Exciting winter travel in New York’s Sullivan Catskills © Courtesy of Sullivan Catskills
When the mercury dips below freezing and the cold winds whistle down the Manhattan canyons, make your winter escape to New York’s Sullivan Catskills. This legendary location, known as America’s first vacationland, is a 90-minute drive from Manhattan and the Metro New York area. In winter, the scent of woodsmoke fills the air and luxury accommodations envelop your soul.
Hide away at a romantic midweek or weekend getaway at one of several boutique inns. Many are located near the trendy towns of Narrowsburg, Callicoon, Livingston Manor, Roscoe, and Mountaindale. The Bradstan Boutique Hotel at the Eldred Preserve offers 28 luxury accommodations resplendently decorated and lovingly furnished. Floor-to-ceiling windows bring the winter in while you curl up by the fireplace with a book.
Sleep on first class linens and wrap yourself in a monogrammed bathrobe. The complimentary European-style continental breakfast is second only to farm-to-table dinner fare at the property’s Old Homestead Restaurant. Venture out into the refreshing winter air for a private two-mile walk on the trail with outdoor exercise stations. Inside is a 1,300 square foot fitness studio and hot tub.
Kenoza Hall, a 55-acre property overlooking Kenoza Lake offers “earthy luxury” with 22 lavish, Victorian-inspired guest rooms featuring Sferra Linens and Down Bedding. Separate from the main building, 10 Bungalows with custom-designed armoires that harken back to 19th century Catskills. Chef Oscar Vargas serves up fine dining daily. Indulge in Swiss and German Kneipp-inspired body treatments at the Hemlock Spa. Then snuggle up with a cocktail at the intimate bar or by the parlor’s fieldstone fireplace.
Chatwal Lodge, an 11-room retreat and private restaurant, is redefining rustic elegance. Inspired by the great Catskills camps, this stylish refuge with bespoke touches sits on the shores of Toronto Lake Reservoir. Unwind in complete privacy. Melt your cares away by a roaring fire or relax in a soaking tub surrounded by nature in all its winter white glory. Callicoon Hills is a historic, restored boarding house nestled in the tiny hamlet of Callicoon Center.
With 65 guest rooms, this informal vacation resort is perfect for couples and friends. If you’re into winter trout stream fishing, it’s located near five of America’s top trout streams. The on-site Conover Club Restaurant, named for its link to dry fly fishing—a Conover is a wingless dry fly—serves seasonal food and beverages in a relaxing atmosphere.
Other places well worth a stay: Resorts World Catskills, where gaming meets the luxury of an all-suite hotel, 10 dining and lounge options, and the Crystal Life Spa. A luxurious healing experience awaits visitors at Yo1 Health Resort. This 68,000 square foot facility with 131 luxurious rooms and a fitness center is a premier Ayurvedic resort focusing on restoring health and balance through an authentic Indian perspective.
The Stickett Inn in scenic Barryville offers four two-room casual rooms, close to the town center and its bars and restaurants, and feels like an urban haven in the woods. The Boarding House at Seminary Hill Cidery includes 17 well-appointed bedrooms across eight separate apartment units. Shaker design accented with period fixtures, hardwood floors and antique furnishings lend country charm.
Two full-service resorts here focus on year-round family fun. Kartrite Resort and Indoor Waterpark in Monticello is close to Resorts World Catskills, while Villa Roma Resort and Conference Center is the closest resort to Bethel Woods Center for the Arts and the trendy town of Callicoon. Cottages, cabins, and vacation rentals dot the landscape here too—perfect for family DIY vacations, girlfriend getaways, or snowmobile trips.
When the snow flies, try cross-country skiing or snowshoeing. Trailkeeper.org can help find trails suitable to your fitness level. When the lakes and ponds freeze over ice-fishing is one of the most popular pastimes here. Don’t miss the Ice Fishing Derby at the Arnold House or the King of the Ice contest on White Lake in February. Eagle watching on the shores of the Upper Delaware River is a popular pastime. As many as 150 to 200 eagles winter here, some flying here from as far as 900 miles away.
The Sullivan Catskills Dove Trail is very selfie-worthy in winter. The trail honors the 50th anniversary of the 1969 Woodstock Music and Art Fair held in Bethel and features 60 dove sculptures “perched” in villages, towns, and businesses. Each is permanently mounted and was hand-painted by a local artist.
The adult-only award-winning Good Taste Beverage Trail traverses the county, too. Lined with over a dozen craft wineries, breweries, distilleries, and cideries, most locations offer food. Some have live music, and one includes a trek up picturesque Beer Mountain. Fuel up for the trails at any number of restaurants. The food scene here, dubbed “Catskill-icious,” ranges from wood-fired pizza at Benji and Jakes and hand-crafted pasta at Northern Farmhouse Pasta, to the Italian steakhouse cuisine of celebrity chef Scott Conant’s Cellaio at Resorts World Catskills.
For details on a cozy winter getaway, visit SullivanCatskills.com
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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.