Soak up the Sunshine in the Sullivan Catskills

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Kartrite Resort © Images Courtesy of Sullivan Catskills

With the long, cold, and dark days of winter behind us, the winter-weary among us are turning our attention to summertime and sunshine.

Long on fun, the Sullivan Catskills should be on your shortlist. So, if you’re ready to ride the rapids, kick back in luxury accommodations, sip on craft beverages, and indulge in inventive cuisine, start making your plans now.

This legendary vacationland—once home to hundreds of summer resorts is a two-hour drive from Manhattan. Today, contemporary full-service resorts, charming inns, and a multi-million-dollar arts center at the site of the 1969 Woodstock Music and Art Fair make the Sullivan Catskills the country escape of choice where city-dwellers unwind with family and friends.

Soak up the summer and rove through the stunning landscape where there is an outdoor adventure at every turn, and you can end each expedition with a good meal. The food and beverage scene here, dubbed Catskill-icious, is ever-expanding and inventive, thanks to professionally trained chefs and passionate new food entrepreneurs. One of the latest arrivals this month is chef Kristian Unvericht, who brings his special brand of Latin American slow food to The Cabin at Hessinger-Lare, including slow-braised beef tacos, tortas, and traditional flavors from Mexico.

Head out to the Bashakill Wildlife Management Area near Wurtsboro, home to the largest freshwater wetlands in southeastern New York. Recreational opportunities abound, including 15 miles of flat hiking trails along the historic D&H Canal towpath. Along the trail, stop at Bashakill Vineyards, an organic vineyard (part of the Good Taste Beverage Trail), for a taste of their handcrafted, small-batch wines and a full menu of tapas, charcuterie boards, tacos, craft cheese, and local handmade ice cream. In town, step back in time to Canal Towne Emporium. This family-owned business since 1869 will delight your senses with its collection of finely crafted gifts, country foods, and home décor.

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The Heron © Courtesy of Sullivan Catskills

Head west from there and walk the rail trail in Hurleyville. Known locally as “The Milk Train Trail,” this segment of the O&W features nearly two miles of smooth-surface, ADA-compliant, multi-use trail, extending in each direction from the center of the hamlet for a total of 3.5 miles. While you’re in Hurleyville, swing by the Pickled Owl for a bite to eat or see a movie at the Hurleyville Performing Arts Centre.

Beer lovers can head to Livingston Manor, where two craft breweries deserve your attention. Upward Brewing sits at the base of a 120-acre preserve called Beer Mountain. You can work for your brew and take the 1.5-mile hike before you wet your whistle. Don’t miss the refreshing Opiate Sun. Catskill Brewery uses sustainable practices and organic ingredients to craft Night Shine, Freak Tractor, Devil’s Path, and a handful of other flavorful brews in a gold-certified LEED building. Other not-to-be-missed 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 popular river town of Narrowsburg is a moderately challenging 2.9-mile loop trail. Maintained by the National Park Service and owned by the Ten Mile River Boy Scout Camp, the trail features a few rough spots, and there is some elevation gain with a few steeper spots. You’ll appreciate this hike from spring through fall, and your four-legged friends will like it too, but they must be leashed.

Afterward, mosey down to Narrowsburg and bring a hearty appetite. Water sports on the Delaware River are wildly popular. Lander’s River Trips caters to individuals, couples, families, and groups large and small and 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 are many, 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 and families love. One of the most unique and fun experiences is visiting the Sullivan Catskills Dove Trail, a collection of 60 hand-painted dove sculptures perched in villages, towns, and outside local businesses. The trail commemorates the 50th anniversary of the 1969 Woodstock Music and Arts Fair.

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Bashakill © Courtesy of Sullivan Catskills

One of the area’s most popular attractions comes to life every summer—Bethel Woods Center for the Arts. Located at the site of the Woodstock festival, the center features an outdoor music pavilion with seating and lawn capacity of 16,000. This season brings The Who, Train, Dave Matthews Band, Phish, Jimmy Buffet, One Republic, and more. The Museum at Bethel Woods is dedicated to the ‘60s and the Woodstock festival.

With is so much to explore, it’s worth spending the weekend—or longer. Indulge in a wellness stay at Yo1 Health Resort. Book a room at Resorts World Catskills, where you can play the slots or table games. There’s also a spa and a host of dining options, including celebrity chef Scott Conant’s Cellaio. Other noteworthy accommodation options include The Eldred Preserve, Callicoon Hills, Kenoza Hall, and Chatwal Lodge (opening this month). Vacation rentals are all the rage 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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There are so many things to do in our Sullivan Catskills, you’ll choose us over and over again for your vacation destination. Every colorful season here will remind you of what it feels like to be a kid again.

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