city buzz, and you just may catch a glimpse of the owner’s adorable dog on his daily walk. Things to do nearby: When you want to venture out, the arts community of Woodstock is just a few short miles away, with plenty of shops, restaurants, and artist workshops. Book an appointment in advance for a licensed massage therapist conveniently located next door.
Cornwall-on-Hudson, NY 12 guests, $343 per night Distance from NY: 1 hour by car If the thought of waking up near a waterfall draws out the nature-lover in you, then look no further than this three-story 19th century mountain house located near the riverfront village Cornwall-on-Hudson. Situated on four expansive acres and located right next to the Hudson River, enjoy gorgeous scenic views by day from any of the three comfortable living rooms (or the well stocked kitchen) and at night, while curled up by the firepit (s’mores are highly encouraged). Things to do nearby: Situated on four expansive acres leading directly into the Storm King Mountain Trailhead, there are plenty of activities to enjoy by day (from hiking to snowshoeing). Storm King Adventure Tours and Art Center are also nearby.
Bearsville, NY 2 guests, $254 per night Distance from NY: 2 hours by car Healing energy abounds at this charming mountain cottage, originally owned by a medicine woman in the early 1900s. Thoughtful touches include a dog-friendly teepee in the living room, a collection of vinyl records to play while enjoying the views, and a reusable tote when shopping for provisions in town. Warm up near the wood-burning fireplace while taking in the emerald green forests that surround this modernized home (which comes equipped with a full kitchen). You just might spot a few wildlife visitors drinking from the property’s tiny pond, and if you listen closely… why yes, that is the sound of a babbling brook nearby. Things to do nearby: It’s in a perfect location just outside of Woodstock and a short drive to the mountains or down to Kingston. Grab groceries from Sunflower Market, Cub Market, or Sunfrost Farms.
Granby, CT 4 guests, $110 per night Distance from NY: 2 hours, 15 minutes by car Almost like a fairytale come to life, this (nearly) century-old stone cottage was originally built for a member of Hartford’s high society in the 1930s. Charming touches include a tea and candy bar, a master reading corner to enjoy a selection found tucked away in the home’s bookcase, and a writing desk. This beautifully decorated stone cottage is full of history, with enchanting interiors, which could easily be at home in an English countryside village, including a large stone fireplace and original bath fixtures. Guests also have access to an awning-covered private patio and firepit, perfect for grilling (hot dogs or s’mores, your choice) during cooler mountain nights. Things to do nearby: Try plant-based treats at The Sweet Beet or some hearty winter fare at The Barn Restaurant. Experience the walking trails at Mary Edwards Mountain Property and enjoy gorgeous vista views from Heublien Tower in Talcott Mountain State Park.
Phillipsport, NY 6 guests, $454 per night Distance from NY: 1 hour, 30 minutes by car Initially designed by a Brooklyn-based architect as a family weekend escape, this modern, private cabin sits on 19 secluded, forested acres. This Catskills getaway features an open kitchen with cathedral ceilings and a dining table and shelving fashioned from the wood of an ailing sugar maple tree. Expect days filled with lazy afternoons by the fire, reading in the loft, and watching movies on the theater-style projection screen, as well as exploring local hiking trails. Named for the pond it overlooks, guests may just be fortunate enough to get a peek at a few of their wildlife neighbors-deer, foxes, even owls-during their stay. Things to do nearby: Check out the local craft beer scene at High Voltage Creek Bar or try the organic menu at Aroma Thyme Bistro, upstate New York’s first Certified Green Restaurant. Hike up Bear Hill Preserve or Sam’s Point trailhead in the Hudson Valley.
Windham, NY Up to 10 guests, $1,714 per night Distance from NY: 2 hours, 20 minutes by car Lest we forget, we’re right in the middle of ski season. What better way to break free of the daily drudgery than a luxury mountainside condo where skis can literally take you everywhere you need to go? This three-bedroom property features all the highbrow amenities (indoor fireplace, Sonos sound system, onsite washer/dryer) and comes with a fully equipped kitchen-perfect for enjoying a long, relaxing lunch in between ski sessions. In the evening, relax those well-worn muscles in the heated pool or one of the two hot tubs. Things to do nearby: Head to Adventure Park for snowtubing and hot cocoa, enjoy local craft beers at Tavern 23, or relax with a massage in the Alpine Spa. Visit nearby Bastion Falls which features one of the area’s most popular hiking trails.
New Fairfield, CT Up to 4 guests, $189 per night Distance from NY: 1 hour, 20 minutes by car Nestled behind Squantz Pond State Park and across from Candlewood Lake, this recently renovated 1940s lake cabin may just be the perfect seclusion getaway. A fully stocked kitchen (that includes breakfast and baking essentials) offers everything you need to enjoy the space-be it under blankets on the couch watching movies or relaxing on the patio, coffee cup in hand. With plenty of scenic views and nearby trails, the only real question to answer is which direction you want to look. On that note, star-gazing is available both (fire)pit-side and (hot)tub-side. Things to do nearby: Visit the nearby town of Kent for a nature trek in the Kent Falls State Park, then stop by Kent Falls Brewing for a barnside beer-pick. Check out the family-owned While Silo Farm & Winery and Deer Pond Farm Sanctuary (operated by the Connecticut Audubon Society) in Sherman, another town nearby.Sign up here for our daily NYC email and be the first to get all the food/drink/fun New York has to offer.
Swathi Reddy is a Louisiana-born, NYC-based freelance writer and marketer. Formerly a Food & Wine staffer for over a decade, she can’t think of anything better to do in life than talking about food while eating food. Except maybe discussing cocktails (or wine).
As spring makes its way through New York City, not only do we get to enjoy beautiful weather, stunning cherry blossoms, and cool activities priced at $Free.99, but it’s also the perfect time for some limited-edition desserts.
With Easter fast approaching, bakeries are filling their shops with tons of chocolate eggs, carrot cake-flavoured everything and all types of flavours that offer both nostalgia and innovation within the city’s dessert landscape. After you’ve picked up a cake from the city’s best new bakeries, from Easter Bunny Churros to Carrot Cake Macarons, here are 8 Easter desserts to try in NYC right now.
Throughout April Various locations
There’s great news for devotees of Magnolia Bakery’s Classic Banana Pudding: For Easter, the spot is mixing up the iconic dessert’s vanilla pudding with some carrot cake. The Carrot Cake Pudding is filled with freshly grated carrots, coconuts, pineapples, raisins, and walnuts. And if both bananas and carrots aren’t your thing, they’ll be offering their Classic Vanilla Cupcakes in pastel colours with a Cadbury chocolate egg hidden inside.
Through Easter Sunday NoHo and Seaport
Known for their celebrity face and meme-worthy decorated cookies, fans of Funny Face Bakery know that a new fun design is always just around the corner. For Easter, they’ve created the adorable Hoppy Easter decorated cookie that resembles a classic box of marshmallow Peeps. Along with that, they also have the return of their fan-favourite Caramel Pretzel Chip cookie flavour, plus a set of three mini-decorated cookies perfect for gifting.
Friday, April 7 through Easter Sunday West Village
With the ever-changing flavours at The Doughnut Project, it’s super easy to miss out on trying out a new debut. But this Easter weekend, there will be two new flavours available. One is of course, a carrot cake doughnut topped with a cream cheese glaze, and the other is known as the Doughnut Nest-a French cruller “nest” with a cream-filled doughnut hole “egg” in the centre.
Wednesday, April 5 through Easter Sunday East Village
For stellar vegan desserts this holiday, head to The Fragile Flour, a plant-based bakery and dessert wine bar. They’re known for going all out for each holiday with a variety of new pastry options that you can pair perfectly with a glass of wine. This Easter, they’ll have a whole dessert menu that’s both delicious and gorgeous for posting on IG. The menu includes Stuffed Carrot Cake Cookies, a Lemon Cake (whole or by the slice), some festive cupcakes, and specialty macarons.
Through mid April Midtown
For a luxurious take on Easter chocolates, browse the selections available at Kreuther Handcrafted Chocolate. You can even pick the Easter Signature Chef’s Selection for a special box curated by award-winning chefs. For something other than chocolate, choose between the Carrot Cake Macarons or the cake flavored Easter Marshmallow Trio, both of which are almost too cute to eat.
Throughout April Nolita
This churro-centric spot is putting the cutest Easter spin on their crispy cinnamon churros by twisting them up into bunnies and bunny ears. At Churreria, choose from a Bunny Churro Lollipop topped with your choice of chocolate or dulce de leche and sprinkles, or the bunny ear churros in the Ube and Matcha ice cream sundae or the Ube Milkshake, both of which are made with ice cream from il laboratorio del gelato.
Throughout April NoHo
You’ve surely seen this croissant tons of times while scrolling through IG or TikTok, whether it’s the Pain au Chocolat one or the latest of the month. Known as Suprêmes, these filled croissants went viral and continue to live up to the hype each time a new flavour comes out. April’s flavour-sour cherry amaretto with a Luxardo custard and toasted almonds. While you’ll have to be super early and wait in line during one of their three drops of the day to get a taste, we promise you it’ll be worth it.
Seasonal Various locations
We all know the iconic cookies from Levain-they’re gigantic, perfectly crispy and chewy, and well worth the long lines. For spring, the shop is launching a new flavour: Caramel Coconut Chocolate Chip. Filled with gooey caramel chips, fresh shredded coconut, and melty dark chocolate, it’s one you’ve got to try while it’s still around. To further celebrate the new season, all of Levain’s storefronts will be decked out in spring floral displays, serving as the perfect backdrop for pictures.
Alaina Cintron is an Editorial Assistant at Thrillist. Her work can also be found in Westchester Magazine, Girls’ Life, and Spoon University. When she’s not at her desk typing away, you can find her exploring a local coffee shop or baking a new recipe.