To be honest our exploratory trip north of Manhattan (northeastern corner of the US) only really flourished from my intense desire to visit an animal farm sanctuary.
What unfolded over our three week road trip, travelling up New York state and around the New England region, was a well planned (albeit it very last minute), divinely relaxed and a completely new American experience. I have to admit I knew little about the region, for instance just how much greenery and lakes we’d enjoy.
New York City, New York
Two blissfully busy days in New York City. Langham Place, became our retreat and well located hotel for regular breakfast visits to La Pain Quidien. Franchia Vegan Cafe is close by as well as the serenity of Hangawi. We went downtown to Pure Food & Wine and for lunch met Victoria Moran, my friend and mentor, at Peacefood Cafe on the upper west side. We even squeezed in Matilda, the delightful Broadway musical.
Two hours drive from NYC, in the foothills of the mountains lies the tranquil fields of Catskill Animal Sanctuary. Our three day stay at their Homestead deserves its own blog post, as the honesty and integrity of this farm sanctuary is something to behold.
We then stayed at Smythe House. This is the most delightful B&B with hospitable and equally delightful hosts, David & Justine. In fact our whole experience of day visits to the town of Woodstock, Woodstock Farm Sanctuary and Tivoli made this a memorable 4th July weekend. Restaurants and juice bars worth popping into are Woodstock Garden Cafe & Little Apple (also in Woodstock) and our absolute best dining experience might well have been at Luna 61 (in Tivoli).
Lake George, NY
While Lake George was our most underwhelming designation, our choice in hotel was a good one, Holiday Inn Resort Lake George. It’s new, clean, the suites spacious and pool super family friendly. While purely vegan or vegetation restaurants aren’t found in this town, we ate well at Tandoori Grill and Ali Baba Express, both close to the hotel.
On the way to our next stop we went through the very charming town of Woodstock in Vermont. Gillingham’s General Store is worth a visit for its charming original wood shelving and diverse range of goods. Loved their kitchen gadgets!
Lake Winnipesaukee, New Hampshire
New Hampshire’s largest lake, took our breath away with its beauty and size, (34 km long up to 14.5 km wide). Here we chartered a motor boat with captain, who gave us a great sense of the lake, its homes and over 250 natural islands! Giuseppe’s Pizzerie & Ristorante, within Mills Falls our hotel, was our Italian go-to-place to eat!
Beautiful! Our little Inns at Blackberry Common B&B fed us all before heading out for a sailing trip on a 98 year-old schooner (which my eldest daughter steered) around Penobscot Bay.
A City & Lighthouse Tour hosted by The scenic Route Maine Tours gave us a great overview of Portland before we walked the charming waterfront streets. We were delighted by finding vegan donuts at The Holy Donut and one of the best dinning experiences at an asian inspired vegetarian restaurant, The Green Elephant. Our hotel, Hampton Inn Portland Downtown Waterfront was another good choice, again well located.
There’s such charming architecture near Boston’s library, notably being the second largest public library in America. We so enjoyed walking around Boston’s public garden then zig zagging along the nearby picturesque streets, all while nibbling on our darling little cupcakes from Georgetown Cupcakes. We found American servers very hospitable to tweaking their menus to suit our plant-based eating, with Papa-Razzi Trattoria and Snappy Sushi on Newbury Street been no exception.
A fun tour on Boston Duck Tours saw our eldest daughter again at the helm, this next an amphibian, which took us from road to water. Our hotel was divine, offering a great view of the city and water, Westin Copley Place.
Old Saybook, Connecticut
The elegant hotel, Saybrook Point Inn & Spa is perched on the waters’ edge with boats and swans in close proximity. A gentle cycle on their complimentary bicycles offer guests a great way to explore the area. A nearby town well worth visiting is Mystic, recognisable as the town in which Julia Roberts shot Mystic Pizza. We ate really delicious pizza’s at Mystic Pizza.
Arguably, an ideal little town to live in if you’re wanting to commute into Manhattan. Andy’s Pure Food was enticing enough for me to want to stay! They offer organic juices, raw foods in platters, sandwiches, burgers and wraps and more.
New York City, NY
Apparently Park Lane Hotel isn’t going to be a hotel forever, with plans to change it into residential. So we made the best of this great location to enjoy a quick 48 hours in NYC before heading home. We ate a divine meal at Candle Cafe on the upper east side. Their Seitan Chimichurri, citrus-herb marinated seitan skewer still have us five happy holiday makers drooling!
We’ll simply have to go back for more my darling husband, mother, and daughters!