As much as I love living in New York City, I frequently crave getting out of the concrete jungle and into nature. I especially feel this way when summer comes around. Some of my favorite 
day trip spots from NYC are beaches in New Jersey like Spring Lake and Asbury Park, The Rockaways and now I’m adding The Catskills to my list.

The Catskill region is a large mountainous area in the southeastern portion of New York. Many of the best areas are easily accessible from New York City- with only a few hour car ride separating you from the mountains. In the Catskill region you can find hiking trails, fishing and tubing excursions, charming little towns and world class art and music destinations (Woodstock is in this area!). Also, each year more and more people from NYC’s five boroughs move upstate and open boutique hotels, delicious farm-to-table restaurants and cute shops. I’ve heard the term “hick-ster” used to describe these folks who head to the country to open locally-focused businesses.

The Catskills area is huge and spread out, full of great things to do for every personality type. If I was going to the area for a Saturday in the summer, below is how I would spend one perfect day in the area.

While a bus or train could take you to some parts of The Catskills region, I prefer to go by car. I always see cute farmstands, ice cream parlors and other shops along the way that I want to explore, so having your own wheels makes that easy.

Pick up your rental car early and skip breakfast in the city-  your first stop is worth the wait. After a couple hours you hit the tiny town of Phoenicia, NY. Upon pulling up to the Phoenicia Diner you may think it looks like a standard roadside joint found along the highway in anytown, USA... but you’d be mistaken. This is a refurbished diner serving up some of the best locally sourced food in the area with a menu that’s half diner classics and half modern dishes. The food is delicious but the wait can be long, so it makes sense to start your trek from the city early to avoid a line.

Full from your meal at the diner, hop back in your car and get ready to burn some calories on a hike. There are tons of great hike options in this area, all offering something different depending on your experience level. One of my favorites is the hike to Kaaterskill Falls. I like this hike because it’s relatively short-about 20 minutes one-way to the base of the falls, has a major payoff-a 200 foot two-stage waterfall, and it offers hikers the option to make their trek longer by continuing up to the top of the waterfall.

The trail head to Kaaterskill is along Route 23A. You’ll see a small parking lot to the side of the road that fits about 20 cars (another plus to the early morning departure from NYC- the lot fills up fast) A short walk down the side of the road leads you to the marked trail head. The trail can be steep in parts so definitely wear sneakers, and bring a swimsuit if it’s a hot day; people swim in the pool at the base of the falls!

After your hike and swim, head 10 minutes up 23A to Mama’s Boy Burgers, a small roadside burger shack in Tannersville, NY, for some grub. They have amazing burgers (of course) but also a great portobello sandwich for vegetarians. Afterwards get a scoop of ice cream and walk around the colorful town of Tannersville.

After a full day in The Catskills,  it’s time to head back to the city. Break up your drive home with a stop in Kingston, NY at the gorgeous wine bar, Brunette. Have a glass from their extremely well curated wine list and munch on small bites like olives, cheese and salads. I love Brunette for its gorgeous aesthetic- light and airy colors, tons of marble and stunning antique artwork.

And there you have a perfect full day of exploring, hiking and eating your way through The Catskills! The best part is that there's so much more to see, so after your first trip you can start planning your next! 

Have you ever been to The Catskills?

*Brunette photo via

1 comment:

  1. I like the travel every year in summer. So I've been searching online for regular in suitable travel spaces.. I love this place. Hopefully soon the place will go out to see the eye. Thanks for sharing.. transfers punta cana