In this series, we’re exploring some of our very favorite city and countryside pairings. In each case, the city and the surrounding region both merit exploration on their own. But when combined, the pairings lay the groundwork for a vacation that leaves you feeling both invigorated and refreshed.
The largest city in the United States has numerous world-famous tourist hot spots, including Times Square, the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building, Central Park and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. But digging a little deeper into the many attractions of New York will yield memorable experiences away from the crowds. Few tourists are aware of the unique Neue Galerie on the Upper East Side, for example, which displays masterpieces of Austrian and German art (including major Klimt and Schiele paintings) in a former Vanderbilt mansion. In the former music room, an ornate Viennese café serves tortes that alone make a visit worthwhile.
Independent shops beckon with cutting-edge pieces as well as traditional treasures.
On the opposite side of Midtown, independent shops beckon with cutting-edge pieces as well as traditional treasures. Browse the stores and galleries along West Broadway between Houston and Grand in SoHo or along nearby Elizabeth Street in Nolita. Your concierge or Andrew Harper travel advisor could even arrange for a private shopper to show you some insider favorites.
The city’s vibrant restaurant scene only continues to improve. In fact, Mr. Harper named The River Café his formal restaurant of the year in the United States. And of course, Broadway continues to mount ever-more spectacular plays and musicals.
New York can be a sensory overload, and a spell in the country immediately following a visit to Manhattan feels especially appropriate. The Hamptons on the eastern tip of Long Island are a classic escape from the city, and they remain as enticing today as ever. Well-to-do resort towns and wide beaches line the south side of the island, and the quieter North Fork has developed a world-class wine country.
As Mr. Harper explains, New York City “is also a gateway to the tranquil Hudson Valley, with its orchards, vineyards, fine restaurants and stately homes that have afforded escape to some of the great names in American history—Rockefeller, Vanderbilt and Roosevelt among them,” and the extravagant estates of these three families now open their doors to the public. In his article in the September 2014 Hideaway Report, Mr. Harper also recommends touring West Point, seeing the incredible stained glass of the Union Church of Pocantico Hills and tasting local wines at Millbrook Vineyards and Whitecliff Vineyard.