It’s time to satisfy your wanderlust without traveling too far. Pack your bags, toss them in the car and take a drive to New York’s Sullivan Catskills. Less than two hours from Manhattan, the area has been recognized by Travel and Leisure as one of the best places to travel in 2021. Long a legendary vacationland for wellbeing, it is highly acclaimed by Lonely Planet, Harper’s Bazaar, Fodor’s Travel and others.
Once home to hundreds of bungalows, summer camps and famous resorts that formed a legendary reputation for hospitality and launched the careers of Mel Brooks, Eddie Fisher and Joan Rivers to name a few— city dwellers came to enjoy fresh mountain air, hospitality and on-site entertainment. In 1969, The world-famous Woodstock Music and Art Fair attracted half a million people to the cow pastures of Max Yasgur’s dairy farm for three days of peace, love, and music.
Today— spurred on by new destination resorts, quaint small towns dotted with restaurants, bakeries, breweries, distilleries, cocktail and wine bars— a new generation of city dwellers seeks to escape, recharge and unwind surrounded by a stunning rural landscape.
The local cuisine here, dubbed “Catskill-icious” is as sumptuous as it is inventive. Try the Pecan-Encrusted Local Beaverkill Trout topped with a 5-spice compound butter at the Old Homestead Restaurant and Lounge at the newly opened Eldred Preserve. Peconic Escargot is on the menu at The Debruce, and over at BHR you can indulge on Chorizo Stuffed Artichoke. The hand-crafted beverages on the Good Taste Beverage Trail are original and award-winning (Catskill Provisions, Pollinator Gin; Do Good Spirits, Bootlegger Vodka; Roscoe Beer Company, Trout Town Brown Ale). Another original: The Sullivan Catskills Dove Trail— a collection of 50 hand-painted dove sculptures perched throughout our towns, villages and attractions. Each dove was painted by a professional artist in the style of Peter Max and pays homage to the 50th anniversary of Woodstock.
The area is home to some of the world’s most unique attractions. Topping the list is Bethel Woods Center for the Arts and the Museum at Bethel Woods. Located in Bethel, at the site of the Woodstock festival the center features an outdoor music pavilion with a seating and lawn capacity of 16,000. The Museum is dedicated to the ‘60s and the Woodstock festival and yearly features a special exhibit. It also hosts an annual Harvest Festival for 6 weeks in the fall.
Gaming fans are drawn to Resorts World Catskills, the State’s largest Class-3 destination resort casino where gaming— including live table games, slot machines, poker, sports book, and private gaming salons meets the luxury of 5-diamond overnight suites and the Crystal Life Spa for a dose of serenity. Guests from all over the world seek to slow down life’s pace at Yo1 Wellness Resort, the only ayurevedic health center in the country of its size— 68,000 square feet— and 131 rooms and suites with sweeping views of Bailey Lake.
If sports and adventure is what you seek, cast a line in the Beaverkill or Willowemoc— where American fly fishing was born. Bird watchers, take note: The Sullivan Catskills is home to one of the largest American Eagle populations in the Northeast. For a dose of old-fashioned family fun look to the always popular Villa Roma Resort where fun and games are always on tap. For more family adventures consider a Delaware River rafting or canoe trip and combine it with overnight camping.
Accommodations here range from full-service resorts and vacation rentals to campgrounds, charming inns and B&Bs. Three new additions this summer include the Eldred Preserve, Callicoon Hills and Chatwal Lodge.
Mindful of visitor health, the Sullivan Catskills Visitors Association spearheads Catskills Confidence, a county-wide pledge by tourism-related businesses to follow federal, state and local mitigation measures and protocols for guest health and safety.
A good time, original fun and a good night’s sleep is waiting. The Sullivan Catskills is close, always open, and always ready to welcome you. To learn more and plan your close-to-home getaway call (800) 882-2287 or visit sullivancatskills.com.