Orange County, New York has an antidote for that!
So it’s almost Valentine’s Day and you’re not feeling romantic! Not in a relationship? Sticking to the New Year’s resolution forbidding heart-shaped boxes of chocolates? Tired of seeing the color red? No worries! Orange County, New York, is filled with fun alternatives to the lovey-dovey stuff! Be forewarned — there will be couples coming to the cozy B&Bs and candlelight dinners, but don’t let that hold you back. Have the best un-Valentine’s Day getaway ever in Orange County, just one hour from New York City, where the heart of the Hudson Valley beats for you!
“Who knows?” asks Amanda Dana, Director of Orange County Tourism, “A get away from Valentine’s Day getaway, might just change your mind about the holiday altogether. While having fun at a cooking class, ski adventure, farm-to-table restaurant, or winter festival, you might meet the person you’ve been dreaming of, or not! There’s always that chance you’ll be planning next year’s Valentine’s getaway to Orange County as a twosome.”
There is one special event designed especially for those looking to avoid Cupid’s arrows this year. Escape the hype and happy couples on Valentine’s Day at the “Anti Valentine Cider Soirée” at Angry Orchard. Gather your friends for an evening featuring small plate appetizers by Chef Shawn Hubbell of Amuzae Catering complete with small batch New York cider styles available exclusively at the Cider House. Chef Hubbell’s team uses the finest local and artisanal ingredients. Cocktail hour begins at 6 p.m. Who needs a date when you can have a cold crisp glass of cider and delicious foods! Loving couples are invited too but may want to keep a low profile. This event is for guests 21 and older, and $50 per person. Seats are limited! 888-845-3311, www.angryorchard.com
Need to let off steam? The cellars at Brotherhood, America’s Oldest Winery are a cool place to vent. In fact, they remain a cool, comfortable, constant temperature year-round. They are also the largest underground cellars in the country. The walking tour will do you good! By the time you get to the tasting bar, you’ll be so cool, calm and collected, those lovey-dovey couples in the on-site Vinum Restaurant won’t phase you a bit! www.brotherhood-winey.com, www.vinumcafe.com
If red’s not doing it for you, try brown! Sip a farm-fresh cocktail from Orange County Distillery’s Brown Barn Farms. Happy hour starts at 4 p.m. on Valentine’s Day! This popular venue located on 23 acres of farmland in New Hampton serves spirits, beer, wine and cider. All of the products are produced in New York State. Let the mixologist surprise you with some of the distilled products they make from ingredients grown right on their farm. They are open Thursday through Sunday. www.orangecountydistillery.com/brownbarnfarms
If avoiding chocolate is making you grumpy, Chef Anna Frumes at the Borland House Inn in Montgomery, will show you how to prepare some delicious alternatives. Register for a farm-to-table cooking class or private tasting menu. What inspires you? Italian? French? American? Book a class. Book a room. You’ll forget all about that box of chocolate covered cherries! www.theborlandhouse.com
Work it out! A few laps around the Bear Mountain Ice Skating Rink will cheer you up. So will the antics of the Bear Mountain State Park bears. Stroll around the Zoo and beautiful Hessian Lake. The scenery is gorgeous and you’ll feel no guilt when you savor a fabulous meal at the Restaurant 1915 & Blue Roof Bar later that day. Think how happy you’ll be if you spend a whole weekend at the park; call the Bear Mountain Inn for your reservation. www.visitbearmountain.com
For immediate relief from your Valentine’s Day frustrations, try hurling some hatchets! At Vikings Hatchet Hurling in Port Jervis, you can even bring your friends, some food, and throw hatchets together. www.vikingshh.com
Love can be a slippery slope. You might have to pick yourself up a few times. Get some practice at Mount Peter Ski Area in Warwick, the oldest operating ski area in New York State. If needed, they’ll give you free beginner lessons. Warm up between runs in their Base Lodge or Sunrise Lodge. We bet you’ll master the slopes in no time! www.mtpeter.com
Of course, happy romantic couples are sure to have a great Valentine’s Day in Orange County, too! Afterward, they may just want to click on orangetourism.org/weddings-special-occasions to find places to tie that love knot!