Just a three-hour drive north of New York City, in Bloomville, New York, is Turquoise Barn, a vegan bed and breakfast. Now, as most of you know, I’m not a vegan, but I wanted to find a bed and breakfast that had organic food and great breakfasts (sometimes even the nicest B&Bs break out the packaged pastries from Costco and coffee from a machine). From the amazing breakfasts and beautiful surroundings to the completely relaxing atmosphere, I found exactly what I wanted!
I left NYC late Friday night of Memorial Day weekend, so I sat in some hefty traffic making my arrival time much later than it should have been (it took me 5 hours!), but once I was out of the city, the greenery around me made it all worth the hassle. Also, the rental company gave me a brand new SUV, so I wasn’t roughing it on the drive. ;-) Upstate NY is so close, I don’t know why I hadn’t made the trip out until now…eight years later!
From the moment I arrived until the day I left, Michelle and Michael, the owners of the barn, welcomed me and treated me like a member of their family. I was thier only guest for the weekend (things don’t get started up in that area until after Memorial Day typically), and so I was set up for a relaxing and quiet weekend. Breakfast was served at 8am and each day was something different—my favorite was the chia seed parfait, but I also was served a tofu scramble and a dish that I think was version of oatmeal. And, there was always a green juice with nettles (see health benefits of nettles)and tea or coffee! Yum!
Each day I took the opportunity to visit a different city—I saw Oneonta, Delhi, Stamford, Andes, Woodstock—and each place I went was about a 30-60 minute drive, which was somewhat far, but each drive was beautiful. The only downfall of staying in the middle of nowhere is the restaurant quality, so other than the superb breakfasts I had in the mornings, every restaurant I tried was just "okay." If you are a vegan or vegetarian, there are definitely some options, and Michelle was really helpful in sending me in the right direction.
If you're up for exercising on vacation, which I for sure am, there are lots of hikes to do around town. Also, TB does have bikes if you want to take a ride to the neighboring towns or just near the B&B. I was nursing a foot injury so I opted for a short hike up a farm road for about 3 miles—other than being on the lookout for bears (yes, seriously), it was serene and actually a fair workout with the incline.
Turquoise Barn was truly a glorious find—it's a beautiful place to stay with great hosts and the food was awesome! I loved waking up to roosters crowing, sun shining in my room and just loved the overall relaxed atmosphere. If you're looking for a weekend retreat, I would definitely suggest taking a trip to Turquoise Barn. In the future, I would also like to try Hills Country Inn, Brookton Hollow Farm, and The Golden Guernsey, which are vegetarian.
In my hunt for a place to stay, the two websites I looked at were Happy Cow and Vegetarian USA: http://www.happycow.net/travel/bb_united_states.html, http://www.vegetarianusa.com/vegetarianbedbreakfast.html