I’m definitely not the sort of person who frequents bed and breakfasts in upstate New York on any sort of regular basis. I do, of course, have yearnings to escape the city for a few days and enjoy a relaxing weekend away from Brooklyn’s hustle and bustle—and what better, or more picturesque, sort of location than a cozy, bucolic B&B? No—the reason for my inexperience with the bed and breakfast scene is not for lack of interest. It is, as with many a grad student, because of lack of time, transportation, and, let’s be real—money.
So, when a friend e-mailed me several months ago about a B&B reservation that had been fortuitously handed over to her because of a sudden change in schedule, I jumped at the opportunity. To make the offer even better, this particular bed and breakfast was located inside of a lighthouse in one of my favorite Hudson Valley towns: Saugerties, NY. After needing to take a serious, serious raincheck on our reservation due to Hurricane Sandy, my friend, her husband, my boyfriend, and I were finally able to make the trek up to Saugerties to cash in on our reservation two weekends ago. And let me tell you— it was magic.
The Saugerties Lighthouse, an 1835 construction that was given landmark status and restored in the late 1980s, is located at the end of a long, winding peninsula in the middle of the Hudson River. After a ten-minute walk along this peninsula through trees, sand, and tall windswept grass, the lighthouse comes into view, a nearly two-hundred year old relic, wonderfully cut off from the rest of the world. When our party of four crossed the small, wooden bridge separating the lighthouse from the mainland, we were greeted by one of the lighthouse’s jolly caretakers. After a brief tour of the building and a quick run-through of the structure’s many self-sustaining features (all of the plumbing, for example, is powered by rainwater collected on the lighthouse’s slate roof), we wasted absolutely no time in photographing and Instagramming the absolute hell out of that place. I realize that incessant documentation really impedes upon the whole living-in-the-moment thing (and I assure you that there was much of that immediately after), but I really couldn’t help myself. Aside from being located in the middle of the iconic Hudson River, the interior of the building was stunning—not in a straitlaced perfection sort of way, but in a charming, cozy, and absolutely timeless sort of way. From the working cast iron stove in the parlor to the rows of rain boots lined up at the main entrance, the entire place vibrated with love, warmth, a real sense of history.
Waking up at dawn and looking out the bedroom window to see nothing but a fog-blanketed Hudson has to be up there as one of the most wonderful experiences of my life. Add to that an absolutely mouth-watering breakfast of pancakes, eggs, baked apples, and freshly picked herbs, all prepared by the lighthouse’s caretaker, and I had a feeling that I had literally died and woken up in heaven.
While I don’t foresee myself becoming a regular B&B-er in the very near future, mostly for the reasons mentioned in my first paragraph, I think the whole experience has definitely whetted by appetite for more. If you have any plans to visit Saugerties (and I highly recommend you do!), be sure to check out this lovely local landmark. And, if you are able to get a reservation (or one comes to you serendipitously as it did for me), do not hesitate to grab it. It will be a once-in-a-lifetime experience and I don’t think I could recommend it more highly.To learn more about the history of the Saugerties Lighthouse (and snag a reservation to stay overnight), check out their official website here.
Check out the rest of the photos of this fabulous retreat after the jump! —Max
Above image: As the tide rises around the lighthouse in the late evening, rain boots become a necessity if walking outdoors after hours. Luckily, the lighthouse has an ample supply, neatly lined up near the front entrance!
Above image: Want to go canoeing in the Hudson? The lighthouse has supplies for that, too!
Above image: The lighthouse’s kitchen. Along with some lovely wooden cafe chairs, the room features a beautiful sink and an ancient General Electric refrigerator, still in tip-top working condition! They just don’t make ’em like they used to, I guess!
Above image: a tiny alcove on the second floor contains a small seating area, several houseplants, and more board games than you’d ever have time to play.
Above image: One of the lighthouse’s two adorable bedrooms. The views from each of these rooms is stunning— pretty much a panoramic view of the Hudson River.
Above image: the third room on the second floor has been allocated as a museum, filled with fascinating mementoes and information about the lighthouse’s history and restoration. To learn more about the history of the Saugerties Lighthouse, check out the official website here.
Above image: The lighthouse, circa 1886.