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Visiting the Thomas Cole National Historic Site in Greene County, New York
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Playing shuffleboard at Sunny Hill Resort and Golf Course in the Catskills, New York
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Visiting historic Kingston, New York
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Exploring the exhibits at Bethel Woods Center for the Arts in Bethel Woods, New York
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Site of Woodstock at Bethel Woods, New York
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A marker at the site of Woodstock at Bethel Woods, New York
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Tasting room at Catskill Distilling Company in Bethel, New York
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Riverside promenade in historic Kingston, New York
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Shopping excursion in Greene County, New York
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  • States:
    New York

Overflowing with quaint historic towns and old-world charm, and with easy access to New York City, the Catskills region offers visitors a diverse array of activities.

Although it is an all-season destination, the Catskill Mountains truly glow in autumn. The spectacular mountain scenery provides a veritable kaleidoscope of color for everyone to enjoy. Watching the leaves change from green to orange, red and yellow, then golden brown, is a spectacle not to be missed. Beyond the pageantry of the fall foliage, discover a world of cultural and culinary attractions just waiting to be enjoyed.

Tasty Goodness

Start your trip with a stop in Brandenburg Bakery, in the sleepy little town of Livingston Manor, for freshly baked, mouthwatering German pastries, cakes, freshly baked breads and biscuits. Walk down the street to pick up a sandwich from Main Street Farm Market and Café. Nearby, at The Catskill Brewery, pick up a growler, or handled container of beer. This craft brewery in Livingston Manor that is popular with the locals.

Steeped in History

The beautiful, historic towns in the Catskill Mountains are legendary, particularly the community of Kingston in Ulster County. In 1777, this small town was the first capital of New York. Kingston's architecture tells the story in different layers, from the Dutch colonization in the 17th and 18th centuries, to a commercial trading center in the 19th century, and the rise and fall of industry in the 20th century. Victorian houses, small shops, cafes and galleries can be found everywhere. Another wonderful part of this region are farm-to-table dining establishments in these charming small towns. A favorite in the downtown historic district is the American bistro Ship to Shore. Here, enjoy a leisurely and delicious lunch of cod and chips.

This part of town sits at the edge of Rondout Creek, where you’ll also find the Hudson River Maritime Museum. In the dockyard, take your picture with the Mathilda, an 1898 steam tug. After popping in a few shops and galleries, head uptown, which has even more shops and boutiques to browse under decorative covered walkways. At the junction of Crown and John streets, there are four colonial stone buildings from the early days in Kingston. They are part of the Old Stockade Area, which dates to 1658, after the Dutch settlers came to the area in 1652. Also check out the Old Dutch Church and Senate House, which is where the first capital of New York was established.

Local Culture

For a sample of Catskills culture, head southwest to Bethel. In 1969, half a million people descended for "Three Days of Peace and Music" at a festival called Woodstock. Contrary to what many folks believe, the festival did not take place in the town of Woodstock, which is more than an hour’s drive from Bethel.

The Catskill Distilling Company is just a few minutes away and worth a stop. The distillery, which produces gin, vodka and whiskey, offers tours and tastings. They also own the building next door, the Dancing Cat Saloon, where you can each lunch or dinner, or listen to live music.

From here, drive a few miles west to the hamlet of Narrowsburg. Check out the view over the narrowest part of the Delaware River and scan the sky for the bald eagles sometimes spotted in this area.

Finding Mountain Accommodations

For accommodations in the Catskills, you are spoiled for an abundance of choices. The Ecce Bed and Breakfast is an intimate five-bedroom mountain house overlooking the Upper Delaware. The views are truly magical. It also offers a magnificent breakfast to wake up to: made-to-order French toast with fresh strawberries and bananas and a side of crispy bacon.

If you’re looking for something a little different, try the Roxbury Motel. From wacky to weird, all the rooms are decorated in a different theme after different television programs or movies. The Archaeologist's Digs is a private, three-bedroomed cottage based on the “Indiana Jones” films. There are “Breakfast at Tiffany’s,” “I Dream of Jeannie” and “Amadeus’ Bride" suites. Cross the street to try the convenient and delicious Public Restaurant.

Or check out the Inn at Lake Joseph, where you can take a rowboat out and watch the sun set in the distance. With a whirlpool bath and cozy fireplace available in the suites, it is a perfect way to relax at the end of the day.

Known as a vacation haven, the Catskills region in New York is as inviting as it is beautiful. When you explore this area, you will be delighted by the outdoor activities along, delicious food and great accommodations.