Quick escapes from New York City by bus

There’s nothing quite like stepping off the bus onto the street of a new city on a Friday night to face its new sights, sounds, and smells.

We like to get out of New York for the weekend from time to time, and the cheaper and quicker we can do it, the more time and money we have left to spend on food, sights, and the next weekend getaway. That’s why we often travel by bus. The bus has had a renaissance as of late, with cheaper tickets and more competition leading to a virtuous cycle of more and better service.

I have to say, I like the train, when it’s convenient and we can afford it, though the bus station is often similarly located and less expensive, with a wider variety of destinations.

Considerations

In order to maximize our vacation time, our primary considerations for any mode are:

  • Trip time. We like to take trips that can be completed in a few hours, so that we can depart after work and arrive with some time to enjoy the evening.
  • Stops. If we can find a nonstop, that’s the best, though sometimes having an extra stop can work in your favor, e.g. on our way up to Syracuse, the 3:45pm bus always stops at Syracuse University, which saves time getting to our final destination.
  • Connections. We avoid connections if at all possible, since it’s one more thing to coordinate that could go wrong.
  • Local transit. The best destinations are either walkable or connected to public transit when you arrive. Luckily, we live in the Northeast, where the larger cities have both. If we have to rent a car upon arrival, we don’t travel by bus, we leave by car.
  • Cost. Generally, we like to pay $20-30 each way, per person. Any more and it’s something we feel the need to plan out and schedule instead of a spur-of-the-moment decision.
  • Reliability. Good transit has backup when something goes wrong. That’s why we tend to take Greyhound, which has spare drivers and buses, instead of Megabus or the Chinatown bus, which do not.

Destinations

Given these considerations, we always return to a handful of places:

  • Philadelphia (2 hrs, $10-15). Great food and beer, cheap hotels, tons of history, and the closest big city to New York.
  • Washington, DC (4.5 hrs, $15-25). Amazing free museums and monuments, cheap hotels over holiday weekends, good food, beautiful neighborhoods, slightly better weather.
  • Syracuse, NY (5-6 hrs, $35-45). Great food, nature, and good people. My parents and a number of friends live here, though you really need a car or a bicycle, depending on the weather, to enjoy it fully.
  • Boston (4.5-5 hrs, $25). Walkable downtown, tons of Revolutionary War-era history though different than Philadelphia, beautiful university campuses and neighborhoods. Slightly harder to find a hotel, from what I recall.
  • Montreal (8-9 hrs, $60). Feels like you’re in another country because you are, interesting food (poutine), Canada’s curious use of the 20-oz imperial pint when serving beer, tons of arts and culture including weekly festivals during the summer months. No other city I know enjoys their short summer months more than Montreal. This also happens to be the longest direct bus that you can take from New York.

This is just an overview. I’ll be taking on each of these destinations in the future (as well as a return to Montreal).

Good luck planning your next escape from New York. Let me know your favorite destinations in the comments.

 

 

Norwegian Airlines adopts the Ryanair model

In September we took an impromptu trip to Ireland, partially to take advantage of the Labor Day weekend and to visit my aunt and uncle. The other factor was the price: $304 round-trip, per person, though it came with a catch: the flight was from Stewart Airport near Newburgh, NY, roughly 1.5 hours northwest of the city.

This is a change from the usual Norwegian Airlines flights from JFK. Norwegian generally has flights that are sold individually and cost from $150-300 each way. When we traveled to Europe last year, this is what allowed us to fly round-trip from NYC for around $530! We thought it couldn’t get any more affordable than that. We were wrong.

The Ryanair model

In flying from Stewart, Norwegian apparently has decided to adopt what I call the Ryanair model, which involves flying from a small, underutilized airport near a major city. Flying from a smaller airport allows for lower ticket prices, but then there’s the issue of getting there. My first experience of this strange trade-off was flying into Paris-Beauvais, which appeared to be a World War II-era airfield situated in the middle of a tiny village. Paris was nowhere to be seen. Luckily, Ryanair runs a shuttle service to the city.

In Europe, this model works because the history of wars throughout the 20th century has left the continent littered with military airfields. It has never been adopted to intercontinental travel, to my knowledge, until now.

Stewart Airport incidentally started its life during World War II as Stewart Army Airfield outside Newburgh, NY, the closest airfield to the US Military Academy at West Point.

Does it work? Yes.

Is it worth trekking to Upstate New York to save a few bucks on a flight? Well, I would say yes, for the following reasons:

  • It’s roughly half the price. When we checked, it was $300 vs. $600 for a similar flight from JFK.
  • Shuttle service is provided. Norwegian has contracted with Coach USA (i.e. Megabus) to offer a direct bus from Midtown Manhattan to the airport. It’s timed to get you there with plenty of time to spare and costs $20 each way, which is less than taking the train and a cab, which is another option. If the flight is late on the return, the bus will wait for you, since it’s specifically for Norwegian passengers.
  • Less chaotic check-in. Picking up international flight tickets at JFK often resembles a Depression-era run on the bank. When we flew to Copenhagen, we spent nearly 1.5 hours in line with roughly 250 fellow passengers. It was pure chaos. The desks at Stewart were still understaffed, but we arrived early on the shuttle and had a 15-minute wait for our tickets.
  • Reasonable scheduling. Flights are scheduled for overnight travel, departing at 9pm or so, which allows leaving in the afternoon to catch the flight after a full day of work. We don’t want to lose a travel day by flying east in the morning! On the way back, flights leave in the afternoon, getting you safely home by evening.
  • Customs in Ireland. Much like the process on flights to the US that connect via Canada, arrivals go through US customs in Ireland before departure on the return flight. There was no line. Avoiding customs in JFK was an amazing and unexpected perk.

Once you add it all up, flying via Stewart is roughly the same amount of time investment and way less stressful. If you’re driving from Upstate, Northeastern Pennsylvania or Northern New Jersey, you also have it made, since you can avoid all the traffic.

Not so great stuff

The timing of everything was pretty well done, with plenty of time for potential delays, though the few annoying parts had to do with waiting.

  • Traffic. On the departure, the shuttle to the airport got stuck in traffic. Still, we arrived at roughly 6:30 for a 9pm flight.
  • Waiting for the bus to depart. On the return, our flight got in very early, roughly 30-45 minutes. The bus, however, left at the scheduled time, which resulted in us waiting in line outside.
  • Understaffed check-in. This didn’t affect us, since we got in so early, but the check-in desk had a line snaking across the airport waiting to get their seat assignments. Still, everyone got through security before the flight departed. Notably, in JFK this same issue is amplified.

Where they fly

Flights from Stewart are mainly to Ireland and the UK, as well as Bergen, Norway. Dublin is an excellent jumping-off point for a trip around Europe because it’s home to so many discount carriers. Also, given Norwegian’s pricing per leg, you can always fly in to Ireland and return to the US from somewhere else, like Copenhagen or London.

Flight prices are very cheap now that it’s cold and dark in Europe and prices stay under $200 each way through April or May. You can book now through October 2018 on Norwegian.com.

Visiting Casa Herradura, Birthplace of Tequila

This past Christmas break we went to Guadalajara and during our time there couldn’t miss out on a trip to the area around the town of Tequila to learn more about Mexico’s national drink. That’s how we found ourselves at Casa Herradura in the town of Amatitán, a functioning hacienda that claims to be the birthplace of the distilled agave liquor known as tequila.

The best part was seeing how the history of this hacienda is still being lived with a mix of tradition and modern methods. At Casa Herradura, history, agriculture, and chemistry come together in the bottle and it makes for a fascinating story.

History

In Spanish America, an hacienda was a rural estate, and by law had to produce a product and contain housing for workers and a church. This system was carried over after Mexican independence and continues at the Hacienda de San José del Refugio, which was known colloquially as Hacienda del Padre, as it was originally owned by a priest. Today, two thousand workers as well as the current owners live at the hacienda. Some families have worked there for six generations!

At this hacienda, tequila was produced, first illegally, from 1820-1870, then legally since 1870, explained our guide, José Manuel. Tunnels across the property date to this era and were used to hide both tequila and priests during the era of the Cristero Rebellion.

At one point during this conflict, government officials came searching for priests and the owners flooded the basement cistern to provide a hiding place. The priests survived by breathing the air left in pockets against the ceiling while the distillery owners insisted to officials that there was “only water in down there”.

This wasn’t the only memory of the past. Our next stop was the old distillery, where the stone basins now museum-ready were used as fermentation vats were used until as recently as 1963. We saw as well the remnants of boilers from this era which were shipped from London to Veracruz and delivered overland by mule.

At the time of its founding, distilling was a dangerous industry. Our guide told us that 80% of tasters died. These tasters were the ones that sampled the tequila to test whether it was ready for consumption and I imagine consumed the “head” and “tails” as well as the “heart” of the distillation before modern chemistry intervened to save lives.

My thoughts at this point turned to the value of a commodity over that of human life at that point in history, though perhaps this was common across all industries at the time. It’s not like coal mining was ever portrayed as good for your health, for example.

Luckily, these historical production methods have both stayed true, yet improved, safety-wise. Tequila’s rarefied historical and regional status is protected by law, much like French Champagne. While there are 126 types of agave, there is only one variety that produces tequila, tequiliana weber, and only five states can produce this beverage officially, mainly Jalisco.

Growing

Growing the tequila plant, agave azul, is no easy feat. An agave plant takes 25 years from seed to be ready for harvest. After 3 years the agave becomes a mother and gives children which are replanted and ready in 7-9 years, which I imagine is like having a giant spider plant. Each agave is then tested and must pass 26% sugar content to be ready for harvest.

The field hand in charge of preparing the heart of this spiky plant is called the jimador. He shaves off the spines of the agave until the heart is exposed, leaving the spines behind to compost. This heart varies in size from 80-200 pounds(!) (see photos below) and roughly 12 pounds of agave is needed for a single liter of tequila, hence each heart produces 6 or more bottles of tequila! The jimador can shave as many as 120 “pineapples” or hearts per day.

Such a reliance on a single region and a single plant with a multi-year gestation period produces anxiety among producers. There is a reserve of millions of liters of tequila to smooth out dips in supply due to any unforeseen circumstances, such as an infestation, which happened several years prior.

Fermentation and Distillation

As a homebrewer, I recognize parts of the tequila preparation process, with a few key differences. First, the hearts are split and baked in an oven for 26 hours to release the honey, which smells like malted barley or sweet potato. These ovens take quite a lot of punishment and have to be repaired or rebuilt after a year and a half, a process that was underway when we visited. This honey or syrup is then held in a giant stainless open-topped tank.

What amazed me from the start is how much of this process takes place essentially outdoors. The ovens, the fermentation, even the distillation all take place with only a roof overhead, no doors and nearly no walls.

That is, fermentation is open to the air and takes 4 days, using a mixture of 51% agave juice and 49% honey, the latter of which is the thick syrupy product of the baking process mentioned above. This is an improvement over the 19th-century process, which we saw indoors in those stone vats, used to take 20 days. Fermentation at that time happened spontaneously as the vats were exposed at night to a a patio outside their window that was lined with fruit trees. Fruit trees, in fact, are still scattered around the property.

Distillation is where my knowledge gets a bit fuzzy. This is the process that concentrates the alcohol from fermentation into liquor. Here’s what I caught: the ordinario is the first 25% of the distillation, which is sent back. It’s used as fuel or for washing and sanitizing bottles before the bottling process. The end product, the “heart” is 55% tequila, which is then diluted with distilled water.

We were taught by José Manuel to rub it on our hands and smell (smells like tequila), and to shake a bottle of the liquid to see if it’s clear. If it’s milky or turbid, it’s not safe. I imagine sampling these bad parts is what drastically shortened the lives of those 19th-century tasters I mentioned earlier.

Aging and Bottling

After distillation is the aging process, which to my surprise is the only difference between the different grades of product from light to dark. Certain special labels may select the best of the agave hearts, but within the normal product range, it is aging alone that accounts for the difference in flavor.

Plata or silver is aged for 45 days, reposado for 11 months, and añejo for 1-3 years. The newly coined extra añejo is aged for 3-5 years. Up to 50% is lost in the aging process through evaporation or absorption into the oak casks.

Bottling is the only part of the process that resembles a modern food production facility. We were only able to see the bottling line from outside, looking through thick double-pane UV-tinted glass. I was fine with not getting closer; after all the initial steps feeling so close to the land, the bottling line looks like any other production line elsewhere in the world.

Tasting

If there wasn’t a chance to taste the product, nobody would come on these tours. So with a bit more of a sunburn than when we started, we sat down to try some tequila. I can’t say that I remember much other than how the tasting is performed:

  1. breathe out;
  2. swish the sample around in your mouth and consume.

The purpose of this exercise is to limit intake of alcohol vapors, which in my personal opinion seems to be the element that makes most straight liquor go down with a shudder. This process was reminiscent of using mouthwash, made my gums tingle, and did seem to cut down on the “yuck” factor, making the tasting more enjoyable.

Generally, the tequila gets smoother and smokier as it ages. The plata always seems a bit harsh to me, though now I know it’s the same as the añejo, only younger. In fact, aficionados can buy a one- or two-liter mini-cask at Herradura and age their own product from plata up to the point of their choosing. That’s about as DIY as you can get without breaking the law.

New York State Campgrounds and the Adirondacks

Camping at a New York State campground is a balance between nature and comfort at an attractive price point. You can reserve and research online, though until you’re there, you’re not quite sure what you’ll get.

We had a lot of questions and everything turned out fine, so this is my effort to share what we learned to help others plan or prepare their first trip.

Location

Over the July 4th weekend we went up to the Adirondacks with some friends and booked several nights. Our criteria was to find a site near Old Forge and Blue Mountain Lake that had boat rentals and swimming. This placed us near the towns and hikes that I remember from my years as a Scout. Old Forge in particular stood out in my mind for its lake, ice cream parlor, and vintage movie theater.

Out of a half dozen options we chose Limekiln Lake. It was one of the only sites with space on such a popular weekend and turned out to be an excellent choice.

That’s not to say that we had a short list of options. New York State has dozens of campgrounds with tent, RV, cabin and “rustic cabin” sites. There are roughly 40 in the Adirondacks alone. NYS Parks manages all the sites except those in the Adirondacks and Catskills, which are managed by New York State DEP.

Reservation

Sites are reserved through this third-party site called ReserveAmerica. They charge you $10 per reservation and in our case you could only book one site at a time. The interface displays the essentials: price, availability, map of sites, and booking limitations. It even has an option called “Camping This Weekend” which shows you availability for a quick weekend getaway. Prices are around $20/night for tent camping and $80-100/night for cabins with a big weekly discount. There’s a PDF guide to NYS campgrounds that goes into more detail.

When reserving, it’s good to know the booking window. For all the New York City-area parks out on Long Island, the summer weekends book up months in advance, probably right when they become available. For DEC campgrounds, bookings start 9 months in advance. Elsewhere in the state there is usually no problem with availability unless it’s Memorial or Labor Day Weekend.

One thing we hadn’t considered when looking at the website that the campsites are not all uniform in size. Some are nicer than others, and by the time we reserved, all the ones with lakefront views were taken. Calling the landline of the campsite ahead and talking to the park rangers would have given us some insight into which ones to choose.

Campsite

Regardless of our choice, which included a neighboring swamp, the sites are nice and kept clean and dry. The surface is sandy soil, which helps with drainage. Each site includes:

  • Space to park one or two cars
  • Space for two tents
  • Picnic table
  • Grill and fire area
  • Tree cover
  • Bear lockers*

*Bear lockers are bomb-proof metal boxes large enough for several coolers and cooking supplies. Bears are wild animals and being in contact with humans and human sources of food causes them to become dependent. This makes them more likely to have to be put down for threatening humans or even to be accidentally hit by a vehicle. Thus, these lockers protect both humans and bears by discouraging the animals from finding human food.

Each site is also within walking distance of:

  • Flush toilets
  • Clean running water

As someone who has done plenty of camping in the woods, it’s nice to spend a weekend in a tent and not have to cut your fingernails to get the dirt out. Access to running water for cooking and cleaning is why. These aren’t the world’s best toilets, but they’re clean, well-lit, and have running water to wash your hands.

Each site is within driving distance or a long walk of:

  • Showers
  • Beach and boat rentals
  • Trash and recycling facility with warm running water

As much as I wish you could get around these campsites solely by walking like a true mountain man, a desire to keep things private and surrounded by trees makes it impractical to fit everything in one small space. A car is often needed to get from the gate to your site and usually from your site to any of the camp’s shared facilities.

Having a big trash facility with recycling for propane canisters, beer bottles, cans, and big sinks for washing dishes was the best surprise of the trip. I’m used to heating water and painstakingly rinsing dishes in tubs. Being able to use soap and warm water made things feel more like home.

Activities

This is where the Adirondacks really excel when compared to other camping areas. At Limekiln Lake, which was way larger than expected, there are:

  • boat rentals
  • swimming
  • hiking trails

Curfew is at 10pm and things get really quiet, still enough to listen to the loons on the lake. Since you’re in the Adirondacks, there is no ambient light and you have a great view of the night sky. It’s a perfect antidote to spending too much time in the city.

Within 15-30 minutes driving, there are:

  • picturesque little towns with ice cream stands, shopping, and summer treats
  • small grocery and hardware stores
  • easy day hikes, we went up Bald Mountain, for example (see photos below)
  • the Adirondack Museum
  • dining and a vintage movie theater

There aren’t many other places in the country with the same mix of wilderness, modern comforts, e.g. running water and toilets, and small town amenities.

Conclusion

In short, you’ll find what you’re looking for, if what you’re looking for is nature and small-town charm.

Here’s the best part:

No cellphone service

It’s vacationing like our mid-20th century forefathers would have experienced.

If you’re looking for a “digital detox”, you won’t really have a choice. Where we were, we had to drive nearly 20 miles to Old Forge, the biggest nearby town before we could make a cellphone call or use the internet.

Hope you remember how to use a payphone!

Looking at construction through the “Kyle windows”

Paola calls these “Kyle windows”. I’m always poking my nose in these clear plexiglass diamonds to see what’s going on beyond the green plywood barriers. Construction is fascinating and I think it brings out the little kid in all of us.

My theory is that these windows have been put there for liability reasons so that curious people like myself will know what they’re getting into before they decide to jump over the top of the wall and explore. I could be wrong.

Anyway, here are some photos of a backhoe and other adults enjoying the view of the giant hole in the ground that will soon be One Vanderbilt, adjacent to Grand Central Terminal.

DIY: Super Nintendo nostalgia on your TV

I’m going to put this in Brewing, as in your own homebrew Super Nintendo, since it’s the best category I have for now.

When we were in Montreal, we stumbled on this cafe that had a Super Nintendo with Super Mario for customers. It was the coolest idea, video games while you enjoy your coffee. I suppose the area was for kids, given the low ceilings and bright colors. We enjoyed ourselves regardless, and I resolved to work up something similar.

Now, back in New York, I started looking into getting a SNES for our apartment. Turns out they can be had for $40-80 used on eBay, with an extra $20-25 or so per game. Watch out because some of these are remade hardware and not original. For $100 or so you can get yourself set up with some still functional nostalgia. However, given that you can get a Gamecube or other more modern system for even less, you’re paying for the nostalgia factor.

Materials

I found the low-budget route: OpenEmu, a free open source emulator for Mac, has support for SNES, Genesis, original Nintendo, and more. Just add a controller and connect to your TV.

Here’s the route I went:

Total cost: $32

Setup

OpenEmu runs from a folder without much of an installation process. You don’t actually need a controller or TV, a laptop monitor with keyboard controls will work to start. Here are the steps:

  1. Download OpenEmu
  2. Hold the control key and then double-click to override the security settings for unrecognized applications
  3. Google SNES ROMs and download. Watch out for popups and spam. Drag-and-drop the ROMs to load them into OpenEmu
  4. Plug in controller
  5. Go to Preferences > Contols to select the USB gamepad and map it to the proper keys. OpenEmu will lead you through this process
  6. Link your computer to TV using the HDMI cable (or preferred option)
  7. Play

Next steps

There’s a SNES mini console being re-released by Nintendo at the end of September 2017. It will come with two controllers and 20+ games for $80. It’s a good place to start if you’re looking for a list of must-try games for your new system.

Now that I have the SNES all set up with Mario, Kirby, and the rest, I’m going to head back to Google and find Sonic the Hedgehog. If you’d like to step even further back in time to play Pitfall! or Centipede, there is support for the Atari 2600 / 7800.

Honey Smacks Honey Brown Ale

The following recipe was of my own design for our Brewminaries cereal beer showcase, pouring mid-August.

I chose Honey Smacks and decided to make a brown ale to showcase the cereal and for nostalgia reasons, since when I was in Syracuse we used to drink J.W. Dundee (Genesee) Honey Brown fairly often, it being a cheap Upstate New York beer and all.

This is actually riff off one of my oatmeal stout recipes, the base malt is a 95% 2-row and 5% rye mix from a beer kit they were giving out at this Beerland event and I swapped out the oatmeal for cereal.

Recipe and steps

It’s my usual 3 gallon brew-in-a-bag batch, so I’ve shown both percentages and weight.

  • 6.2% – 6.4oz – Caramel / Crystal 60L
  • 5.2% – 5.3oz – Chocolate Malt 350L
  • 5.1% – 5.2oz – Roasted Barley 300L
  • 60.9% – 3lb 14oz – 2-Row Barley
  • 3.5% – 3.8oz – Honey Malt
  • 1.2% – 1.3oz – Midnight Wheat 550L

Mash for 45 minutes at 152F. According to Bru’n Water, I should make the mash more alkali, so I added 0.5g of pickling lime to the mash. Turns out I could’ve also just diluted the mash to reduce the acidity, though on a positive note the lime added calcium, it’s Ca(OH)2, which I’ve read improves the character of the beer. Pickling lime can be found at Kalyustan’s in Manhattan, it’s also used for softening corn for pozole.

Next step, add the cereal for 30 minutes and add some rice hulls so the wort drains properly.

  • 15.6% Honey Smacks cereal (Malt-o-meal version)
  • 0.25lb rice hulls

Boil for 60 minutes, 30 IBUs. I got a little extra in the 1oz hops package, so I put it in as an aroma addition.

  • 0.5 oz East Kent Goldings 60 mins
  • 0.3 oz EKG, 30 mins
  • 0.25 tsp Irish moss, 15 mins
  • 0.27 oz EKG, 10 mins

Danstar London ESB yeast.

Brew day went as expected. I followed all the additions and then used the chiller coil to get the wort down to 65F in around 20 minutes. I topped off the fermenter with some boiled water, added in rehydrated yeast, and put the fermenter in the minifridge on 64F to ferment. OG was 1.055.

The yeast started off quick and was bubbling like crazy by the next morning. By 36-48 hours later, it was completely done and wouldn’t budge from a FG of 1.024-1.025. Quick ferment but low attenuation, same as last time with this yeast. In the future I’ll try a more attenuative yeast like Nottingham or S-04.

Final stats and conclusion

OG 1.055
FG 1.024
ABV 4.1%

Tastes like Honey Smacks and had a bit of a funky taste at 14 days (3 in keg) that has completely disappeared at 18 days (7 in keg).

The beer was ready quick, tastes even better now, with the roastiness really coming through. It’s a mild, poundable summer beer, since it’s cold, sweet, and only 4.1% alcohol. It will be roughly 5 weeks old by the time I bring it to the August Brewminaries meeting for our showcase, so the malt character may smooth out further by then and taste even better.

Weekend Getaway to Storm King Art Center

Imagine you could book a semi-organized day trip outside New York without getting in a car or bus. Well, you can, with Metro-North Getaways, which offer round-trip on the train and discount museum and event tickets. We’ve been big fans of the Metro-North option for some time, having done the Farm Fresh tours twice, Dia:Beacon, and an impromptu trip to Peekskill.

We’ve been watching Master of None on Netflix and it reminded us that we really needed to get back Upstate to visit Storm King. This giant sculpture garden set in the Hudson Valley is even more impressive than what you’ve seen on film. It’s expansive, majestic, pastoral, and it made one of the most beautiful sunny day escapes from NYC we’ve had to-date.

Getting There

Metro-North to Beacon is 10 miles from Storm King across the Hudson. It takes around 1.5 hours. Normally it’s $33 round-trip off-peak and the Storm King ticket is $18. Through Getaways, it’s $40.50 for both (saving $10). If you leave on a Saturday or Sunday, you’ll be on a packed train with day hikers heading to Garrison, Breakneck Ridge, and the surrounding area, which are all in the vicinity of Beacon. It’s a cool vibe. Get there early to get a good seat or just head towards the front two cars of the train. If it’s your thing, you can drink coffee, beer, or eat on the train as well. Picnic!

Once you arrive at Beacon, check out the town (see my post for some ideas). You can check out the beautiful Dia:Beacon modern art museum which is in a former factory and also makes use of the light and shadow of the Hudson Valley to accentuate its artwork. Call a cab or use a ride-hailing app, which are newly legal in Upstate New York. Ours took 20 minutes to arrive and it was around a 25-minute, $25 ride. We had no problem finding a cab in both directions, as it’s a popular destination for day-trippers. It’s also not far from Stewart Airport, which just started offering cut-rate flights to Europe on Norwegian (see link).

Getting Around

Storm King is huge, so you can walk, rent a bike on-site, or take their tour tram. We took the tram, got off on the far end, and walked back. It took quite a while to see everything, when we return we’d leave at least 3 hours to see it all. Fridays and Saturdays in the summer they’re open until 8pm, while they close at 5:30 on Sunday.

It’s really worth seeing rather than explaining, so the rest of this post is photos.