Do not let this get you down. Last week I shared the top spots in NYC to mimic a tropical escape, and for those ready to get out of concrete jungle, here is my roundup of paradise places within two hours of the city:
- Terrain: Westport, CT. A lush green garden awaits at this Anthropologie owned concept store. I’ve mentioned my love for this truly unique shopping experience in the past, and find excuses as much as possible to visit (it’s also the place I bring friends from out of town). What you need to know: come for the vast array of plant life, and kitchen/beauty items, and stay for the coffee/snack bar and beautiful full cafe with outdoor seating in – what else – the garden.
- The Pool at Harrah’s Resort: Altantic City, NJ. Say what you will about the ever declining tourism in this south Jersey town, but a trip to this beautiful, glass encased pool is downright healing with its salt water swimming holes and a controlled atmosphere that mimics the humidity and temperature of a rainforest. It is only open to hotel guests during the day, and has poolside cocktail and lunch service. At night, in true Jersey style, it becomes a crowded, fist pumping nightclub, so be forewarned.
- Biosphere Pool Complex at the Grand Cascades Lodge: Hamburg, NJ. Just a few weeks ago, I had the chance to visit this popular ski lodge in northwestern New Jersey. The hotel has many great assets including a its award winning Restaurant LaTour, an incredible collection of over 10,000 wines in one of the areas most elaborate wine cellars, and absolutely stunning mountain views. If all of those amenities aren’t enough, they too have a rainforest-like pool that was just heavenly to bathe in while we watched the snow fall outside the windows. There is also a steam room and a sauna, hot tub (pictured), full bar/snack bar (with house made gelato) and, perhaps my favorite fixture: a large fish tank situated in the pool that feels like you are swimming along with the many tropical fish (Nemo and Dory are among the selection).
- The Brown Room, Congress Hall, Cape May, NJ. The last location on my list is the furthest away from NYC, but one that holds many childhood and more recent memories for me (see my full Cape May guide here). This bar reminds me of a swanky study in a grand mansion in Miami. The large palms, dark wood, and exceptional cocktails make this downstairs must a visit every time we venture to exit zero. Order the beach plum cocktail and enjoy the nightly local musicians.
Where are your favorite spots to “get away” without going too far? Let me know in the comments!