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With just a few weeks left of summer, escaping New York City’s stagnant heat is becoming increasingly desirable. Thankfully, there are destinations aplenty in other parts of the state and those surrounding: city dwellers can drive, catch the bus, or enjoy a train ride to a beautiful change of scenery. If you need another reason to venture out, each spot is rounding out its summer with a special event, from horse shows to moonlit paddles.
Located in Southern Vermont, this Green Mountain town holds an annual summer festival starting in July and ending mid-August. The six-week affair is broken up into different horse shows, perfect for equine enthusiasts and regular folk alike. While you’re in town, The Equinox is a must-see and stay: the resort offers activities for all ages including falconry, off-road driving in reserved Land Rover vehicles, and boating through Emerald Lake and Lake Shaftsbury. If you’re seeking something a bit more air conditioned, The Spa at The Equinox promises mountain views in a newly renovated space.
Washington Depot, Connecticut
Escape the city chaos for a couple of days and explore this little Connecticut town (apparently the inspiration of Stars Hollow in Gilmore Girls). The Washington Art Association’s four-month long Sculpture Walk opened earlier this month and features over 40 internationally recognized artists—Frank Stella, Julian Schnabel—as well as emerging sculptors. The artworks are situated throughout the town and on view to the public, making your walk around Washington Depot even more of a treat.
Catskills, New York
If you’re hoping for an excursion a bit closer to the city, a weekend in the Catskills might be more your speed. Make your way there on August 4th for the second annual Soirée on the Railway, a luxurious and scenic train ride through the Catskills featuring live music and locally sourced culinary fare. After the festive ride, rest your head at Scribner’s Lodge, then rejuvenate the next day with a Vinyasa Flow in the yoga studio.
Saugerties, New York
This historic village located in the Hudson Valley is a must-visit for any art lover: the annual Saugerties Artists Tour takes place over the second weekend of August and features mixed media, from drawing to wearable art. The town sits comfortably between the Catskill Mountains and Hudson River, giving visitors the views they so desperately missed in the Big Apple. Spending the night? Diamond Mills Hotel is a petit luxury hotel with just 30 rooms, each with a private balcony overlooking Esopus Creek.
Watch Hill, Rhode Island
Just a few hours away and easily accessible via train, this sleepy seaside town is worth your time. Stay at the famed Ocean House, or their sister estate, Weekapaug Inn. Both of the properties boast lobster boils and clam bakes throughout the summer as well as full moon paddles, foraging excursions (such as exploring the tide pools and salt marshes), and Instagram-worthy sunset boat rides. Ride the oldest working carousel in the country before tucking into the famed homemade ice cream made by St. Clair Annex, which has been serving scoops for over 125 years.