By Ian J. Stark
Special to Newsday
Long Islanders looking for a change of scenery should consider some of the many things to do in New York State this spring. Check out an amusement park, go wine tasting or try whitewater rafting this season.
Travelers should always check the latest guidelines and coronavirus testing requirements and follow COVID protocols before and during their travels.
Buttermilk Falls Inn and Spa
This inn offers plenty of relaxation options for guests. At its Henry’s at the Farm restaurant, Executive Chef Peter Graziano prepares a menu that will remain fixated on its farm-to-table focus, with dishes featuring the facility’s homegrown squash, ramps and zucchini flowers. April is “Digital Detox Awareness Month. Moms get the nod in May with a “Mama Llama Love Special” that allows facials to be customized with an ampoule enhancement option.
INFO 220 North Rd. Milton; 845-795-1310, buttermilkfallsinn.com
Stoutridge Winery & Distillery
Classes are being offered at this distillery year-round including cocktail classes and weekends with the winemaker and distiller; reservations can be made for the tasting room but the outdoor area is first-come, first-serve.
INFO 10 Ann Kaley Ln., Marlboro; 845-236-7620, stoutridge.com
Clemson Bros. Brewery
Featuring a location in Orange County and another in Ulster, this brewery just recently canned its popular “Blueberry Gunx” honey wheat ale. Guests should look for other seasonal offerings such its “M-Town Shakedown Sour Milkshake IPA.” Leashed dogs are permitted outdoors at both locations.
INFO 22 Cottage St., Middletown; 845-775-4638 and 3 Main St., New Paltz; 845-256-1700, clemsonbrewing.com
Abandoned Hard Cider
The name of this spot comes from its use of apples taken from the wild, backyards and forgotten sites across the Hudson Valley and Catskills, and its newest creation called “Vacation,” is a mix of local wild apples, guava purée and passion fruit juice. Leashed dogs are permitted outdoors.
INFO 1802-B, Rt. 28, Woodstock; 845-657-4300, abandonedcider.com
WEST OF THE HUDSON RIVER
For an exciting take on exploring the waterways, companies like Beaver Brook Outfitters (beaverbrook.net), Whitewater Challengers (whitewaterchallengers.com) and Sacandaga Outdoor Center (4soc.com) can get you rafting in the Adirondacks. All equipment is provided. Excursions usually last around two hours but all-day options are available.
This restaurant may present itself as a diner, but in fact it’s an extension of a 100% pasture, animal welfare-approved organic farm, where every bit of animal protein served was raised. Recommended dishes include grass-fed, grass-finished burgers, and pasture-raised pork sausages, organic salads and steak sandwiches, as well as hand-cut fries and soups.
INFO 717 Warren St., Hudson; 518-822-9323, grazinburger.com
Tastings are available at the winery’s Lake George location (reservations must be made in advance). Come April patrons can look for the lavender-infused “Serenity Rose” and the new “Moonlight” Lemberger wine, a rose-version of the winery’s “Stargazer” Lemberger.
INFO 285 Canada St., Lake George; 518-668-9463, 4971 Lake Shore Dr., Bolton Landing; 518-668-9463; 395 Big Bay Rd., Queensbury; 518-668-9463 (adirondackwinery.com)
Fort William Henry Hotel and Conference Center
This resort is offering special deals for April and May, including a “Spring Bed and Breakfast Package” (a one-night stay with breakfast for two overlooking the lake) and a “Spring Romance Package.” (two-night stay with champagne and chocolate-covered strawberries upon arrival, plus breakfast and dinner) The hotel also offers private fire pit rentals for groups of four that overlooks the lake and comes with a s’mores package.
INFO 48 Canada St., Lake George; 1-800-234-0267, fortwilliamhenry.com
NORTH OF THE VALLEY & BEYOND
WonderWorks Destiny Amusement and Theme Park
Among the parks features are rope courses: a 70-foot high “Canyon Climb” (billed as the “World’s Largest Suspended Indoor Ropes Course”) and the “Sky Tykes” ropes course for children under 48 inches tall. Attendees will also find a 4-D Motion Theater experience, laser tag and a series of “wonder zones” that center on science and creativity.
INFO 2 Destiny USA Dr., Syracuse; 315-466-7700, wonderworksonline.com
Greek Peak Mountain Resort
This family-friendly resort has an indoor waterpark for all ages and ability levels. The park’s waterslides are closed at this time, but its pools (including a wave pool) are available for use; advance ticket purchase for three-hour timed visits are required. The resort also features skiing, snow tubing and ziplining is available until April 23.
INFO 2000 NYS Rt. 392, Cortland; 800-955-2754, greekpeak.net
The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum
Offering three floors for visitors to explore, the museum is showing an exhibit focused on the 2020 inductees (featuring Derek Jeter) on display all year, and the facility’s Plaque Gallery is open as well. Look for the “Shoebox Treasures” baseball card history display and “The Starting Nine,” a curated experience featuring the Hall’s top nine pieces in regard to each major league team.
INFO 25 Main St., Cooperstown; 607-547-7200, baseballhall.org
National Comedy Center
You can call this the nation’s top spot for comedy, as it was designated as the official cultural institution for the art of comedy in the United States by the U.S. Congress. The museum features dozens of exhibits that showcase popular TV, radio shows, movies and standup performances. Guests can see wardrobe and other artifacts that once belonged to famously funny folk, from Charlie Chaplin’s cane to Jerry Seinfeld’s “Puffy Shirt.” Tickets must be reserved in advance.
INFO 203 W. 2nd St., Jamestown; 716-484-2222, comedycenter.org
The Otesaga Resort Hotel
This historic hotel is offering a “Spring Ahead Special” (available April 1 through June 2, excluding certain holidays and other dates) with rates at 20% off, plus discounts on dining, time in the inn’s Hawkeye Spa and golf. Wednesday nights in the venue’s Hawkeye Bar and Grill offers a three-course “International Night” dinner and a “Friday Nights 1909” three-course prix-fixe menu.
INFO 60 Lake St., Cooperstown; 607-547-9931, otesaga.com
By Ian J. Stark
Special to Newsday