Summer Getaways, Part 1 | East Coast

SERENE HIDEAWAYS AND SUPERLATIVE SEAFOOD, WEEKEND ROAD TRIPS ARE A SUMMER STAPLE.

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Top down, tunes blaring, there are few things better than road trips in the summertime. So, for those last-minute moments where you just got to get away, we’ve rounded up our favorite East Coast destinations just a short trek from Manhattan– and no, Montauk isn’t one of them.

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Farm-to-Table Paradise Found
Twin Farms, Barnard VT | 5-hr drive from NYC
Do berries and tomatoes taste better to you in the summer? And root vegetables and pumpkin in the fall? Have you ever wished you could spend just one weekend in seclusion on a working farm? If so, Vermont’s Twin Farms (MAP IT, BOOK IT) is calling your name. Situated on a sprawling 300 acres of land, the 1795-era farmhouse can accommodate just 20— in private cottages affixed with screened porches no less. There are tennis courts, biking trails, ponds for fly fishing, croquet and billiards to keep you entertained, though the real draw is its culinary program. All meals and alcohol are included in the resort’s nightly rate meaning your breakfast buffet and pre-fixe lunches and dinners, plus an afternoon happy hour are all built into your stay. Twin Farms has no “set menus,” rather daily, farm-to-table courses prepared with your dietary preferences in mind— think a midday picnic of heirloom tomatoes with ricotta, then cold-poached Maine lobster with lemon or grilled quail with a local five potato salad in truffle vinaigrette; all of the ingredients are picked fresh from its surrounding gardens. In the afternoon, a champagne hour set up on your own private porch is encouraged (accompanied by locally-sourced Vermont cheese). It’s pure countryside culinary bliss. Twin Farms, 452 Royalton Turnpike, Barnard, VT; 802.234.9999; www.twinfarms.com.

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Bed-and-Breakfast Made Better
The Ivy Hotel, Baltimore, MD | 3-hr drive from NYC
Just 3 hours from the city, The Ivy Hotel (MAP IT, BOOK IT) is an old historical mansion turned Relais & Chateaux boutique hotel that feels somewhat like you’re visiting grandma… if “grandma” happened to be Diana Vreeland. By that, of course, we mean that the place is beautifully curated— a sort of nostalgic chic complete with warm-tone walls, French toile and exotic hides. There are 18 rooms, plus a luxury spa (a custom massage, manicure and afternoon high tea will run you just $180) and an excellent dining room by the name of Magdalena (its chef was previously at five-star Adirondacks resort, The Point). If you find yourself wanting to venture off-property, Baltimore plays host to Artscape, the largest free arts festival in the country, July 15-17 where you can catch concerts ranging from indie pop to jazz, shop artist markets, and listen to literary readings over the course of three days. And you’d be remiss not to partake in Maryland’s summer pièce de resistance: the crab feast, too. Known for its abundance of blue crabs, the state’s shoreside summer bakes offer shuck-your-own, all-you-can-eat crabs. Make the short drive to Harris Crab House or indulge right in the city at LP Steamers. 205 E. Biddle Street, Baltimore, MD; 410.514.6500; www.theivybaltimore.com.

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To See and Be Seen
Airbnb; Beacon NY | 1.45-hr drive from NYC
Few art spaces leave us as awe-inspired as upstate New York’s Dia Beacon (MAP IT)— the Hudson River factory building (it used to print boxes for Nabisco products) features a rotating collection of exhibitions ranging from Richard Serra to Dan Flavin. Currently, the museum is hosting weekend day parties with artist Isabel Lewis. Bask in the sun, soak up some culture, then stay at one of the incredible Airbnb’s in the surrounding area. A modern cabin with a backyard fire pit and full open kitchen all to yourself for under $400? Let this or perhaps this be the best decision you make all summer. Dia Beacon, 3 Beekman St, Beacon, NY 12508; www.diaart.org.

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Coastal Comfort
Ocean House, Watch Hill, RI | 3 hr drive from NYC
We like to think of Ocean House (MAP IT, BOOK IT) as the quintessential coastal getaway— it has a private white-sand beach, views of Montauk and Block Island, and pretty much every outdoor activity under the sun (yachting, croquet, tennis, squash, golf, surfing, you get the idea). The AAA Five Diamond resort is situated in Watch Hill, a southwestern town in Rhode Island dotted with Victorian-era houses and considered by many to be a worthy alternative to the overwrought Hamptons. Bike to breakfast, explore the shops in town or just hang by the beach, it’s a great place to get away as a couple or family. 1 Bluff Avenue, Watch Hill, RI; 855.678.0364; www.oceanhouseri.com. 

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A Taste of New England: A 3-day Lobster Roll Crawl
CT to ME to RI | 1.4-hr drive to CT from NYC; 4-hr drive to ME from CT; 30-min drive from Kennebunk to Portland; 3-hr drive from Portland to Newport; 3-hr from Newport to NYC
If you’re game to log some miles, a three-day lobster roll crawl up (and back down) the East Coast is a splendid trek. Head first to Branford, Connecticut where you’ll taste the state’s best roll at The Lobster Shack (MAP IT), a BYOB trailer serving just-caught lobster in buttery buns we still dream of today. Then satisified, embark on the subsequent 3.5-hr drive to Kennebunk, Maine where you’ll find one of Maine’s more interesting rolls at The Clam Shack (MAP IT) (it’s served on a burger bun and boasts the biggest pieces of lobster meat we’ve seen to date), plus some of the best ice cream in the country (it’s called Rococo Artisan; flavors change daily). Walk around, enjoy the charming, old timey town, and later head just 30 more minutes up to Portland where you’ll spend the night (we recommend enjoying a clam bake dinner at Eventide Oyster Co.). Come day two, the best lobster roll you’ll ever have awaits you at Bite into Maine, a hidden food truck in Cape Elizabeth with a view of the ocean and cliffside lighthouse, and perfect picnic lawns. The roll is perfect: a buttery, salty bun loaded with chunks of lobster and celery sea salt (admittedly, it’s life-changing). Enjoy the beauty of the seascape before heading down to spend the night in Newport, Rhode Island where you can indulge in more seafood (we’re partial to The Black Pearl’s chowder), sail along the coast (Cruise Newport offers 90-min rides for $25) or head to Castle Hill for sunset cocktails in their beach cruisers on the front lawn. Wake up refreshed and ready to head home after a mouth-watering, farm-to-table brunch at Stoneacre Pantry— or god forbid, another lobster roll (The Lobster Bar is the big ticket in town). Just don’t blame us if you’re pants no longer fit… CP

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