The best spots for exploring and adventures in the Catskill Mountains
The Catskill Mountain region of upstate NY has a rich history and is one of the best places for exploring nature, landmarks, boutique shopping and farm to table dining. The legendary mountains and lush forests hold breathtaking views and boundless adventures. You can take a dip in a secret swim hole, chase some waterfalls, go antique or boutique shopping in a small quaint village and enjoy craft beers on tap, all in the same day. It's also great for skiing and snowboarding in the winter months. Below are some of our favorite spots to soak up the goodness.
Where to chase the best waterfalls:
Glen Falls is located in Round Top and is one of the most scenic waterfalls in the Catskills region. The waterfall flows on rocks creating three different falls and refreshing swimming holes where one can relax and enjoy the scenery of the triple-headed waterfall and the surrounding lush forest. This waterfall is close to the Glen Falls House, which means those in the area will also enjoy exciting hiking trails, restaurants, and lots of entertainment.
There are so many waterfalls in the Catskills, but none compares to Kaaterskill Falls. At the height of 260 feet, it is the tallest waterfall in the entire state of New York. The waterfall features two levels, each with a powerful flow and a high drop. Besides its impressive height, Kaaterskill Falls is also surrounded by a dense rainforest which adds to its natural appeal.
Cool attractions and shopping spots in the Catskills:
Shopping in the Catskills offers a wide range of arts and crafts, independent designer's wares, antiques and vintage clothing. For a carefully curated selection of global independent designers, idPearl offers unique apparel, jewelry, accessories and gifts. And it's nestled in the heart of Woodstock. The Overlook Outpost, also in Woodstock, is a beautiful gallery filled with arts and crafts from local artisans and designers.
The Emerson Resort & Spa offers an inclusive experience in which you can stay in one of the beautiful rooms at the resort, get pampered at the wellness center, shop for gifts, housewares and clothing at their mini-mall shopping experience and then visit the worlds largest kaleidoscope which is housed at the Emerson and is a cool experience you can't find elsewhere.
For antique and vintage, look for Mystery Spot Antiques in Phoenicia, the Saugerties Antique Gallery, and Worship Vintage in Glenford is a Brooklyn transplant bringing the BK style to the Catskills.
For a super fun fall experience you can take a vintage train ride through the Catskills to view the changing foliage from the open train cars. The Catskill Mountain Railroad offers regular rides that afford stunning views and wonderful photo opportunities.
Skiing and Sport Activities in the Catskills:
Visit Hunter Mountain Resort to enjoy big mountain skiing and snowboarding at this Catskills gem. Hunter Mountain has 13 lifts, 67 trails, 320 skiable acres, four gladed areas, and four freestyle areas, as well as a snow-tubing park and a large base lodge for chilling out. In the warmer months, Hunter hosts festivals, mountain biking, skyrides, and more. Thrill seekers can ride North America's longest and highest zipline year round. Adventure seekers rejoice!
Enjoy Farm to Table Dining in the Catskills:
Peekamoose is widely known as one of the most popular restaurants in the Western Catskills. The rustic restaurant is a farm-to-table favorite of residents and visitors. The ever-changing menu evolves with the seasons to take advantage of the area’s freshest ingredients.
Bethel Woods Center for the Arts is located at a National Register Historic Site where the 1969 Woodstock festival took place in Bethel, NY. The 800-acre campus, the site of a variety of culturally rich performances, includes the Pavilion Stage amphitheater with seating for 15,000, a 440-seat indoor Event Gallery, the award-winning Museum at Bethel Woods, and a conservatory offering educational events and programming. Keeping in line with its mission to inspire, educate and empower, the center hosts the “Farm-to-Table Dinner at Bethel Woods” to spread awareness of and celebrate the region’s local growers and resources.
Close out your visit by enjoying a craft beer at the Rip Van Winkle Brewing Company in Catskill. Proudly brewing the finest craft beers, with Catskill Mountain spring water from the land of Rip Van Winkle. Beers are handcrafted by an award winning Brew master.
- by Mary Vukovic