Explore East Durham
East Durham NY, with its rolling green hills and verdant valleys, is rightfully renowned as the Emerald Isle of the Catskills.
East Durham was the adopted home of hundreds of families who emigrated to the New York Catskills from Ireland in the early 1900s, and its unique Irish cultural heritage continues to thrive. Find Irish-themed resorts, arts and heritage festivals, a 200-year-old cottage that made its own sea voyage to America, and more. East Durham also boasts the Catskills #1 water park, The Zoom Flume. Open from June through September, the Zoom Flume offers thrilling rides and lounging pool areas perfect for families with kids of all ages.
The Michael J. Quill Irish Cultural & Sports Centre is one of the beating hearts of the community in East Durham. The centre plays host to annual festivals such as Catskills Irish Arts Week, a week-long celebration of Irish music offering workshops, dancing, and performances, as well as the East Durham Irish Festival, which is held annually in May. This two-day event features performances by the best contemporary Irish music bands and musicians around.
Tour a 200-year-old traditional thatched cottage that sailed across the Atlantic and made its way from the New York City harbor north to East Durham before being reassembled. The traditional Donegal cottage is from the town land of Carrickataggart. If you’re of Irish descent, don’t miss a stop at the acre-wide map of Ireland with every county laid out and marked by a flag. Find your ancestors’ birthplace and snap a pic!
Dance, sing, and whirl to traditional and contemporary Irish music during cultural festivals that keep traditional craft and song alive. Each May, the annual East Durham Irish Festival offers two days of incredible musical performances from some of the best contemporary Irish performers and players. Headliners have included Andy Cooney, the Young Dubliners, and so many more. In July, Taste of the Catskills Irish Arts Week offers seven full days of workshops, lectures, ceilithes, and performances. During Irish Arts Week, East Durham transforms into a living Irish village with non-stop entertainment and festivities. Watch dancers perform, take a workshop on the Uilleann pipes or tin whistle, learn the Irish language, and so much more.
The grand era of Catskills hospitality endures at East Durham family resorts with an Irish cultural twist. At Blackthorne Resort in East Durham, guests of this family resort will enjoy home cooked meals, on-site activities for the whole family, and pet-friendly lodging options. Blackthorne is also the perfect spot to begin a motorcycle touring ride on the Cat’s Tail, a 25-mile out-and-back route that travels through East Durham and showcases its stunning landscape. At Gavin’s Irish Country Inn in nearby Cornwallville, the Gavin family has been welcoming guests for three generations to enjoy the verdant landscape and cultural festivities of the Irish Catskills. Guests enjoy home cooked meals with an Irish flair, on-site activities for all ages including evening entertainment, and more.
East Durham is also home to other lodging options including hotels, as well as campsites. Click here to search the area’s lodging options.
Best known for their famous scones and breads, Nellies is a must-visit Irish country cafe and on-site bakery featuring a gift shop.
Five Furlongs Tavern utilizes locally grown produce to curate their delectable dishes, and offers musical entertainment on select days.
For a retro-inspired diner, Angel’s East Café serves an all day breakfast along with other favorites for both lunch and dinner.