Wednesday, August 5, 2015

End of Summer Vacation in the Catskills

Don’t look now, but it’s already August! In just a few short weeks, summer will be over and the kids will be back in school. If you’re looking for a place to escape for an end of summer vacation without journeying too far from home, consider heading to New York’s breathtaking Catskills region. Named one of the Best Places to Travel in 2015 by Travel and Leisure, the Catskills were originally appreciated by the Lenni Lenope and Minnisink Native American tribes long before European settlers decided to make the area their home. The settlers used the Native American trails to find land that they eventually took for themselves and carved a homestead from. Eventually, the 19th Century railway found itself going through the area, increasing traffic from visitors and vacationers from New York City. Now the region attracts a chic crowd with modern B&Bs, innovative restaurants and a bustling nightlife, as well as families that enjoy the plethora of outdoor adventures.

There are plenty of campsites and hiking trails, namely ones that are located inside the Beaver Spring Lake Campground, found in the beautiful, rolling hill-country. Greene County's Catskill Park, a patch of 700,000 acres of forests, mountain land and farm country, is another wonderful area to find the perfect camping and stomping ground. And on top of all the absolute beauty of the region, the Catskill Park is fee-free! No matter if you’re looking for the perfect place for horseback riding, fishing, hiking or boating, there is a campsite designed with you in mind in the Catskills.

You don’t have to spend your entire vacation in the great outdoors – the vast region has plenty of lodging locations, dining options and one-of-a-kind shopping destinations.


Hotel Dylan
Located at the base of Overlook Mountain, Hotel Dylan boasts “exceptional dining, endless arts offerings, an assortment of wellness and spa options, magical nature trails, and swimming holes.” It’s the perfect getaway for those seeking relaxation, as well as a connection with nature.

The Arnold House
Enjoy the relaxation of casual country living at The Arnold House, located on the Shandelee Mountain. The rooms feature cork floors, antique furniture and vintage fixtures - all designed to showcase calming simplicity. You can also enjoy a locally-sourced meal and adult beverages at the tavern or pamper yourself at the Spa at the Arnold.

The Graham & Co.
At the foot of Hunter Mountain, just two blocks from Phoenicia’s main street, lies the 20-room Graham & Co. hotel. With 3 acres of activities including a swimming pool, badminton court, picnic area, and bikes to explore on, there’s no need to even leave the premises. (Rest assured, there are also plenty of places to sit and relax with a cocktail.)


Table on Ten
This quaint restaurant started by husband and wife team, Justus Kempthorne and Inez Valk-Kempthorne, will give you a unique sense of the community and freedom the region offers. Almost all of the ingredients are sourced within a ten mile radius and the tables and chairs were donated by neighbors. If you’re looking for more than a meal, they also host art events and workshops.

Another restaurant highlighting fresh ingredients from the Catskills is run by two of New York’s top chefs – Devin and MaryBeth Mills. After cooking at restaurants like Guastavino's and Gramercy Tavern in New York City, the couple bought and renovated a farmhouse closer to farms who supply their menu, which changes daily.

The Bear Café
Nothing pairs better with a world-class dinner than a good wine and beautiful view. Founded in 1971 by Albert Grossman, known as the personal manager to artists including Bob Dylan, Janis Joplin, and others, The Bear Café offers eclectic New American cuisine next to a babbling stream.


Roxbury General
Putting a modern twist on your grandparent’s general store, Roxbury General offers a variety of locally sourced clothing, home goods, toys, jewelry, art and more. You can also rent a 24-speed Schwinn bike while you’re there to explore the Catskills Scenic Trail, located just over a mile from the shop.

Krause’s Chocolates
You’re on vacation – treat yourself to one of the more than fifty unique hand-dipped chocolates, a chunk of homemade fudge or sweet peanut brittle. In the Krause family for over 80 years, this candy store’s customers rave that it’s the best chocolate they’ve ever had.

Changes for Men
Open for nearly thirty years, Changes for Men specializes in relaxed, casual menswear that is both functional and stylish. Each piece is personally selected by owner Louis K. Deering and range from footwear to hats. If you’re a bit style-challenged, don’t worry - Changes prides themselves on knowledgeable, friendly customer service.

Make the Catskills your next adventure, as you explore the many slopes, lakes, trails, shops and wineries that are located in this majestic area.