We often find ourselves at a cross-road with life, the same patterned routine or juggling act trying to find that perfect balance between work and play. No one is more familiar with this daunting reality than a New Yorker city native. It’s around this time of year when New Yorkers are at their breaking point of having those summer blues and dare we say, the echoed term of “Rosé and Rooftop Season” encompasses the office. As the songwriter declared, “Take me away to a secret place, a sweet escape…take me away.” Taking heed to those choice words – Welcome to the Catskills.
The Catskill Mountains, also known as ‘the Catskills’ is a province of the larger Appalachian Mountains, located in southeastern New York state. Locals of New York City have favored the popular American culture area since the mid-20th century as a destination of solace. The Catskills take pride in their abundant landscapes, picturesque views, endless outdoor recreation, farm-to-table eateries, and the ever so popular festival lineup.
A weekend getaway awaits filled with delight from Fly Fishing in the Esopus Creek to hiking and taking in the majestic waterfall views at Kaaterskill Falls and Russell Brook Falls. If you’re a thrill seeker then river canoeing, white water rafting, and kayaking may be more your speed amongst the favored aquatic recreation activities. Of course, camping is a must with favored campsites such as Bear Spring Mountain and North-South Lake up for grabs. Lest we forget a notable mention of the mountain range as ski and snowboard enthusiasts flock to the Catskills for those significant snow-covered peaks. There are five main downhill ski and snowboard areas in the Catskills including, Belleayre Mountain, Hunter Mountain, Windham Mountain, Holiday Mountain Ski and Fun in Monticello; and Plattekill Mountain in Roxbury.
If you’re like us and want to visit the Catskills for the pure enjoyment of peace of mind, how about grabbing a local brew with the gals and the lads, or merely enjoy an authentic farm-to-table experience by venturing to a variety of breweries and eateries. The Catskills is known for their local brews from ales to stouts and lagers; a hotspot you might want to jot down on your beverage trail is the Honey Hollow Brewing Company in Earlton. If your all about fresh, local produce then the farm-to-table experience has your name written all over it. Eateries such as Table on Ten in Bloomville and Phoenicia Dinner in Phoenicia is sure to give all the nostalgic, and Instagram-able feels, but that ‘s only the tip of the iceberg of hidden gems to be found within the Catskills.
Now that you’ve received your foodie fix how about a generous helping of music and entertainment? The Catskills have long been a haven for artists, musicians, and writers, especially in and around the towns of Phoenicia and Woodstock. The town of Bethel is famous for the Woodstock Music festival in 1969, where thirty-two music acts performed amongst 500,000 concert-goers. The momentous event was captured in the documentary movie Woodstock (1970); over three-dozen films have resided in the Catskills. The former Woodstock site is now home to the Bethel Woods Center for the Arts.
It’s no wonder your itinerary will be flooded with countless adventures and experiences to dive into, but first things first – where does one stay in the Catskills? The vast variety of hotels, resorts, and lodges located in the Catskills can be a bit daunting and overwhelming to choose from, as the accommodations are notable in American cultural history. Rest assured, any accommodation you choose will be a great fit, and no doubt will feel like that ‘home away from home’ experience. We felt it best to narrow down your options as we ventured to the Catskills for a mini “stay-cation” at Scribner’s Catskill Lodge.
Scribner’s has always been a reputable source as a “popular summer social center” for locals and tourist alike from the days of Hunter Mountain Prospect House during the 1800s, to their revamp during the 1960s when a new wave of eclectic attraction swept the Catskills area. A fashionable crowd was drawn to Hunter Mountain’s winter sports and après-ski revelry. In 1969, the ever so prominent Woodstock festival drew thousands of concert-goers for a countercultural revolution like none other. It was an exciting time for Scribner’s filled with revising, refining and redefining who they were as a brand and what they represent to the Catskills, as an artist acquired the Scribner’s site with a vision to create a “fantastical resort that captured the optimism and playfulness of that era.” In 1966, Scribner’s welcomed their first guests and quickly gained legendary status as a critically acclaimed accommodation haven within the Catskills.
Today, Scribner’s Catskills Lodge is known for its distinctive architecture and design with their recent reopening and extensive renovation to welcome a newer generation of ‘urban explorers.’ Scribner’s offer 38 guest rooms and suites, of which few are alike, have fireplaces and lofted beds accompanied by custom-designed toiletries for guests to savor. A decadent outdoor pool area awaits as guests can view the vast mountain range and breathtaking greenery during the summer months.
There is multiple indoor and outdoor event space, including a vast communal room that lends an aesthetically pleasing loft-like experience where guests will find several bookshelves filled with various genres from fashion to interior design. If you’re more of gamer how about a round of a pool or board games to unleash the competitor within, always a good idea amongst friends. From there you’re lead to the outside cedar deck that hosts a bonfire under the stars as guests can cozy up with loved ones sharing stories amongst new and old friends as they toast away to smores.
We couldn’t mention Scribner’s Catskill Lodge without a nod to their excellent farm-to-table experience with Prospect their locally-inspired restaurant. Executive chef Joseph Buenconsejo who has worked at notable restaurants such as Nobu, Jean George Vongerichten, Domaine Chandon, L’auberge Carmel, and Aqua and Masa respectively is the mastermind behind Prospect. Prospect serves a playful twist on local cuisine inspired by the “rich and diverse offerings of the Hudson Valley.” As guests look out of the floor to ceiling windows, the restaurant presents picturesque 270-degree views of the Catskills mountains that will leave you in awe.
Prospect prides themselves on comfort and inevitability as shareable dishes are offered and putting your phone on silent is a must – well, until you have to take that cheeky insta-story photo, because if you didn’t capture it were you even there? Prospect feels familiar as a gathering space for area-visitors and hotel guests to come together as one. Prospect at Scribner’s offer a menu for breakfast, brunch, après ski, and dinner drawing from its surroundings as culinary ingredients are sourced within the Hudson Valley, utilizing the region’s rich agriculture of local mushrooms, root vegetables with a focus on ‘innovative fermentation.’ Whether you are a breakfast/brunch person like us and like to rise with the sun, or you prefer an alpine dinner customized by the house chefs you will leave filled, satisfied and content.
The Catskills is a destination close to home, but even closer to our hearts. It’s a stay-cation that can meander in many different ways despite your preference, but no matter what route you decide to choose there is something for everyone during your Catskills adventure. Scribner’s Catskill Lodge offers guests a home away from home experience filled with over 20 acres of mountain-side to venture and explore. It’s a destination you won’t want to miss out on as guests are welcomed with open arms to a host of hospitable staff that always put the guest first and meet your needs with a smile. As summer is quickly approaching, you might want to book your next stay-cation sooner rather than later. Travel close, discover more as the Catskills awaits you.