The best way to break up winter's gray and dreary days? Head to one of these JS-approved getaways—all within a five-hour drive of New York City.
The Chanler at Cliff Walk, Newport, RI
This oceanfront hotel is less than 200 miles from New York, but its Gilded Age glamour makes the place feel world's away. Each of the twenty-rooms are individually decorated in various period styles, from Renaissance, to Greek Revival and French Provincial, and have views of Easton's Beach and the estate's five-acres of manicured gardens. Rise early to trek the three and a half mile Cliff Walk trail, or request that the hotel's complimentary car to drop you off at a Newport Mansion. From there, wander the town's colonial-era streets and harbors, and finish the day with a hearty meal of clam chowder at the waterfront restaurant, The Black Pearl.
Camp Orenda, Johnsburg, NY
Getting off the grid shouldn’t mean going without electricity or clean sheets for days on end—or at least that’s what David Webb, founder of Camp Orenda, believes. His all-inclusive backcountry retreat in the Adirondack State Park is just four-hours' drive from Manhattan and draws both pro- and novice campers to its private canvas "cabins" year-round. You can expect all the homegrown camping traditions from your childhood years (archery, hiking, cross-country skiing), with a few creature comforts thrown in the mix: meals cooked over an open-flame, treatments at the on-site spa and heated outdoor showers (yes, please).
Twin Farms, Barnard, VT
The all-inclusive Twin Farms may be one of Vermont's most award-winning hotels, but its "make yourself at home" vibe will make it feel like it's your very own country cabin. Spread over 300 acres of unspoiled forest and meadow just outside Woodstock, Vermont, there's locavore dining, a full-service spa (with a Japanese bath house), and 20 individual cottages with fireplaces, screened porches, and a sizeable collection of modern art, by the likes of iconic Abstract Expressionists, Cy Twombley and Jasper Johns. Try your hand at snowshoeing or sledding, or kick back with some brews at the pub, which has billiards, darts, and a jukebox. Whatever you do, just don't wait till the last minute book your weekend getaway (at Twin Farms, guests are required to submit detailed surveys on their dietary preferences well in advance to checking in!)
The Graham & Co. Phoenicia, NY
Brooklynites opening a hipster B & B upstate? Who would have thought it. The brainchild of four artists, this refurbished 1940s motel adds serious design cred to the sleepy Catskill Mountain town of Phoenicia. Upon check-in, guests are handed a free beer, and led to one of 20-single, double, or "bunk-style" guestrooms, which have cow hide rugs, reclaimed wood furniture, and thoughtful details, like Tivoli radios, glass jar lamps, and tin vases with dried flowers. And while the motel sees its biggest surge of visitors during the summer (Phoenicia is known as the "tubing capital of the world,") the property has just as much to offer during the winter months. Breakfast at the town's beloved diner, also owned by a Brooklyn transplant, is a must-do (opt for the duck and grits skillet), and nearby Woodstock—a longtime mecca for artists, musicians and writers—is lined with one-off boutiques that are sure to be a hit among the aesthetically inclined.
White Face Lodge, Lake Placid, NY
This Lake Placid retreat fulfills every city dweller's wilderness getaway fantasy. We're talking 30 sprawling acres of backcountry dotted with pools and hot tubs, plus a bowling alley, movie theatre, and an 8,000-square foot spa. Drag yourself off the resort grounds and you'll be rewarded with a range of outdoor pursuits, from double black diamond skiing at Whiteface Mountain, to flying down the Lake Placid Toboggan Chute at the Olympic venues. After, tuck in to pacific cod scampi and kabocha squash risotto in the hotel's rustic-luxe Kanu restaurant.
Winvian Farm, Morris, CT
A hotel owner gives 15 architects a carte blanche to design a countryside retreat. The result? The award-winning Winvian Farms in Connecticut's Litchfield Hills. Each of the property's 18 whimsical cottages is unlike the others, with one structure constructed entirely of boulders, another with a book-lined, wrap-around mezzanine (appropriately named the Library Cottage) and one unit even built around an old Coast Guard helicopter. Differences aside, all cottages pay homage to Connecticut's history and have fireplaces, Bose sound systems and jetted tubs. Hit the spa and wander the hotel's meadows; by the time Sunday night rolls around, you'll feel recharged and ready to tackle the week ahead.
The White Barn Inn and Spa, Kennebunk, ME
It’ll take you five hours by car (or just over an hour by plane) to get to this sophisticated 19th-century inn, but once you've arrived, the hotel's attentive staff will take care of every last detail. Blending European country house elegance and New England comfort, the historic stay has hand-painted furniture, period antiques, secret gardens and two 1820s barns. Spend the day exploring the town's rocky beaches, antique stores and lobster shacks, then unwind in a butler-drawn bath back at the hotel. For dinner, you're in for a feast of pan-roasted pheasant and sourdough bread dumplings at the inn's award-winning restaurant.
Rivertown Lodge, Hudson, NY
Housed in a former movie theatre, the Rivertown Lodge still retains signs of its cinematic roots, from the old marquee sign that hangs above Warren Street to the 1920s building in which the hotel is set. But if the exterior nods to the property's retro roots, the interiors are a study in design-minded restraint, with stark white walls, custom-made Danish furniture, potbelly stoves and sliding glass panels. Curl up on the spacious front porch with a book from the hotel's lending library, or head outdoors and wander Hudson's granite cliffs, vast swaths of farmland and hilltop castles. A treasure trove for antique hunters, Warren Street has 51 different boutiques to peruse. Our favorites? Mark McDonald's midcentury-design store and Rural Residence, a purveyor of fine linen.
Salt House Inn, Provincetown, MA
This style sleep has seriously upped the design ante in P-Town. The exterior has classic weathered cedar shake and rambling stone paths while inside is all clean lines and thoughtful detailing, with 15 white-on-white rooms done up in wall assemblages of New England-sourced antiques (think: portraits, oars and fish hooks.) Start the day with a spread of bacon, peach-baked French toast and coffee in the inn's charming breakfast nook (where you'll find the day's forecast, tides, and menu written on an oversized chalkboard,) then mosey on over to check on the pub scene on action-packed Commercial Street, just two blocks from the inn. Want to go off the map, instead? The 40-mile National Seashore, which is dotted with small lighthouses, pine and scrub oak forests and Race Point Beach, makes for incredible all-season hiking. (Note: the hotel opens to the public April 2016.)