NEWS, SPORTS, COMMENTARY, POLITICS for Gloucester City and the Surrounding Areas of South Jersey and Philadelphia

Lower Township Police Responded to 766 Calls over 5 Day Period
Meet Charlie: Electronic-detection K9 is a key weapon in fight against child predators

New York State's Ren Faire, closing 10/1, is one of many lovely Hudson Valley attractions


Nicole Pensiero | CNB Travel News


I recently enjoyed a whirlwind three-night "girlfriends' getaway" to New York State's Orange County -- a less well-known part of the beautiful Hudson Valley that offers an array of cultural and scenic attractions. The last thing we did during our late August vacation in New York State was one of the most fun activities of all: a visit to the New York Renaissance Fare, which is celebrating its 40th anniversary year in 2017. Located on 65-acres of land in Tuxedo, NY – not far from the New Jersey state border – we were impressed by how well-run and popular this event is with people of all ages (and interests: there were plenty of medieval-garbed visitors). 

New York State's popular "Ren Faire" closes for the season on October 1st/Photo by Nicole Pensiero



Offering everything from comedic Shakespeare readings to jousting competitions – not to mention tons of crafts and food vendors – it’s a fun-filled step-back-in-time, and proved the perfect way to end our  long weekend. October 1st is the last day of the New York "Ren Faire" this year, so make a plan to head up to enjoy some beautiful fall weather and fun-filled days there.

Only a 2.5-hour drive from much of South Jersey, other scenic and cultural highlights of Orange County, NY, include:

  • The popular 5,000-acre Bear Mountain State Park. The historic Adirondack-style Bear Mountain Inn, built in 1915, is the first thing you see when arriving at the park. While the hotel – listed in the National Register of Historic Places – is huge, there are only 15 guest rooms and suites; the lower level houses a gift shop and café; the second floor has a spacious, yet cozy restaurant; and the guest rooms are all on the third level, where the full-service spa is also located. Its striking, rustic décor pays tribute to both its illustrious history and its original look. We were impressed with the attention to detail and truly enjoyed our stay there. Along with an included continental breakfast, there's an elegant full-service dining establishment inside, too: the 1915 Restaurant, which hosts a popular Sunday brunch. Beginning in November, there’s a public ice skating rink set up in Bear Mountain State Park.
The historic Bear Mountain Inn is in the National Register of Historic Places/Photo by Nicole Pensiero



  • It's a shop-til-you-drop adventure at the nearby Woodbury Commons Premium Outlets. This new, spacious collection of more than 240 stores and restaurants, even features the popular Shake Shack.
  • Jones Farm in the nearby community of Cornwall, NY, is a charming place to enjoy lunch amid breathtaking scenery. There’s also an art gallery on the premises, a gift shop; a gourmet food store and an array goats, chickens and cats milling around. Great fun!   
  • Wine-lovers will want to check out Brotherhood, billed as “America’s Oldest Winery.” Our visit included a look at the wine cellars, a recap of its long (and somewhat tumultuous history) and a sampling of five different types of wine.
  • Anyone who's ever visited New Jersey's Gardens for Sculpture will want to check out New York state's even more amazing Storm King Art Center. While there’s indoor art to savor, it's the outdoor sculptures that are what people really come to enjoy at this 500-acre oasis. There’s a very nice gift shop and café on the premises, too -- and  depending on the time of year, free outdoor yoga classes are offered on Saturday mornings.
  • If seeing things from the vantage point of a boat is your thing, sign up for a cruise on the Pride of the Hudson, which sails from the Newburgh Waterfront, home of many charming shops and restaurants. The scenery on our two-hour Hudson Valley cruise was stunning as as we headed south along the river to West Point and back. It was fun, relaxing and provided postcard-pretty views.
    A two-hour ride on the "Pride of the Hudson" proved utterly relaxing. Photo by Nicole Pensiero


For more information about visiting the Hudson Valley, visit: www.travelhudsonvalleycom. For more information about Orange County, NY, attractions, go to

Nicole Pensiero is a South Jersey-based freelance travel writer and a member of the North American Travel Journalists Association.