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Cruising the Northeast (In Any Season) with Patrick Janelle

Man about town, Patrick Janelle rose to prominence in New York City for his urbane take on the good life. The entrepreneur’s impeccable taste – and knack for hosting cocktail parties and planning picture-perfect travel itineraries – is reflected in his lifestyle-focused journal, A Guy Named Patrick. A man who loves to road trip, Janelle often escapes the city to explore the multitude of historic towns peppering the Northeast.

The Northeast, probably more than anywhere else in the country, has the most classic Hallmark movie-filled scenery of America’s small towns that is truly so charming.
– Patrick Janelle

Rain, sun or snow, share a few highlights from the Auberge destinations in the Northeast.

At Wildflower Farms in the Hudson Valley, I loved waking up and walking to the on-property farm to gather just-laid eggs in the chicken coop. The best part: we would then personally deliver the eggs (which were still warm in touch) to the chef to cook up our breakfast omelets. Also, our room had an empty vase and a pair of scissors for us to snip wildflowers from the property to make our own hand-crafted bouquet.


I brought my bike to Mayflower Inn & Spa in Connecticut, and it was so beautiful to cycle the rolling hills around the town of Washington, especially in autumn when the leaves are turning. You also can’t go wrong with any treatment at THE WELL spa


In Newport, RI, The Vanderbilt prepared an amazing picnic basket for a friend and me, which we ate on a grassy patch on Brenton Point, near Ocean Avenue’s historic mansions. Back at the property we did The Green Hour experience where we sipped and learned about absinthe’s storied past at the Hidden Bar in the Parlour room (try Death in the Afternoon and Corpse Survivor!). We ended the evening watching the sunset from the Roof Deck while slurping fresh oysters.


The tasting menu at White Barn Inn in Maine is an absolute delight. I loved playing Scrabble on the massive board in the Living Room, where you can also order breakfast and lunch. I spent a full morning reading alongside the fireplace with the sun flooding in – it was so cozy and relaxing.

I love that each Auberge property has its own distinct identity that fits within its respective community. There’s also a common throughline of exceptional quality, thoughtful hospitality, outstanding gastronomy and memorable experiences that are really special and specific to each place.
– Patrick Janelle

Are there any places in the Northeast that travelers can’t miss?

Hiking the Mohonk Mountains in New York near Wildflower Farms. In Connecticut, Mystic is a super cute town featured in the ‘80s film Mystic Pizza that’s not overrun with tourists. Get a lobster roll at the picture-perfect Ford’s Lobster in nearby Noank. A great way to see Newport is in a vintage sports car – I rented a convertible Porsche which The Vanderbilt team helped to arrange. Just outside of Burlington, Vermont, there’s a small microbrewery, Fiddlehead Brewing Company, which is also adjoined by a stellar pizza joint. It’s the perfect way to spend a crisp summer afternoon. Nearby, the Shelburne Museum and Shelburne Farms are former Vanderbilt properties that are now historic landmarks in the area. In Portland, Maine, there’s a ferry to Peaks Island, where you can rent a bicycle and cruise around. Portland has an incredible restaurant scene, but my favorite stop is a cute boutique called Blanche & Mimi, where I picked up vintage cutlery to add to my home stash of hosting must-haves.

How do you plan for a road trip?

Traditionally, I’m not much of a planner. I love to fly by the seat of my pants. However, I do recognize the importance of planning when it comes to hotels and dining reservations. I don’t own a car, so I typically rent one through Kyte, which drops cars off at your doorstep and picks them up on your return. In my experience, 10 days is the ideal amount of time for a road trip, staying in each destination for two or three nights. In 2020, I founded Untitled Secret, a digital talent management agency that keeps me busy, so I always carve out time in advance to dedicate to work. It’s important to not spend too much time in the car every day. To break up drives, I use an app called Source that maps out craft coffee shops across the country, and Raisin is a great resource for finding a natural wine bar or wine shop. When the rest of the trip is planned, these apps take me off-piste, which adds a layer of exploration and discovery.

Coffee shops are some of the best ways to immediately get yourself into a cute little neighborhood or a part of town that's interesting. I always ask baristas for personal recommendations of where to eat and drink, and they are usually spot-on.
– Patrick Janelle

What are some of your road trip essentials?

Snacks are important. I always have a stash of Kind Bars and dried mangoes from Trader Joe’s. I’m also a fan of beef jerky to nosh on. And a curated playlist is absolutely key. Some of my favorite compilations I’ve made for road trips are: Epic Road Trip, which has American classics from the ‘60s and ‘70s, and East By West for contemporary indie pop. I also always make sure I have the correct USB cord for the rental car, and I never travel without my tripod and remote control for self-portraits.

Can you share tips for taking great travel photos?

It’s best to shoot early in the day or at dusk. The midday sun is only great if you’re at the beach because there’s a lot of sand that reflects the light. I always use the rule of thirds for composition. The photo app Snapseed is great because it has basic and advanced settings to create your own editing presets to apply to photos. Then, all you have to do is tweak a little bit. has great presets for videos on Instagram. I find the latest iPhone photo settings aren’t warm enough, so I always add a little warmth to my images.

How do you recommend finding a balance between capturing an experience versus living the experience?

I still struggle with this. I usually block off time to shoot when I first arrive somewhere so I know I’ve gotten the bulk of what I need and add imagery as the trip unfolds, without worrying if I’ve gotten enough content. I am also conscious of taking time to put my phone away so I’m not always staring through a lens. It’s important to create boundaries, especially when you’re traveling with someone else and in a new place

What makes it into your suitcase?

I have this perfect linen-blend sweater that is lightweight and breathable but doesn’t wrinkle, so it’s perfect for traveling. A light suede jacket or cotton drizzler jacket are great for cool summer nights. Jeans are a staple, of course, and I always pack a pair of comfortable lounge shorts. For below the ankle, I like Birkenstocks and sneakers, and I’m a fan of Blundstone boots if there’s potential for inclement weather. I always bring a swimsuit because you never know when you’ll need one. 


In my toiletry bag, you’ll find Ursa Major deodorant from Vermont, Biography face oil and a Wahl beard trimmer. I also always bring a copy of The New Yorker magazine. And on every trip, I like to buy a book to read because it also makes for a great memento.