Forget Chipotle and Days of Our Lives, my favorite thing about the U.S. is its sheer variety. I love Georgia for its cities frozen in time, Illinois for its glistening architecture, California for its deserts, Washington for its remote islands and Vermont for being the greenest place I have ever seen.
And New York? New York offers everything (well, maybe not the deserts). People easily forget that this state is huge – it goes far beyond New York City, and it’s much more interesting, too.
Last weekend, Ryan and I jumped in the car and headed three hours north to a place that couldn’t feel further from the bustling streets of NYC: Waterford. Ryan’s parents have just moved nearby, so we packed our bags and went for a weekend trip.
And it is glorious.
They live between Saratoga Springs and Albany, and on Sunday we went for a walk along the Mohawk River (above). I loved it immediately. Everything is so quiet and still.
Next up was Waterford. We wandered through the mini farmer’s market along Waterford Harbor, which has a canal system, and walked across a bridge over the Mohawk River to Peebles Island State Park, where we met a very friendly deer.
…and I generally marveled at the quietness of it all.
We also got chatting to the local tourists’ center and I learned just how ravaged Waterford had been by Hurricane Irene in 2011 – an eye-opener because I thought the storm had passed without incident. While it did pass NYC, Waterford was entirely flooded.
There’s a sign along the harbor showing the water level after the storm.
As someone who grew up in the countryside, I’ve always enjoyed hearing the hum of a city because it’s still so novel. But sometimes, it’s lovely to be reminded of what I knew before.
Apart from being generally glorious, the best thing about the area is how close to NYC it is. I love Manhattan, I love Brooklyn – so it’s great to know I can get the best of both worlds because this little green haven is just a morning’s drive away.
What are your suggestions for day or weekend trips out of the city?