Hotel at a Glance: Bear Mountain Inn and Overlook Lodge
Even though it's just 45 miles north of the largest city in the U.S., Bear Mountain Inn and Overlook Lodge feels very much removed from the hustle and bustle of the Big Apple. Bear Mountain State Park encircles the rustic property on all sides, and the property edges the Hudson River. Rugged mountains surround the area, too, populated by black bear and fox. The lodge makes for an easy, scenic weekend getaway.
- Colorful fall foliage covers the hills around the lodge in September and October
- Onsite fine dining: Chef Michael Matarazzo crafts upscale American fare such as beef shortribs and herb-crusted king salmon at Restaurant 1915, which has a rock fireplace, mounted deer heads, and exposed wooden beams in its dining room
- In-room amenities: guest rooms each feature a 32-inch television, microwave, mini-fridge, and coffeemaker
- Included meal: daily continental breakfast
- Get pampered at the on-site spa, which offers a heated lava stone massage, an aromatherapy facial, and a mineral mud wrap
Bear Mountain, New York: Picturesque State Parks North of New York City
Bear Mountain State Park is situated in the Hudson River Valley, just 45 miles north of New York City. In good weather, it's a popular spot to swim, picnic, hike, bike; in the wintertime, it's open for cross-country skiing. Be sure to take a ride on the park's unique merry-go-round that's open on weekends only, featuring hand-painted landscapes and seats that are hand-carved into resident animals, including black bear, turkey, deer, fox, swan, and bobcat.
The park is also home to the Trailside Museums and Zoo, the latter of which is a center for injured or orphaned animals such as black bears, coyotes, and beavers. Bear Mountain State Park's four museums are dedicated to various disciplines: check out exhibits of turtles, snakes, frogs, and salamanders in the herpetology section, or explore ones on geology and history.
During the fall, Harriman State Park turns into a tapestry of colorful foliage. Located just south, the park—the second-largest state park in New York state—has 200 miles of hiking trails, some of which become cross-country skiing trails in the winter.