Whether you've never been to the Catskills or you have it bookmarked in your phone, chances are, some of the things that keep you coming back are the unique experiences, and cool new places and spaces you discover each time you visit. That random antique store where you found a vintage Hudson Bay blanket, a cool brewery in a garden that feels like stumbling into a fairy tale, finding cool new Catskills restaurants serving up something hot and fresh.
These are your Catskills, the place where you're going to have your next best vacation and this is your adventure. Choose well.
Stay: Experience Victorian architecture firsthand at The Stewart House, built in 1883 above the Hudson River's banks and now home to a nine-room boutique hotel. Rooms feature exposed brick, wood floors, plush linens, and a nod to local cinema heritage. Request the Ironweed room, where Meryl Streep stayed while filming her Oscar-nominated performance in the 1988 dramatic film of the same name.
Do: Visit Bridge Street Theater in downtown Catskill, where actors perform in a refurbished factory. Or check for painting and ballet classes at the Athens Cultural Center, just steps from the Stewart House. Our region offers a crazy array of performing arts events – and there’s something going on just about every week and weekend all year long.
Eat: The old opera house tucked among the brick storefronts of downtown Athens houses Crossroads Brewing Company. The craft brewery’s creations supply 10 rotating taps, with a full menu to fuel lazy afternoons at the pub. Pair the Street Muscle Porter, and its chocolate and roasted wheat flavors, with a soft-baked pretzel.
Stay: Venture 22 miles south of Albany on the Hudson River to Coxsackie, a port that once hummed with shipbuilders and metal foundries. Head for Reed Street's historic brick row houses, where Mansion & Reed Guesthouse offers four rooms above a general store stocked with regional Catskills bounty.
Do: From Coxsackie, build your own Catskills farm tour. Story Farms sits a half-hour drive south; visit in June to pick strawberries. Cruise Route 32 north through Greene County burgs; turn east on Route 26 and look for Honey Hollow Road. A small wooden sign points to Honey Hollow Brewing Company, a farmstead brewery open Friday and Saturday. Head for the garden shed turned taproom to sample their Angry Trout IPA or Oatmeal Stout. Continue east on 26, where orchard rows signal fresh peaches at Boehm Farm.
Eat: Still hungry? Visit the Cask and Rasher, a pub just one mile from Mansion + Reed, and try a pork belly taco ($1) or sausage slider with sriracha aioli ($2). For open-air entertainment, head four miles south to the Hi-Way Drive-In, which screens modern blockbusters in a retro setting.
Do: Discover the inspired connection between the Catskills wilderness and American art at the Thomas Cole Historic Site. Study hand-painted parlor decorations left by Cole, a painter whose romantic landscapes launched the Hudson River School movement. Tour the galleries and pick up a guide to the Hudson River Art Trail. Follow your map a half-hour's drive southwest to explore famous vistas like 260-foot Kaaterskill Falls and North-South Lake.
Eat: Located on Catskill's Main Street, The New York Restaurant offers American cuisine flavored with hints of the owner's Polish heritage. The menu pairs Old World fare—think house-made sauerkraut atop Kielbasa—with classics like a sirloin burger smothered in brie and lemon-shallot mayo. Live jazz and small-batch bourbon complete the speakeasy feel.
Stay: Outside of Catskill, head to Round Top's newly remodeled Glens Falls House. This boutique hotel features local, farm-to-table dining at its on-site restaurant the Trotwood, fresh and simple guest rooms, immediate access to hiking and mountain biking trails, and a bonfire and bar for after-hours relaxing.
Do: Max out summer fun at Windham Mountain Bike Park. Banked corners and rolling singletrack guarantee a smooth ride. The new Kaaterskill Cruise trail, a custom-built for beginners, flows from summit to base area. Hire a bike on-site, practice on tabletops and a mini rock garden in the Skills Park, and catch a ride up on the Whirlwind chairlift. That's right—no uphill required.
Eat: Satisfy barbecue cravings at Chicken Run, a family-friendly restaurant with patio seating just downhill from Windham Mountain. Order a half or full rack of St. Louis-style ribs—grilled, then sauced—and finish with s'mores at the fire pit. Chicken Run also caters to groups on the run, with family-style portions of fried chicken, sides, and cornbread to go for 2–8 people.
Stay: Retreat to Cuomo's Cove. Just minutes from Windham Mountain, this secluded lodge holds 1, 2, and 3-bedroom suites - plus an air-conditioned log cabin that sleeps nine. Kids chase fireflies on the expansive lawn while grown-ups relax in outdoor hot tubs under the stars of the Catskills.
What are you waiting for? Find a place to stay, figure out what you want to do, and hit the road. The Catskills are waiting!