Part of me laughs when New Yorkers lust after tiny houses (we already live in tiny houses), but another, larger part of me gets it. I get the desire to be snug, surrounded by the wilderness or mountains. I get wanting to scale back to only what you need. The sleekness, the simplifying.
Getaway is now giving New Yorkers (and Bostonians) the chance to see if the simple life is all they imagined. The company’s tiny houses are sprinkled near towns no more than two hours from the city. A week before your stay, you get an email telling you where to find yours.
Ryan and I love camping but I’m a bit weak when it comes to pitching a tent in the colder months, so we wondered if one of the Getaway cabins could be a warmer winter option. I was so excited for the experience – being secluded in the forest and seeing the nifty design of a tiny house up close.
But when we took the trail towards our cabin, other people were walking nearby. We’d thought Getaway’s cabins were all in different parts of the state, but it turned out they were actually just a stone’s throw from each other. Thankfully, ours was in the farthest corner, so we had nothing but trees in our backyard.
I was expecting the house to be like the ones you see on those design shows – you know, tables appearing from the walls at the push of a button. Instead, it was more rustic. But I loved how simple and scaled back everything was… and how there was actually more counter space than my own New York City “tiny house.”
Eagle Scout Ryan got a fire started and, as the sun set, I sat under a blanket, leafed through a book and drank a mug of wine while we chatted about what we want our own future tiny house to look like. We cooked chilli over the fire and finished off the wine before the cold forced us inside – where it was warm.
For me, this was the real treat of Getaway. Thanks to the camp fire, the relative seclusion and our large window to the forest, it felt a lot like camping – yet we woke up cocooned in warmth. I’m usually up with the sun when we stay in a tent, but this time around, I got 10 hours. It was so deliciously snug.
And that view.
In the morning, we showered before cooking up oatmeal on a hot plate. We’d have preferred some electric grills, but the hot plate worked just fine, and honestly I loved having these amenities, as well as an electric loo, in the middle of the woods.
(Although when I get my own tiny house, it’ll be entirely self-powered.)
Despite being initially disappointed that other people were around, I ended up being obsessed with the tiny house. It was so relaxing and simple. Being among all those trees with no electronics presses the re-set button. And what’s better than sitting beside a campfire?
At around $150 per house per night, the cost is far steeper than a stay at a campground, but it’s a great experience that I’m so keen to do again.
For more info about Getaway, check out their selection of cabins here and look at their FAQs here. There’s a waiting list for upcoming weekends, but book one for months away if you have to. You’ll thank yourself!
In case you end up booking, here’s what we took and what we left behind.
What they had: plates, mugs and cutlery; pots, pans and a colander; linens, towels and loo roll; firewood ($6 a bundle) and a fire-starting kit ($10); snacks and S’mores ingredients (various costs); pour-over coffee sachets (free!); bottles of spring water; speakers and a slim but solid collection of books and games. And thankfully, a can opener.
What we took: lots of layers; slip-on shoes that made it easy to walk in and out of the house; 3 bundles of our own firewood; drinks and dinner (our go-to chilli); ingredients for oatmeal; a bottle opener; our own cooking pot, because they warned their cast iron pan had been used for meat, which was very considerate.
What we took but didn’t need: salt, pepper, oil, shampoo, conditioner, soap.
What we didn’t take but needed: outdoor lamps (we forgot our great solar-powered ones).
Most importantly, you will need a car. All cabins are a two-hour drive from the city. Ours was 15 miles from the nearest train station so unless you’re looking for a long hike, get your hands on a car. It’s also helpful for trips to the grocery store; there was one several miles from our cabin.
Plus, it’s easier when you have one of these: