If you live in New York, but you’ve never been to New Paltz, print out this tentative itinerary and GO! The short drive was perfect for families with young children and the price was right! It was a perfect escape from New York City.

This was the last trip we took before we had Esme. We stayed at the Clove cottages at High Falls, New York. It was a beautiful place to stay with the kids running to see the two alpacas they had on site every morning and see he chickens roaming the grounds. The owner was conveniently located on site and available for any questions or concerns. I believe the Air Conditioner was only in the bedroom which was all we needed because it was freezing in there and we left the door open to regulate the cold air. It was a very enjoyable trip filled with child friendly hikes, nature filled, swimming holes and microwaved fresh farm corn we took to picnics. I would go again in a heartbeat! I highly recommend this trip for families, couples with or without children.

**Note: This Trip Itinerary was from 2015 (I wish I started this blog sooner!), so I may not remember the order of the trip to a tee. I may have visited the different locations during different dates or swapped the order of some. The general idea of the Itinerary is to give a decent estimate of time between in location and ideas for kid friendly activities and things to do; and places to try. The restaurant hours maybe have changed, could’ve closed down, so do a general review of the places before following the location addresses exactly.

We left our home at 8:30am (it was expected to be a 1.5 hour drive)

Splashdown Beach – This beach was the start of our trip to New Paltz (about half way there- great time to take a break). It was in the way to Mohonk Preserve (which was our first stop in NewPaltz, right before we check in at 3) and we figure what better way to jump start a vacation than at a very kid friendly water park. It’s not a beach per-say, but there was a pretend beach with imitation waves that went in and out (to mimic a real beach). The kids loved it! We had a choice to ether sit by the edge of the tides or go deeper into the “beach” where the water was a bit higher. They kids were still little, so we opted to just sit and enjoy the ways from the back. It was a good price for us, given we had 2 kids who were considered 2 and under. If you spend the whole day here, especially with Elementary age kids, they would love it with all the rides available ! It was enjoyable for adults too; not too crazy and everything felt kid friendly (toddler to elementary). It was a great start to our trip! Let’s just say the kids slept well for the other half of the ride to New Paltz.

Hours and Prices: 10-7 $35 pp under 2 free, swim diapers $9pp, $11locker

Location: 16 Old Route 9 West, Fishkill, NY 12524

43min drive

Mohonk Preserve: Visitor center for kids and short kid friendly trails

Hours: 9-5pm

Pricing: $12 per adult and kids under 12 free

Location (taken from their website in 2015): To reach the Visitor Center located at 3197 State Route 55, Gardiner, NY, take the New Paltz exit 18 off of the NYS Thruway. Go 7 miles west (through New Paltz) on Route 299 to the end: make right on Route 44-55 and then 1/2 mile to the Visitor Center on right. If that lot is full, continue a few hundred yards farther up hill to the entrance to additional, overflow parking lots at the Visitor Center.

Lots full? Don’t expect to park for long on the road: New York State Department of Transportation has posted ½-hour parking limits at the “Scenic Overlook” and “Hairpin Turn” located one mile north of the intersection of Routes 299 and 44/55 in the Town of Gardiner.

Solution: Use long-term parking lots at the Mohonk Preserve Visitor Center and at the West Trapps parking lot, located ½ mile and 1½ mile respectively from the intersection of Routes 299 and 44/55.

9 min drive

Wallkill View Farm Market

(pick up Jane’s homemade ice -cream)

Location: 15 Route 299 West

New Paltz, NY 12561

16min drive

Clove cottages

200 Rock Hill Road, High Falls, NY 12440

3pm check in

Mountain Brauhaus 5-6 pm (didn’t get to go)

Location: 1130-830 Sunday’s (close min ties)

3123 U.S. 44 Gardiner, NY 12525



17min drive

The Playground at Hasbrouck Park


The Bakery (didn’t get to go)

Breakfast lunch cupcakes play kitchen

Hours: 7-7pm

Location: 13a North Front Street

New Paltz, NY 12561

Phone: 845 255-8840

Water Street Market

Location: 10 Main Street,

New Paltz, NY 12561

Phone: 845.255.1403


Turkish lunch (didn’t get to go)

Location: 76 Main Street

New Paltz, NY 12561

Hours: 11:00 am to 10:00 pm

Buy groceries to make own dinner!!!!!!



Japanese (noon)- pretty good, but not amazing – but, we really appreciated the Asian snacks and green tea Knick knacks they offer for purchase

Hours: 1130-930pm

Location: 232 Main Street

New Paltz, NY 12561


Moxie cupcake and frozen lattes (didn’t get to go)

Location: 184 Main St, New Paltz, NY 12561


http://newpaltzindianrestaurant.com/ (didn’t get to go)

Location: 1 north manheim blvd.

New Paltz, NY, 12561

Hours: Tues 5-10pm buffet


Twistee cone old fashioned soft serve

—————-Unexpected Stops—————–

Sometimes the great finds are unplanned. We added these places to our trip itinerary during our trip. Both were outstanding finds!

PHOENICIA DINER- the food was amazing! Would definitely go back if we visit High Falls again. The images speak for themselves!

Location: 5681 New York Route 28 in Phoenicia, NY 12464.






Phone: 845.688.9957

SPLIT ROCK COXING KILL Swimming Hole- This swimming hole was a great find for sure! We either read or heard someone say that locals go here. It is located within Mohonk Preserve (This location wasn’t found in Trip Advisor). It was filled with families and has ample space for those who want to have a little picnics. There was great shade too with all the canopy of trees. It was a beautiful nature experience. There were no swimming life guards, so go according to your own judgement. We are not great swimmers, so we stayed where it was kid friendly, away from the part that some people were jumping from. We googled easy microwaved corn and blasted it in the microwave, husk and all for 12 minutes each and they were perfect. We had picked this corn up from Watskill farm earlier from our visit to that farm. The corn was extremely sweet, juicy, crunchy and satisfying. Click here for a good description of the swimming hole.

Location (taken from Seeswim): Take the New Paltz exit 18 off of the NYS Thruway. Go 7 miles west (through New Paltz) on Route 299 to the end: make right on Route 44-55.  The Preserve Visitor Center will be 1/2 mile on your right.  Go 1.5 miles past the Visitor Center, turn right onto Clove Road, and then bear right at fork. After 1 mile, turn left into parking area.”

Phone: (845) 255-0919

Extra Photos from our Drives- High Falls, NY and New Paltz were very scenic. If we didn’t have kids with us, we would probably have spent half the day stepping out of the car to admire the nature and beautiful and calming scenery. Enjoy!

Just a note on another getaway close to New York City: We went last year with my cousins, niece and nephew to Cape May, New Jersey and had a wonderful time there. We will be returning again sometime this summer. Subscribe to my email to stay in the loop for that post, but if you are contemplating if you want to visit Cape May, New Jersey with your family this year and need help deciding, you can explore the Itinerary and read more about our memorable trip to Cape May last year here.

For those who live in New York City, can anyone recommend trips that are close to New York City for a quick or easy getaway? Is there a place your family goes to visit every year traditionally because you love it so much?

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