Kippagh (pronounced kipock) was the name of my paternal grandmother's homestead in County Cork, Ireland. And since she helped me a great deal in reaching my goal of having a getaway cottage in upstate New York, I wanted to honor her by naming it after the thatch house that she grew up in.
I'm excited to share this cottage with those who are also looking for a place to get away to, a place where you can hear the crickets and see the stars at night. And of course, the added benefit is that it's situated in the town of Saugerties, minutes away from great antique shops, delicious bistros and cafes, and tons of outdoor activities for those seeking adventure in nature.
from Budget Travel's October 2009 issue
"America's Coolest Small Towns"
SAUGERTIES, NEW YORK (pop. 5,000)
shop owners extend the welcome mat
Don't be surprised if you're invited into someone's house the minute you set foot in Saugerties, 100 miles up the Hudson River from New York City. Richard Frisbie operates Hope Farm Press & Bookshop out of his converted living room (15 Jane St., hopefarm.com). "We're the book capital of the Hudson Valley," says Frisbie, who often shares anecdotes from some of his 3,500 books, which focus on the region. It's not uncommon for other shop owners to extend the welcome mat, too. In their two-story 1826 building, chef-owners Marc Propper and Michelle Silver serve homemade brown-sugar ice cream at long, wooden farm tables downstairs at Miss Lucy's Kitchen; upstairs they rent out two warmly inviting apartments, each with a kitchenette (90 Partition St., misslucyskitchen.com, rooms from $150, desserts $7). Saugerties can feel so much like home for weekenders that some have made it official. On a mushroom-foraging trip in the Hudson Valley, friends Mark Grusell and Juan Romero decided to plant themselves for good and opened Love Bites Cafe, a cozy, 16-seat café with an open kitchen that serves dishes like coconut-carrot French toast with vanilla-citrus butter (85 Partition St., 845/246-1795, $7).
— Thisbe Nissen
Take a look at some pics and check out some of the sites that I've hand-picked from the area. A vacation getaway at Kippagh will help to rejuvenate and bring you back to a simpler way of life (if only for a weekend).
- $175/night; two (2) night minimum; (25% deposit to reserve); cash or money order only please.
- for availability, e-mail me your dates for arrival and departure to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Sleeps up to 4 (1 queen bed, one queen pull out couch with 5" innerspring mattress)
- A car is pretty necessary to get around. If you need suggestions for low rate rental options, please inquire. There is also a Kingston, NY Trailways bus stop nearby and taxis. But ultimately, you need a car if you plan on leaving the cottage at all besides a bike ride or walk. I personally love bringing all I need for the entire weekend and never leaving (but that's just me)
- Sorry, no pets allowed and smoking outdoors only. Pet hermit crabs are allowed as long as they are kept in their cage (he he). Sorry, highly allergic to cats and dogs.
WHAT'S AT THE COTTAGE ...
- One Queen-size Vera Wang Serta Perfect Sleeper pillow-top mattress
- One Queen-size Lay-Z-Boy 5-inch innerspring mattress (not foam)
- 300 thread count bedding and blankets
- Bath, hand, washcloth and beach towels
- Washer/dryer located in bathroom
- Toiletries in case you forget anything
- Iron and ironing board
- Board games, puzzles and reading material (magazines & books)
- Air conditioning in the summer / ceiling fan
- NOTE: There is no land line so bring your cellphone. So far, most carriers work well there. T-Mobile is iffy. I have full "bars" with Cingular/AT&T. But who needs a phone anyway, you're there to relax, not listen to voicemail. :-)
- Fully equipped kitchen: pots, pans, cooking utensils, dinnerware, glassware and flatware (plates, bowls, cups and utensils for kids too), microwave, convection oven, coffee maker, tea kettle, new propane grill, market in walking distance for the necessities
- Complimentary bottle of wine with each stay
- Spices and condiments a-plenty
- Wireless high-speed Internet access (Airport Extreme), NOTE: There isn't a computer there, so you can bring your laptop to use the Internet
- THX speakers to plug your iPod into for sound that reaches to the porch
- Porch with table and chairs for outdoor dining/BBQing (lawn chairs with carrying cases in the closet for swimming hole use or extra seating on patio)
- One (1) acre of property; lawn to play/relax on
- Flat-screen (not flat panel) TV with DVD player and basic cable
LOCAL ATTRACTIONS AND FESTIVALS
- HITS (Horse Shows In the Sun)
- Opus 40, an incredible sculpture site. One of my guests said this is her new favorite place in the whole wide world.
- Festival Calendar of Events (downloadable .pdf)
- FDR Presidential Library and Museum
- for more, see the Saugerties Area Chamber of Commerce website
- for shopping, see the Chamber of Commerce listing and be sure to check out the Pistol Whip Gallery/Boutique at 81 Partition Street (great clothing, accessories, photography and furniture)
- if you have a sweet tooth, wander into Lucky Chocolates and you'll have to force yourself to leave. And for more nourishment, check out Love Bites, New World Home Cooking, Miss Lucy's Kitchen, Cafe Mezzaluna, Tamayo or Tango Cafe.
- Saugerties Lighthouse a must-see (there's a bit of a hike but nothing too difficult. Just don't wear nice shoes because there are some marshy areas to trek through.
- Hunter Mountain (skiing, fly fishing, hiking)
- Ski Windham (skiing, paintball, golf, adventure park)
- Esopus Creek Conservatory (hiking, kayak and canoe tours, etc.)
- Atlantic Kayak Tours
- Woodstock Arts Consortium and a local collection of fine art jewelry at Saugerties' Shelly K Gallery
- Spa services at Gerta of Austria and good old fashioned service with a modern touch at Hot Towel Barbers
- Seamon Park and Cantine Field (baseball and football fields, tennis courts, snack bar, etc)
- local swimming holes and creeks to explore and walk around.
- located near Woodstock, Kingston, West Hurley, Bethel, Catskill, Bard College, etc.
If you want to do some cooking at home, there is a Price Chopper supermarket 5 minutes east and lots of local market stands along the roads.
If you just need a little something, there's a little market a few doors down (it's a morning destination for many in the community but they also make sandwiches and have ice cream).
If dining out is more your speed, there are great restaurants in the area: New World Home Cooking, Miss Lucy's Kitchen, Tango Cafe (on Main Street), Cafe Tamayo, Cafe Mezzaluna, Blue Stone Country Inn and more.
Mo Riza, photographer credited with most of these gorgeous photos of Kippagh enjoying his morning coffee.
These are snowball makers. And there's plenty of snow up there to get a good fight goin'.
Full disclosure, the ivy is gone in the winter and there's snow in place of the lawn :-)
A charming creek down the road. You can walk along the rocks or explore via the path.
And better yet, the below photos are ones taken by an actual guest (thanks Diana). Her and her friends visited the creek and enjoyed a weekend at Kippagh, rain and all. Puzzles included. :-)
And there is an awesome, nostalgic for locals, swimming hole down the road before you hit Woodstock. It's called BIG DEEP. If you go west on Rt. 212 toward Woodstock, it's 5.8 miles from the Centerville Fire Dept where you would have turned to go to Kippagh. There are two rusted barrels marking the entrance to The Big Deep parking area. If you reach Gallo's Nursery Garden Center (on the right) at 2542 Route 212, you've gone just a bit too far. The entrance to Big Deep is on your left if you've come from Saugerties. It's soon after an Adopt-a-Highway sign and after you've passed Wardwell Lane which is on your right but Big Deep is on your left. You can see the nursery from the parking area to give you an idea of how close it really is.
There's even a rope swing but be careful, it's not as deep as the name suggests. Bring a chair if you don't like laying on rocks. There's a bit of a walk down the path to the water from where you park, but it's not even a quarter mile. You'll feel like you've discovered a hidden gem. It's so cool there. And lots of shade.
Photos below courtesy of another special guest (greymomo of flickr)
And these are some comments from folks who have stayed at Kippagh...
"Kippagh is amazing! What a perfect place to retreat and recharge. We love the cozy and eclectic décor."
Alyson and Russell, Manhattan
"Happy New Year!! We came back for the New Year. Again, we had an amazing time, it snowed on our new year and it was breathtaking… We love this place so much. Thank you, your sister and brother-in-law, Mike, the plower and your grandmother. It didn’t take us that long to come back. Cheers and happy happy new year. See you soon!"
N & H, Brooklyn, NY
Thanks for such a wonderful weekend. It offered us exactly what we needed – peace and quiet! We look forward to coming back in the summer!
A & A, NYC
Thank you for sharing your wonderful home with us. We had a great time exploring the area and enjoyed our time relaxing and enjoying the cottage. The hospitality – with the books, toiletries, etc. was icing on the cake. Many, many thanks."
K & M, Brooklyn, NY
"It is a testament to the charm of this cottage that I never, not once, turned on the TV. We had a lovely and wonderful time here at Kippagh Cottage! We look forward to coming back. Thank you."
M, A, D & A, NYC
"Thank you so much for the hospitality – we love our visit! We look forward to coming back and telling all our friends about it!"
M & A, NYC
"This place is absolutely wonderful! Within approximately one minute of being inside, we had out cameras out snapping pictures and were discussing when we could come back next. I plan to recommend this place to everyone – but I’m worried that it’s going to book up when I want to come back!"
K, A, W & G
"This place was wonderful! So much more than we could have asked for. The love and attention you have put into your home shows – and we certainly hope to come back. Thanks for everything!"
K and J, East Village, NYC
"What an amazing place, so relaxing. Just what we needed. Thanks."
M+M, Brooklyn, NY
"“Does it have to end?” That’s what we’ve kept asking ourselves. The weekend was perfect! Thanks so much."
M and M
"Thank you so much for the ultimate weekend getaway. It was wonderful being able to celebrate my 30th at Kippagh – such a cozy place. Everything was perfect – wonderful amenities. I am already anticipating my return trip. Thanks."
"This was the perfect place for me! You have excellent taste and know how to create a comfy environment. The wood agreed with my acoustic guitar. I’m going to tell my friends about Kippagh. Thank you."
"OMG! I love it! I’m moving in! I’ve been having this crazy desire to cozy up to a nice fire with wine so you can imagine my excitement to see both. Thank you so much! The place is beautiful! Wireless internet too!"
Ag & Tom, Yonkers, NY
"We had a great time – very cute cottage – no propane though – stock up for next guests! Thanks!"
K & E
"I can’t tell you thank you enough! This was beyond wonderful. You are providing a marvelous service for all of us over-jaded, over-concreted, and under-matured NYC’ers. I didn’t know how much I needed this till I got here. Thank you so much!"
K & O
"Thank you for your hospitality and the use of your cozy cottage. Highlights for our 1.5 year old were stargazing (his first time ever), collecting pine cones, and grooving to 80s new wave on your low-tech sound system (we are not I-Pod people + loved the old time radio!). Thank you."
J & J & J, NYC
"Thank you so much for such a beautiful and lovely cottage. This is so much better than we both imagined. We would be so happy to be able to come back again soon. In fact, we’re kind of planning on it already. J It’s our first time in the area and we would really love to come back and explore more. This cottage was just the icing on the cake! Thank you sooo much! We loved all the antiques and décor. It was the most perfect and cozy place! Thanks again and we will be back again! P.S. Will send you some pictures of cottage soon."
S & C, New York, NY
"Thanks for sharing your lovely cottage. It is the perfect anecdote to NYC."
K.O. & T.L.