Living in NYC with kids has many benefits. From access to arts and culture to the incredible food and daily adventures, there’s plenty to love about city living. But when you do need a break, it’s also awesome to know that NYC is nearby so many nearby places to enjoy hiking, skiing, nature, horseback riding, indoor water parks, and more all year long. Check out some of the best family-friendly hotels in upstate, New York featuring some of our favorites, with most only being 1-3 hours away.
For more family trips to take during the fall, check out The Best Fall Family Getaways from New York City
Check Out Some of the Best Family Hotels and Rentable Spots in Upstate New York
1. Scribner’s Catskill Lodge – Catskills
13 Scribner Hollow Road, 518-628-5130
Opened in 1966 as the Scribner Hollow Motor Lodge, Scribner’s Catskill Lodge evolved into the hip hotel that it is today, offering families a fun escape from the city amongst a beautiful backdrop.
Offering 38 rooms and suites, the homey Lodge features clean and contemporary rooms that are slightly “off-beat” with their own distinctive style and vibe. Think dark maple flooring, terracotta tiles, vintage rugs, custom-built furniture, and fireplaces for snuggling.
Perfect for outdoor lovers, the Lodge is near 20 acres of the mountainside for hiking, skiing, and soaking in the views. There is also a cozy outdoor area, complete with a fire pit for admiring the views or relaxing after a long day of hiking or skiing. The Lodge also has a packed calendar of weekend activities, including yoga, fly fishing 101, sound bath meditation, axe throwing, and a ‘meet with the maker’ session where you can meet with local Hudson Valley vendors.
For meals, check out their locally-inspired restaurant, Prospect, where guests can enjoy a playful variety of local and seasonal fare for breakfast, brunch, and dinner.
Scribner’s Catskill Lodge is easily accessible by car, train, or bus, and they offer complimentary parking to all guests.
2. Emerson Resort and Spa – Mt. Tremper
5340 NY-28, 845-68-2828
A prime location for year-round escapes, the Emerson Resort & Spa is a 20-acre luxury boutique hotel named after poet Ralph Waldo Emerson. Guests can find some of his quotes and odes to nature sprinkled throughout the hotel, such as in the Great Room (a shared library), the on-site restaurant Woodnotes Grille, throughout the rooms, and in the on-site boutiques.
The hotel is comprised of two units, Emerson Resort Inn and the Emerson Resort Lodge. The Emerson Resort Inn features 53 rooms of different sizes, including family-friendly suites, whereas the Emerson Resort Lodge is a combination of three buildings that feature a cabin-feel. Both are within close proximity to each other, and all include access to their seasonal pool, Emerson Park (so great for toddlers!), Catamount Dog Park, and benches for sitting and relaxing.
The resort is also renowned for holding the Guinness Book of World’s Records Largest Kaleidoscope, which stands at 56-feet tall and 38-feet in diameter. Located in the former barn silo, families can enjoy the 10-minute show (it’s free if you are staying at the Emerson) and then check out some of their on-site boutiques, which feature everything from local food to toys and clothing.
The location is also very desirable, being at the foot of Mount Tremper, where you and your family can soak in pristine views of the nearby lake and mountains and enjoy many of their hosted activities such as nature walks and hiking.
Take advantage of being within close proximity to Phoenicia, Woodstock, and Saugerties for nearby day trips and adventures, which offers much to do all year round.
3. Rivertown Lodge – Downtown Hudson
731 Warren St., 518-512-0954
Hudson is often dubbed as the new Brooklyn. If this town is on your radar, explore the area and enjoy a stay at the Rivertown Lodge. Featuring a minimalist/carefully-curated design aesthetic, Rivertown Lodge underwent a transformation thanks to the collaboration of the owners and the design firm Workstead.
The hotel now offers 27 rooms where guests will find elegant and cozy elements. Features such as brass light fixtures, custom-made beds, furniture from Rhinebeck furniture, and art from local artisans make for a warm environment. The charming communal kitchen will surely brighten your day with bright yellow surfaces and custom woodwork by Hudson resident Rowland Butler.
Additional amenities include a stocked pantry on every hallway with snacks and drinks, free coffee every morning, bikes on-site for renting, an open backyard with a ping pong table, a small retail shop, and a spacious lobby for relaxing.
There is also an on-site Tavern featuring flavors from the Hudson Valley, North Africa, and Morocco for easy and delicious dining.
4. The Mohonk Mountain House – Hudson Valley
1000 Mountain Rest Road, 855-883-3798
Located in the Hudson Valley, the Mohonk Mountain House is just 90 miles north of NYC. On arrival, you’ll instantly be transported into the world of nature surrounded by over 40,000 acres of forest and the breathtaking Mohonk Lake. The hotel is also a National Historic Landmark and recently celebrated its 150th anniversary that’s been owned by the same family since 1869.
The decor and furnishings are very much inspired by their historical roots. Every space is carefully maintained to preserve the look, feel, and architecture of that period. They also have a variety of accommodations to fit your needs and family size, from rooms to cottages to suites and a lodge. All accommodations come with three meals a day. There is a complimentary kids’ club, and access to unlimited on-site activities like family crafts, billiards, golf, arcade games, shuffle-board, and more.
5. The Sagamore – Adirondacks
110 Sagamore Road, 518-644-9400
A landmarked hotel that dates back to the 1880s, the Sagamore on Lake George includes numerous options for families to enjoy this beautiful area while staying on this 70-acre property. This includes the option to stay in one of their 392 accommodations, including the historic main hotel as well as in condos, lodges, the castle, or a private suite. All accommodations come with various amenities such as access to their indoor pool, a 10,000-square-foot recreation center, an 18-hole golf course, fishing, swimming, and more. Lake George also offers much for families to see and do, including hiking, skiing, fishing, swimming, boating, and general sight-seeing.
6. The Kartrite Resort & Indoor Waterpark – Catskills
555 Resorts World Drive, 844-397-2500
Beat the cold (or heat!) by staying at The Kartrite Resort & Indoor Waterpark. Located in Montecillo, NY, this fun resort offers tons of seasonal and indoor activities like rock climbing, hikes, and a full-service spa for families to enjoy. The kids will be all about their indoor waterpark, which is New York’s biggest. This includes rides, slides, an indoor pool, a puddle duck’s pool for toddlers, and cabanas for some chill-time.
7. Hasbrouck House – Hudson Valley
3805 Main Street, 845-687-0736
Less than two hours from NYC, Hasbrouck House offers travelers a blend of modern amenities within a boutique hotel. This includes 25 bedrooms that are located within four historic buildings. The two-bedroom Heritage House would be ideal for families, which consists of a queen-size bed and daybed. The room also includes a fireplace, brick accents throughout the space, and rustic decor that will make it hard to leave your room.
Guests at the hotel also have access to swim in their 100-year-old pool or take a hike through their 50-acres of land with a nearby lake. Butterfield restaurant is also on-site where you and your family can enjoy some fantastic farm-to-table fare featuring local purveyors in the Hudson Valley.
The location is also a prime spot for nearby sightseeing and exploring in Kingston, Phoenicia, Woodstock, and the Catskill Mountains.
8. Ridin-Hy Ranch – Adirondacks
95 North Sherman Lake Road, 518-494-2742
Embrace a complete departure from NYC living by embracing a country living on a ranch! Located just 3.5 hours from the city, the Ridin-Hy Ranch offers the opportunity to stay in one of their five outposts, including cabins and a motel-style option. All options are close to all activities, as well as an on-site pool, beach, main Lodge, and horses.
The ranch also offers a non-stop itinerary of cool things to do like horseback riding, arts and crafts, skiing, boating, swimming, fishing, water skiing, movie nights, tennis, archery, and so much more!
The property also has an on-site restaurant where you can enjoy all breakfast, lunch, and dinner featuring numerous healthy options as well as options for those with dietary restrictions.
This is a great option if you want an all-in-one hotel that offers things to do for a variety of ages and interests. It’s also a great way to enjoy the best in ranch-living, without ever having to leave the property.
9. 1890 Bear Cottage – Phoenicia-Woodstock
Another great place to stay when you venture upstate is to check out a family-friendly Airbnb. This can be an excellent option when looking for more space as well as those who are on a budget. It’s also a great way to rent a house or a cottage with another NYC family for a group vacation. We recently spotted the 1890 Bear Cottage as a prime spot for vacationing where families can stay in a cabin that accommodates ten people and offers four bedrooms and five bathrooms. For $215 per night (current offering), you can enjoy staying in a quaint cottage near the mountains, Phoenicia, Woodstock, and the nearby Hunter Mountain Belleayre Ski Resort. There is also easy access to local shops, restaurants, hiking, and tons of nature that is all around the property.
10. Woodstock Way Hotel – Catskills
10 Waterfall Way, 845-684-5911
A woody spot located in Woodstock is a beautiful family spot when you want an outdoor feel with top of the line hospitality. This spot is a bit of a road trip as it is about a little under a six-hour drive from the city. The hotel is built where a tannery existed in the 1800s, made with reclaimed woods, bio-retention ponds, and high-efficiently, low carbon footprint materials. Located within the community, you can enjoy the hotel’s premises and chill in one of their many drool-worthy suites or rooms. Rooted deep within the city, there is plenty to do in town with great restaurants and shopping. Rooms, depending on size and date range from $344 to $500 a night.
11. A Tiny House Resort – Catskills
2776 County Route 23B, 518-622-2626
If looking for something out of the box and with the freedom of staying in one area, then you’ll want to give Tiny House Resort a whirl. Located in New York’s Catskills region with a 2 1/2 drive from the city, the resort hosts nine tiny houses — all different from the other. For a family-friendly nonhotel getaway, we recommend The Lodge and The Little Bear. The Lodge is the property’s most significant of all the tiny houses. The space consists of a queen downstairs bedroom with a private door and tv, two lofts, one with a queen bed, the other with two twins. There is a main living area that has a fold-out sofa bed as well as a tv and dining area. The kitchen has a small gas cooktop, oven, and fridge. There is a bathroom with a tub/shower combo. This spot is located at the lowest tier, closest to the waterfront trail.
The Little Bear consists of a first-floor queen bedroom perfect for the parents with a cozy, electric fireplace. There are also two lofts and a full bathroom.
Both houses sleep six people maximum.
This is a lovely place to have a scenic, wintery getaway. And on Saturdays, the resort offers an art project for the kids. The resort has goats that live on the property and go on walks every few hours, and children are encouraged to tag along, Parents can book a massage, and if there is snow, there are sleds and tubing available for the kids.
This is a water-driven area with many hills. Kids are welcomed, but with small kids, this isn’t the type a place they can run wild without a watchful eye. Rates depend on how long you stay and base rates for a two-night stay start at $73 for two big, with each person being an additional fee of $25 to $55.