Top 3 Northeast Family Resorts

Author: Kyle McCarthy

Tags : Baby, Biking, FTF Scholarships, Hiking, Kids, Kids Club, National Parks, New York, North America, Teens, USA, Vermont, Watersports

What do Mohonk Mountain House, Tyler Place and Smuggler's Notch have in common -- you'll find kids clubs, water sports, hiking, adult-only activities, guest camaraderie, water slides and more at these rural retreats.

Mohonk Mountain House, the Tyler Place Family Resort and Smugglers Notch are among the top family getaways in the Northeast, and all three will fulfill your vacation fantasy of clean air, natural beauty and a myriad of activities for all ages.  However, the similarities end there as each creates a very different vacation experience.  By comparing each resort’s ambience, accommodations and facilities, kid’s programs, and dining offerings you’ll be able to determine which resort fits your vacation needs, wants and desires.


Mohonk Mountain House

1000 Mountain Rest Road, New Paltz, NY  12561


The Vibe

If you want to surround yourself with luxury, check-in to the breathtaking Mohonk Mountain House in beautiful New Paltz, New York. Mohonk, open year-round, is the most upscale of the three resorts, yet the majestic setting is surprisingly kid-friendly.

As you drive up the winding scenic entrance, the hotel slowly comes into view. It immediately strikes you as unique because of its size and design. Mohonk’s old-world architecture mixed with modern amenities communicates that this will be a unique, charming and relaxing vacation. Your first impression of luxury is proved correct when you drive up to the main entrance and are greeted by eager-to-please bell hops, valet parking attendants, and a quick check-in. By this point, your family is feeling very pampered.

Upon entering the hotel, all ages will want to explore the historic setting. On the first floor, just past the front desk, is a grand staircase; wide and flowing with mahogany banisters.  The kids will want to do a few laps up and down the stairs. Just beyond the stairs is a great room where guests gather every afternoon for tea, served on china, with freshly baked cookies. A porch wraps around the great room and overlooks the calm waters of the small but pristine lake surrounded by a spectacular backdrop of rocks and mountains. At this point, the rocking chair on the porch beckons you to sit down and breathe in the natural beauty of your surroundings.

Accommodations and Facilities

There are varying types of accommodations including traditional rooms, Victorian rooms, and suites. Although charming, most are small, but don’t let that stop you from vacationing here. You won’t be spending much time in your room.

At the waterfront you can take out a canoe, row boat or paddle boat, or you can walk down to the lake beach set up with roped-off swim areas, a swim deck and lounge chairs. Right on the premises, you can hike first class, well-marked and regularly maintained trails. There are also guided nature walks, horseback riding, indoor swimming, fishing, carriage rides, rock climbing, ice skating, snowshoeing, golf and Mohonk’s famous rock scrambles.

Mohonk has a stunning spa complete with an indoor pool, Jacuzzi, fitness room, outdoor mineral pool and a full menu of spa services. Sitting atop a cliff and surrounded by mountains and water, the wood, stone and cedar shingled setting signals the start of your relaxation journey.

Kid’s Stuff

The best part is adults don’t have to feel guilty enjoying themselves. While you get some much needed rest, your kids are having fun and exploring nature at Mohonk's award-winning kids' club. Summers, there's an evening program as well. Divided by age and by interests, the groups hike, bike, play tennis, go on pony rides, swim, do arts’n’crafts and lots of other fun things. The older groups do team building activities.  Speaking of older groups, there’s even a place for the 12- to 18-year-old crowd. 

Mohonk’s camp hours provide an excellent balance between family time and couple time.  You’ll still eat all meals with your children, unless you hire a babysitter.  Camp space is limited and is on a first-come, first-served basis but they can usually accommodate everyone.


Mohonk has the best food of the three resorts, so don’t plan to diet while you’re here. There are two places to dine.  The upstairs dining room is more formal and men are required to wear jackets. A second, less formal dining room serves buffet style.  The latter is great if you have young children or don’t want to dress for dinner. In good weather, lunch is also offered outdoors where the mountainous countryside sets the stage for a spectacular, well-appointed barbeque buffet.

Bottom Line 

2014 summer rates for a regular room hover around $900 to $1,000/N, with meals included. Cottages are also offered. Kids clubs are available throughout the summer but usually only last two hours per day. Pick-up services are also available based upon request. 

Note! This story was accurate when it was published. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question, and stay up to date with current events to ensure a safe and successful trip.