Let's Get Away
25 Excellent Eco-Friendly Weekends.
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ECO-friendly, ECO-logical, and ECO-nomical
Escapes that increase your karma without depleating your bank account.
Irving House at Harvard
3 1/4 hours from White Plains
Part dorm, part boarding house, my tiny, twin bed, shared bathroom—right across from the Harvard campus—was a mere $80.
What Makes It Green: Manager Rachel Solem runs a green ship; breakfast (included) is provided on washable plates, there’s a recycling bin and a compost bin. Packaging is kept to a minimum. And, being fluent in environmental lingo, she recommends you park your car (ok, yes, near Harvard Yard) free in the guesthouse lot— another pleasant surprise in the parking hell of Boston—and walk everywhere.
Visit Green: Amble over to the Harvard Natural History Museum and peruse the 100-year-old exhibit of painstakingly created, unbelievably realistic glass flora and fauna. For dinner, join the crowd around faux-zebra-skin banquettes at Upstairs on the Square, where the mood is theatrical but the locally sourced food is ingeniously lip smacking.
Greenbacks: $65 to $395.
The three-centuries-old Dan’l Webster Inn and Spa
The Dan’l Webster Inn and Spa
4 hours from White Plains
The 300-year-old Colonial B&B and spa is the perfect gateway to Cape Cod; you save yourself all of the gas it would take to sit in the bumper-to-bumper traffic all the way to Provincetown.
What Makes It Green: The “Green Palate” menu in the inn’s conservatory sources healthy, locally grown, organic goodies for their herb- and kelp-seared salmon and alkali stir-fry. To make the rest of your body feel as good as your stomach, there’s no better place than the on-site Beach Plum Spa. Beach plums are native to Cape Cod and contain a host of antioxidants and vitamins, and the local fruit is used in the spa’s signature treatments.
Visit Green: Enjoy the beautiful greenery—and pinkery, and yellowry—by strolling through the flowers of the Sandwich Heritage Museum and Gardens. On the way home, stop by Dexter’s Grist Mill, where fresh-milled cornmeal—yes, the mill still works—costs $3.50 for two pounds.
Greenbacks: Rooms start at $159 off-season.
PHOTO BY EDWARD JACOBY
Premiere Hotel’s green guestrooms use energy-efficient lightbulbs.
New Haven, CT
1 hour from White Plains
Yale-bound or not, New Haven is an exciting, culturally rich city to explore, and the Premiere Hotel by the water is a perfect, low-cost base.
What Makes It Green: Energy-efficient lightbulbs, recycling, and low-flow toilets are just the beginning, with new initiatives coming on board every week.
Visit Green: The “Green Package” includes maps to farmers’ markers, a healthy snack, and information about local walking tours and sailing excursions on the nearby Amistad and Schooner Quinnipiac.
Greenbacks: $149 per room, per night gets you a large newly renovated space for a family of four with pillow-top bed, pull-out couch, kitchen, and granite-counter bathrooms, and hot breakfast (and light dinner Monday to Thursday) for all.