Experience an Outdoor Adventure in the Catskill Mountains this Year
Are you looking for a relaxing getaway full of swimming down lazy creeks and hiking through lush forests? Or maybe you’re looking for a high impact vacation where you can try your hand at mountain biking, white water rafting, and ski jumping? Even if you can’t decide, you can be sure that you’ll find it all in Catskill Mountains.
Catskill covers five different New York counties and forms a portion of the Allegheny Plateau, so there is plenty of room to get out and explore. Located just 100 miles (about a two hour drive) from the bright lights of New York City, Catskill Mountains are an exclusive destination for experiencing nature in a beautiful, scenic part of the country.
Do you hear that? That’s the sound of you waking up to the sounds of the birds and going to sleep to the wild calls of the animals in the forest next to your cabin. Say goodbye to sounds of heavy machinery or modern life. This area is protected from many types of development by New York law, so it remains untouched from many modern eyesores and grating sounds.
Catskill History: A Blast from the Past
Catskill has always been a haven for artists, singers, and other creative types. The views of the range were popularized in the 19th century as the mountains became the focus of the popular American art, the Hudson River Paintings. It is also considered the home of American stand-up comedy, as many comedians began their careers
while doing gigs in and around Catskill hotels. You can follow in their tradition by trying your hand at some jokes in the local bars.
In more recent history, Catskill hosted Woodstock, the famous 1969 hippie music festival. Today, it remains one of popular holiday destinations for many of Hollywood’s A-list actors and musicians. It has also traditionally been well-loved by wealthy New York businessmen and lawyers. Keep your eyes peeled for your favorite celebrity or entrepreneur who may be enjoying the view next to you!
How to Get There
You’re welcome to start your vacation however you wish, as it’s easy to get to with modern transportation. The majority of visitors will drive in, as the mountains are well connected by highways. However, you can choose to fly into a few surrounding Catskill airports, including Albany International, Stewart International, and Binghampton. From there, you would need to rent a car and drive in (or hop into a taxi).
If you’re not the driving type, you can still get to the Catskills by train or by bus. Amtrak services a line that goes straight from New York City, and there are multiple bus option that run throughout New York depending on which direction you might be coming from.
Relaxing in the Catskill Mountains
Finding peace and tranquility in the Catskill Mountains is easy to do, as it has over 5,000 square miles of landscape to help you release the stress of your everyday life. Despite its history and its famous visitors, it has retained its small town charm over the years so you won’t feel as though you’re in a tourist trap or stuck dealing with traffic or hordes of people. Take your time to explore the flowers and animals that call the mountains their home, and make sure to sit by some of the range’s lakes and rivers for a quiet moment of reflection.
Relaxing Lodging: The Roxbury
Address: 2258 County Highway 41, Roxbury, NY 12474
Phone number: 607-304-3830
Whether you’re out for a girl’s weekend getaway or you’re spending a romantic honeymoon with your partner, you would don’t have to look any further for a place to stay than the Roxbury. Rated as one of the best destination hotels in the Catskills, the Roxbury offers beautifully themed rooms, a shimmering spa, and a lovely breakfast for you to wake up to. The locals will drive for hours for a weekend at the Roxbury, and it will usually be packed full of second (or third, or fourth, or fifth) time visitors who continue to return to this unique hotel.
The hotel offers a full sauna, steam room, and Jacuzzi, as well as daily massages and rooms dedicated to letting you lounge around and dine on wine and crackers throughout the evening. If you rejoice at the thought of lazing around and soaking in the atmosphere, the Roxbury is the Catskill’s hotel for you.
Relaxing Activity: Catskill’s Copperhood Spa
Address: 7039 NY-28, Shandaken, NY 12480, United States
Phone number: 845-688-2460
Once you’ve checked in and are ready to start your vacation off right, head to Copperhood Spa, the top-rated spa in the Catskills that lets you find your ‘zen’ as they pamper you with luxurious rubs, scrubs, and pastes. You can choose from a wide variety of massages, including a couples massage for you and your special someone.
After lunch, take part in their meditation class to refocus your mind and practice your appreciation for all that the Catskills have to offer. Later, try an alternative therapy session that focuses on energy healing or acupuncture. Finish off your day by soaking in their Jacuzzi filled with natural high-mineral content water.
Finding your Sense of Adventure in the Catskills
Is your other half ready for a few days in the spa while you just want to get out and about? Are you more excited about the idea of rock climbing and running through dense forests than sitting back and relaxing? Have no fear, the Catskill mountains are still here for you. You’ll find plenty to do to keep your inner explorer happy as you put your mark on these majestic mountains.
Lodging: Pollace’s Family Vacation Resort in the Catskills
Address: 71 Landon Ave, Catskill, NY 12414, United States
Phone number: 518-943-3710
Pollace’s is a traditional family resort that offers loads of activities to keep you and the kids going all day long. On resort grounds, you can participate in volleyball, bocci, basketball, ping pong, rock climbing, golf, swimming, fishing, and dancing. You can also go offsite and explore Howe Caverns and the Saratoga Race Tracks, as well as finding your own fun out in the wild.
Another benefit of Pollace’s is that it caters to both children and adult, which means no one has to compromise on their precious time away. The kids can spend some time at “kids only” activities while the adults can get away for a much-needed evening rest. No one will feel left out, and you can all meet up at the end of the day to excitedly share all of the adventures you had in the local Catskills area.
Feel the need for speed? The Catskill Mountains offer a wide variety of motorcycle adventures and courses, including long rides that go through quaint villages and let you get up to speed on the open road. These tours are self-guided, so you’ll need to print and download the map to take with you on your way. You can choose from three separate rides: Mountain Clove Run, the Emerald Isle Tour, and a Grand Tour of the Catskills.
If you’re wanting to get out in the open air but aren’t quite ready for the thrills, it’s easy to rent a fishing pole and head off to some great fishing locations. The waters are home to trout, anglers, and pan fish, and many of the lakes and rivers are stocked with brown trout.
Ice fishing is popular in the winter, should you choose to brave the cold, but you can fish all year round. “Catch and release” fishing is also popular on the Hudson River, so you must release the fish back into the water with no injury to the fish. This is a great option for the little ones, or those who want to experience the fun of fishing without taking them home.
Drinking and Dining: A Guide to Catskill’s Best Restaurants
After all of that adventure (or time at the spa), you can reenergize at some of the Catskill’s best eateries. Here’s a list of some of the local’s favorites:
Phoenicia Diner: a classic diner with some of the best American style cuisine
Address: 5681 Route 28, Phoenicia, NY 12464
Phone number: 845-688-9957
Aroma Thyme Bistro: a gastropub with both traditional and vegan offerings
Address: 165 Canal St, Ellenville, NY 12428
Phone number: 845-647-3000
Joshua’s: a Mediterranean and Middle Eastern café that is well known for its reliability in providing excellent ‘exotic’ dishes
Address: 51 Tinker St, Woodstock, NY 12498-1234
Phone number: 845-679-5533
The Catskill Mountains are beautiful throughout the year, so don’t worry about planning your stay at the wrong time. Whether you’re in the mood to see the leaves change in the fall, keep track of the blossoms in the spring, make snowmen after a fresh snowfall in the winter, or spend hours in the pool in the summer, you won’t have a problem enjoying yourself on your Catskill vacation.
Visit the North American destinations category to learn more about best places to visit in America!