Monday, July 7, 2008

Day at the beach, upstate style

In all fairness, no matter where you're from, up or downstate, travel for vacations, in general, is expensive. If you're lucky enough to be able to pay the bills, keep the wolf from the door and have a full refrigerator, vacation plans can drain what's left of the coffers. Now my family doesn't do too bad salary-wise, but I don't get how some folks can drop 3-4 thousand on a week on the beach in Cape Cod, the Outer Banks or for Disney.

I know, the surf, the sand, the salt in the air, yea, yea, it just rusts my car and it's over-priced to go there, the seafood is too expensive and never mind the crowds that infest the beaches.

Let me offer an alternative that we up-staters have been in on forever. Pay for day-use at upstate parks and state lake and private beaches within a couple of hours drive. Some are like a travel back in time to the rustic old days where other people actually looked out for one another and kept a safe eye on all the kids, even if they weren't theirs. Complete with old time game rooms, ice cream stands, snack bars and good old sand beaches. A picnic lunch, soda or a beer or two without the constabulary checking your cup, is all good stuff.

Here's the goods: Pine Lake's got a great private beach for a pittance. Saratoga Lakes' privately owned Browns' beach has a couple of great restaurants and snack bars near-by. Saratoga State Park with it's several pools, Mine kill State Park on Rte 30 downstate, Thompson's Lake Park in Berne, NY, Taghkanic State Park just off of the Taconic State Parkway, Moreau State Park between Saratoga and Glens Falls, sheesh, I could go on and on. Most are 7 dollars for the day per car and are worth triple that for the amenities they offer. Clean beaches, NYS certified life-guards, bath houses, showers and clean picnic areas are the norm here and they won't break the bank with a picnic lunch and a few wet bathing suits to take home. Sorry I don't have some pics to share but I was too laid back to take any and too wet to care....Gee, I slept good last night and still had cash the next day...

See ya on da beach...Upstate style...


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