The '60s Nostalgic's Guide to Woodstock, New York

Woodstock 50 is no more, but you can still find traces of the original festival.

Woodstock's 50th anniversary festival may have been canceled, but that doesn't mean that you can't find ghosts of the '60s scattered around the hinterlands of Upstate New York.

The famous gathering actually didn't take place in the town of Woodstock. That honor is reserved for Bethel, a town about an hour and a half south. However, the town of Woodstock has successfully capitalized on the festival that took its name, fully committing to the hippie era's trippy, vintage aesthetic. On the famous Tinker Street and in the neighboring woods, you'll still find tie-dye, a few old hippies, and plenty of quirky attractions ready to send you spiraling back to a different era.

Just a half-day's trip away from Brooklyn, Woodstock is the perfect summer escape for nostalgics, art junkies, or anyone seeking a break from the city (or the state of the world in 2019). Though 1969 was a tumultuous time, it was also a period defined by joy and optimism, wherein young people truly believed in their vision of a better world.

That summer, Woodstock hosted 400,000 mud-soaked, acid-fueled hippies and fans of the counterculture, all gathered to celebrate love and music. In 2019, maybe we could all use a little bit of that optimism. Where better to find it than at the namesake of the world's most legendary music festival? Here are six sites that everyone who wishes they'd attended that festival can visit, if only to get just a little bit closer to that bygone summer.

Image via GRAMMY.com

Bob Dylan's Studio in Woodstock

Perhaps one of Woodstock's most famous residents is the man who wrote "The Times They Are a' Changing," and so many other rallying cries for those times. After a 1966 motorcycle accident, Bob Dylan set up shop in Woodstock and recorded over a hundred demos. His residency there drew George Harrison, Jimi Hendrix, Allen Ginsberg, Joan Baez, and other luminaries, who all came up from the city to tap into whatever wellspring of inspiration that Dylan was accessing.

During his time living in Woodstock, Dylan recorded his Basement Tapes album in a rental known as "the Big Pink," a house that still stands in the town of Saugerties, about 5 miles east of Woodstock. Interestingly, Dylan didn't perform at the Woodstock festival because he believed it would draw too much commercial attention to his beloved woodland oasis.

Image via Troy Media


Bob Dylan & The Band - The Basement Tapes Complete Trailer (Digital video) www.youtube.com

Levon Helms Studio at the Barn

The famous Levon Helms Studios are not open to the public, unless you're able to attend one of its rare shows. Levon Helms was the Rolling Stones' drummer; later in life he set up shop at the Woodstock recording studio known as "The Barn" and recorded several Grammy-winning albums there. Over the years, fans including Emmylou Harris, Norah Jones, and many others came to attend Helms' signature event—the hours-long jam session called the "Midnight Ramble"—a tradition that is still going strong in Woodstock today. Helms passed away three years ago, but his musical legacy remains strong.

Image via Amazon.com

Tinker Street

This street is the beating heart of Woodstock. Here, you'll find everything from gemstone shops to stores crammed with Woodstock souvenirs—one such being Woodstock Legends, a store that's packed with souvenirs from the '60s. You might also spot Volkswagen buses painted with peace signs, pottery shops, and the odd long-haired hippie.

Image via Pinterest

Bethel Woods Center for the Arts

If you want to get closer to the actual grounds of the festival, then you'll have to drive about an hour and a half to get to the rural dairy farm where all the acid-fueled 24/7 concert-going actually took place. The Museum at Bethel Woods contains a permanent main exhibit, called "Woodstock and the '60s," which features a variety of multimedia installations and artifacts that will bring the festival to life.

The Museum at Bethel Woods Image via Bethel Woods

Opus 40

This sculpture garden showcases artist Harvey Fite's masterpiece. In 1938, Fink purchased an empty plot of land in upstate New York; and from there, he created a 6.5-acre sculpture known as Opus 40, which he continued to work on until his death in 1976. Today, his creation still stands, bearing quiet witness to the latter half of the 20th century. It's a winding labyrinth of stone, inspired by Mayan ruins, and it'll appeal to any nostalgic or nature-lover. The installation has inspired many artists over the years, including the band Mercury Rev (whose song "Opus 40" was inspired by the grounds) and the artist Amanda Palmer (whose video for her cover of Pink Floyd's "Mother" was filmed onsite).

Image via Flickr


Amanda Palmer & Jherek Bischoff - Mother www.youtube.com


Mercury Rev - Opus 40 www.youtube.com

The Golden Notebook

This little independent bookstore packs a punch. Founded in 1978, it hosts over 100 events each year, including the Woodstock Writers Festival, which draws numerous international writers to the premises each summer. Recent events have been attended by Neil Gaiman, Cheryl Strayed, and many other literary stars, and the franchise is heavily involved in charitable causes in the neighboring community. The bookstore makes the list because—let's face it, in this day and age, bookstores are vintage attractions. And like the best vintage attractions, bookstores can also transport you straight to the past, maybe even giving you a new perspective on the present.

Image via Nova Ren Suma

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Know What Type of Wine To Choose

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Know How Much You're Willing To Spend

It's no secret that a penchant for wine can become an expensive hobby. If you're just getting into the idea, don't waste your time or money with the extremely pricey bottles. A good place to start looking for decent bottles of wine is somewhere between the $10 and $30 price range. This will keep you from buying something too low quality without breaking your bank in the process.

Read the Labels Closely

A good bottle of wine will often give tasting notes right on the bottle. Because everyone's palette is different, you may not get the same notes when you try the wine, but it's a good place to start. Choose something with tasting notes that you already enjoy like berries or cocoa and try to see if you get any hints of that as you drink. The labels may also tell you about the wine's acidity, or how tart it is, and the wine's body, or the way it feels in your mouth.

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Distillery tours went on hiatus in 2020, but there are high hopes for 2021. While bourbon leaps immediately to mind when thoughts turn to distillery tours, interest in other spirits and how they're made is increasing. Here are a few of the best tours to thrill tequila lovers.

Tequila Herradura

Ride in style on the Herradura Express, a distillery sponsored train ride that runs from Guadalajara to the town of Amatitán for a distillery tour and tastings, followed by lunch featuring live entertainment. The train then takes visitors back to Guadalajara by evening. Herradura is housed in the last tequila-producing Hacienda in the world, Hacienda San Jose del Refugio. Casa Herradura will be closed for visits and tours until Mexican health officials declare the coronavirus emergency over.

La Rojeña

Producer of Jose Cuervo, La Rojeña has a train of its own called the Jose Cuervo Express (currently on hiatus due to COVID-19) to bring visitors to the oldest distillery in the town of Tequila. Jose Cuervo offers distillery tours, tastings, and tours of the agave fields. Mundo Cuervo (Cuervo world) also has its own hotel, Solar de las Animas. Check for COVID-19 hours and restrictions before booking.

Casa Sauza

Founded in 1873, Casa Sauza offers four levels of tours including a visit to the La Perseverancia distillery, a visit to the Quinta Sauza estate, and for those willing to spend more, barrel tastings and a barbeque or a three-course meal. Casa Sauza is on hiatus until COVID-19 restrictions are lifted, but should go on the distillery tour bucket list.

La Cofradia

The only tequila distillery with a hotel inside, La Cofradia offers many experiences in addition to distillery tours. Choose a hike through natural trails, biking, or horseback riding through the agave fields. Rooms made of giant tequila barrels sit among the agave plants for a unique stay. Visiting La Cofradia is sure to be a tour that thrills tequila lovers. Contact the hotel directly for information about lockdown closures.

A distillery tour offers education about tequila's history and manufacture. Bone up on your tequila terms and tips for choosing quality tequila before you go, so you'll understand what you're tasting.

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That's why our editors decided to take it upon themselves and spread some delight with seasonal meals, courtesy of HelloFresh. For those who don't know what HelloFresh is, it's a meal-kit delivery service with dozens of easy-to-prepare recipes to choose from. Simply select which meals you want as well as how many servings and a neatly organized cardboard box will arrive at your doorstep within the week. Nobody wants to go out in the Winter anyway, and with HelloFresh, you don't have to!

To celebrate the arrival of the coldest season, we decided to highlight some of our favorite (and heartiest) recipes from HelloFresh that are perfect for the Holiday season. Here are five wholesome and balanced meals that will warm you up in no time.

Veggie Loaded Kale & Risoni Soup

A hearty and warm soup is a Winter staple and this veggie loaded kale and risoni soup from HelloFresh absolutely hits it out of the park. All anybody wants during the colder months is to feel cozy and nurtured--just like the flavorful bowl of nutrients. Warm and creamy risoni compliments the seasonal veggies perfectly and the side of garlic bread is a sure-fire cure for any winter blues. With 22 meals to pick from each week, this one is sure to be a household favorite.

Cheesy Red Pesto Chicken Melts

Everyone is familiar with classic green pesto, but have you ever tried red pesto? Red pesto offers way more complexity and oomph than its green counterpart. It is incredibly bright with rich notes of umami, roasted red peppers, sun-dried tomatoes, and fresh basil and garlic. This rendition also features hits of chargrilled capsicum for a little extra zest. You get the exact amount of each ingredient and seasoning, as well as super detailed recipe cards, that make meal prep a breeze. Spread it over a glistening chicken bread and sprinkle with cheese for delectable chicken melts.

Winter Risotto

Risotto is a great winter warmer. It's packed full of veggies so your body will light up like fire, but it's also silky, sumptuous and a real crowd pleaser. HelloFresh's Winter Risotto features a heart helping of kale that pairs perfectly with nutty Parmesan and crunchy walnuts for a robust taste. Did we mention that it also comes with fennel seeds sprinkled throughout? This unique seasoning adds a distinctive, yet delicious flavor to this classic winter staple. We know these meals are pretty hardy, which is why we love having the option to pause our subscription or cancel a week when need be.

Cheat's Italian Pork & Veggie Bolognese

A bolognese that only takes 30 minutes to make? Sign us up! This one is chock full of all the rich flavors of a classic Italian sauce. In fact, we're getting some serious Italian grandmother vibes with this recipe. Silky baby Spanish and grated carrots melt into a hearty meat sauce, offering a mouth-watering meal for anyone looking for a little zest. It's delivery quality, but much more affordable, plus you get to cook it yourself!

Smokey Mild Chorizo & Bean Chilli

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Gone are the days of trekking through the frigid cold just for a few groceries. Sign-up for HelloFresh today and get your ingredients delivered right to your doorstep. Time to start cozying up the right way, with a delicious meal and a nice cup of hot cocoa.

Update: Our friends at HelloFresh are extending a special Black Friday offer to our readers. Follow this link to get $90 off across 4 boxes including free shipping!