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Winter Travel: Rent Your Dream Pad

vacation rental home

Hotels are so passe, didn’t you know? As we continue our search for authentic travel experiences a new trend has emerged: Renting someone else’s sweet pad instead of feeling like a tourist in a Doubletree.

My latest travel story came out as part of New York magazine’s Winter Travel feature, a package devoted entirely to the art of crashing at someone else’s place. I wrote about the converted barn, above, on Long Island’s North Fork and what’s new in the area. The short answer: Plenty!

Read the full piece after the jump.

[The following is an excerpt from New York magazine’s “Winter Travel 2011” feature. Real the whole thing here.]

The wind whipping off the Sound might make you wonder why you’re vacationing in Long Island in the dead of winter, but the locally grown comestibles won’t. Launch your foraging by sampling a trio of fruit-infused liquors, the latest in the potato-based portfolio at LiV vodka distillery in Baiting Hollow ( Try former White House sous-chef (and current North Fork farmer) Keith Luce’s pulled-pork-and-pork-belly steamed dumplings with homemade barbecue sauce, made with beer brewed in Greenport, at Luce & Hawkins inside the Jedediah Hawkins Inn in Jamesport ( Take back a bit of Long Island’s bounty at the new Love Lane Market ( in Mattituck, a 3,000-square-foot pantry that lets you stock your rental house with beef from Cutchogue’s new McCall ranch, rotisserie-cooked ducks from Crescent farm, wild arugula from Satur Farms, and honey from Promised Land, among other local delicacies.

Where to Stay
A rustic-modern, three-bedroom converted barn in Southold comes with Wi-Fi, fire pit, koi pond, and bicycles (from $450;

Rent one of four modern rooms in an art-filled converted Jamesport potato barn with a fireplace and Zen gardens (from $210;

For a quintessential country-inn experience, book one of four serene rooms at North Fork Table & Inn, where chef Gerry Hayden is adding grass-fed beef from McCall ranch to the winter menu (from $200;


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