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Destination Fun: From Getaways to Staycations in the Valley and Beyond

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As I write this month’s note, I’m cruising at 38,000 feet on a Delta flight from Detroit to Salt Lake City. It’s not even 9:00 a.m. yet, and it’s my second flight of the day. My final connection will take me from Utah to Big Sky Country: Great Falls, Montana. Yesterday I could see that “wait, you wanted to do this?” look of confusion on the faces of several of my coworkers when I admitted that I was getting up at 4:30 a.m. after working late all week, taking three flights — and then turning around and doing the mad airport scramble again just three days later.

I love traveling. With a busy job and a five-year-old at home, I don’t get to indulge my wanderlust the way I once did. So when this press trip came up, I jumped on it. And while I understand that many other people have also been bitten by the travel bug, I should clarify that I actually enjoy the whole airport experience. Yes, even with all the post-9/11 hassles, I find being in a new airport, well, just fun (although I don’t understand why my bag gets pulled out and double inspected every single time I fly).

That said, I’m looking forward to enjoying several weekend getaways a little closer to home this summer. Starting here, we outline nine amazing escapes that are all within a five-hour drive from Poughkeepsie. Whether you are searching for a family adventure at a place like Hersheypark; a mini beach vacation in Montauk; or a luxury resort in the bustling town of Newport, Rhode Island, we introduce you to some very special hotels and lodgings. Then, we fill you in on what to do and where to eat.

I’m also a big fan of the staycation — especially since I’m lucky enough to call the Hudson Valley home. There is a reason the Valley keeps popping up on list after list of the world’s must-visit places. It must have something to do with our breathtaking scenery, unparalleled outdoor opportunities, world-class culture, and a vibrant dining scene that is second to none.

I love summer in the Hudson Valley. This year, I’m eagerly anticipating everything from good old-fashioned fun at the county fairs (who knew a pig race could be so amusing?) to sipping white wine while watching Shakespeare be performed on a cliff overlooking the Hudson River. There is a lot going on, and in our annual Fairs & Festivals coverage, we help you sort it all out so that you don’t miss out on any of the fun.

And finally, talk about a trip of a lifetime: Local photographer Michael Nelson took advantage of the recent relaxation of the travel restrictions to Cuba to book a flight to this tiny island nation that is only 90 miles from the U.S., but a whole world away. His travelogue begins here.

Happy travels.

Olivia J. Abel
Executive Editor

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