148 miles from Philadelphia (2 hours and 45 minutes by car)
There are a million things to do up in the mighty hills of Cornwall, New York, and the lovely Cromwell Manor Inn sits smack-dab in the middle of most of them. You can kayak on the Hudson, hike in Bear Mountain State Park, shop at Woodbury Common (with a staggering 220 stores, and most of those are serious designers), wander the world-renowned Storm King Art Center with all its outdoor sculptures, or see West Point or the Vanderbilt estate or the Dia Beacon art collection. But if you’re like us — and beauçoup Manhattanites who decamp to this lush, hushed stretch of the Hudson Valley — your happiest moments will involve the hammock in the backyard and a sunset, or a walk next door to Jones Farm Country Store, the coolest small-town market you’ve ever visited, famous for its honey (courtesy of Jones Farm bees), homemade fudge, and a 1,000-pound pet pig named Polly out front.
The circa-1820 white-columned brick manse is elegant — marble fireplaces, antique armoires, a sweeping staircase, each room gorgeous in its own way — but remains utterly unpretentious, the type of B&B where guests grab a cookie and the paper and put their feet up in the parlor. Breakfast (ours was eggs Benedict with asparagus, and fist-sized homemade cream puffs) is served on a heated screened-in porch, with a flower from the garden tucked into your napkin.
Book it: 174 Angola Road, 845-534-7136, cromwellmanor.com.
Rooms: 9 in the manor house, and 4 in the rustic (but well-appointed) cottage on the property.
Rate per night: $165 to $380; 2-night weekend minimum; 3-night holiday minimum.
Snacks: Tea, coffee, cereal and cookies available throughout the day, plus a little snack basket in each room.
Meals on-site: Breakfast, though if you ask innkeepers Merle and Bette Van Liere, they’ll order takeout for dinner on the grounds.
While away the hours: Just about any activity you could dream up is within a stone’s throw — tack on a hot-air balloon ride (Abovethecloudsinc.com) and a trip to the orchard (Lawrencefarmsorchards.com).
Souvenir: The homemade fudge or the homemade pies from Jones Country Store. Or both.
Insider tip: Steer clear come graduation season; West Point parents have the manor booked four years in advance.