by | May 31, 2024 | Travel

New York City has such a pull with travellers from around the globe not only because of the obvious – its museums, art galleries, sports teams, film festivals, its diverse array of five-star restaurants, nightlife, hotels, shopping – but also an underlying energy and lifeblood that pulsates through its five boroughs – Manhattan, Queens, Staten Island, Brooklyn, and the Bronx.

But what more and more people are finding out is there is a quaint, charming vacationland just 90 minutes northwest along Hwy 6, then Hwy 17 out of Manhattan. Sullivan Catskills, which became prominent in the 1960s when the town of Bethel there hosted 500,000 people for the Woodstock Music and Arts Fair. Sullivan Catskills is another world entirely, with its fresh air, water, cool summer breezes – a true slice of Americana that offers the traveller a real respite from the noise and hectic hustle of New York City.

These are two distinct worlds, and that’s the treasure of Sullivan Catskills, just waiting to be uncovered. Here the traveller can go to New York City and have that experience, go see the Statue of Liberty, go up the Empire State Building, but then go relax in the quaint little communities in Sullivan Catskills to balance it all out. There’s so much more to see and do here, outdoors activities that you’re not going to find in the city.

Sullivan Catskills New York State Bethelwoodsconcert

Bethelwoods Concert

Sullivan Catskills: Where to stay

So you’ve made the drive north from New York, or maybe south down Interstate 81 from Canada, and you’re looking to park the car for a few days. Since the 19th century tourists have come to Sullivan Catskills to stay at the hundreds of hotels and resorts, many that fall under the “luxury” category.

The resorts now include a family oriented hotel and golf center, a destination spa, and a major casino-entertainment complex coming next spring. Smaller B&B’s, cottages, and boutique lodging are attracting singles, couples and families to a relaxed recreation and restoration experience.

Nestled in the breathtaking Appalachian countryside, Callicoon Hills is the ideal retreat for those seeking out nature’s beauty with hiking, fishing, and comfort food, right down to nestling next to one of their bonfire pits with complimentary s’mores.

The North Branch Inn is a classic, owner-operated boutique hotel and restaurant in the Western Catskills, opened in 1868, a mix of authentic charm, thoughtful touches, culinary delights, tucked between two creeks. There’s so much to do here: brewery tours, cider tastings, bakeries, wine bars, tennis, golf, horseback riding, alpaca farms, archery (and axe throwing), ice skating, lake swimming, hiking trails, waterfalls, artisans, art galleries, antique shops, concerts, and fly fishing. Or just chill by the hotel, read a book, have a coffee and take in nature.

Some spring time promotions and offers for Sullivan Catskills hotels can be found here.

Sullivan Catskills New York State Fishing


Culinary options

Cellaio is an Italian-inspired steakhouse, serving fine USDA 100% Certified Black Angus beef dry-aged for 21-28 days, a menu curated by celebrity chef Scott Conant. Cellaio is located at Resorts World Catskills, nestled in the Catskill Mountains, which also features a casino with over 150 live table games (blackjack, roulette, craps, baccarat), 1,600 slot machines, a poker room, and private player’s lounge. Dining options range from Cellaio to Asian fine dining, drinks at Empire Lounge or Butterfly Beach Bar, or comfort foods at 24/7 Bistro.

If you’ve got the golf clubs sitting in the back of the SUV, play a round at Monster Golf Club – designed by Rees Jones, an 18-hole championship course, rated by Golf Digest as one of America’s 100 Greatest Golf Courses. At 7,327 yards from the “Monster Tees”, it will challenge every player with its length, extensive bunkering and water hazards, with the natural beauty of the mountains and forest as a backdrop.

Galli Family Farm is all about organic fed turkeys, chickens and ducks (non GMO, hormone and antibiotic free). Big Kev’s BBQ, in White Lake, was voted Upstate New York’s best roadside BBQ, serving pulled pork, chicken, ribs and beef brisket. Big Eddy Brewing Company in Narrowsburg was opened this year and it’s where you go to find fine beer and great food. The Kauneonga Lake Farmers and Makers Market is a great place to check out on Saturdays through Sept. 24 for fresh market food, straight from the farm, with work from local artists also on display.


Sullivan Catskills New York State Cellaio

Cellaio Restaurant

Sullivan Catskills New York State Monster Golf

Monster Golf Club

Images: Sullivan Catskills Visitors Association

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