Cedar Lakes is nestled in lakeside forest on the edge of Port Jervis, a sleepy town on the Delaware River, where New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania meet.
The little-known Stewart International airport is just 40 minutes away from Cedar Lakes by car; Norwegian fly direct from Edinburgh and Dublin, JetBlue comes in from Florida, and Delta arrives from Detroit. Otherwise, you’ll need a New York City airport. Newark and LaGuardia are most convenient – the drive to the hotel is under two hours, while from JFK it’s around two and a half hours.
From New York City, take the Path line to Hoboken (just the other side of the Hudson River), then transfer to the train for Port Jervis. You’ll arrive a little over two hours later, and then it’s a 15-minute cab to the estate.
You’ll want a car for exploring the breweries and markets of the Hudson Valley; hire from the airport and park up for free outside the cottages.
Worth getting out of bed for
Start with ball games – basketball, tennis, volleyball, softball and American football, then warm down with lawn games including bocce, ladder toss, horseshoes and (everyone’s favourite) cornhole. Some evenings there’ll be a roaring bonfire under the stars – the perfect spot for making use of your s'mores kit – or a indoor cinema screening. There’s no spa, but you can request in-room treatments from a recommended local therapist – just ask in advance.
Highpoint State Park is at its very best in autumn, when the 15,000 acres of woodland turns roughly 15,000 shades of red, orange and yellow. In winter try snowshoeing, snow-mobiling, sledding or cross-country skiing; at any time of year you can slip on your hiking boots and tackle a section of the Appalachian Trail. To up the adrenaline, try whitewater rafting on the Delaware River (Silver Canoe provides guided trips and equipment). Shop for local goodies at the Port Jervis farmers’ market (Saturday 10am to 7pm), and visit a working maple syrup sugarhouse at Finding Home Farms (some of the maple sap comes from Cedar Lakes Estate trees, by the way).
The High Point Monument is a 220ft obelisk marking – you guessed it – the highest point in New Jersey. Drive to the top for the photo opp.
Foundry 42 (42 Front Street) does more than just small-batch coffee and artisan pastries – there’s a vintage furniture store inside too, and a creative workshop space upstairs. The local favourite for no-nonsense burgers and craft beer is Fox ‘n’ Hare Brewing (46 Front Street), while over at vegan cafe Fogwood and Fig (24 Front Street) there’s soul-warming lentil soups made by female founder, Diana Bezanski. Cross the state border into Pennsylvania for wood-fired pizzas and homemade pastas at 403 Broad.
These parts are better known for craft beer than cocktails, but you can take your pick at the Orange County Distillery outpost at Brown Barn Farms (286 Maple Avenue, New Hampton); try the potent Field 47 with corn whisky and rosemary-infused syrup, or choose from a range of local ales and hard ciders. Westtown Brew Works hand-harvests hops and conjures up small-batch beers to serve alongside pizza from the food truck and live music in the evenings.