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Catskill, Leeds, Palenville NY

A trip to the Great Northern Catskills wouldn’t be complete without a visit to the Village of Catskill. Explore a village where artists rose to fame, Rip Van Winkle slept, and local brews abound.

Located along the banks of the Hudson River, with the Catskill Creek flowing through it, the village is the picture-perfect example of a historic river town. Victorian storefronts line Catskill’s Main Street, filled with an eclectic variety of eateries and boutiques, and along the river’s edge lies the Thomas Cole House, once home to the famous painter and founder of the Hudson River School of Art.

Things to Do in Catskill, NY

kids running by the rip van winkle bridge

The Birthplace of American Art

An artist’s paradise, painters, photographers, and poets have for centuries found their inspiration in the natural scenery surrounding this small village. Make time to stroll across the Hudson River Skywalk, which connect the Thomas Cole National Historic Site to the Olana State Historic Site, former home to Hudson River School painter Frederic Edwin Church. As you walk across the bridge, stop at the scenic outlooks to gaze down the Hudson River Valley and see if you can spot the famed sleeping spot of Rip Van Winkle.

person at the catskill mountain house overlook

For Those Who Opt Outside

In the Catskills, outdoor recreation is everything. With so many nearby waterways to explore, the village provides a convenient base camp for adventures of all types. Head to the RamsHorn-Livingston Sanctuary, and walk or paddle through the Hudson River's largest forested tidal swamp. Or, head down to Dutchman's Landing and have picnic as you watch the boats cruise by. Feeling artsy? From Memorial day through mid-September, you can stroll through the town of Catskill and check out a tradition of artistic renditions of cats. 

crossroads brewery set of beer and cheese

If You're Thirsty

Visitors looking to enjoy locally-sourced libations are in luck. Catskill is the perfect starting point for a journey along the Catskills Beverage Trail. There are three breweries and one cidery within the small town. Stop by Rip Van Winkle Brewing Company, a microbrewery that has been in operation for over 35 years under multiple names, to satisfy your thirst with a beer and your hunger with Italian-inspired pub fare. Or, relax with a pint in Crossroads Brewing Co.’s newest taproom. Visit Subversive Malting + Brewing for 100% locally sourced pours in an astethic farmhouse setting. For the only cidery in the county, Left Bank Ciders makes small-batch ciders and meads that reflect the agricultural and ecological landscapes of the Catskill Mountains.