The Catskills are still groovy
Long a haven for Gothamites, the Catskills continue to attract attention with their artisan lifestyle and pristine nature offerings.While the Woodstock festival may be a thing of the past (40 years to be exact), the area retains its quirky, offbeat and whimsical nature. And at only three hours away, the Catskills are an ideal escape from New York.
Where to eat
A Woodstock newcomer, Cucina Woodstock prides itself on blending classic Italian recipes with local and seasonal produce. The contemporary interior and innovative cocktail menu give the restaurant—housed in an old farmhouse—a modern twist. 109 Mill Hill Road, Woodstock, NY; 845-679-9800; cucinawoodstock.com
Located in the tiny mountain hamlet of Phoenica, Sweet Sue’s is a must for at least one morning meal. Smack-dab in the middle of town, Sweet Sue’s killer pancakes might land you in an intense food coma, but don’t worry: the umbrella-strewn patio is an ideal spot to lounge and linger. 49 Main Street, Phoenicia, NY 845-688-7852 Where to stay
Kate’s Lazy Meadow Motel
Owned by the B-52s Kate Pierson, Lazy Meadow is a kitsch collector’s dream with retro airstream trailers—brightly decorated with gnomes, fairies, and other trinkets—providing a visual vacation like no other. Nestled on the Esopus Creek, Lazy Meadow plans to start offering free yoga in their new giant tipi and a soon-to-launch line of Lazy Meadow products, so you roam with the Lazy Meadow vibe all around the world. 5191 Rt. 28, Mount Tremper, NY, 845-688-7200; lazymeadow.com; rooms start at $155/night.
Embrace your inner Austin Powers and book a room at the psychedelically
decadent Roxbury. Located right by the Delaware River, the Roxbury
features over-the-top themed suites, from genie bottles to space pod pads,
as well as "regular" lux studios and kitchenettes. Just don’t delay your
trip: spend three nights and receive a fourth free with their current summer
special. Rooms start at $90/night. 2258 County Highway 41, Roxbury,
NY, 607-326-7200; theroxburymotel.com What to do
The Kaatskill Kaleidoscope
Some things in life you just have to see to believe and the Kaatskill
Kaleidoscope is one of them. Built by ’60s artist Isaac Abrams and his son,
the 60-foot tall kaleidoscope—the largest in the world— is as kitschy as
tourist attractions come, but embracing the whimsy is part of the fun. Open
daily from 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m., 5340 Route 28, Mount Tremper, NY, 877-688-5800 x 654 Town Tinker Tubing
Tubing thrives in Phoenicia, where numerous outfitters offer daily rentals and gear. A favorite is the Town Tinker, self-professed “masters of tubology.” They offer beginner, intermediate and advanced routes that take on average two and a half hours to complete. Plus, they have impressive group discounts of up to 25 percent. Tubing rates $12/day and up. 10 Bridge Street, Phoenicia, NY; Towntinker.com Woodstock Film Festival
Ang Lee’s, “Taking Woodstock” (debuting in NYC Aug. 26) has given this year’s fest extra buzz, so expect more celebs and sold-out events at the 10-year old event that boasts 150-plus films, panels and lectures, from Sept. 30-Oct. 4. Tinker Street Cinema, 132 Tinker Street, Woodstock, NY, woodstockfilmfestival.com Know before you go
To cut down on car rental prices, take the Metro-North to Poughkeepsie and rent from there. The daily rates are less expensive than in the city. Use Enterprise and they will pick you up from the train station. 724 Main Street, Poughkeepsie, New York, 845-485-2222; enterprise.comRenting a cabin with a group of friends is an affordable alternative to hotel prices. A good site is Homeaway.com where cabins in Phoenica go for $750/week for six people.