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Catskills Guidebook

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Catskills Guidebook

Sightseeing
Esopus Creek has plenty of open access points along Route 28 within the central Catskills. Fly fishing history and culture runs deep here, as it is a famed stream where the sport was first being developed in America. Located in Phoenicia, Esopus Creel offers gear rental or half/full day guided outings. If fishing isn't of interest, bring a cooler of food/beverages along with some folding chairs (provided) and relax next to a gorgeous rushing river while the sun sets behind the hills.
Esopus Creek
Esopus Creek has plenty of open access points along Route 28 within the central Catskills. Fly fishing history and culture runs deep here, as it is a famed stream where the sport was first being developed in America. Located in Phoenicia, Esopus Creel offers gear rental or half/full day guided outings. If fishing isn't of interest, bring a cooler of food/beverages along with some folding chairs (provided) and relax next to a gorgeous rushing river while the sun sets behind the hills.
Want to hike into pristine forest without scaling a steep incline? If you're looking for a more relaxed adventure, and want to avoid the crowds of Kaaterskill Falls, head over to Platte Clove. After a 10 minute walk down into the clove, you'll come upon a grand waterfall with tons of seating areas on flat stones or fallen trees. A great place to pack in lunch and listen to the sounds of a waterfall crashing right in front of you. The entire area is similar to a "staircase" and has many other smaller waterfalls cascading down the clove ready to explore. You'll also be rewarded with a fantastic view of the eastern Catskills ridge as you walk the path down to the main waterfall.
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Platte Clove Preserve - Catskill Center
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locals recommend
Want to hike into pristine forest without scaling a steep incline? If you're looking for a more relaxed adventure, and want to avoid the crowds of Kaaterskill Falls, head over to Platte Clove. After a 10 minute walk down into the clove, you'll come upon a grand waterfall with tons of seating areas on flat stones or fallen trees. A great place to pack in lunch and listen to the sounds of a waterfall crashing right in front of you. The entire area is similar to a "staircase" and has many other smaller waterfalls cascading down the clove ready to explore. You'll also be rewarded with a fantastic view of the eastern Catskills ridge as you walk the path down to the main waterfall.
One of the area's busiest attractions, for good reason, is the largest cascading waterfall in New York state. Be extra vigilant here and heed the safety warnings the DEC has posted along the footpath.
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Kaaterskill Falls
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One of the area's busiest attractions, for good reason, is the largest cascading waterfall in New York state. Be extra vigilant here and heed the safety warnings the DEC has posted along the footpath.
One of the quickest and most accessible ways to get into the Catskills forest is the new 11.5 mile Ashokan Rail Trail. Bike-friendly and easily walkable (little to no incline), this new attraction can get quite busy, so early mornings are best, or close to sunset where views of the mighty Ashokan reservoir are at peak beauty. If you've already ventured from this trailhead, opt for the Ashokan Station trailhead and turn right heading towards the Boardwalk (there is a map at the trailhead). This route ensures you don't stay too close to Route 28. This path is a more serene woodsy feel, and is a bit less crowded.
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Ashokan Rail Trail- Boiceville Bridge Trailhead
5080 New York 28A
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One of the quickest and most accessible ways to get into the Catskills forest is the new 11.5 mile Ashokan Rail Trail. Bike-friendly and easily walkable (little to no incline), this new attraction can get quite busy, so early mornings are best, or close to sunset where views of the mighty Ashokan reservoir are at peak beauty. If you've already ventured from this trailhead, opt for the Ashokan Station trailhead and turn right heading towards the Boardwalk (there is a map at the trailhead). This route ensures you don't stay too close to Route 28. This path is a more serene woodsy feel, and is a bit less crowded.
While there are numerous hikes across the Catskills, if you only have time to tackle one, it's hard to beat Giant Ledge. The views are among the best in the Catskills and is not too hard of a trek.
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Giant Ledge
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While there are numerous hikes across the Catskills, if you only have time to tackle one, it's hard to beat Giant Ledge. The views are among the best in the Catskills and is not too hard of a trek.
Food scene
Amazing views, and even better beer -- West Kill Brewing is a must-visit if you're into craft beer. They're located down a beautiful winding country road dotted with old farmhouses and century-old churches. They have ample outdoor seating but bring a blanket to lay out on their massive lawn if you're coming with a group or during peak hours. In the colder months, they have a cozy fireplace lit in their rustic, yet updated, tasting room.
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West Kill Brewing
2173 Spruceton Rd
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Amazing views, and even better beer -- West Kill Brewing is a must-visit if you're into craft beer. They're located down a beautiful winding country road dotted with old farmhouses and century-old churches. They have ample outdoor seating but bring a blanket to lay out on their massive lawn if you're coming with a group or during peak hours. In the colder months, they have a cozy fireplace lit in their rustic, yet updated, tasting room.
Top-tier restaurant/lounge in a beautifully renovated warm and rustic setting. Cranking out some of the best food and cocktails in the central Catskills, it's hard to go wrong at Foxfire. While you wait for your table, grab a drink and take a seat on a beautifully worn leather couch right in front of the building's original fireplace, or roam the manicured grounds and take in the pastoral setting.
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Foxfire Mountain House
72 Andrew Ln
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locals recommend
Top-tier restaurant/lounge in a beautifully renovated warm and rustic setting. Cranking out some of the best food and cocktails in the central Catskills, it's hard to go wrong at Foxfire. While you wait for your table, grab a drink and take a seat on a beautifully worn leather couch right in front of the building's original fireplace, or roam the manicured grounds and take in the pastoral setting.
Excellent restaurant serving inventive American cuisine using local ingredients cooked on their open wood-fired grill. Dining outdoors on their large deck is always recommended, but the restaurant's interior is both modern and chic. Grab a cocktail at their expansive bar while you wait for your table.
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SILVIA
42 Mill Hill Rd
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Excellent restaurant serving inventive American cuisine using local ingredients cooked on their open wood-fired grill. Dining outdoors on their large deck is always recommended, but the restaurant's interior is both modern and chic. Grab a cocktail at their expansive bar while you wait for your table.
The Pines is one of the area's most beloved new additions. Excelling at both brunch (amazing coffee) and dinner, The Pines ups the ante with frequent live music both within their restaurant and expansive outdoor space dotted with numerous picnic tables.
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The Pines
5327 NY-212
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The Pines is one of the area's most beloved new additions. Excelling at both brunch (amazing coffee) and dinner, The Pines ups the ante with frequent live music both within their restaurant and expansive outdoor space dotted with numerous picnic tables.
A favorite hangout for both locals and weekenders alike, Woodstock Brewing is known for their incredible beer, good food, and large outdoor space. In the colder months, sit by the firepit, or grab a board game from the cupboard and enjoy a few beers in the open-air taproom.
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Woodstock Brewing
5581 NY-28
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A favorite hangout for both locals and weekenders alike, Woodstock Brewing is known for their incredible beer, good food, and large outdoor space. In the colder months, sit by the firepit, or grab a board game from the cupboard and enjoy a few beers in the open-air taproom.
Want to switch up from a classic NY-style bagel? Consider heading to The Mud Club, serving Montreal-style bagels that are boiled in honey and cooked on a cedar plank in a wood-fired oven. They're exactly as good as you imagine - crusty on the outside, doughy on the inside with a hint of smoke. There's also ample outdoor space to sit on unique bluestone tables and admire the whimsical landscape.
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The Mud Club
43 Mill Hill Rd
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Want to switch up from a classic NY-style bagel? Consider heading to The Mud Club, serving Montreal-style bagels that are boiled in honey and cooked on a cedar plank in a wood-fired oven. They're exactly as good as you imagine - crusty on the outside, doughy on the inside with a hint of smoke. There's also ample outdoor space to sit on unique bluestone tables and admire the whimsical landscape.
Wine bar that has curated a fine selection of wines by glass or by bottle served within a dazzling interior. If the weather is good, have a seat outside on their enchanting patio filled with overhead vines.
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Early Terrible
45 Mill Hill Rd
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Wine bar that has curated a fine selection of wines by glass or by bottle served within a dazzling interior. If the weather is good, have a seat outside on their enchanting patio filled with overhead vines.
If you're looking to take a long, meandering drive through the idyllic Catskill countryside, but looking for a destination, it's hard to beat Brushland Eating House. Serving thoughtful farm-to-table cuisine, they source much of their produce from farms located within their immediate vicinity. Check out the hip, yet charming, Russel's General Store while you're there and grab some quick essentials.
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locals recommend
Brushland Eating House
1927 County Road 6
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If you're looking to take a long, meandering drive through the idyllic Catskill countryside, but looking for a destination, it's hard to beat Brushland Eating House. Serving thoughtful farm-to-table cuisine, they source much of their produce from farms located within their immediate vicinity. Check out the hip, yet charming, Russel's General Store while you're there and grab some quick essentials.
Hip and popular among NYC weekenders, Wayside Cider is crafting some of best hard ciders in the state. Using foraged and cultivated NY apples, and wild fermentation techniques, Wayside makes an incredibly light and dry cider. They have small bites to accompany their diverse selection of ciders. They have plenty of outdoor seating as well.
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Wayside Cider
55 Redden Ln
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Hip and popular among NYC weekenders, Wayside Cider is crafting some of best hard ciders in the state. Using foraged and cultivated NY apples, and wild fermentation techniques, Wayside makes an incredibly light and dry cider. They have small bites to accompany their diverse selection of ciders. They have plenty of outdoor seating as well.
Historic train station that's been converted into a dive bar, Station is the place to go if you want to hang out and drink with a group of friends. Great music, board games, and pool table are all available while you imbibe on locally-made spirits.
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Station Bar & Curio
101 Tinker St
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Historic train station that's been converted into a dive bar, Station is the place to go if you want to hang out and drink with a group of friends. Great music, board games, and pool table are all available while you imbibe on locally-made spirits.
A local gem -- Bread Alone goods can be purchased at Whole Foods within the NYC area, but nothing beats their crusty bread when it's straight out of the oven. They also offer more unique baked goods, like a levain loaf filled with Chinese sausage, and various lunch items such as soups, salads, and sandwiches.
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Bread Alone Bakery
22 Mill Hill Road
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A local gem -- Bread Alone goods can be purchased at Whole Foods within the NYC area, but nothing beats their crusty bread when it's straight out of the oven. They also offer more unique baked goods, like a levain loaf filled with Chinese sausage, and various lunch items such as soups, salads, and sandwiches.
In the mood for Southern BBQ? Look no further than this brand-new restaurant created by the owners of Phoenicia Diner. Ample seating within a beautiful structure, sit down to a big plate of smoked meat, while still having access to veg-friendly options.
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Dixon Roadside
261 Tinker Street
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In the mood for Southern BBQ? Look no further than this brand-new restaurant created by the owners of Phoenicia Diner. Ample seating within a beautiful structure, sit down to a big plate of smoked meat, while still having access to veg-friendly options.
The place to be after hitting the slopes at Hunter Mountain. German alpine design, large beer selection, and rich menu will be the perfect follow-up after a day of skiing.
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Jagerberg Beer Hall and Tavern
7722 Main St
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The place to be after hitting the slopes at Hunter Mountain. German alpine design, large beer selection, and rich menu will be the perfect follow-up after a day of skiing.
The most popular restaurant in the central Catskills, and for good reason -- amazing brunch, retro chic interior, and huge outdoor seating area. Also a great place to pick up dinner before heading home.
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Phoenicia Diner
5681 New York 28
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The most popular restaurant in the central Catskills, and for good reason -- amazing brunch, retro chic interior, and huge outdoor seating area. Also a great place to pick up dinner before heading home.
One of the finest restaurants in the region, this renovated farmhouse has been promoting local farm-to-table dining for more than a decade. Their large footprint includes an open airy dining room, eclectic bar room, and garden deck. Make a reservation early as this place fills up very quickly on the weekend.
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Peekamoose Restaurant & Tap Room
8373 New York 28
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One of the finest restaurants in the region, this renovated farmhouse has been promoting local farm-to-table dining for more than a decade. Their large footprint includes an open airy dining room, eclectic bar room, and garden deck. Make a reservation early as this place fills up very quickly on the weekend.
"Bean-to-bar" chocolate factory and storefront, Fruition is making some of the best chocolate in the world - literally. They have won numerous global competitions and in 2013 were named Top 10 Chocolatiers in North America by Dessert Professional Magazine. Try the Brown Butter Milk Chocolate bar!
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Fruition Chocolate Works
3091 New York 28
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"Bean-to-bar" chocolate factory and storefront, Fruition is making some of the best chocolate in the world - literally. They have won numerous global competitions and in 2013 were named Top 10 Chocolatiers in North America by Dessert Professional Magazine. Try the Brown Butter Milk Chocolate bar!
Serving up true NY-style pizza, Danielle's is the best pizzeria in the area, bar none. The head pizza maker is a trained pizzaiolo that puts a ton of effort into their pizza dough, and it shows -- thin, crispy, airy crust with top quality ingredients. If you'd like something a bit different, go for the Detroit style.
Danielle's Pizza Shop
5575 New York 28
Serving up true NY-style pizza, Danielle's is the best pizzeria in the area, bar none. The head pizza maker is a trained pizzaiolo that puts a ton of effort into their pizza dough, and it shows -- thin, crispy, airy crust with top quality ingredients. If you'd like something a bit different, go for the Detroit style.
Perfect spot if you'd like a quick coffee and breakfast before venturing out for the day.
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Maeve's Place
288 Main St
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locals recommend
Perfect spot if you'd like a quick coffee and breakfast before venturing out for the day.
Neighborhoods
Quaint and charming, historic Andes main street features a small number of home goods and vintage shops, coffee bar, diner, and cidery. Perfect for an afternoon drink at Wayside and stroll through town.
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Andes
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Quaint and charming, historic Andes main street features a small number of home goods and vintage shops, coffee bar, diner, and cidery. Perfect for an afternoon drink at Wayside and stroll through town.
Phoenicia has long been a destination for weekenders seeking to escape the city. Lively main street lined with restaurants, home goods, outdoor supply, and a gas station. Very convenient location to grab essentials or peruse the small shops.
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Phoenicia
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Phoenicia has long been a destination for weekenders seeking to escape the city. Lively main street lined with restaurants, home goods, outdoor supply, and a gas station. Very convenient location to grab essentials or peruse the small shops.
The "capital of Catskills" is the largest town in the region and draws the most visitors from NYC and beyond. An absolute must-visit for dining, shopping, and entertainment.
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Woodstock
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The "capital of Catskills" is the largest town in the region and draws the most visitors from NYC and beyond. An absolute must-visit for dining, shopping, and entertainment.
If you're on an extended stay and have hit the usual local spots, take a trip out to Kingston. Very walkable and loaded with small shops that cater to the weekender crowd. Its quaint Stockade district is filled with restaurants, cafes, shopping, bakeries, and more.
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Kingston
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If you're on an extended stay and have hit the usual local spots, take a trip out to Kingston. Very walkable and loaded with small shops that cater to the weekender crowd. Its quaint Stockade district is filled with restaurants, cafes, shopping, bakeries, and more.
Activities
If a much-needed pampering is in order, reserve a session at Glo Spa for skin treatment, massage, or facial in a sophisticated and relaxing atmosphere.
Glo Spa Woodstock
62 Ricks Rd
If a much-needed pampering is in order, reserve a session at Glo Spa for skin treatment, massage, or facial in a sophisticated and relaxing atmosphere.
Cruise through pristine Catskill wildness on a pedal-powered electric bike. Decommissioned railroad tracks have been given new life with a totally unique activity, especially for families. Reserve ahead of time on the Rail Explorers website as this is a very popular local attraction.
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Rail Explorers: Catskills Division
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Cruise through pristine Catskill wildness on a pedal-powered electric bike. Decommissioned railroad tracks have been given new life with a totally unique activity, especially for families. Reserve ahead of time on the Rail Explorers website as this is a very popular local attraction.
Hop aboard a historic train and take in the rich panorama of expansive valleys and mountain views. On warm summer nights, grab a ticket for "Twilight on the Rails" to ride under the stars and listen to live music.
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Delaware & Ulster Railroad
43510 New York 28
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Hop aboard a historic train and take in the rich panorama of expansive valleys and mountain views. On warm summer nights, grab a ticket for "Twilight on the Rails" to ride under the stars and listen to live music.
Purchase a day pass that will give you access to some of the best amenities in the region. Lounge in Adirondack chairs next to the firepit with sweeping views of the Esopus Creek, or take advantage of the steam room, sauna, and hot tub on the back deck -- especially perfect for the fall and winter seasons.
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Emerson Resort & Spa
5340 New York 28
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Purchase a day pass that will give you access to some of the best amenities in the region. Lounge in Adirondack chairs next to the firepit with sweeping views of the Esopus Creek, or take advantage of the steam room, sauna, and hot tub on the back deck -- especially perfect for the fall and winter seasons.
Catch a flick at this charming indie movie theater. Popcorn is served of course -- and with real butter!
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Upstate Films Woodstock
132 Tinker Street
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locals recommend
Catch a flick at this charming indie movie theater. Popcorn is served of course -- and with real butter!
One of the best ways to get out into a natural setting, and take advantage of Blue Ribbon east coast fishing, is with a fly rod in hand. There is something very special about being waist-deep in rushing water waving your fly line back and forth in the pursuit of catching an elusive wild rainbow trout. Esopus Creel offers half-day and full-day guided outings, gear rental, and a fully-stocked pro shop. Also, the owners are all-around great guys and experienced teachers who are masters of the sport.
Esopus Creel Fly Fishing
5579 NY-28
One of the best ways to get out into a natural setting, and take advantage of Blue Ribbon east coast fishing, is with a fly rod in hand. There is something very special about being waist-deep in rushing water waving your fly line back and forth in the pursuit of catching an elusive wild rainbow trout. Esopus Creel offers half-day and full-day guided outings, gear rental, and a fully-stocked pro shop. Also, the owners are all-around great guys and experienced teachers who are masters of the sport.
If you're looking for a low key evening and want to grill up and eat stream-side at the house, head over to Woodstock Meats for an excellent selection of ethically-raised and locally-sourced beef, pork, poultry, and seafood.
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Woodstock Meats
57 Mill Hill Road
55
locals recommend
If you're looking for a low key evening and want to grill up and eat stream-side at the house, head over to Woodstock Meats for an excellent selection of ethically-raised and locally-sourced beef, pork, poultry, and seafood.