Green City: Woodstock, NY

by Alana Cowan

We, the writers at, have decided to chronicle our travels and highlight some of the green aspects in various cities. Please feel free to submit city ideas and information for upcoming Green City features.

If you’re living in a major city like New York, summertime is the perfect time to swap the pulsating city streets for a little bit of fresh, clean air in the countryside. But, now you’re thinking, what is this going to cost me? Already paying sky-high rent prices leaves us little pocket change for say a weekend in The Hamptons. So, if you’re desperately in need of time out of New York City among trees, fresh air and wildlife, look no further than Woodstock, NY for a relaxing and affordable retreat where sustainable living is key.

Where to stay: The Retreat at TreeGap is an eco-friendly, family bed & breakfast spot, which runs 85 percent of its electricity on solar power generated from their impressive solar panels. Just a mile outside of town, TreeGap is truly tranquil getaway in the heart of the Hudson Valley set amongst acres of green, lush forestry. Amongst a pleasant breakfast with local and organic foods, guests will also be pleasantly surprised by a mini-fridge pre-stocked with everything from oat milk to agave syrup.

What to do: Those of us living in the City aren’t really used to thrilling outdoor adventures. That’s why Woodstock is the perfect retreat for finding all sorts of adventure sports in the great outdoors. To be honest, I first ran into Woodstock after a zip line tour on Hunter Mountain, just a 20-minute drive away. But during my next stay, I was set on experiencing just about everything thrill upstate had to offer, like whitewater tubing on the Esopus. The place to get the tubes is Town Tinker Tube Rental, right in Woodstock, and from there you hop on a bus with instructors. I recommend asking what the water levels are like if they’re high take the novice run, but if they are normal to low try the expert.

What to buy: Believe it or not, Woodstock is home to a lot of great shopping. One of my favorite things to do in the City is shop in consignment (or thrift) stores, but like everything in New York, they are so overpriced! That’s why when I ran into Castaways on Mill Hill road, I was so happy to find a well-stocked, affordable place to find some buried treasures. And, over the weekend Woodstock hosts Mowers Saturday Flea Market on Maple Lane for vendors of crafts, jewelry and charming antiques.

What to see: One thing not to miss if you are in the Woodstock area are the Howe Caverns, beautiful, naturally formed caves founded by Lester Howe over 200 years ago. After you’re taken down with an elevator 156 feet below the Earth’s surface, you are then guided through endless subterranean passageways with incredible limestone formations. And, if you’re in the mood for a short hike, definitely go to Kaaterskill Falls, which are the highest two-tier falls in New York State,

What to eat: Open since the 1960’s, this family-owned restaurant/café played host to some of rock’s biggest legends including Bob Dylan and Joan Baez. Now, Oriole9’s blackboard overflows daily with the “fresh from the garden” specials from Pierre-Luc, a French and classic Italian-trained chef. Supporting many local and organic farms in the Hudson Valley, Oriole9 is the only restaurant in Woodstock to be certified two-star green by the Green Restaurant Association.

And, if Woodstock leaves for completely enamored, you can always look into the hundreds of green homes for sale in the Hudson Valley region!

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