What to Do Outside of Taste of Country
Country music fans flood to the Catskills every summer for the Taste of Country Music Festival held at Hunter Mountain. While this epic concert is reason enough to visit the region, the venue is also surrounded by incredible Catskills attractions too good to miss.
From any of these weekend basecamps, Greatest-Of-All-Time Catskills adventures are mere minutes away. Adrenaline junkies will love some of the region’s high-flying attractions, like the Hunter Mountain Skyride which takes passengers to the top of Hunter Mountain on a one-of-a-kind six person chair lift. Enjoy a bird’s eye view of the festival below and stunning views of surrounding mountains at the summit. Increase the adrenaline on a New York Zipline Adventure Tour, also found at Hunter Mountain. Boasting the highest, fastest, and longest zipline canopy tour in North America, and the second largest zipline in the world, all three courses are designed to challenge and exhilarate. Soar 600 feet above the ground for 4.6 miles, reaching speeds of up to 50 miles an hour!
For those who prefer to get their kicks on the ground, the Windham Mountain Bike Park switches outdoor fun into high gear. Ride expertly groomed trails that offer options for every ability level, including the longest jump trail in the East! Or, slow things down and explore the outdoors on foot. There are countless hiking trails in the region and, while many lead to mountain summits, some lead to unique destinations like Kaaterskill Falls, the tallest waterfall in New York State! Cascading 260 feet in two tiers, the falls have been a popular destination for families, outdoorsmen, and artists for over a century. The power of the rushing water crashing into the river below combined with the simple beauty of the milky white veil creates a mesmerizing scene that is hard to walk away from.
If the summer heat becomes too much, explore some of the region’s top activities. Zoom Flume Water Park is a great way to beat the heat while having fun. Thrown on a swimsuit and zip down their towering water slides or float along in a lazy river. Or, take some time away from the big Taste of Country stage to peruse local art galleries and museums. Visit the nearby village of Catskill and stop at the Thomas Cole National Historic Site. The house, Cedar Grove, was the home of Thomas Cole, the founder of the Hudson River School of Art. Tour the studios or take part in an artist’s workshop. Before you leave Catskill, explore the little village, which is home to several excellent restaurants and locally-owned boutiques.
Last but not least, keep the party going by visiting a local brewery or winery. There are six craft breweries in the region, as well as a winery. Hop on the Catskills Beverage Trail to hit several spots in one day. Many of the small local brewers in the region feature locally-sourced grains and hops, so Taste of Country could easily become a taste of the Catskills!
The first thing to establish is where to stay. Die-hard country music fans might want to consider pitching a tent at Hunter Mountain, or bringing an RV, so as to be on site for every minute of the festival. However, while staying on site has its perks, it doesn’t provide the full Catskills experience found at nearby lodgings.
Make Taste of Country a luxury experience by booking a room at the amenities-full Kaatskill Mountain Club at Hunter Mountain. With spacious suites, indoor and outdoor pools, a full-service spa, two hot tubs, and more, it’s about as far from camping as one can get, and a wonderful way to pamper tired legs after a day of dancing. Venture a few minutes away from the music to find cozy B&Bs with the true atmosphere of a small mountain town. The Sedgwick House Bed & Breakfast and Ashland Mountain House B&B both offer comfortable accommodations in beautifully resorted historic Catskills homes. Somewhere between quaint B&Bs and high-end resorts lie places like Hunter Inn and Hotel Vienna, two small hotels with big personality and charming chalet style.
Three days at Taste of Country might seem like a lot, but it’s not nearly enough time to experience everything the Catskills has to offer. Dedicate a day to exploring the surrounding area, or extend the weekend and make it a full Catskills vacation!