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RI Archives: Rural Road Trips

View past Lodgings articles.

View all past Rural Road Trip articles.

Eastover Estate and Retreat

Travel Resources

Amtrak Empire Service between Albany, Hudson or Rhinecliff, NY and Penn Station, NYC.

Amtrak 449 Lake Shore Limited between Pittsfield and South Station, Boston.

Bard Bus and Shuttle  On select summer weekends, Bard offers round-trip bus service from Manhattan’s Lincoln Center directly to the Fisher Center, exclusively for performance ticket holders: $30 round-trip. Reservations are required. Box dinners can be ordered in advance for $10. Bard also offers shuttle service from and to the Poughkeepsie Metro-North train station for select performances: $10 each way.

Mega-bus between Albany and Ridgewood, N.J. and Penn Station, NYC.

Metro-North Railroad between Wassaic, Dover Plains, or Poughkeepsie, NY and Harlem (125th Street)  or Grand Central Station, NYC.

Peter Pan Bus Lines  Boston/Albany route serving Albany, Great Barrington, *Lee, Lenox, *Pittsfield, Stockbridge, Williamstown, and Boston South Station and Boston Logan Airport  (*greater frequency, better fares). NYC/Williamstown route serving Williamstown, Lee, Stockbridge, Great Barrington, MA, or Canaan, CT and Port Authority Bus Terminal, NYC.

Roosevelt Ride Free Shuttle  Free round-trip shuttle service daily (summer through October) from the Poughkeepsie train station to Hyde Park, Val-Kil, the Vanderbilt Mansion, Top Cottage, and the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum so Metro-North train passengers can tour historic sites without a car. For reservations and tour info, call the Wallace Visitor Center: 845-229-5320.

Weather Underground
The radar is especially useful for tracking snow, sleet and thunderstorms.

Gas Prices
The price of gas at many of the stations in your zip code and those immediately surrounding it.

[See more Lodging articles]

Best Laid Plans: Mount Merino Manor

Lodgings that bill themselves as bed-and-breakfasts tend to be hard by well-traveled roads, the better to catch the eye of passing tourists.  Another reason: less competition from big spenders; therefore, a better price.  To run a successful b & b, one must first find a house this is commodious and darling, but not too dear. 

Mount Merino Manor is big, charming, and presumably the price was right, but, in terms of siting, it is a b & b apart.  At the end of a long drive, amid green lawns that are surrounded by a 100-acre woods, the property feels more like a resort.  The house itself is a textbook example of the romantic and feminine Queen Anne style.  Just south of Hudson and north of Olana, the historic home of Hudson River School painter Frederic E. Church, the Manor was built in 1870 by Church’s physician, Dr. Gustavus A. Sabine.  Rural Intelligence Road Trips Rich in turrets, gables, and broad porches, the 7-bedroom pile has tall, spacious, light-filled rooms.  Clearly, the good doctor subscribed to the then-popular theory that such amenities were an antidote to the sooty harshness of the industrial age.  For many modern travelers, the medicine still works. 

A stick-style Victorian in Columbia County, however, is not what Rita and Patrick Birmingham had in mind. “I’d dreamed of a Greek Revival in Berkshire County,” says Rita, a former advertising art director.  But having searched for two years, not only in the Berkshires, but throughout much of New England and even, for a while, out west, she and Patrick recognized immediately that they had a winner on their hands. 

Rural Intelligence Road TripsAll the while they were searching for the right property, the couple had taken myriad courses and attended seminars galore to prepare for what lay
ahead. After closing, they understood there would be much to accomplish before opening—the feverish accumulation of furniture, bedding and accessories; the plumbers and carpenters descending with their attendant mess.  Nothing shocked them; they were well prepared. Then, as the project neared completion, plaster dust still thick in the air, Rita made an unexpected discovery.  After three years of marriage, she was pregnant.  Liam, now 5, arrived just ahead of the first paying guests.
Rural Intelligence Road Trips
While the decorating could never be accused of being heavy handed (a common crime at b & b’s), most rooms are furnished with lots of big, brown pieces, true to Victorian form.
Rural Intelligence Road Trips
An exception to the prevailing theme: in homage to Olana, a Persian-style room on the third floor.  Another popular suite on this floor, Diamond Street, is named for a notorious Hudson neighborhood from its whaling-port days and features a quilted satin headboard and matching bedspread.

Mount Merino Manor
4317 Rte 23, Hudson; 518.828.5583

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Posted by Marilyn Bethany on 03/30/09 at 09:49 AM • Permalink