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The Great Outdoors, Beyond the Apple

By Sascha Zuger

Mohonk Mountain House

Shawangunks, near New Paltz, NY

It would be remiss to not include this 143-year-old

Victorian Castle-style property on a list of great

spots to enjoy New York’s natural bounty, as there

are few places where nature is so thoroughly and

successfully integrated into every aspect of your

stay. Even the world-class spa features body scrubs

comprised of crushed “Shawangunk grit” with herbs

like Mohonk Red witch hazel harvested from the

property grounds. An onsite naturalist can best help

you plan your way through the myriad 80 miles of

trails ribboning across this 280-acre mountaintop

playground, or you can pick from dozens of daily

activities, both guided and self-driven. Adventurous

spirits can take advantage of world-class rock

climbing, or join a spelunking tour to explore the

caves and crevices hidden in the forest, while those

looking for a more Zen-like connection can enjoy

a meditation or yoga class amidst the ferns or

overlooking the lake. In addition, one of the best

kids’ clubs in the state, if not the country, ensures

parents can enjoy a little tranquility during the stay.

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