Let's Get Away
25 Excellent Eco-Friendly Weekends.
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Alfresco dining at the Springs Bistro in the Grand Cascades Lodge
Grand Cascades Lodge
1 hour from White Plains
With its soaring wood-and-stone lobby, this hotel would fit comfortably in one of our western National Parks.
What Makes It Green: The property recently partnered with Sustainable Travel International (STI) to become the first resort- development company to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through an innovative program, MyClimate, a carbon-offset organization. The resort’s Ballyowen Golf Club is designated as a “Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary,” rain and treated septic water is used to water the golf course and landscaping, hotel keys are biodegradable, and recycling, locally grown food, and energy-efficient light bulbs are featured.
Visit Green: Play golf on one or more of seven award-winning golf courses. Golf package includes 18 holes, unlimited driving range, bag storage, use of spa facilities and terrarium-like “Biosphere” indoor pool, and a bedroom that features a Tempur-Pedic mattress, flat-screen TV, and other luxe amenities starting at $269 per night per couple.
Greenbacks: $269 to $684 per night per room.
PHOTO BY KRISTIAN SEPTIMIUS KROGH
The updated look of the Red Lion Inn
Red Lion Inn
2 hours from White Plains
First opened in 1773 as a rough-and-tumble stagecoach stop, then evolving into a way-station for prosperous sojourners, the Red Lion Inn has had years of environmentally sensitive practice; winning the Good Earthkeeping Award bestowed by the Massachusetts Lodging Association in 2008. Current owner Nancy Fitzpatrick adheres to the principles of sustainability by buying and supporting local businesses, and has breathed fresh, plush life into formerly dated rooms. If original sloping floors could talk, they’d tell of the tens of thousands of guests who have wandered down these maze-like hallways; filled with enough art, including pieces by hometown hero Norman Rockwell, to make historians and museum-goers giddy.
What Makes It Green: Energy-efficient heating and cooling systems, new insulated windows retrofitted into original 19th- century frames, on-premises storm-water filtration system, organic nontoxic cleaning products, restaurant spent $400,000 on local foods in 2008, used cooking oil powers local farmers’ trucks, duvet covers crafted from Inn’s recycled sheets, and a slew of other green practices. (The staff is now attempting to figure out how to harness laundry heat to warm the pool.)
Visit Green: Guests earn a $20 gift card if they arrive in a hybrid vehicle or by public transportation. Though a bit of an oxymoron, the Inn runs “Roaring Ramble”—a farm-to-table motorcycle tour in season, justified by the assertion that road hogs use less gas than even hybrid cars.
Greenbacks: $140 (for shared bathroom) to $400.