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Secret library Hemmelig Rom
Photograph: Courtesy Jason Koxvold

Secluded getaways from NYC

These secluded getaways from NYC are perfect for a peaceful, relaxing escape

Shaye Weaver
Written by
Anna Rahmanan
&
Shaye Weaver
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When the stress of the city gets to be too much, or you just need a little peace and quiet, there are options near and not-too-far for a quick escape. You can sneak off for a restorative massage or therapeutic pampering at one of the best spas in New York, take a little day trip to unwind in a nearby small town or plan a longer weekend getaway to reset. If you need to get away from people in general, then a secluded getaway is the way to go.

If the hustle and bustle of daily life in New York has you dreaming of snowshoeing in the Adirondacks, walking along the ocean in Rhode island or roasting marshmallows over an open fire in the Catskills, these secluded spots are just the thing. From a cabin in the woods to a quiet town to a tiny house near a stream, these idyllic rentals and destinations will give you plenty of space to recharge your batteries. You’ll escape the crowds and have the opportunity to do things like hiking, cycling and camping. If seclusion is your thing, then check out these spots for a memorable, restful getaway.

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Secluded getaways from NYC

A relatively short 90 miles from New York City, the Outlier Inn sits on 12 acres of property in the Southern Catskill mountains. This retreat space of sorts that features a bit of everything: there’s a swimmable pond that sits right next to a geodesic dome perfect for glamping and a tiny house built out of recycled materials (yes, there is electricity. No, there is no running water). You’ll also get to spend time with animals in the two separate pastures, enjoy an outdoor firepit and—last but not least—step into a super cool recording studio that features a few isolation booths, a control room, a live room and more. As we said: expect a bit of everything.

Who knew a shipping container could be so eco-chic? The owners of this container cabin retrofitted this simple 20-foot container with high-efficiency insulated walls, low energy windows, a wood stove, composting toilet and tiny kitchen to turn it into the ultimate off-the-grid escape. Your only heat in this cabin is a wood stove. Walk 100 yards north of the cabin to find a 30-foot waterfall; trek south to find a small stream and wood-fired hot tub. You can even hike the Catskills for ultimate isolation by leaving from the back door and finding the trailhead for Woodstock, Kingston, Saugerties, Catskill or the Hudson River in just 15 minutes.

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An hour ferry ride from Montauk, in the Hamptons, Block Island in Rhode Island will feel like a world away from the hustle and bustle of New York. A handful of hotels, inns and bed and breakfasts will accomodate visitors but we suggest renting a house for the duration of your stay. As for things to do on the island while still maintaining social distancing measures: opt to rent a bike or a moped to explore the area, walk through trails, spend the day at the beach or the very entertaining animal farm. You can also head to the Southeast Lighthouse and the North Lighthouse—the buildings are closed, but the grounds are open and ripe for exploration.

Believe it or not, there is a gorgeous secret library nestled in the woods of Ellenville, New York just 90 miles outside of the city. As if that wasn't cool enough: the 290-square-foot Hemmelig Rom (Norwegian for "secret room") is made from the oaks that surround the property, which is actually a portion of Norwegian-British visual artist Jason Koxvold's home. Koxvold built it all alongside Studio Padro back in 2014. You can rent out the space on Airbnb but, fair warning, it sells out pretty quickly.

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Accessible via the Metro North New Haven line, The Glass House in New Canaan, Connecticut is the stuff of legend. Visitors are able to explore the grounds in its entirety, accessing the 1,815-square-foot, Philip Johnson-conceived Glass House (which is insible from the road) and its neighborhing Brick House. A few notes: picnicking is not permitted at the moment and all passes should be secured in advance but, on the flip side, photography is certainly encouraged. So get ready to step up that Instagram game. 

6. Montauk

During the summer, this Long Island beach town is teeming with partiers, surfers and posh part-timers, but in the winter, Montauk is isolated. Its wild nature, unknown to many, is perfect for those who want to explore the Walking Dunes, stand atop the hoodoos overlooking the sea and spend a quiet time walking through Camp Hero near the Montauk Lighthouse. The winter is a good time to get acquainted with this gem of a town.

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Between Beacon and Cold Spring, Breakneck Ridge is a stupendous mountain that basically begs of you to hike it. There are a ton of different hikes for you to choose from based on difficulty level, desired scenery, elevation and approximate roundtrip times. For those of you looking to tackle a relatively easy route, opt for the Great Swamp, which will take you on a boardwalk that passes through the Appalachian Trail. Pros will likely tackle the full loop at Bull Hill: at 5.9 miles and a maximum elevation of 1,421 feet above sea level, this trail will bring you face-to-face with some pretty awesome ruins and memorable views.

Picture this: over 8,000 acres of forests, cliffs, ponds and streams that are ideal for hiking, cycling, horseback riding, trail running, rock climbing and more. Just 90 miles north of New York City, in Ulster County, Mohonk Preserve is truly a nature lover's slice of paradise that, unlike most other hiking grounds, is also home to horseback riding opportunities within designated carriage roads that promise less foot traffic than other destinations.

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Located on a bucolic 10-acre farm in the Catskills Mountains, surrounded by a maple forest, streams and a field you can build snowmen in, this artisan cabin features huge windows and skylights perfect for stargazing and gazing at the beauty around you. The Birdhouse features an outdoor rustic shade structure, Adirondack chairs, a fire pit and grill, an outdoor shower and outhouse, and it's totally off the grid. It may be rustic, but it's also a way to reconnect with nature.

It doesn’t get much more secluded than Eagle Mountain Eyrie, a private campsite on a Catskill mountain peak. You'll be surrounded by some of the highest peaks in the area, including Balsam, Graham and Double Top. Expect to catch glimpses of coyotes, bears, hawks and deers while jogging the area or fishing for world-class trout. And when you're craving a more city-like atmosphere, head on to nearby Margaretville or Arkville for some restaurants and shopping excursions.

 

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