When the rigors of city life are just a little too much to handle, it’s nice for families to escape to the countryside for some fresh air and relaxation.  We are not campers in our family, so a visit to the country still requires a level of convenience not normally associated with tents, campfires and sleeping bags. We’ll leave all that to Sixth Grade Camp. A place like Mohonk Mountain House is great for families however. It’s the perfect combination of the great outdoors and luxury accommodations in an historic Victorian Castle.

Victorian-style architecture at Mohonk Mountain House

View of the Victorian castle-style architecture of Mohonk Mountain House

There are literally so many ways to enjoy Mohonk Mountain House, we’d venture to say there is something there for everyone. It really is one of the best places to travel in the Hudson Valley area – take it from one of the best travel blogs you know (hehe).

A Balanced Visit to New York State

When we decided to take a trip to New York, we knew our time in New York City would be frenetic. There to speak at a LGBTQ travel conference in Brooklyn, we spent a bit of time also seeing some of the city’s top sights. We did all the family activities while in the City and covered a LOT of territory. Walking across the Brooklyn Bridge, we visited Ground Zero, toured the Statue of Liberty and saw a Broadway show. And that was all in one day! Another day we strolled through Central Park, toured the Metropolitan Museum of Art and saw the lights of Times Square.

Our walk across the Brooklyn Bridge was epic.

It was a whirlwind of energy and excitement, and we needed to balance that experience with a little calm. A trip to the Hudson Valley would be a nice balance, we thought. And we were so right – particularly about staying at Mohonk Mountain House.

Mohonk Mountain House is Great for Families

As we drove out of the city and headed for Upstate New York, we immediately rolled down the car windows and drank in the clean fresh air. The green trees lining the roadway were a nice change from the dense buildings of New York City. But nothing prepared us for the drive into Mohonk Mountain House. It was like we had entered a long-ago lake estate out of a historic novel from the 1940s.

Mohonk Mountain House front facade at dusk

At dusk, lights begin to glow from the windows at Mohonk Mountain House.

Mohonk Mountain House is great for families for a number of reasons, but most of all because it offers that throw-back, carefree family resort feeling in a historic setting. Once we disembarked the car and checked into our room, we realized just how many things there are to do here. Quickly we agreed we should have booked a longer stay!

We saw other families here of all shapes and sizes – young, old and everything in between. More than one family group was there on a reunion, and had been coming to Mohonk Mountain House together for decades. There were also couples here, straight and gay, enjoying the romance and quiet of this mountain retreat.

Mohonk Mountain House deck with rocking chairs overlooking Mohonk Lake

Morning coffee in a rocking chair overlooking Mohonk Lake.

An Historic Hotel

Celebrating 150 years in 2019, Mohonk Mountain House has quite a storied history. The architecture, furnishings and overall footprint of the resort contain so much of the decades past, it makes for a fun exploration. Even the homey gift shop still has an old fashioned soda fountain from days gone by. It’s all just wholesome clean fun!

The resort sits on the edge of Mohonk Lake, and was originally established in 1869 by Albert K. Smiley. As its popularity grew, Mohonk Mountain House grew along with its reputation. Buildings were added to accommodate more guests, and now the hotel contains some 259 rooms, suites and cottages of various configurations.

The original buildings blend into the newer additions at Mohonk Mountain House.

Our room was spacious, with two double beds an enormous bathroom and a sitting area with armchairs and a writing desk. Furnishings are dated, but appropriately so and kept in pristine condition. The room opened up on to a lengthy balcony with rocking chairs, overlooking the landscaped grounds and the lake beyond.

balcony view from the 6th floor rooms at Mohonk Mountain House, New York

The view from our balcony at Mohonk Mountain House

Things to Do at Mohonk Mountain House

Honestly our family could have stayed a week at Mohonk Mountain House and not experienced everything this enormous resort has to offer. One of the things we loved the most was the hotel’s all-inclusive approach to creating a pleasant stay for all guests.

morning mist over Mohonk Lake with swimming dock and gazebos, Mohonk Mountain House, New York

Morning mist settles over the mountains above Mohonk Lake.

All-Inclusive Meals and Activities

All our meals were included in the price of our stay, and the restaurants were absolutely incredible. Buffets at breakfast, lunch and dinner were enormous and varied, with so many choices it was hard to decide what to eat first.

The wood paneled dining room offers buffets to fit any palette.

At dinner, there were also options for traditional table service with a menu, which we also enjoyed immensely. The historic dining room was paneled in wood and seemed like a mountain lodge of enormous proportions.

steak dinner at Surrey Restaurant, Mohonk Mountain House, New York

My steak served in Surrey Restaurant was fine dining at it’s tastiest.

Mohonk Mountain House is Great For Families Because…

  • Hiking – There are trails around the lake, up and over the hills and up to the Skytop Tower where you are rewarded with views for miles.
    walking path at Mohonk Lake, New York

    Taking a stroll around Mohonk Lake only takes about 90 minutes on mostly flat ground.

  • On the Lake – Boating, swimming and fishing are all activities to be enjoyed on Mohonk Lake. We did not get a chance to try any of these, thus the desire to have stayed at Mohonk Mountain House longer.
    boat dock at Mohonk Mountain House, New York

    The boat dock is a just a few steps from the main buildings at Mohonk.

  • Carriage Rides/Horseback – There are significant stables on the grounds of Mohonk Mountain House, available to guests for reserved outings and adventures on the nearby trails.
  • Kids Club/Teens – Sometimes its nice for families to have some fun separately as well as together. The resort offers activities for kids of different ages to have fun with each other rather than spend the whole time with their parents.
    boy and dad fishing at Mohonk Lake with Mohonk Mountain House in distance, New York

    Fishing along the banks of Mohonk Lake.

  • Evening Activities – There were so many activities in the evenings as well, and a surprising number of people gathered on the front balcony just to watch the sun set over the Adirondacks. Movies, dances, guest speakers, storytelling and other fun things are all offered as part of the all-inclusive experience. This is another main reason why Mohonk Mountain House is great for families of all ages.

And Don’t Forget These Too!

  • Spa & Indoor Pool – If a massage sounds good after all these activities, there is a beautiful spa with 16 treatment rooms. A fitness facility and indoor pool for swimming laps are also part of the offering.
    indoor pool at Mohonk Mountain House, New York

    Even the indoor pool at Mohonk Mountain House is lodge-chic.

  • Tennis/Golf – Guests who are feeling competitive have a number of choices onsite as well. The 9-hole golf course was created in 1897 and is still a huge draw, along with 6 tennis courts.
  • Sitting – And if all that is just too much, sitting in a rocking chair to take in the beautiful scenery is a perfectly acceptable resort activity at Mohonk Mountain House. In fact, there are dozens of nooks and crannies throughout the property to do just that – indoors and out.
    practice green at Mohonk Mountain House golf course

    Even the practice putting green is picture perfect at Mohonk Mountain House golf course.

Getting to Mohonk Mountain House

Pretty much renting a car is your best bet. The Mohonk Mountain House is located up a curving road at the top of a peak. Taxis and ubers can be hired, but options are very limited. It took us about two hours to drive up from New York City smooth sailing.

Mohonk Mountain House from across Mohonk Lake, New York

No matter where you stand, the views of Mohonk Mountain House are spectacular.

Costs and Fees

Mohonk Mountain House is great for families because there are a variety of  pricing options. Best to consult the resort website for best rates, which begin around $800/night USD. This price includes:

  • Three meals daily featuring fresh, locally sourced cuisine from our farm-to-table partners
  • Most resort activities and evening entertainment
  • Fitness, yoga, and meditation classes
  • Afternoon Tea and Cookies
  • And more
    scenic waking path at Mohonk Mountain House, New York

    Rocky outcroppings and greenery abound along the paths at Mohonk.

Pretty sweet deal considering all that you get. (Plus tons of happy family memories you will all carry for the rest of your lives!) For all these reasons and more, 2 Dads With Baggage agrees that Mohonk Mountain House is one of the best places to travel in Upstate New York and the Hudson Valley.