In the last year we’ve survived a tornado, an earthquake and a hurricane – all that drama calls for a nice peaceful mini-break from the city. And you don’t have to go too far to forget the stresses of every day urban life. This past week our surrounding neighbors in Central New York, Vermont, Northern New Jersey, Long Island and the Jersey shore sustained a lot of damage, but don’t let that ruin your Labor Day plans or your escapes planned for the Fall!

All of our contacts report they are STILL open for business (despite the damage and losses). Please show your support by making reservations at a bed & breakfast, booking a weekend package at a resort or attending a food festival or special event within a few hours of the city. We need to support our LOCAL tourism folks more than ever! We’ve also included links below where you can make donations to help with relief in the hardest-hit areas.


Central New York- It’s perfect weather for Spelunking! Howe Caverns in Schoharie County reports they are open for business and awaiting your arrival! for more info.

Catskills – (Greene, Ulster and Delaware Counties). These areas were hit particularly hard and in some cases entire towns washed away like Prattsville, Windham and Margaretville. Still there are plenty of reasons to go see the beauty of the Catskills and perhaps you might even consider volunteering? reports, “Five of six resorts in Ulster county – Mohonk Mountain House, Rocking Horse Ranch, Pinegrove Family Resort, Hudson Valley Resort and Honor’s Haven Resort and Spa – are open for business and have sustained no significant damage as a result of the weekend’s hurricane. Hotels in Kingston steered clear of serious disturbance; many of the area’s bed and breakfasts have had their power returned to them, and those that have not are still welcoming reservations.”For more info on getaway ideas: Greene County Tourism:, Delaware County Tourism:, Ulster County Tourism:

Long Island – there is still widespread power outages across the island, but that doesn’t have to ruin your bike trip, or your tanning time.

Donations/Relief Info: The Brooklynian has published an extensive list of local donation centers in NYC and Brooklyn:
Minute by minute local Catskill info:
Also accepting donations:,
Monetary donations can be sent of Prattsville Relief Fund c/o NBT Bank P.O. Box 380 Grand Gorge NY 12434 ….and/or Windham Chamber of Commerce P.O. Box 613 Windham, NY 12496.
Fundraiser for SCCAP and Catholic Charities at Howe Caverns this weekend Sept. 3-5th.


Chester – Northern New Jersey is just starting to see it’s rivers cresting, thankfully the quaint town of historic Chester was spared and will be holding one of the largest outdoor craft shows on September 10th-11th.

Spring Lake – Boardwalk, Shmoardwalk! The seaside and NJ transit accessible seaside town of Spring Lake is as picturesque as ever. Ride your bikes around town and dine in some wonderful eateries. The Historic Inns of Spring Lake report most are still open for business.

Grounds for Sculpture near Princeton – Despite some down trees, the 7-acre expansion of this amazing sculpture park, culinary experience and educational center is still scheduled to launch on time in September

Cape May – (lighthouse above). Widely evacuated pre-Irene, Cape May didn’t miss a beat. All the Mid-Atlantic Center tours, festivals and events around town in September and October are still scheduled to run. With one of the highest numbers of bed and breakfasts per capita, this town could sure use your support!

Donations/Relief: Ok, so maybe giving blood isn’t synonymous with taking a vacation, but kick back a few margaritas afterwards, and you’ll never miss it. reports, “As a result of Hurricane Irene, numerous blood drives were canceled around the state, limiting the blood supply for hospitals and other health care facilities. Recognizing continuing flood conditions and road closures, people who want to donate should call ahead to make sure your local blood center is open and make an appointment to give blood.”


Many tourism folks in Vermont took a beating but our friends in Okemo Valley are open for business along the main roads and hope you’ll swing by.

Despite a parking lot loss, Good Commons, a unique retreat and culinary center is still booking for their Fall workshops, hikes (left) and yoga retreats AFTER Labor Day weekend. They’ll even come get you in NYC on their mini-bus!

Also, lists state road closures and lodging availability, so if you plan ahead, you’re still sure to enjoy your Vermont getaway!

Donations/Relief: For an extensive list of VT charities, volunteer and relief organizations see:

Now skedaddle and plan your next local vacation! You deserve to getaway. Don’t let Hurricane Irene have the last word!

Caylin Sanders