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August 11, 2009

Urban Escapes NYC

Mollie takes a breather at the top of Storm King Highway.

by Mollie Chen

Finances and work have kept me close to the city this summer, but I've gotten my vacation fix by planning close-to-home adventures. I recently invested in a super-speedy road bike so I've been going on all-day treks to places like gorgeous Harriman State Park, and, most recently Weed Orchards, in farm-lovely Ulster County. I'm constantly surprised at how much nature--truly spectacular nature--is so accessible from the city. But as much as love my padded shorts (I mean, who doesn't like a little Spandex?), sometimes a different kind of adventure is in order.

Weed Orchards has pick-your-own
peaches, plus what might be
the world's best apple cider doughnuts.

Enter Urban Escapes NYC. This outdoor adventure company was started by a bunch of urban twentysomethings in need of periodic doses of wide-open space. It leads a range of trips, from hikes in Bear Mountain to white-water rafting in the Lehigh River, and most are just day excursions--perfect for those of us low on cash and time. Guns aren't exactly my thing, but I have to admit I like the sound of Shootin' and Drinkin', a morning of clay shooting followed by a whiskey tasting and a riverside picnic. Sure beats jostling for a patch of grass in Central Park.

Further reading:
* Mollie finds another reason to check out the North Carolina Triangle's food scene
* Quick Trips: Your guide to high art in Minneapolis, midcentury architecture in Palm Springs, minimalism in Beacon, and good grooves in Austin


Finding a good peach is next to impossible so it's good to know about your find. And speaking of apple cider donuts (another of my favorites), a great place for them is The Donut Shop near Amherst, Mass.

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