Now that spring is finally here, and we've even had a glimpse of summer, I can't resist the call of the open road. Granted, in New York City, that's a relative statement, but now is the time to shop, dine and spa a little further afield in an April Adventure. Take advantage of the beautiful weather and easier driving before the beach commuters come out of hibernation!
Favorite hotel for a weekend getaway--
Cranwell Resort, Spa and Golf Club
Located in the Berkshires in Western Massachusetts, this resort has something for everyone, in the ultimate luxury - more than 100 beautifully appointed guest rooms and suites and world-class service to match. Offering a full-service spa, golf and fine dining at three restaurants, it's the perfect place to get away from the pace of the city.
Favorite shopping district outside NYC
Downtown Red Bank, NJ
No sales tax on clothing makes New Jersey a shopper's delight, and Red Bank's great selection of stores is retail heaven. To find everything from high-end couture to funky and affordable, just stroll along Broad Street for an impressive and eclectic collection of shops. Major retailers Tiffany & Co and Duxiana have a presence in Red Bank, and the town even has its own department store - Garmany (see below). And fortify yourself at one of the many restaurants along Broad and its side streets, many of which have open-air tables. (Be warned, though - not all have liquor licenses, so check ahead and be prepared to bring your own bottle of wine.)
Favorite Suburban Mall (PA)
King of Prussia Mall
King of Prussia, PA
Actually two malls connected by a covered walkway, this complex pretty much defines suburban shopping for the East Coast. Any center that has Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, Sears, Bloomingdales and Lord & Taylor, joined by Anne Fontaine, Brooks Brothers, Cartier, Piazza Sempione, Tourneau and Tiffany, among others, has something for everyone! Visit the center's website, www.kingofprussia.com, to plan your visit.
Favorite outside the city Mall (NY)
White Plains, NY
Not exactly a suburban mall, given it's in downtown White Plains, The Westchester feels like a fine hotel, with marble floors and fine art. But it offers the best in upscale retail, including Nordstrom, Neiman's, two spas/salons, Louis Vuitton, Burberry, David Yurman and Crate & Barrel.
Favorite store in New Jersey
121 Broad Street
Red Bank, NJ
Part of one of my favorite shopping districts (see above), the family-owned Garmany's new store rivals the best shops in the fashion capitals of Europe - an exception mix of the best designers, a concierge service, children's theater and lounges. It's a modern classic.
Favorite store on Long Island
Recreating Madison Avenue in Manhasset, Hirshleifer's is a one-of-a kind, fourth-generation luxury store featuring a series of in-store boutiques by European and American couture clothing and accessories designers. Here you can find Chanel, Valentino, Roberto Cavalli, Chrome Hearts, Balenciaga, Chloe, Missoni, Loree Rodkin and much more.
Favorite non NYC Spa
118 Woodbury Road
This country house, located less than two hours from New York City, is situated amid stunning grounds in New England. Guests can leave their luxurious, individually appointed rooms to hike, bike, kayak, visit the spa, dine on fine cuisine - or do nothing at all. One of my favorite places to breathe.
Worth the drive
Inn at Little Washington
Middle and Main Street
You can probably tell I like luxury inns. This one features an exceptional restaurant in an unspoiled village that evokes Colonial America (George Washington named the town's streets in 1749.). The ambience is elegant, but not stuffy, the wine list amazing, and the shopping in an adjacent building unique (antiques, custom-designed furnishings and kitchenware, among other items). Reacquaint yourself with Americana!
There are plenty of other locations to see and visit - as much as I love New York City, take a little time to explore the tri-state area. Happy Adventuring!
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