My wife and I went to college in New Paltz, New York. We fell in love, lived together after college, then we got married. New Paltz, if you are unfamiliar, is a mini Woodstock-like town. A friend of ours that also went to New Paltz, her and her family own a country inn called The Belvedere Country Inn, which is near New Paltz. Her parents run the day-to-day operations but our friend and her two sisters would go there every weekend to lend a helping hand. Over the past 20 years or so my wife have been visiting (still do) the Belvedere and can say that our visit count is easily in the hundreds.
In some ways you should be questioning my motives for writing this piece on the Belvedere. After all, my opening paragraph states how my wife and I are friends with the family. But I can tell you that when you met the owners, i.e., the family, you would quickly become friends with them as well.
The Belvedere has forty or so rooms. They can (and do) accommodate bus loads of people. It is located right near the base of the Utsayantha Mountains which you can hike. In fact, prior to 2006 the Fire Tower was closed to the public due to disrepair and vandalism. The have since reopened the tower to the public. Up in the tower you will get a spectacular view of the Catskill Mountain region.
So what is there to do in the area? In the winter there are all kinds of activities from snowmobiling to skiing and snowboarding. In fact, there are snowmobiling trails throughout the town of Stamford, NY, which is where the Belvedere is located. John and Pat, the owners, allow the snowmobilers to park their snowmobiles right in the parking lot. This way they can come in for a meal and some libations.
A little further north (but not too far away) allows for ice fishing. The Belvedere also houses hunters on the first weekend of hunting season. So it is a winter wonderland for all the snow bunnies. Hunter Mountain is a short drive from the Belvedere and many people that like to ski stay at the Belvedere because of its coziness.
For the autumn season, the Catskill region has a spectacular and colorful landscape for when the leaves change color. Being near the base of Mount Unsayantha, I can tell you that autumn at the Belvedere is not to be missed. You'll want to bring your camera though. The area also has farmer's markets and other great fall activities.
Spring and summer have a lot going on in that area as well. Hunter Mountain houses all kinds of concerts and festivals. The Esopus river is nearby and they are best known for tubing. Be warned though. Make sure you get there early enough to get a tube that has a piece of wood on the bottom of it. Trust me. Those rocks can really scrape your you-know-what.
Don't forget about Cooperstown, you know, the Baseball Hall of Fame. You would think that a small town like that would have nothing else going for it but that is not a correct assumption. They have plenty of quaint shops and great restaurants and they are fairly near a lake so you could go fishing and boating if that is what you like to do.
I haven't even touched upon all of the great activities that you can do when you visit The Belvedere Country Inn. The owners, John and Pat, really know the area well and can help you plan your itinerary. The Belvedere is a full service inn so you can enjoy a great meal and some cocktails in the spacious bar. As I have stated, my wife and I go there all the time and we aren't the only ones to return time and time again. The Belvedere and its surrounding area is truly part of God's Country and you will fall in love with it just like my wife and I did.
The Belvedere Country Inn - Welcome Home Again