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New York’s Empire Route: National Treasures, Parks And Historic Places By Train

Program Number: 20777RJ
Start and End Dates:
5/18/2013 - 5/25/2013;
Duration: 7 nights
Location: New York City, New York
Price starting at: $1,845.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Train Treks; History & Culture; On the Road; Natural History Activity Level: t (see description)
Meals: 17; 7 Breakfasts, 5 Lunches, 5 Dinners    
Meal Options: Low Fat; Low Salt    

From the formidable Hudson River, through the idyllic Catskill Mountains, along the shores of Lake Champlain and into the Adirondacks, take part in an adventure like no other as you ride the Amtrak Adirondack from New York City to Lake Placid, disembarking at three important locations along this scenic route. Visit the Hudson River Valley, the charming village of Saratoga Springs and on the final leg, enter the Adirondack Park to discover the history of Winter Olympics of 1932 and 1980.


• Recapture a bygone age as you ride the rails from New York City to the Adirondacks.
• Go inside the Rhinebeck Aerodrome with interpretation by an expert.
• Visit the site of the 1980 Winter Olympics, where the U.S. men’s ice hockey team upset the favored Soviets.

Activity Particulars

Walking up to 2 miles per day, mostly level terrain; standing 2-3 hours. Getting on and off trains, negotiating busy train stations.

Itinerary Summary

Arrival New York City, 1 night; train to Poughkeepsie, 2 nights; train to Saratoga Springs, 2 nights; train to Lake Placid, 2 nights; coach to New York City, departure.

New York City

The City That Never Sleeps, The Capital of the World, The Big Apple: Whatever you call New York, it is undoubtedly one of the world’s great centers for culture, food, finance, style and entertainment, from Broadway to the Bronx.

New York City: Art Deco hotel. Poughkeepsie: Fully renovated hotel in the city. Saratoga: Historic inn near downtown. Lake Placid: Picturesque mountain resort overlooking Mirror Lake.
Meals and Lodgings
   Holiday Inn New York
  New York City, NY 1 night
   Hyatt House Sierra Hotel
  Poughkeepsie, NY 2 nights
   Inn at Saratoga
  Saratoga, NY 2 nights
   High Peaks Resort Lakeview Inn
  Lake Placid, NY 2 nights
 Holiday Inn New York
Type: Full Service Hotel
  Description: Locted just 5 blocks from historic Penn Station. Just a short distance to the Empire State Building.
  Contact info: 125 West 26th Street at 6th Ave
New York, NY 10001 USA
phone: 212-430-8500
  Room amenities: Our downtown Manhattan accommodations feature fresh rooms with bright, contemporary styling. These rooms boast either one king or two double beds, a convenient work desk with an ergonomic chair, plentiful electrical outlets, and a 32-inch flat screen TV with hundreds of cable channels, many in HD. All rooms are equipped with free high-speed, wireless Internet access. Local and toll free calls are also complimentary. Each alarm clock radio has an MP3 connection so you can listen to your own music. Individual coffeemakers with gourmet coffee will help you start your day the right way. Holiday Inn NYC/Manhattan was the first Holiday Inn in New York City with all the hallmarks of the refreshed Holiday Inn. Bathrooms feature new amenities from Bath and Body Works, hairdryer with nightlight, the Holiday Inn Shower Curtain and curved shower curtain rods. Each room has fresh, new bedding with a choice of Soft or Firm pillows. Holiday Inn NYC/Manhattan also offers rooms with an Empire State Building View for a nominal upgrade fee
  Facility amenities: Holiday Inn NYC/Manhattan provides state of the art facilities to help make your stay in the heart of Manhattan the most comfortable and convenient possible. Our New York City accommodations include restaurant bar and lounge (Prime Café), 24 Hour Complimentary Business Center and 24 Hour Complimentary Fitness Center. Prime Café and Lounge is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Offering a true New York experience, Prime Cafe is owned and operated by a local family serving a menu with a focus on the Italian cuisine New York has made famous. Specials change daily at this Chelsea eatery, and the Happy Hour specials are very popular with locals. Enjoy delicious food in the comfort of your room, as Prime Café provides Room Service throughout the day to our guests. Prime Café partners with Holiday Inn NYC/Manhattan to offer the Best -4-Breakfast and Dinner packages.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: $249 - $269 Please contact the provider for rates and information.
  Check in time: 4:00 PM

 Hyatt House Sierra Hotel
Type: Full Service Hotel
  Description: HYATT house™ Fishkill is a stellar find among all hotels in Fishkill, and its well-appointed location provides easy access to Interstate 84 and Route 9, situated between renowned organizations from IBM to West Point. A Suite, Restful Retreat for the Long Haul Traveler. We get the balancing act required for taxing travel and that’s why we strive to inspire real life routine while treating you to unexpected touches of luxury. It’s this and our unrivaled service that set us apart in a hundred little ways to allow you to live your best life while on the road. HYATT house helps tackle the modern mix of chaos and never-ending expectations on the road via intuitive, value-add amenities, intelligent design and no-is-never-an-answer service.
  Contact info: 100 Westage Business Ctr Dr,
Fishkill, NY 12524 USA
phone: 845-897-5757
  Room amenities: Our spacious, smartly designed guestroom boasts modern lifestyle amenities while adding unexpected touches of luxury at every turn. Guests will enjoy laundry and same-day dry cleaning service in addition to room amenties including a king size bed, small refrigerator, coffee pot, and microwave. This room is 100 percent smokefree. This room is NOT a suite. Amenities Portico® bath amenities Clock radio with MP3 docking station Complimentary wired and wireless internet Iron & ironing board Desk with ergonomic chair Flat panel TV with expanded cable Lighted make-up mirror and hair dryer
  Facility amenities: Enjoy complimentary use of the state-of-the-art equipment in our 24-hour Fitness Center or take a refreshing swim in our indoor pool, open 8am - 10pm. Indulge in a quiet break or socialize with other guests in several outdoor areas on our beautiful grounds. If you feel like a sampling of the local nightlife or activities, just let us know. We’ll be happy to help with tickets, tee times, tours, reservations, or recommendations. We’re here to make your visit with us as entertaining and enjoyable as possible.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes

 Inn at Saratoga
Type: Inn
  Description: Historic Country inn located in the heart of Saratoga Springs, NY
  Contact info: 231 Broadway
Saratoga Springs, NY 12866 USA
phone: 800-274-3573
  Room amenities: Complimentary use of the YMCA located 1/2 block from The Inn Complimentary wired and wireless high speed internet access Hair dryer Full size iron and board Use of the Victoria Swimming Pool, located in Saratoga Spa State Park.
  Facility amenities: Complimentary use of the Victoria Swimming Pool, located in Saratoga Spa Park. (Memorial Day - Labor Day) Complimentary use of our classic Roadmaster bicycles for up to two hours per day. Complimentary use of our lobby computer for internet and email access.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes

 High Peaks Resort Lakeview Inn
Type: Inn
  Description: The High Peaks Resort is the heart of Lake Placid, New York – offering spectacular & sweeping vistas overlooking Mirror Lake on one side – anchoring Lake Placid's historic Main Street on the other. From our resort's central location all of Lake Placid's shopping, entertainment, dining and recreation fan out in every direction – you are never more than steps away from exploring history, finding a great antique bargain, experiencing a one of a kind adventure or tasting an Adirondack dining treat.
  Contact info: 2384 Saranac Avenue
Lake Placid, NY 12946-1105 USA
phone: 518-523-4411
  Room amenities: Free wireless Internet access in guest rooms and public areas, •Multi-function Alarm clock/radio/MP3 player, •Flat screen televisions with Cable TV and Lodgenet for movies and video games, •Coffee Maker with Allegro Brand Organic Coffee, hair dryers.
  Facility amenities: Full service spa, two indoor swimming pools, fitness center, day spa, free kayaks, row boats and paddle boats.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights after: $149 to $159 Call provider for additional night information. If staying an extra night you will be responsible for making transportation arrangemnets for your trip home.
  Check out time: 8:00 AM

Travel Details
  Start of Program:
3:00 PM - Lobby of hotel in NYC You will be staying at Holiday Inn New York that night.
  End of Program:
1:30 PM - NYC Hotel You will be staying at High Peaks Resort Lakeview Inn the night before.
  Required documents:
The Participant Information Form is required. None
  Parking availability:
Parking at hotel starts at $35 a day, we suggest parking at Newark Airport long term, use the Air Train, to NJ Transit Station to Penn Station in NYC.
To Start of Program
  Location:  New York City, NY
  Nearest city or town:  New York
  Nearest highway: Interstate 95
  Nearest airport:  Kennedy
  From End of Program
  Location:  Lake Placid, NY
  Nearest city or town:  Lake Placid
  Nearest highway: I 87
  Nearest airport:  Albany
Travel Details

Hotel/Newark Airport


From Airport




Commercial Van/Shuttle
Coach USA Express
phone: 877-8NE-WARK


Per Person/One Way:


$16 per person, 1/2 price if 62 or older
Prices are subject to change.


Travel Time:


1 Hour 




25 miles


Port Authority Bus Terminal. Taxi to the hotel after arriving at Terminal. 41st Street between 8th & 9th Avenue. Bus departs every 15 minutes.


Hotel/NYC Penn Station


From Train Station




Commercial Van/Shuttle
Any Taxi


Per Person/One Way:


$5 - $10
Prices are subject to change.


Travel Time:


10 Minutes 




1 mile


Penn Station is located just a few blocks from the hotel.




From Airport




Commercial Van/Shuttle
Any Taxi


Per Person/One Way:


$25 to $50
Prices are subject to change.


Travel Time:


35 minutes 




12 miles


Taxi will range in pricing depending on traffic. Can sometimes get a $45 flat rate .


Hotel/Long Term Parking


From Airport




Commercial Van/Shuttle
Coach USA/Olympia
phone: 877-8NE-WARK


Per Person/One Way:


$16 per person, 1/2 price if 62 or older
Prices are subject to change.


Travel Time:


45 minutes to 1 hour 




20 miles


Long term parking in Newark runs an average of $10 per day or less. We suggest if driving choose Newark for parking and use the shuttle to NYC.

Driving Directions
  All Areas South to Newark Airport Follow signs for I-95 N/​Trenton and merge onto I-95 N 3.5 mi Take exit 26 for State Route 90/​Betsy Ross Bridge/​Aramingo Ave 1.1 mi Merge onto NJ-90 E/​Betsy Ross Bridge/​State Route 90 E Continue to follow NJ-90 E/​State Route 90 E Entering New Jersey 2.6 mi Take the exit toward US-130 N/​N Crescent Blvd/​Westfield Camden Turnpike 0.5 mi Keep left at the fork and merge onto US-130 N/​N Crescent Blvd/​Westfield Camden Turnpike Continue to follow US-130 N 15.7 mi Take the New Jersey Turnpike ramp Toll road 0.3 mi Keep left at the fork, follow signs for Turnpike E/​New York/​Del Memorial Bridge and merge onto New Jersey Turnpike Extension Toll road 4.2 mi Merge onto New Jersey Turnpike N Toll road 8.7 mi Continue onto I-95 N Toll road 40.6 mi Take exit 13A toward Newark Airport/​Elizabeth Seaport Toll road 0.7 mi Merge onto NJ-81 N Partial toll road 0.8 mi Take the exit on the left 0.4 mi Slight right at Meadow St 0.6 mi Keep right at the fork to continue toward Newark International Airport St 0.1 mi Keep right at the fork and merge onto Newark International Airport St
  All Areas To Holiday Inn NYC La Guardia Airport( LGA) Distance: 9.2 MI/14.81 KM EAST to Hotel Take Grd Cnt Pkwy to Brklyn Qns Exprsswy exit 4 to I-278 W/Statn Isl.Take I-278 W/Brklyn Qns Exprsswy.Take I-495/L.I. Exprsswy/Grnpt Ave.Take I-495 W Exit 35W on left to Midtn Tun.Stay left.Turn rt onto 35th street,left 7th avenue,left 26th.Hotel on left. John F. Kennedy International Airport( JFK) Distance: 15.0 MI/24.14 KM EAST to Hotel Take Grd Centl Prkwy W exit 10 on left toward Triboro Bridge.Take I-495/Lg Isl Exprsswy exit 10E-W to Eastrn Lng Isl/Mnhttn. Take I-495 W via exit 10W on left.Keep left, turn right onto 35th street.Left on 7th avenue, left on W 26th street. Hotel on left Liberty International Airport( EWR) Distance: 30.0 MI/48.28 KM SOUTH WEST to Hotel Take US 1/9 N to Holland Tunnel to exit 1 toward RT-9A/West Street.Left on Laight street.Right on 12th street/West street/NY-9A/West Side Highway. Slight right on 11th avenue. Right on 23rd street. Left on 8th avenue. Right on W 26th street. Hotel on left Train Station Name: Penn Station Distance: 0.2 MI/0.32 KM NORTH WEST to Hotel Taxi Charge (one way): $ 7.00 USD Subway Subway Station Name: Penn Station Taxi Charge (one way): $ 7.00 USD 7th avenue south to 28th street
  From Boston Area to Newark Airport Slight right onto I-95 S/​Cross Bronx Expy (signs for Geo Washington Bridge/​S Interstate 678/​Whitestone Bridge) Continue to follow I-95 S 5.4 mi Continue straight onto Interstate 95 Upper Level S/​George Washington Bridge (signs for I-95 S/​Trenton) Entering New Jersey 2.4 mi Take exit 72B to merge onto U.S. 1 S/​US-46 W/​U.S. 9 S Continue to follow US-46 W 2.8 mi Take the I-95 S/​I-80 W ramp 0.3 mi Follow signs for Interstate 95 S/​New Jersey Turnpike S .9 mi Take exit 16W toward Rutherford 0.6 mi Merge onto I-95 S/​New Jersey Turnpike S Partial toll road 9.8 mi Take exit 14 to merge onto I-78 W toward US-1/​US-9/​US-22/​Newark Airport
Elevation Note: May travel over 3000 in the Adirondacks

Equipment Requirements: None
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Daily Schedule

Day 1: Individual arrivals and check-in at our New York City hotel
(Saturday, May 18)
 Arrive To: Individual arrivals and check-ins. Registration following check in with your Road Scholar representative.
 Dinner: Dinner is served at the hotel or local restaurant followed by a program orientation.
 Evening: Evening lecture to include the history of tomorrow's travels by NPS Volunteer Speaker
Accommodations: Holiday Inn New York
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Amtrak from NYC to Rhinebeck, NY. Visit the Rhinebeck Aerodrome for guided exploration of one of the top collections of antique and vinatage aircraft.
(Sunday, May 19)
 Breakfast: Breakfast is included at the hotel.
 Morning: TRAIN JOURNEY: Board the Amtrak “Adirondack” for a 2-hour journey along the Hudson River to Rhinecliff. We are joined by the National Park Service who will provide commentary via the listening devices included in your program. You’ll learn about the significance of various sites as well as the military history.
 Lunch: Lunch is included today in the Hudson Valley.
 Afternoon: FIELD TRIP: Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome in Red Hook. Led by our expert instructor/guide, we’ll explore “America’s living museum of antique aviation” with one of the largest collections of early aeroplanes in the world as well as automobiles, motorcycles, early engines, and memorabilia from 1900-1935. The Aerodrome’s four museum buildings display aircraft form the Pioneer Era, World War I, and the Lindbergh/Barnstorming era.
 Afternoon: We check into our Poughkeepsie hotel where we stay for the next two evenings.
 Dinner: Dinner is included this evening at the hotel or local restaurant.
 Evening: PRESENTATION: Evening presentation on the Hudson River as well as the Clermont Estate and the connection between . Learn about this colorful story including the relationship of partners Robert Fulton and Robert R. Livingston.
Accommodations: Hyatt House Sierra Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Olana Historic Site and Clermont Historic Site
(Monday, May 20)
 Breakfast: Breakfast is included at the hotel.
 Morning: FIELD TRIP: Clermont Estate. We’ll have a guided exploration of this fabled estate that features the history of seven generations of the Livingston Family who lived on the site for two centuries. It was from here in 1807 that Livingston and Fulton launched the first steamship company on the Hudson River. Clermont affords one of the Hudson Valley’s most spectacular views, stretching across the Hudson River to the Catskill Mountains.
 Lunch: Lunch is served at a local restaurant in the Hudson Valley.
 Afternoon: FIELD TRIP: Olana House. The home of artist Frederic Edwin Church was at the epicenter of the Hudson River School of painting. The estate is a unique three-dimensional work of art comprised of romantic landscape design, breathtaking views, and exotic architecture. During a guided exploration of the house and grounds, which includes changing exhibitions in addition to the permanent collection, learn about the importance of outdoor spaces to Frederic Church and the creation of the carriage roads that weave through the estate.
 Dinner: A wonderful dinner will be included this evening at a fine restaurant overlooking the Hudson River.
 Evening: This evening discuss tomorrow's travel with local historian from the NY Department of Parks.
Accommodations: Hyatt House Sierra Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Amtrak from Rhinecliff to Saratoga, NY, Exploration of Batcheller Mansion
(Tuesday, May 21)
 Breakfast: Enjoy a leisurely breakfast this morning as we will not depart the hotel until 9:00 AM.
 Morning: TRAIN JOURNEY: Depart our hotel, we transfer to the Amtrak station where we board the train for another scenic ride along the Hudson and through the Catskill Mountains to Saratoga Springs. During our journey today we are joined by a local speaker who will provide commentary via the listening devices about more of the Hudson Valley, the city of Albany, and significant sites along the way. Arriving in Saratoga Springs, we disembark the train and take a short trolley ride to the inn where we will stay the next two evenings.
 Lunch: A delicious lunch is served at our inn.
 Afternoon: LECTURE & FIELD TRIP: Saratoga Springs: Following lunch we will enjoy a brief presentation on the local history of Saratoga Springs. Next we experience exploration of the Batcheller Mansion led by (Hollis Palmer.) The program concludes with a Victorian tea and those who participate receive a copy of the book The Batcheller Mansion. The entire experience takes about 90 minutes and allows you to appreciate what it was like to live in the Victorian house that was known as “Saratoga’s Crowning Glory.”
 Dinner: Dinner this evening is included at the inn.
 Evening: Depending on time of year we may enjoy a performance at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center or Lecture with our local historian.
Accommodations: Inn at Saratoga
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Exploration of Saratoga Architecture , visit to the Saratoga National Race Track and Saratoga Racing Museum Hall of Fame.
(Wednesday, May 22)
 Breakfast: Breakfast is included at the inn.
 Morning: FIELD TRIP: Today we explore the Victorian and Edwardian houses of those who lived, worked, and built Saratoga. From the candy maker to one of the leaders of Tammany Hall, from the owners of the hotels to the home of one of the architects whose houses can be seen throughout the city, these are the homes of Saratoga’s upper middle class. Depending on availability we may have the opportunity to enter one of the prominent mansions.
 Afternoon: FIELD TRIP: This afternoon we visit the Saratoga Racing Museum & Hall of Fame and explore the racing history of Saratoga. The rest of your afternoon is free to explore this charming town including the mineral spas located directly across from our inn.
 Dinner: You are free for dinner this evening. Within a short distance from the inn are many great restaurants featuring all types of cuisine. Your program coordinator will help you find the perfect place.
 Evening: LECTURE: This evening's talk will include information on the Underground Railroad along Lake Champlain and the Adirondacks.
Accommodations: Inn at Saratoga
Meals Included: Breakfast

Day 6: Amtrak along Lake Champlain, through Ticonderoga to the Adirondack Mountains, John Brown State Historic Site
(Thursday, May 23)
 Breakfast: Breakfast is included at the inn.
 Morning: FREE MORNING: Time for a walk for more personal independent exploration.
 Lunch: TRAIN JOURNEY W/BOX LUNCH We board the train at noon with a box lunch prepared by the inn. We begin our journey through Whitehall and along the shores of Lake Champlain en route to Westport. We will be joined by a local historian who will capture your imagination with the history of Lake Champlain, the Underground Railroad, and John Brown.
 Afternoon: FIELD TRIP: John Brown State Historic Site. We disembark at the Westport, NY Station where we will be greeted by our deluxe motorcoach which will take us to the home of abolitionist John Brown. Many people have heard of the song “John Brown's body lies a-mouldering in the grave,” but most have never heard of this simple farm at North Elba, New York. Recall the events before and after John Brown’s notorious raid on Harper’s Ferry, October 16, 1859, and consider his legacy.
 Dinner: Dinner is on your own this evening in the village this evening as your coordinator will provide you with the many choices.
 Evening: FREE EVENING: Feel free to enjoy the village or take a stroll around beautiful Mirror Lake.
Accommodations: High Peaks Resort Lakeview Inn
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 7: The Wild Center, The Olympic Center, Olympic Museum and Hall of Fame
(Friday, May 24)
 Breakfast: Breakfast is included.
 Morning: FIELD TRIP: Wild Center, Tupper Lake. Located on a 31-acre site near the geographic center of the Adirondack Park, the Wild Center’s mission is to ignite an enduring passion for the Adirondacks where people and nature can thrive together and set an example for the world. The center is science-based, and its experiences, exhibits, and programs are designed to open new ways to look into the latest discoveries made by natural scientists. We’ll meet and talk with staff members to learn about the center and its work.
 Lunch: A picnic lunch is included today.
 Afternoon: FIELD TRIP: Olympic Complex. Returning to Lake Placid, we visit some of the venues for the Winter Olympics of 1932 and 1980. This is one of only four places in the world that have hosted the Olympics twice. The area is still known for its numerous outdoor activities.
 Dinner: A delicous farewell dinner is included this evening at the inn.
 Evening: An evening speaker presentation or light entertainment depending on time of year.
Accommodations: High Peaks Resort Lakeview Inn
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8: Travel to New Jersey and New York City
(Saturday, May 25)
 Depart From: Today we board our motorcoach for our journey from Lake Placid to New York City.
 Breakfast: Breakfast is included this morning.
 Morning: Today we travel by motorcoach to NYC. We will travel to the Newark Liberty Airport if needed for people who have parked in Long Term Parking or will be flying from this airport. Our plans are to arrive at the Newark Airport by 1:00 PM. Following our drop off at the Newark Airport we will travel to the Holiday Inn Manhattan for drop off at the hotel if needed. This should be around 2:30 PM.
Meals Included: Breakfast
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Suggested Reading List

Saratoga Springs: A Historical Portrait (NY) (Images of America)

Author: Timothy A. Holmes and Martha Stonequist

Description: Brilliant afternoons awash in sunshine . . . health, history, and horses . . . this is the experience Saratoga Springs spreads out for visitors, year after golden year. From the long distant past, the powerful waters from deep in the earth made this place a wellspring of the healing arts. The allure of meeting in the healthy country environment brought society first from the eastern cities and then from all points of the globe. Society itself became an object for summer entertainment, and connecting with living history came to be a recreational pursuit.

The Hudson River: A Great American Treasure by Scenic Hudson

Author: Greg Miller, Ned Sullivan and Bill McKibben

Description: The Hudson River presents this national treasure as never before, showcasing the dramatic terrain of bordering mountain ranges, verdant pastures, and rambling estates that overlook its waters. The Hudson remains a gateway destination for millions of vacationers who flock to its scenic valley and charming villages. The regions most notable attractions are pictured in panoramic shots from all four seasonsamong them Storm King, Bear Mountain, Rhinebeck, Nyack, Saratoga Springs, and New York City.

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