Put The Sullivan Catskills on Your Summer Short List

By Jill Feinstein

This legendary vacationland—a two-hour drive from Manhattan—boasts hip, chic, and contemporary full-service resorts, charming inns, and a multi-million-dollar arts center that makes the Sullivan Catskills a worthwhile trip. But that’s not all..

Explore the stunning landscape and the outdoor adventures and end each expedition with a good meal. The food and beverage scene here, dubbed Catskillicious, is ever-expanding and inventive. One of the newest arrivals is chef Kristian Unvericht, who brings Latin American slow food to The Cabin at Hessinger-Lare including braised beef tacos, tortas, and traditional flavors from Mexico.

At the Bashakill Wildlife Management near Wurtsboro, home to the largest freshwater wetlands in southeastern New York, head west to the Hurleyville Rail Trail. Known locally as “The Milk Train Trail,” this segment of the O&W features nearly two miles of ADA-compliant trails. While you’re there, have a nosh at the Pickled Owl or the Tango Café or see a movie at the Hurleyville Performing Arts Centre.

Up in Livingston Manor two craft breweries deserve a visit. Upward Brewing sits at the base of a 120-acre preserve called Beer Mountain. Take the 1.5-mile hike then reward your effort with a refreshing Opiate Sun. In a gold certified LEED building, Catskill Brewery uses organic ingredients to craft Night Shine, Freak Tractor, and more. Other Good Taste Beverage Trail venues include Roscoe Beer Company, Shrewd Fox Brewery, Callicoon Brewing, Catskill Provisions, Seminary Hill Cidery, Do Good Spirits, Rock Valley Spirits, Russian Mule, Stickett Inn Cider, and Forthright Cyder and Mead.

The Tusten Mountain Trail near the river town of Narrowsburg is a moderately challenging 2.9-mile loop trail walkable from spring through fall. Pups are welcome but must be leashed.

Afterward, bring your appetite to Tusten Cup, The Heron, or the Laundrette. Water sports on the Delaware River are wildly popular. Lander’s River Trips offers rafting, kayaking, tubing, canoeing, and camping. The crystal-clear waters here are perfect for fly-fishing, and the area is known as the birthplace of American fly-fishing. Lake bait fishing opportunities abound, too.

Families love Kartrite Resort and Indoor Waterpark, where it’s always 84 degrees! Villa Roma Resort and Conference Center has a wide selection of outdoor pools and water features—kids love it. And everyone loves the Sullivan Catskills Dove Trail, a collection of 60 hand painted sculptures perched around the county. The trail commemorates the 50th anniversary of the 1969 Woodstock Music and Arts Fair.

One of the most popular summer attractions is Bethel Woods Center for the Arts. Located at the site of the 1969 Woodstock Music and Arts Fair, the center features an outdoor music pavilion and lawn seating that accommodates 16,000. This summer see The Who, Train, Dave Matthews Band, Phish, Jimmy Buffet, One Republic Alanis Morissette and others.

The Museum at Bethel Woods is dedicated to the ‘60s and the Woodstock festival. Spend a weekend or longer. Enjoy a wellness visit at Yo1 Health Resort. Stay at Resorts World Catskills and play the slots or table games. There’s also a spa and plentiful dining options including celebrity chef Scott Conant’s Cellaio. Other noteworthy accommodations include The Eldred Preserve, Callicoon Hills, Kenoza Hall and Chatwal Lodge. Vacation rentals are numerous and range from glamping tents to domes to country cottages with firepits and fireplaces. If you like to sleep under the stars there’s a wide selection of campgrounds to choose from, too.

Visit SullivanCatskills.com to book your experience.

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