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.
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.
* 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