Holiday Goddess Handbag Guide editor Lily Evans loves New York, but she can’t resist the bus to Woodstock.

Woodstock is beautiful and quirky, full of character and characters. It is tiny and pretty and just a two hour drive from New York City, or a longer but cheaper bus ride away.

Lily Evans meets a Woodstock local

The heart of the town is one curving high street made up of Tinker Street and Mill Hill Road, with small streets and paths sprouting off this main walkway.

On Saturdays and Sundays there is a flea market at Maple Lane. To me it is the perfect flea market, made up of 40% fun stuff, 40% crap and 20% genuine treasure, the kind of finds that make you giddy. So beautiful, so cheap! And you can’t believe you found it first! I found some incredible antique jewelry, a Bakelite viewfinder with photos of Mexico inside, and some 1940’s postcards from the town where I was born.

The guy selling the postcards has an extensive collection from all around the world, and is a great storyteller. He will entertain you with campfire stories whilst you search though his ancient stock.

Close to the flea market, at 6 Hillcrest Avenue, is The Shivastan Poetry Ashram A charming shop set up in an old stable, selling hand bound small press poetry books, art, antiques and imports. It’s a great space that transports you to another world. The owner, Shiv Mirabito describes himself as an anthropologist, archivist and artist and this is his enchanting collection of artifacts, brought back from his travels. Shiv also holds poetry nights and events, which are always spirited and fun.

Fifty years later, Woodstock still rocks

To eat, choose from every kind of food on the main street. Oriole 9 serves a killer English breakfast. It has a great menu and strong coffee for visiting New Yorkers. Joshua’s is more romantic and a perfect spot for dinner, they serve a delicious streak for meat eaters with vegetarian and vegan options, too.

To spend the night I recommend Getaway On The Falls. You can hire your own cabin or bungalow seconds away from a rushing waterfall. The views are beautiful, the air is sweet and the sound of the river is wonderful. For a cheaper option there’s Woodstock Lodge, a little off the main street but comfortable and friendly.

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