Quick trip: Sharon Springs

smith empie smith building sharon springs 2015-August

This handsome building on Main Street was once a department store -- it now houses the antique store Heritage Living Country & Vintage.

Sometimes you just want to get out of town for the afternoon. A quick trip to Sharon Springs is an easy way to do that -- and you can still be back by evening.

What is it?

sharon springs shops 2015-August

Sharon Springs is a tiny village in Schoharie County. As the name implies, it has sulfer springs and was a notable vacation destination during the late 1800s, drawing visits from figures such as the Vanderbilts, Oscar Wilde, Ulysses S. Grant, and later, Teddy Roosevelt. [NYT]

Like many upstate resort destinations, the 20th century wasn't especially kind to Sharon Springs and many of its hotels fell into disrepair. But recent years have seen a slowly-building revival, with shops and restaurants and lodging. The upswing could accelerate greatly if a long-planned renovation of a historic bathhouse and other properties ever moves forward. [Daily Gazette]

Where is it?

Sharon Springs is in the northwest corner of Schoharie County, just north of US 20. It's about an hour's drive from Albany.

The best way to get there from most points in the Capital Region core is to pick up US 20 -- which is Western Ave/Turnpike in Albany and Guilderland -- and head out that way. It's an easy drive with some nice rural scenery along the way.

Why go there?

If you're looking for a short day trip -- the sort of the place you can head out to get out of town for the afternoon, or string together a few other places -- Sharon Springs might be just what you're looking for.

What's there to do?

For a quick day trip there are probably two main things: lunch/dinner and a bit of shopping.

american hotel sharon springs main st 2015-August

There are a handful of places to get lunch or dinner right in the village. Among them:
+ The American Hotel has become mainstay after owners Doug Plummer and Garth Roberts renovated the 1847 hotel about 15 years ago. It serves lunch on Saturdays, brunch on Sundays, and serves dinner nightly (through August 23).
+ The Black Cat Cafe across the street has salads, sandwiches, and brunch items. It's open 9 am-6 pm Monday-Saturday, and 9 am-3 pm on Sunday.
+ Another option worth checking out is 204 Main Bar & Bistro. We had lunch there recently and it was good -- refined, well-executed takes on items like Waldorf salad and a BLT. It's currently open for lunch Monday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, and for dinner on those days plus Sunday.

beekman 1802 exterior sharon springs 2015-August

There's a string of small shops along Main Street selling antiques, housewares, and gifts. A few that caught our attention:
+ If you're a fan of "The Beekman Boys" -- Josh Kilmer-Purcell and Brent Ridge you -- know that their farm is near Sharon Springs. And their Beekman 1802 brand has a store on Main Street that sells a wide range of their products, from soaps and lotions, to food items, to housewares.
+ Cobble & Co. is a gift store stuffed into 12 rooms, many of them with themes. (You know there is a Christmas room.) It's really fun browsing from room, all along looking at the notes scribbled on the walls from previous patrons.
+ McGillycuddy's Naturals offers a large selection of bath and body products made on the family's nearby farm. The shop smells fantastic.

Harvest Festival: One more thing, Sharon Springs has its annual harvest festival September 19 and 20.

What else is there do while out there?

For most people on a day trip, Sharon Springs is probably a two-hour stop. So, while you're out that way...
+ Cooperstown, and it has to offer, is just about 30 more minutes to the southwest.
+ Canajoharie is just about 15 minutes to the north -- so you could check out the Arkell Museum.
+ And if you wanted to take a longer loop back to the south, you're not that far from the Howe Caverns. And a little more to the south is the Schoharie Valley, which includes , Vroman's Nose, the Iroquois Indian Museum (earlier) and Old Stone Fort.


Spent 11 years in Sharon Springs serving the United Methodist Church on RT 20 and enjoyed my time there. I miss all the folks I came to know as part of my ministry as well as the folks from Sharon Springs Central School whom I had the privilege of working with as a School Bus Driver for many years. Miss you all and hope to visit soon. My wife, Rachel is currently in a nursing home in Morrisville VT with Parkinson's disease. Much of my time is spent with here every day. God's blessing on you all in Sharon Springs, keep up the good work.

I've visited my friends that live there and will be back again. Nice small town

We love Sharon Springs! We were surprised that the Spring House Spa wasn't listed. My husband and I stay in their gorgeous upstairs Loft and pamper ourselves with massages before heading to the American for Dinner. Such a great town with an incredible history!

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