The Revitalization of the Catskills Mountains continues with new hotels, restaurants and drinking establishments popping up in several counties. However, the best way to tackle this vast, winding region is to do it piecemeal. The 48-hour weekend works well, especially since most establishments are open for limited hours Thursday through Sunday anyway. (Welcome to the upstate!) For the first 48 hours in the Catskills, I’m covering Sullivan County in the Western Catskills.
The main villages to visit are Livingston Manor, Roscoe, Callicoon and Narrowsburg. On a map, the road between towns forms a lasso with Callicoon and Narrowsburg holding the figurative end of the rope. 12 minutes by car separate Livingston Manor from Roscoe, and 25 to 30 minutes by car separate the two towns of Callicoon which lies to the south and west along the east bank of the Delaware River. Narrowsburg, a charming hamlet founded in 1853, runs along the river another ten minutes south of Callicoon. In this region there is a lot to do both outdoors and indoors, even in winter.
Friday afternoon check-in, dinner at the hotel
What hotel? Here are some options
You can’t go wrong booking a property in the fabulous Promote hotel supply local of the group wallet. The 14 rooms of the The Debruce The hotel’s common areas are small but stylish, along with the top-notch, multi-course seasonal dining experience featuring one of the region’s best wine lists, make for comfortable digs. Eat, drink and go to bed.
The new sister property, Kenoza room, also operates an elegant restaurant in a former summer pension from the 1880s. The 55-acre property has 22 rooms, many with views of Kenoza Lake and large soaking tubs, plus snowshoes outside the door for sightseeing. winter.
Just outside of rural Livingston Manor Arnold House has a fun vintage vibe. Dine in the old-school tavern while listening to tunes on the jukebox or hang out in the greenhouse admiring the plants while sipping hot cider.
Callicoon Hills, the latest regional entrant, is equidistant between Livingston Manor and Callicoon, making it an ideal base for taking on all four towns in a weekend. That said, after a dinner of New England shrimp rolls and friends’ chicken sandwiches paired with excellent cocktails at the Conover Club, you may be inclined to eat there twice a weekend (we did!). Small rooms without TVs encourage guests to go out to hike or relax by the pool by day and mingle at night. Fortunately, the hipster-friendly experience lacks the arrogance that often accompanies such projects in the Hudson Valley. Everyone is welcome at Callicoon Hills making it a preferred choice for accommodation. (No surprise, their motto is The Friendly Resort for Nice People.)
Meet at Livingston Manor for two breakfasts. Sorry, but it is absolutely necessary. The first stop is Neon Crescent, co-owned by Lily Price and Erin Ellis, for the signature puff pastry. While pricey, these extra-buttery delicacies are on par for the best croissant in the Catskills (with Bread + Kingston Bar in Kingston.)
Then cross the street for the best Catskills cookie (no ties here), created by the same owners. The entrance specializes in massive, fluffy buttermilk mounds based on a fourth generation recipe from Lily Price’s southern great-grandmother. Breakfast sandwiches should be shared, especially when stacked with eggs, cheddar cheese, and sausage.
Cut a few calories by strolling down Main Street. Stores to explore include Nest for the global furnishing curated by the Danish-Brazilian designer Anna Bern, Dear for women’s clothing and accessories, Concrete + Water for independent designers as well as colorful textiles and dinner plates. Find vintage housewares and furniture at Taylor + Ace. Main street farm specializes in local produce, groceries like beer and cider, as well as regionally inspired sandwiches to take on hikes or picnics. Take a bottle of biodynamic natural wine from Upstream Wines + Spirits or come back in the afternoon / evening for a drink at the associated wine bar, Sun Colony.
Leave Livingston Manor for Callicoon. At the exit, take a short detour through Ascending brewing, located off Main Street just outside of town. One of the most forward-thinking breweries in upstate New York, which also has a fantastic list of misty beers with high IPA content, the black steel exterior juxtaposes the warm wood tones of the l inside. Mid-century modern decor and a grand fireplace framed in glazed tiles encourage linger. While the food is good, save your stomach for Callicoon.
To arrive at Catskill provisions for a tasting with lunch. The owners Claire M Marin and her partner Cathy Leidersdorff to focus on farm-to-glass spirits with New York ingredients. Local organic honey and rye, for example, form the basis of their award-winning rye whiskey. Try it in a flight or in a jalapeÃ±o margarita; order the pulled pork sandwich with cornbread to infuse everything.
Stroll the streets of Callicoon. Crossed by railroad tracks, this small town retains the country feel of its founding days in 1842. If you catch a store, do it Spruce home items for everything from glassware and bedding to cheese and prepared foods.
To discover Roscoe, book dinner at The junction. Creative drinks and comfort food made with regional ingredients like trout, speak to owners Misty Hackworth and Aaron Blakely experience in Brooklyn hospitality. The ambiance of the sportsman’s dive bar mixed with vintage decor is both retro and modern. In summer, the daily frozen drink specialties include fruit from neighboring farms.
Another option near Roscoe is Pasta from the North Farm. Choose take-home pasta made from 100% New York-grown wheat, or book a dinner reservation. Sample classic Italian dishes like tagliatelle bolognese, order the local version of piccata with trout, or sip bowls of ramen, one of chefs’ favorite dishes because of the noodles.
In the opposite direction, the Cochecton restaurant Henning Local has received rave reviews for its surprising culinary prowess in the middle of nowhere. Norwegian chef Henning Nordanger offers his take on comforting American cuisine, with, of course, trout in multiple ways (watch out for Beaverkill trout sashimi) as well as local beef, lamb and chicken.
The last hot spot of the weekend in Sullivan County, or at least what counts as such a thing in the Catskills, is the Cochecton Pump House. Food trucks provide food to revelers who descend for live music and local beers served inside the red brick hull of an abandoned 1879 oil pumping station.
Depending on the season, spend Sunday morning outside. Try fly fishing in the county’s famous trout-rich streams and rivers. Debt Steals at Livingston Manor has been helping newbies and professionals alike with gear and suggestions since 1928.
Hikers will enjoy the deciduous fall foliage of Walnut Mountain Park and the Willowemoc Wild Forest. Photographers bring gear to Bouchoux Trailhead for the famous (locally, anyway) Jensen cornices. A short but steep hike provides exciting scenic views of the Upper Delaware River Valley.
Kayakers and water babies keen to enjoy the river can book scenic floats on the Delaware across Journeys on the Lander River.
Tiny Narrowsburg is full of shops and restaurants, but only takes an hour or two to prospect. Try it Heron for lunch, one of the first restaurants in the village with a gastronomic ambition. (Always check the condition of any restaurant in town before committing. Many are understaffed and have closed, reduced hours, or take out only.)
Otherwise, visit Laundromat for crispy, wood-fired sourdough pizzas overlooking the river. Do not miss the delicious honey ice cream from Line B. The flavors range from the original to pistachio to cardamom and Mayan chocolate.