BIKE, SHOP, EAT & A MOVIE!
If you are looking for a day full of adventure including cycling, shopping in a quintessential Hudson Valley village, eating yummy food at every turn, plus a drive-in movie, look no farther than the Harlem Valley Rail Trail from Amenia to Millerton. This 15 mile paved bike trail is shaded, flat and stunning! What more could you want? Oh, scrumptious food and fabulous shopping, too? Well, your adventure itinerary begins in Amenia as you pedal past farmlands, meadows and babbling streams.
About an hour later, you will arrive in the picture postcard village of Millerton. My husband and I usually amble up the Main Street peeking in all the shop windows. If you have children along or your’e an avid reader, don’t miss Oblong Books, an indy book, music and toy store. The kids will be busy with the creative toys as you enjoy the eclectic book selection. My personal favorite is Charlotte Taylor where you can find the perfect gift for your friend’s birthday or something that you simply cannot live without. I had to have the canvas coin purse with the embroidered bicycle.
A trip to Millerton is never complete without a visit to Harney & Sons Fine Teas. Here you can sample some of their 250 varieties of tea and admire their giftware. I sampled the Golden Monkey, one of their Teas of the Month, which comes from China's Fujian province. I loved the hints of apricot, nuts and rose.
After all that cycling and shopping you will be famished, so it’s time for lunch. Millerton offers several dining options, but we enjoy Hathaway’s, a specialty food shop and intimate cafe with a cozy outdoor terrace offering Lavazza coffee, Harney & Sons teas, soups, salads, sandwiches, and Jane’s ice cream. Their specialties include “Artisan Beads, Pastries, Cakes, Pies and Assorted Deliciousness”. Their quiches are worthy of a photo shoot and can be purchased whole to take home for later.
We split the Hathaway’s BLT served on Pita with Local Thick-Cut Bacon, Beefsteak Tomato, Sky Farm Greens with Her-Pesto Mayonnaise. Scrumptious! We loved their charming outside patio and the bohemian-style ambiance complete with a flying mannequin dressed as a pastry chef and holding onto two French baguettes.
Now it’s time to work off that lunch, so jump on your bike and head back to Amenia. On your return trip take the time to relax on one of the many benches perfectly positioned to enjoy the farmlands, creeks and meadows. One great place to stop is Coleman Station, a former NYC railroad station, which now has gorgeous plantings, benches and a plaque describing the historical significance of the station.
Once you arrive back in Amenia, head straight for the Four Brothers Restaurant which has served over 80 million customers! Many of the dairy items are produced locally at their own farm and the olive oil used for cooking and on their Margherita pizza is from their olive orchards in Greece!
Next door to the restaurant is their modern-retro drive-in theater with double features, ice cream & a Snack restaurant with car delivery. “We are a boutique cinema in pursuit of magic designed for those who want grand entertainment, premium foods, and to be inspired.”
The screen measures 56 feet by 31 feet and you just tune your radio to 104.5. If your windshield is dirty, the staff will gladly shine it up free of charge. All pets are more than welcome and there is a large litter box for their use. They even have an electric vehicle charging station!
There is car hop service and food can be ordered by phone, online or simply walk up to the Shack. The Shack menu includes homemade banana and rice puddings, shakes, hard and soft-serve ice cream, fresh lemonade, burgers and sandwiches. Everything is made to order and there are always fabulous Specials of the Day. A sign proclaims: “When a man’s stomach is full, it makes no difference if he’s rich or poor!”
As we devoured the banana pudding and baklava milk shake, we explored the outdoor Lazy Lover Liz Lounge which includes a pergola, fire pit, and a neon LOVE sign for photo ops.