A few weeks ago, Charlie and I escaped to one of our favorite spots in upstate New York. If you follow the Hudson River north (bonus points if you take Amtrak!) you’ll eventually run into the sleepy, quaint town of Saugerties, just south of Albany. There’s a beautiful old lighthouse right on the river that’s been turned into the most tranquil, hospitable bed & breakfast. If you’re planning to be in the area, I highly recommend it. Reservations book up fast, but you can also visit the lighthouse during the daytime to learn about the history and take in the spectacular views of the river.
The lighthouse was first built in 1869 and, after falling into disrepair during the second half of the last century, local residents undertook a major restoration in the 1980’s to preserve the historic landmark. To reach the lighthouse, you have to hike a short trail along the marshy coastline. We learned the hard way that it’s best to arrive before high tide hits. The last part of the trail becomes submerged in about 6 inches of water once the tide rolls back in. Luckily for us, the inn keepers met us with knee-high galoshes to trudge through the water. I’m sure they were silently shaking their heads at our Brooklyn naivety.
We visited on a blustery, overcast weekend and, while I normally wouldn’t be thrilled by the typical upstate NY dreariness, it gave the river a mysterious, ethereal quality that I’ll always remember.
Here are views of the front of the house, with inviting yellow doors, and a view of the back, below, where you can see the old lighthouse. The innkeepers actually live in the house year-round and I’ve spent way too much time pondering their amazing good fortune. While I can imagine that living here presents plenty of challenges (planning your grocery store runs around the tidal schedule, being exposed to all kinds of unfavorable weather) I also think about how incredible it must be to care for such a unique piece of history. Next time, I plan on taking better pictures of the interior which has been beautifully decorated with simple, antique furnishings to honor the building’s history. Each room has a coal-burning stove as a secondary heat source and the kitchen is outfitted with antique appliances.
The view from our bedroom window was surreal. When you wake up in the morning, the first thing you see is the water and you feel like you’re suspended in the middle of the Hudson. For city dwellers like us, it’s the most relaxing way to start the day. Now that I’m back in Brooklyn, I’m trying to imagine that there’s a river right outside my bedroom instead of the incessantly noisy Atlantic Avenue.