New York has an infectious energy that uplifts and propels you on some days, smothers and overwhelms you on others. During those phases when the “GO-GO-GO” pace starts to feel unmanageable, it’s comforting to know you can leave the concrete behind in just a couple of hours; the city is surrounded by acres of forestland and pretty coastline. A weekend of nature sounds, fresh air, yoga, and good food at one of these rural retreats will help you rediscover your equilibrium as well as your appreciation for NYC living.
When they’re not facilitating wellness-y retreats (think wild food foraging and yoga) the Brampton strikes the right balance between relaxation and boisterous fun. The team will shuttle you from Manhattan to the property on the Hudson River, feed you home-cooked meals, take you boating on nearby Lake George, then make sure the campfire’s lit and the s’mores are plentiful. The location is remote and cell service is patchy, which helps when you’re trying to step away from the daily grind and create head space for the bigger questions. Rumor has it one couple had such a life-changing break at the Brampton they decided to quit their corporate jobs and restructure their lives for good.
Sign up for the “check in to check out” package at Lake Placid Lodge for a long overdue digital detox. Hand your smart phone over to the staff for safekeeping and unpack at one of the wooden cabins, made cozy with soft throws and an open fire. Sipping wine and reading a book lakeside as sunset saturates the sky is the perfect precursor to a night of dead-to-the-world sleep.
Every year 23,000 people visit Omega—a non-profit organization dedicated to holistic health education—making it one of the most popular retreat centers in New York state. When you’re not participating in weekend workshops spanning all things “wellness”—from handcrafted herbal body-care to shamanic breathwork—take a nap in a hammock, paddle a canoe out on the lake or try forest bathing—the meditative Japanese practice of “taking in the forest atmosphere”.
When your everyday is accompanied by a cacophony of horns, sirens and construction noise, silence is a true luxury. Springwater Center in the northernmost area of the state is a silent retreat center that provides structured week-long stays composed of meditation, meals, and focused work periods. Seven days of complete silence (aside from the occasional verbal check-in with the retreat leaders) provides the opportunity to really work through any thought patterns that aren’t constructive. It’s like a spring clean for your brain.
Last year Brooklyn’s favorite healing space, Maha Rose, opened an upstate outpost with the same homey vibe as its original Greenpoint location. This cosy cabin in the Catskills hosts training intensives in energy healing disciplines like reiki, as well as weekend workshops designed to encourage creativity and self-discovery—all in a peaceful community-oriented setting.
Nestled in a picture-perfect mountain valley in the Catskills, Menla Resort & Spa feels a million miles from New York (though it’s only a 2.5 hour drive). Treat yourself to the Personal Wellness Getaway—which includes healthy food, daily meditation, hikes in nature, and treatments at the Tibetan-inspired Dewa Spa—and you’ll return to the city feeling brand new.
The plum colored exterior of Heathen Hill stands out against the green patchwork of meadows that surround it. This countryside retreat is a hit with yogis-in-the-know and attracts nationally-beloved teachers like Rodney Yee for intimate retreats. The house is also available to rent, so assemble a group of friends and host your own upstate wellness weekend.