The sculpture garden-strewn hills of Storm King Art Center always make for a riveting day trip, but imagine waking up to that art trove each morning. At the Storm King Lodge Bed and Breakfast, in Orange County’s wooded Mountainville, it is possible to see the grounds from the sunny veranda while sipping coffee and tucking into a homemade frittata.
Hal Janks, a longtime bass-trombonist with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, opened this lodge in a former circa-1780 post-and-beam barn with his wife post-retirement in 2000; it instantly puts a slew of artsy guests at ease. The six rooms, with mellow names like Lavender and Pine, boast well-worn wood floors and quilt-dressed beds that are distinctly country-rustic. If friends are in tow, consider taking over the two-suite cottage as a commodious alternative.
Surrounded by open fields and mountains, you’ll certainly get your nature fix, but do take advantage of the 30-by-60 foot pool, which stays open until October 1. Janks painted it black so it almost feels heated.
On the weekends, you can start drinking as early as noon at the sprawling Newburgh Brewing Company. Savor a Cream Ale or the rich Russian Imperial Stout, Newburgh Conspiracy, while dipping soft pretzels in spicy mustard and taking in stellar views of the Hudson River. For more than 50 years, the Iron Forge Inn in Warwick, 35 minutes to the west, has been a romantic hideaway. Fall means hearty dishes like braised short ribs with caramelized pumpkin, but splurging on a lavish seven-course meal is the best way to appreciate the charms of this retro Revolutionary War-era home. Vegetarian food is anything but bland at Pure City. This low-key Pine Bush restaurant is the spot for Asian-inspired spicy eggplant casserole, and bean curd mashed with cucumber, carrot, broccoli, and mushroom in a ginger sauce.
A 20-minute drive away is the famous West Point Military Academy, where boisterous football games — upcoming matchups include Ball State (October 4), Rice (October 11), the Air Force (November 1), and Fordham (November 22) — are a seasonal ritual. Meandering through Storm King Art Center is also far more enchanting when there are cool breezes at your back. Laze in the open-air museum’s fields and peep at mesmerizing steel sculptures. Also be sure to check out exhibits by sculptor Zhang Huan and artist Virginia Overton.
Come autumn, the streams, lakes, and vistas of Harriman State Park, 13 miles away, crackle with even more vibrancy. A popular six-mile hike around Hogencamp Mountain provides spectacular views starting as early as half a mile into the trail. Hikers can make a figure-eight loop by following the Ramapo Dunderberg trail (red), the Dunning trail (yellow) and the Whitebar trail (white).
Janks often has Naked Flock Ciders, crafted from fresh Hudson Valley apples, on hand at the lodge. But he also likes sending guests to Applewood Winery in Warwick to sample the range of seasonal sippers, sweetened with local honey, filled with notes of organic maple syrup, and fermented with local pumpkins.
Storm King Lodge Bed & Breakfast, Mountainville