Usually, when we think of getaways, our minds go straight to locations and travel plans that involve a long road trip or one or more flights, and in the process, we tend to overlook the amazing options that are right near us. In fact, you will probably be surprised at how many unique staycation opportunities are available in and around New York – most of which will make you feel like you’ve stepped into a whole different world. From glamping in style to retreats and themed experiences, here are our top 10 picks.
If you want to get away from the city environment and enjoy nature for a weekend without missing out on the luxuries in life, this Yurt is your answer. This ultimate glamping experience is located at Frogs Hollow Farm (15 minutes away from New Paltz, NY). Looking from the outside – surrounded by nature, you’d never guess the level of comfort when you step inside. There is a full in-suite bathroom, air conditioning, and even a private deck where you can cook out, sit, relax, and enjoy the view, which overlooks a field and the mountains. Although it is hard to want to leave this peaceful and cozy accommodation, there is also plenty to do nearby, including wineries, restaurants, and hiking at the Minnewaska State Park, which is only minutes away. “We wanted to create somewhere people could immerse themselves in nature but have all luxuries that are such treats when getting away…” says Mia and John, the Yurt hosts, “for people to be close to nature, but not too close.”
Another amazing glamping location, Collective Retreats is unique in a way that you feel like you are camping right in the city’s backyard! Only 8 minutes away from Manhattan (by water taxi), Collective Retreats is located on Governors Island. At this transformative retreat, you can stay in luxury tents surrounded by nature while boosting great views of the Statue of Liberty and the Manhattan skyline. This luxury camping experience includes king size beds with 1,500 thread-count sheets and exceptional dining options. This year, inspired by the surrounding landscape and location, Collective Governors Island will introduce a new fine dining experience, Fire & Water. The sea-centric, contemporary American menu is inspired by the New York harbor, focusing on wood flame grilling for al fresco dining.
There are many reasons to love the NoMo SoHo, but one of my favorites is its ability to innovate. That is just what the NoMo SoHo did when rolling out the “YourPlace” program, which is a dream come true for locals. The program offers great staycation opportunities along with hourly based rooms for locals who want to escape their homes for a little while to relax or work in a different setting. The natural light of the floor to ceiling windows with the white/blue interior and décor, give locals the perfect setting for a calm and stress-free getaway. NoMo SoHo is located right in Manhattan. The hotel’s restaurant, NoMo Kitchen, also offers quarantine themed drinks so that you can get a cocktail in hand even before you even have the chance to close your laptop. It’s the perfect setting to unwind right after work!
The Mountain Lodge in the heart of the Catskills is a LGBTQ+ friendly destination. Compared to the other staycations on this list, Scribner’s Lodge offers a more contemporary setting. Rooms have dark maple floors, vintage rugs, and modern amenities. The Lodge also has private decks overlooking the mountains, and some rooms even have fireplaces! The common area is also the perfect place to relax, with a large fireplace, a pool table and a great selection of books and games. Scribners Lodge provides a s’mores kit for the a camp fire outside, so you can have some fun roasting marshmallows! Located in the Catskills Mountains, a trip to Kaaterskill Falls is a must. It is only a fifteen-minute drive from the lodge and it is New York’s highest two-tier waterfall.
“Imagine if Alice in Wonderland married Willy Wonka and set up a residence in Oz. That’s what we want The Roxbury Experience to be.” Founded by a LGBTQ+ couple, The Roxbury Experience is nothing short of fun! For starters, there are themed mansion rooms and tower cottages – in fact, stepping into any of their rooms is like stepping into a movie set… or into a different world. You can live out your Game of Thrones fantasies in their “Crown of the Pendragons” cottage (pictured above) or pretend you are a princess (or queen!) in “Cinderella’s Gown”. Here are just a few more themes to inspire you to check it out: The Beautiful Blacksmith, The Brothers’ Stratton, Dracula’s Fangs, and The Ghost and Mrs. Hicks. Located in Roxbury, NY, the Roxbury Experience offers great views of the stunning Catskill Mountains, a trail leading to the base of a 50’ waterfall, along with full-service spas!
This Scandinavian home away from home, was founded by a group of friends who wanted to create a cozy place for guests to relax after a day of hiking and skiing. Located in Windham, NY, Eastwind’s accommodations feature unique cabins that don’t skip out on comfort. We highly recommend checking out the Lushna Cabin. The private freestanding cabin has a comfortable bed, private bathroom, sauna access, and even BBQ kits. The location is also pet-friendly, so you can take your fur-kids along with you. The best part? The view! Imagine stepping outside in the morning and seeing the Catskill Mountains!
Provincetown may be well known as an LGBTQ+ paradise but nearby, the town of Brewster, Cape Cod, is just as welcoming. Located only one and a half hours drive from Boston or four and half from NYC, this LGBTQ+ friendly and secluded resort brings guests the best of both worlds: comfortable, private accommodations, and outdoor activities, including a private beach, paddle boarding, kayaking, and more. When it comes to private accommodations, Ocean Edge Resort has something for everyone, whether you are looking for a one-bedroom villa for a couple getaway or two/three-bedroom villas for the entire family. The resort has also recently debuted a grocery delivery service, which delivers produce, veggies, and more, straight to your villa.
For an entirely different type of getaway, the Foxwoods Resort Casino is the place to go to enjoy a luxurious getaway with access to world-renowned spas, golf, state-of-the-art theaters, and of course, everything a casino has to offer. To top it off, they even have a zipline from the 33-story hotel tower and go-carts! Foxwoods is extremely LGBTQ+ friendly celebrating Pride each year, hosting drag happy hours, and encouraging guests to “Live Out Loud.” Located in Mashantucket, CT, and only two and a half hours from NYC, Foxwoods Resort features several types of accommodations including deluxe hotel rooms, villas, and more.
Fire Island, a 31-mile barrier island just off the southern coast of Long Island, is a gay paradise. If there was a gay Disneyland, Fire Island Pines would be it. You can reach the island by transit on the Long Island Railroad, bus and then ferry. What is there to do? There’s the white sand dunes and beaches, drag performances, and endless parties. You can also walk or take a water taxi over to Cherry Grove (another section of Fire Island) for more shops and restaurant options. The best place to stay on Fire Island Pines is with friends in a shared rental, but if you can’t do that, there are also hotel/guest house options like The Hotel by Share Gurl or The Maison.
Located 65 miles west of NYC, in the Pocono mountains, the Rainbow Mountain Resort has been serving the LGBTQ+ community since 1981. The location is perfect to relax, whether that means relaxing in the pool, at the club, while hiking, or just hanging out; there is plenty to do! One of my favourite things about the resort is its accommodations. No two rooms are the same. Each guest room is unique in their own way, available in a variety of shapes, sizes, and prices. The resort also recently added the “Rainbow Camp,” where you can glamp in a tent with a comfy queen bed and wood burning heater. All accommodations include access to the gym, sauna, hot tub, pool, and nightclub admission. Fun fact - Rainbow Mountain is actually home to the biggest inground pool in the whole northeastern United States! This is also where the resort hosts most weekend entertainment events, including a live DJ, and the recent Inked Weekend (pictured).
BARRY HOY, a Canadian transplanted in New York City, also known as @Asianmapleleaf, is a travel, food, and lifestyle writer who showcases great destinations, their local experiences, and all of the must see (#bucketlist) places around the world. Travel is his passion, so he is always on the road or up in the air – if he’s not travelling, he’s most likely already planning his next trip. Follow along his adventures via Instagram @asianmapleleaf or on his travel blog AsianMapleLeaf.com.