Don't Like Camping? Try a Getaway House Instead

Getaway House lets you book a cozy and comfortable tiny home in the woods that’ll have you questioning why you're still renting in the city

Photo courtesy of Getaway House
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I wasn't exactly sure of where I was going. I knew it'd be in the Eastern Catskills and I knew it'd be about a two hour drive from my apartment in Brooklyn. I knew I'd be driving myself to a small cabin with hot water, cold A/C, and a comfy bed in the middle of the woods. I knew I'd be without WiFi and have limited cell service. Lastly, I knew I'd be in for an adventure. 

This is the promise of a Getaway House—a cozy yet comfortable cabin set amongst sprawling trees, rolling mountains, and limited neighbors. A welcome respite for someone like me who can literally hear my neighbor rehearse their lines for an independent film which may or may not end up at Cannes (enunciation goes a long way, Patrick). 

I should mention I went to my Getaway House solo. I don't mind traveling alone and the ex I texted had "a lot going on" that weekend. I wasn't deterred and even thought I'd see other solo travelers on the property. Maybe make a new pal. I was sorely mistaken. The site was littered with couples, taking walks hand in hand, laughing in the distance over a crackling fire, casting friendly yet apprehensive glances over at the bearded guy singing The Allman Brothers in a tank top stoking a fire with a beer in hand (me, I was that guy). This is all to say that Getaway Houses seem to be great for couples, but I thoroughly enjoyed my unaccompanied stay. 

Let's get into how the whole thing works. Once you book, you'll get your info. This includes address, cabin assignment, and key code to enter. You won't need to bring much, the cabin has you set with clean towels, some toiletries, a shower with hot water, A/C & heat, cookware & drinkware, and even a fire pit with wood & firestarter. If you want to purchase extra provisions like coffee, tea, food, and more wood, you can for a nominal fee. I'd highly recommend bringing rain gear, bug spray, good shoes, and some cozy layers—the weather in the mountains changes more than CBS's lineup of evening sitcoms. 

You'll also want to bring a toothbrush & toothpaste, any can't-live-without items, a hammock (there are so many great hammock spots), and extra water—especially if you plan to go hiking. I was able to pack everything into a large backpack and it was more than enough for the weekend.

Now, the type of person you are will guide your Getaway experience. Are you looking to simply sit around in the woods and catch up on a book? Do you want to explore the local towns and check out the food & drink scene? Do you want to hike the tallest mountain in the area and yell from the peak "IS THAT ALL YOU'VE GOT?!" I wanted to do all of these things. So I did, and it kicked ass.

Photo courtesy of Getaway House

I also wanted to tell you about every single thing I did over the course of 2,000 words, but I'll err on the side of brevity for the sake of your sanity as a reader. Instead, I'll offer a brief recap of all the dope things I did. First, I went into town for dinner and then over to a brewery, later I made s'mores and drank whiskey by my campfire. After a restful night, I woke up early to walk a trail to a secret swimming hole before driving a few miles for what are arguably the best tacos and margs in the Catskills. Finally, I went back to finish off my whiskey and firewood while the gentle sounds of Spotify's "70's Classic Rock" helped set the final night's tempered tone.

In the morning, I got up, packed the seven things I brought with me, and went to the Log Cabin Cafe in Purling, NY. The name is pretty on the nose. It's a log cabin that's a cafe. There were to be no surprises here. I ordered a cup of coffee, eggs over easy, bacon, hash browns, and toast. I remember wishing I had another night here. I could go back to the swimming hole, try out some more local beers, and finally hike to the Hunter Mountain Fire Tower.

I guess that's what makes a Getaway House so special. Your time there is finite and you'd be wise to make the most of it. But even if you don't, you'll know you can always go back. You know that on any given weekend, you can abscond into the wilderness, turn your phone off, have a cozy cabin waiting for you, and maybe even meet an amicable local who will tell you about swimming holes, breweries, and the best fish tacos you'll ever eat in the Catskills. All that's left to do is book yours.

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