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Where to Stay and Play in the Catskills



Luxury suite at the Lodge at Catskills Corners, renamed Emerson Place.

© Lodge at Catskills Corners
The Catskills is a three-seasons vacation destination in upstate New York. In summer, wildflowers brighten the Catskills landscape and warm, sunny days make creek-swimming a pleasure. Fall brings foliage, and forests and mountainsides explode in color. Winter in the Catskills means skiing at Belleayre, Hunter, and Windham mountains. (Spring in the Catskills is mud season, and best avoided.)

If you're thinking about visiting the Catskills, there are many different towns and a variety of lodging to consider. These are among the best places I know for couples to visit and stay in the Catskills:

Catskills Arts Community: Woodstock

For more than a century, artists, writers and musicians have been drawn to Woodstock. The active arts scene in this part of the Catskills includes gallery shows, live music at night, and restaurants that offer Mexican, Chinese, Indian, Italian, and health-food fare. Lodging is limited, though. So come for the day or book lodging early at one of these properties in Woodstock in the Catskills.

Catskills Cool: Kate's Lazy Meadow

Kate is Kate Pierson of the B-52s, and she's making a name for herself as a Catskills host in the tiny Catskills town of Mount Tremper, which is about 20 minutes from Woodstock. Kate bought a rundown Catskills motel and has been recreating it as a 1950s dream getaway. Each cabin is individually decorated with loads of style at Kate's Lazy Meadow.

Catskills Cozy: Lodge at Emerson Place

Formerly known as the Lodge at Catskills Corners, the lodge features spacious, well-appointed rooms overlook the Esopus Creek, a favorite spot of Catskills fly fishermen. Luxury lodgings feature a first-floor sitting area with a gas fireplace and large private deck. A wooden staircase leads up to the loft, which holds a king-sized bed and bathroom with a huge whirlpool tub at the Lodge at Emerson Place. In the shopping area guests can pick up gourmet food and gifts, spa items, and kaleidoscopes to remember their visit.

Catskills with Your Dog: River Run B&B

Wouldn't think of heading to the Catskills without your dog? River Run B&B in the town of Fleishmanns is as pet-friendly a place as you'll find in the Catskills. A classic Victorian mansion converted in to a B&B, River Run welcomes well-behaved dogs. Run with Rover into the Catskills Forest Preserve, up to Belleayre Mountain, or down by one of the trout streams that flow outside River Run B&B.

Catskills Kitsch: Kutshers Country Club

Despite attempts to upgrade and update, Kutshers Country Club never quite manages to shake off its Catskills Borscht-Belt heritage. Its squat, ugly buildings are reminiscent of Eastern European architecture. The last time I visited there was olive green carpeting on the walls of my room as well as on the floor. But I'm going to give Kutshers the benefit of the doubt that things have gotten better. Kutshers includes three abundant meals a day in its affordable room rates and lures golfers to this Catskills getaway with an 18-hole course. More about Kutshers Country Club.

Catskills Mountain Views: Scribner Hollow Lodge

Overlooking Hunter Mountain — one of the tallest peaks in the Catskills — Scribner Hollow Lodge may have the best views of any Catskills lodgings. Some guest rooms feature a fireplace and private balcony. Scribner Hollow also operates one of the best restaurants in the Catskills; it has won Wine Spectator magazine's Award of Excellence multiple times and features wine-tasting dinners throughtout the year. Scribner Hollow Lodge.

Catskills Outdoors: Mohonk Mountain House

Like to hike? Mohonk Mountain House is surrounded by thousands of acres of pristine Catskills forest and winding trails. The house itself is a rambling, 251-room Victorian castle with a wide, rocking-chair-filled deck beside the the deep-blue waters of Lake Mohonk. (Scenes from Dirty Dancing were filmed here.) The lodgings aren't fancy and the service can be slow but the scenery more than makes up for that at Mohonk Mountain House.

Catskills Tourism

The Catskills consist of the following counties. Find more information on these official sites:

Traveling to the Catskills

Depending on how far north you go, travel from New York City to the Catskills can take anywhere from 90 minutes to three hours. Even if you don't have a car, you may still be able to reach many of the Catskills lodgings mentioned above via Trailways bus.

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