The holiday season is upon us, packed with festive bustle and cheer. Before it sweeps you up, take a weekend to relax and recharge with your special someone in Ulster County.

With scenic beauty, sophisticated dining and drink, walkable holiday shopping, and cozy lodges and hotels boasting luxurious amenities, Ulster County is the ideal romantic getaway before the holidays take over.

Cozy Up to Comfort
Whether you prefer mountain resorts or boutique hotels, historic inns or rustic cabins, you’ll find your ideal lodge in Ulster County.

Located on the wooded western edge of the Hudson River in Milton, Buttermilk Falls Inn has a bed for virtually every occasion—including standard rooms, master suites, cozy lofts, spacious cottages, and a balcony suite with a spectacular view, among others.

For those who want to have their holiday fruitcake and eat it, too, Kingston’s Hotel Kinsley offers the best of all worlds: a luxurious escape in a historic space that’s surrounded by dozens of shops, restaurants, bars, and venues—all within walking distance.

Meanwhile, the historic Hasbrouck House in Stone Ridge—an 18th Century Dutch-Colonial mansion converted into a 20-suite hotel—was named “The Americas’ Most Romantic Retreat” (that’s right, “The Americas” plural!) by no less than the World Boutique Hotel Awards. Anyone who’s experienced the stately charm of this gem knows why.

Hasbrouk House cozy fireplace

Stroll the Local Shops
Yes, this is supposed to be about you and your partner escaping the holiday responsibilities for a weekend. But when you’re surrounded by so many local artisans and retailers holding space in picture-perfect downtowns, how are you not going to do a little shopping?

Browse hand-crafted pottery at L’impatience Ceramics or drink a beer while perusing the latest releases at Rough Draft Bar & Books in Uptown Kingston. Check out the funky vintage fashions of Three Turtle Doves in Woodstock, the fashion-forward curations for women at Bosco's Mercantile in Saugerties or Indulge in some artisanal chocolate stocking stuffers at Krause’s Chocolates in New Paltz. There are scores of fabulous boutique retailers across the county and it’d be impossible to name them all in this newsletter, but you can learn more about all of them—and map your shopping trip—here.

Kingston shops at night

Savor Seasonal Sips
After a romantic evening of exploring and dining, unwind with a seasonal nightcap in the elegant warmth of Ulster County’s many cocktail bars and chef-driven restaurants. Winter is whiskey season, and connoisseurs will find an embarrassment of riches, like the Cloudy Apple at Pearl Moon Restaurant in Woodstock: a complex, hearty cocktail of Kenseiyu Japanese whisky, oloroso sherry, house-made honey crisp apple cinnamon syrup, sage, freshly squeezed lemon juice and garnished with apple slices and sage. If you hate bourbon but love seasonal cocktails, The Hudson House & Distillery in West Park features a menu of craft libations designed to be interchangeable with vodka or whiskey, like the Caramel Apple Martini, Pumpkin Smash, and Spiced Holiday Spritz. That’s just scratching the surface—explore our many cozy pubs and cocktail lounges here.

seasonal cocktails

Go ahead and start planning your cozy escape!