About a hundred miles north of New York City, the Catskill Mountains stretch on the west side of the Hudson River. Unlike other nearby city escapes, much of the region feels untouched, perfect for those searching for a more peaceful retreat. The serene setting is attracting city dwellers and thus more restaurants, shops, and unique places to stay. To help you navigate your getaway, we created the ultimate guide to spending the weekend away.
Brave the city traffic and ride up to The Forsyth– a new bed and breakfast in Kingston, New York’s waterfront district. Built in the 1830s and formerly an ice cream and oyster salon, the property was recently purchased by New York City couple Tamara Ehlin and Charles Mallea. The duo transformed the historical space into a refined yet comfortable place to stay, with an impeccable modern and vintage mixed design. The rooms are named after notable explorers like James Holman and Isabella Bird, each with one-of-a-kind details– no two rooms are the same.
One of the best parts of waking up at The Forsyth? Breakfast. Each morning, Innkeeper, Chef, and French Culinary Institute alum Tamara presents a multi-course breakfast this is local, seasonal and organic whenever possible. The meal is held at the property’s farm table, with plenty of hot coffee, of course.
Walk through Kingston’s charming waterfront district, also called the Rondout, where new businesses started popping up just last year. Clove & Creek is a small mercantile shop filled with locally made goods: chutneys and jams, bitters, soaps and scrubs, jewelry, and leather goods. Pick up a souvenir, then pick up a bottle at Kingston Wine Co., a wine shop filled with carefully curated bottles, including many natural wines. The shop’s co-owner, Michael Drapkin, is often there to give spot-on recommendations. Browse the street’s antique shops as well as florist Hops Petunia Floral while you’re at it.
You’ll likely stumble upon the most adorable wine bar along the way: Brunette, a light and airy spot with feminine design details. Owners Tracy and Jamie Kennard transformed the once run-down barber shop into the chic bar it is today, serving up snacks and a unique selection of wines (more natural bottles!).
After a day in Kingston, head to Woodstock for dinner and a show. Woodstock Playhouse is an iconic spot in town with a rich history. The theater was built in 1938, and has been a destination for art, music, and live performance ever since. Before or after, visit Cucina next door, a contemporary Italian restaurant in a restored farmhouse. If there’s risotto on the menu, order it.
Alternatively, if you’re winning to drive a little bit, Brushland Eating House is a hidden gem in the tiny town of Bovina, but worth the trip. The menu changes regularly, focusing on local ingredients, and take seemingly simple classics to next-level, still-thinking-about-it-the-next-day fare.
If you’re venturing beyond The Forsyth for breakfast (not that you need to), visit Bread Alone in Woodstock for fresh pastries and coffee (we’re regular consumers of their granola), or the very trendy and Instagram-friendly Phoenicia Diner in Phoenicia for a heartier morning meal.
Normally, we’d say don’t leave the Catskills without spending some time on the hiking trails, but in the frigid winter months, we suggest spending your final afternoon indoors. Independent bookstore The Golden Notebook in Woodstock has been a town staple since 1978, charming visitors with their spirited enthusiasm and selection.