• Enjoy the splendour of Twin Farms, Vermont, and the Adirondack Mountains (top)


    Many New Yorkers make it to their upstate mansions in little more than an afternoon's drive, but we recommend the scenic route, via Vermont. Make your way past Central Park, across one of the northern bridges and along Route 91, into the land of the maple leaf.

    You can make it from the Green Mountain National Forest to Lake Champlain in a day, winding through alpine valleys and vistas. There are wonderful secondhand bookstores in Jamaica, historic dairies in Healdville and celebrated ceramicists in Quechee Gorge. This is classic, whitewashed clapboard cottage Americana.

    Vermont's capital, Montpelier, is one of the few places in the US without a McDonald's.

    Twin Farms in Barnard (from US$1,250 per night, twinfarms.com) describes itself as "beyond inclusive", which is a fair reflection of the almost OTT luxury you'll find: the finest of dining, candle-lit hot tubs and complimentary Veuve Clicquot delivered to your Hugh Hefner-meets-Frank Lloyd Wright suite at the snap of your fingers.

    Drive back into New York State, and across into the Adirondack Mountains, where the art deco-era industrialists built their great camps. An old Rockefeller property has been turned into what may be the most luxurious hotel in North America: The Point (rooms from US$1,500 per night, thepointresort.com). The log cabins, moose heads and pioneer-plaid upholstery are straight out of a Bruce Weber shoot, while the black-tie dinners and cocktails on the lake are pure Astor.


    Photographs: Corbis; Jim Westphalen

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