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Winter in Upstate New York and New England - No Ski, No car

Kfar Saba, Israel
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Winter in Upstate New York and New England – No Ski, No car
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I'm posting this thread on both New England and New York forums. Sorry for the duplication – is there a way to share a thread between two or more forums?

I need your help in planning a trip that is different from the trips we are used to do. Usually, we rent a car and book accommodation plus restaurants well ahead and travel easily and peacefully to the locations we selected to visit.

We've just returned from a wonderful foliage trip to the Adirondack and New England. It was a piece of cake planning and executing this plan.

Now we would like to enjoy some of these great views in the winter, hoping to see them covered with snow. However, we are not skiing anymore and we are not experienced with snow driving at all. We do capable of and like to hike through short (2-4 hours) easy to moderate trails.

We are planning about 12-13 nights, January/February 2022 time frame – flexible with dates except for the last week of Jan when we have to be home. Flying to/from NYC.

From what I've read so far it looks like we should plan on using trains to move from one point to another while enjoying the views during these rides. We should choose locations where we can find public transportation or shuttle from the train station to our hotel/resort.

We would spend a few days in NYC. We've heard that Boston is very nice in the snow so we may consider it and…we are hoping to get more suggestions from this forum.

13 replies to this topic
Vestal, New York
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for Auburn, Finger Lakes
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1. Re: Winter in Upstate New York and New England – No Ski, No car
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Your options will be mostly limited to the large cities if train is your only option. Exceptions to that would be towns along the Metro North or Amtrak route in the Hudson Valley or the Amtrak route between NYC and Boston. Niagara Falls could also be an option though the train ride is long. You could consider breaking up the ride by staying in Albany, Syracuse or Buffalo which are large cities en route. You will mostly have to rely on taxi/Uber/Lyft in most places other than NYC or Boston.

Astoria, New York
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2. Re: Winter in Upstate New York and New England – No Ski, No car
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IF you are wanting to spend some time in a more rural area (?), even though you don't plan to ski you might still find a place that caters to winter activities suitable

Perhaps Lake Placid or Burlington VT which are accessible via Amtrak

Perhaps also look at Mohonk Mountain House https://www.mohonk.com/

New York City
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3. Re: Winter in Upstate New York and New England – No Ski, No car
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If you want to spend at one ski resort, you might be able to take a bus from NYC to some ski resorts iv Vermont

Kfar Saba, Israel
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4. Re: Winter in Upstate New York and New England – No Ski, No car
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Thank you for the comments. I'm fully aware to how limited we are because we're not driving in the winter. Yet, I hope we will enjoy the train ridings.

Having done some homework, we think about split our days between NYC, Boston, and Saratoga Springs NY. We love NYC and Boston, Saratoga Springs sound promising. Big Park, small but vivid downtown, and some nearby nice places.

In Saratoga we may try to rent a car for a day or two and carefully practice winter driving for short distances. Trains between NYC and Boston or Saratoga Spring are easy. We hope to find a convenient way to go from Boston to Saratoga. Does anyone can recommend a good long-distance service from Boston? I know it is not the cheapest solution but we might consider it.

Guadalajara, Mexico
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5. Re: Winter in Upstate New York and New England – No Ski, No car
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I would find a driver from your specific places, just search around. Lots drive for Uber or Lyft and can be negotiated into a multiday adventure. Just do a search - you likely can negotiate prices https://diamondslimo.com/contact-information/chauffeurs/

https://amride.com/services/long-distance-transportation/

New York City, New...
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6. Re: Winter in Upstate New York and New England – No Ski, No car
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Would second the recommendation to check out some of the lovely towns on the Hudson accessible on Metro North or Amtrack. In most towns, there will be taxis waiting at the station; if not, you can call for one. But often the station is right in the most charming area of downtown.

I would recommend Cold Spring, Rhinebeck (lovely town and there’s an antique air museum nearby), Beacon (particularly for art; the Dia museum is there), Hudson (excellent antiques browsing and the Olana historic site), Peekskill (to catch a cab to visit West Point), etc.

Kfar Saba, Israel
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7. Re: Winter in Upstate New York and New England – No Ski, No car
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I see there is a wide consensus about the "lovely towns on the Hudson accessible on Metro North or Amtrack". I've read about these towns and they really looks attractive. I wonder what is the best way to explore them. Do you think we should make one or two day trips from NYC? the big advantage of a day trip is that we travel light, no luggage, no packing unpacking and no checking in/out hotels. We may combine 2-3 nights at Saratoga Springs with 1 or 2 day trips to the Hudson.

Vestal, New York
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8. Re: Winter in Upstate New York and New England – No Ski, No car
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Depending on what towns you are interested in it may make more sense to day trip from Saratoga instead of NYC.

Saratoga Springs...
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9. Re: Winter in Upstate New York and New England – No Ski, No car
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I don't want to discourage you from visiting Saratoga Springs, but Amtrak just recently started running the train line through Saratoga Springs again (it wasn't running during the pandemic shut downs and border closure with Canada). If you can take Amtrak to Saratoga, a car rental will not be necessary (unless you want to wander further afield to the Adirondack Mountains or visit surrounding towns). The train ride along the Hudson River and through the Catskill Mountains is picturesque.

If you haven't been to Burlington, it is a lovely small city to visit in the winter. The mountain views over Lake Champlain are spectaular. The train ride to Burlington from NYC is over 12 hours, though. Saratoga Springs is not on the way to Burlington, unfortunately.

I think that some day trips to the Catskill region via Metro North would be preferable.

Kfar Saba, Israel
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118 posts
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10. Re: Winter in Upstate New York and New England – No Ski, No car
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rjr0810, Day trips from Saratoga sounds interesting. We may stay there for more nights. Where would you go to for a day trip from Saratoga? Depends on weather we may rent a car in S but I would also make a fallback plan based on trains.

saratogahome, I really hope that the Amtrak to Saratoga will keep running. To be on the safe side, we'll make also an alternative plan. Any specific destinations in the Catskill Mountains you would mention for a day trip from NYC?

Thank you all for helping. It is quite challenging to plan this trip and and your help is highly significant and appreciated.

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