The hamlet of Accord, NY in Ulster County may be small but it’s an idyllic getaway for those seeking pastoral scenery, farm-fresh food and drink, and townie bars where you can mingle with locals and visitors alike. It's a pastoral paradise nestled between the Shawangunk Ridge and the Catskill mountains, a place where scores of city expats and weekenders have made second then primary homes.
First things first, though, it’s pronounced “ACK-ord.” Second thing: Accord is small, and best enjoyed as a home base along with the amenities of surrounding towns and hamlets (Stone Ridge, High Falls, Kerhonkson, and even New Paltz). That said, we’ve rounded up some places to dine, drink, and spend the night for a perfect weekend getaway in Accord, full of of good eats and green acres.
Take the scenic route through Ulster County’s winding historic countryside along Route 209 but arrive to town by noon to ensure you don’t miss one of the area’s best kept secrets: pierogies at Helena’s Specialty Foods in an unlikely parking lot with Taylor Rental and Napa Auto Parts. For around $10 (bring cash) you can order up a dozen authentic pierogies, handmade onsite using the owner Maria’s Ukrainian and Polish family recipes. Flavors vary from traditional potato and cheese to potato and buffalo chicken, or even in-season fruits and veggies.
After you’ve had your fill, pop across the street to explore the agritourism wonder that is Kelder’s Farm. You can’t miss Gnome Chomsky, who for a while enjoyed the title of the world’s largest gnome. Kelder’s offers a petting zoo, u-pick flowers and fruits, a farmer’s market, a ginormous jumping pillow (i.e. trampoline), mini golf, and about a dozen other things to do with the kids or with your date.
When the pierogi coma sets in, head over to Stonehill’s Farmhouse and settle into one of the farmhouse’s four thoughtfully designed guest rooms, each outfitted with organic bed and bath linens, natural bath amenities, a smart TV, minibar, and more. But try to resist taking a nap in those luxury linens just yet—there’s exploring to do.
Though part of Accord’s charm is its rurality, there are a handful of locally owned shops worth a visit. Browse handmade pottery at Stone Window Gallery on Main Street, Accord; aromatic soaps and gifts at Heart and Arrow Handcrafted (Upper Whitfield Road), and furniture and finds at Rose Hill Antiques on Route 209. Or, walk the southern portion of the O&W Rail Trail, which runs from Accord to Kerhonkson. This 3.5-mile stretch is also great for mountain biking, as it winds through wooded areas alongside the Rondout Creek.
For dinner, enjoy casual dining in a laid-back atmosphere at Stone House Tavern with a local-when-possible menu that satisfies nearly every palate—from soups and salads, to hearty entrees, to vegan dishes. Stick around to enjoy a post-dinner pint, or head to nearby Kerhonkson to experience Rough Cut Brewing’s delicious craft beer.
Spend the next day farm-hopping. After enjoying breakfast at the farmhouse, venture to Saunderskill Farms’ farm stand and general store to grab a cup of coffee and peruse their selection of local honey, maple syrup, fresh-baked goods, and other take-home treats. They offer light fare, sandwiches, soups, and such, for lunch, too. This is a community gathering place, so expect to scoot your way past neighbors and PTA members catching up on the latest town happenings.
There’s much to do at Westwind Orchard in summer and fall, from apple and raspberry-picking to just hanging out at a picnic table to soak in the rustic sights, while you sip a glass of their small-batch, craft cider made onsite from apples raised in their biointensive orchard. Westwind’s new restaurant and tasting room remains open year-round, dishing up artfully plated, authentic Italian cuisine like Gnocchi con Funghi—purple gnocchi with black trumpet mushrooms ($19). Westwind owner Fabio Chizzola is a stickler for traditional ingredients from his homeland, importing an array of cured meats and other delicacies directly from Italy for the real deal. Basically, this is not an eggplant parm kind of place.
Next door, you’ll find another farm-to-glass establishment: Arrowood Farm Brewery. This sustainable farm brewpub is solar-powered and largely self-reliant, cultivating a portion of its own hops and grains. Resident farm animals (pigs and sheep) chow on the spent grain from the brewing process while doing their part to rid the fields of pests and provide natural fertilizer for crops. Pull up a seat at the bar, or in a hammock outside during the warmer months, and end the day with a fresh-poured pint from their seasonally changing list. Cheers to the weekend.