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One Tank Trip: Woodstock

(Photo : STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images)(Photo : STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images)

A tiny town nestled in Ulster County's lush farm country, Woodstock came to musical fame during three infamous days of peace, love and music in 1969. The festival was coined Woodstock, yet this seminal event actually took place in nearby Bethel on dairy farmer Max Yasgur's land. The tranquil farm and music-loving farmer are no more, but the magical soul of Woodstock tangibly lives on and can be experienced by all who visit. A trip to Woodstock from NYC takes less time to drive than it does to listen to the entire three-day soundtrack. So relax and scatter some "Rainbows All Over Your Blues." You'll be in Woodstock before Janis can finish singing "Ball and Chain."

Getting There

Take New York State Thruway (Interstate 87) north to Exit 19 (Kingston). Go west on Route 28 toward Pine Hill. After six miles, turn right onto Route 375 and drive the three remaining miles into Woodstock.

What To Do

Bethel Woods
(credit: Bethel Woods)

Bethel Woods Center for the Arts
200 Hurd Road
Bethel, NY 12720
(866) 781-2922

Built on the site of the Woodstock festival, this next door, not-for-profit performing arts center and museum honors and expands upon its dulcet roots by featuring concerts, performances and educational events ranging from rock concerts to youth opera workshops. Children will enjoy musically-themed, hands-on events that focus on self-mastery and appreciation of the natural world. The on-site museum centers on the Woodstock generation's music, culture and values. An eclectic, wide-ranging roster of concerts spans the calendar year round.

(credit: The Center for Photography at Woodstock)

The Center for Photography at Woodstock
59 Tinker St.
Woodstock, NY 12498
(845) 679-9957

CPW is a not-for-profit, artist-centric organization devoted to the love of photography and the artists whose vision can touch, move and inspire others through their work. Workshops, lectures and special events bring together lovers of the craft, eager to express themselves through the lens. Curated exhibitions range from seasoned, well-known artists to tomorrow's up-and-coming talents. A curated, contemporary collection of prints, slides, audiotapes and videos plus an historical photographic archive supply many hours of enjoyable and enlightened viewing.

Karma Triyana Dharmachakra, Inc.
335 Meads Mountain Road
Woodstock, NY 12498
(845) 679–5906

A Tibetan Buddhist Monastery and Retreat, Karma Triyana Dharmachakra offers guided tours to the public of its majestically serene landscape on Saturdays and Sundays most weekends. Shinay Meditation classes are available on weekends and weekdays and solitary meditation is also allowed in the shrine rooms and around the grounds at a lovely fish pond and other scenic spots. Please wear appropriate, non-revealing attire to this religious retreat, where you can breathe, relax and experience a much-needed antidote to turbulence and stress.

Where to Eat

The Bear Café
295 Tinker St.
Woodstock, NY 12498
(845) 679-5555

A legendary hideaway situated next to a gently gurgling stream, The Bear Café is not only the coziest restaurant in Woodstock, it is also the site of one of its finest dining experiences. Once a favorite of members of The Band and Bob Dylan, The Bear Café features a hypnotic, roaring fireplace, the artwork of legendary talent Jo Cantine, an extensive wine list and astonishingly good and unpretentious food.

(credit: Gypsy Wolf Cantina)

The Gypsy Wolf Cantina
261 Tinker St.
Woodstock, NY 12498
(845) 679-9563

Featuring inspired Mexican cuisine with entree names like Dinner At My Father's House and My Sister's Wedding Day Dinner, the knowledgeable and friendly staff at The Gypsy Wolf Cantina let you know immediately that you will be fed like family. An easy-going atmosphere with a creative edge, this is the place to unwind at the end of the day, but make sure you have a designated driver. The margaritas are as strong as the food is delicious.

Corey Whelan is a freelance writer in New York. Her work can be found at

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