Looking for an escape from New York City (or any other major Northeast city, for that matter)? Go on a remote getaway to the Sullivan Catskill Mountains, about two hours from NYC, for relaxation, nature, and great food.
How to Do a Weekend in the Sullivan Catskills:
I stayed at The North Branch Inn in North Branch, NY, and quickly fell in love with its design, hospitality, and remoteness. I also toured the hotel’s sister property in nearby Livingston Manor, The Arnold House, and equally loved the design and amenities. Both are unique in their own way, North Branch has its own vintage bowling alley, while The Arnold House has a spa and large outdoor barn for events. Both hotels are run by the husband-wife team of Sims Foster and Kirsten Harlow Foster. In addition to North Branch and The Arnold House, they also have a third property called 9 River Road, located in Callicoon. Depending on what you’re looking for, one of the three properties will cater to your needs. North Branch Inn is perfect for total solitude, The Arnold House is great for families and larger groups looking for activities, and 9 River Road is ideal for its location to the town center. If you’re unsure of where to stay, give any of the locations a call and they’re happy to help explain each property’s details.
Just note that overall, the Catskills require a car as many of these towns and activities are located about 20 minutes away from each other.
Once you arrive at your hotel, head to Catskill Brewery in Livingston Manor for a refreshing brew, explore the nearby area/property, or take a walk along the Delaware River or streams. For dinner, I suggest heading to Northern Farmhouse Pasta in Roscoe (about 10 to 30 minutes away from one of the three properties, depending on where you’re staying) for some quality dining, pasta, and fun. You can also take a pasta-making class with the owner Bob earlier in the day if you so desire. This was one of my favorite activities of the trip as Bob has so much to say about the developing tourism industry for the region and just great local stories.
Another option for dinner is Benji & Jakes on Kauneonga Lake (about 20 to 30 minutes away from one of the three properties, depending on where you’re staying) for great cocktails, pizza, and live music on the water. If you’re going during the spring or summer, make sure you get there early or have a reservation as space fills up fast at this highly desired location. If you’re looking for a nightcap, check out Cabernet Frank’s in Parksville (closest to Livingston Manor), which is open Thursday to Saturday for dinner and drinks, and seasonally on Sundays for brunch.
Depending on the time of year you’re in the Catskills, wake up at a decent hour and grab the free on-site breakfast at The North Branch Inn (if you’re staying there) or go to the German bakery, Brandenburg Bakery in Livingston Manor. Then head out for either a half-day of fly fishing, hiking, snowshoeing, or any other type of excursion. The guys at Trout Town Adventures in Roscoe will hook you up with water and fishing activities, no matter your interest or skill level. Roscoe is considered “Trout Town, USA” and is famous for its incredible fly fishing during May, June, and July. For snowshoeing and hiking trails, see each property’s suggested activities and trails in the lobby for recommendations nearby. Or, if you’re visiting during summer or warmer weather, rent a boat and head to any of the nearby lakes for the day.
After your morning outdoors, relax at Prohibition Distillery and/or Roscoe Beer Company (both located in Roscoe) for a tour, tasting, or relaxation. The guys at Prohibition Distillery are entertaining and knowledgeable about their craft and the area, so it’s worth leaving some extra time to hang out here. And Roscoe Beer Company has a great outdoor space worth checking out if you’re looking for some sunshine and beer.
There’s one other distillery in the area worth noting called Catskill Distilling Company in Bethel, that offers tasting and tours, as well as food, music, and drinks at the onsite venue, Dancing Cat Saloon. They also have a gallery and store next door, Stray Cat Gallery and the aptly named The Store Next Door, so clearly this distillery can keep you entertained all afternoon.
After, head to either North Branch Inn or The Arnold House for dinner and entertainment at the on-site bar or tavern. The Arnold House also hosts comedy nights on Saturdays.
Before you leave the Catskills, book a spa treatment at The Arnold, and then drive to Narrowsburg for a delicious brunch at The Heron and walk around the downtown area located along the Upper Delaware Scenic Byway. Stop at the Delaware Valley Arts Alliance Gallery before heading to the highway, and if you have time, check out the Museum at Bethel Woods and the Woodstock Festival Site and Monument, which is on your way out of the area.
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