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Catskills Travel Guide – Best Places To Visit In The Catskills


Modified: January 3, 2024

by Philippine Hanks



Welcome to the Catskills, a picturesque region nestled in the southeastern part of New York State. Known for its stunning landscapes, charming towns, and rich history, the Catskills offer a perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of city life.


Spanning over four counties – Delaware, Greene, Sullivan, and Ulster – the Catskills region has something for everyone. With its vast wilderness, outdoor enthusiasts can indulge in a wide array of activities such as hiking, fishing, skiing, and camping. History buffs can explore the region’s numerous historical sites, while art enthusiasts can immerse themselves in the vibrant local arts scene.


One of the highlights of the Catskills is its natural beauty. From the towering peaks of the Catskill Mountains to the cascading waterfalls and tranquil lakes, the region is a haven for nature lovers. The changing seasons paint the landscape in vibrant hues, making it a popular destination year-round.


Another gem of the Catskills is its charming towns and villages. Each town has its own unique character and offers a delightful blend of history, culture, and small-town charm. From browsing quaint shops to sampling local cuisine, exploring these towns is a delightful experience.


The Catskills also have a rich cultural heritage. The region has a long history of attracting artists, musicians, and performers, resulting in a thriving arts and entertainment scene. Whether you’re interested in visiting museums, attending live performances, or exploring art galleries, the Catskills have much to offer in terms of cultural enrichment.


If you’re a food lover, the Catskills won’t disappoint. With an abundance of farm-to-table restaurants, craft breweries, and artisanal food producers, the region is a haven for culinary delights. From trying local delicacies to savoring gourmet meals, the Catskills offer a diverse range of dining options.


Whether you’re seeking outdoor adventures, cultural experiences, or simply a place to relax and unwind, the Catskills have it all. This travel guide will introduce you to the best places to visit in the Catskills, ensuring that you make the most of your exploration in this captivating region.


Catskills Region Overview

The Catskills region is a stunning destination located just a few hours’ drive from New York City. It spans over 5,000 square miles and is characterized by its lush forests, rolling hills, and charming small towns. The region is primarily known for its natural beauty and outdoor recreational activities.


One of the main draws of the Catskills is its extensive trail system, making it a paradise for hikers and outdoor enthusiasts. From the challenging trails of Slide Mountain to the family-friendly paths of Kaaterskill Falls, there are options available for every skill level.


For those who prefer biking, the region offers a variety of cycling routes that showcase the scenic landscapes and charming villages. The Catskills are also a popular destination for fishing enthusiasts, with numerous lakes, rivers, and streams teeming with trout and other fish species.


Winter brings a whole new set of activities to the Catskills. The region is home to several ski resorts, offering opportunities for skiing, snowboarding, and snowshoeing. From the adrenaline-pumping slopes of Hunter Mountain to the family-friendly runs of Belleayre Mountain, winter sports enthusiasts will find plenty to enjoy.


Aside from outdoor activities, the Catskills are steeped in history and culture. The region played a significant role in the development of American art and literature, attracting writers and artists such as Washington Irving and Thomas Cole. Today, visitors can explore museums and historic sites that showcase the region’s rich cultural heritage.


Another highlight of the Catskills is its abundance of natural wonders. From the majestic overlooks of the Shawangunk Mountains to the breathtaking waterfalls like Kaaterskill Falls and Plattekill Falls, the region offers numerous opportunities for awe-inspiring sightseeing.


When it comes to accommodation, the Catskills boast a range of options. Visitors can choose from luxury resorts, cozy bed and breakfasts, and rustic cabins, ensuring a comfortable and memorable stay. Many accommodations are nestled amidst the natural beauty of the region, providing a serene and tranquil atmosphere.


Overall, the Catskills region is a destination that offers a perfect blend of outdoor adventure, cultural exploration, and natural beauty. Whether you’re seeking thrilling hiking trails, scenic drives, or a quiet retreat into nature, the Catskills have it all.


Outdoor Activities in the Catskills

The Catskills region is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts, offering a plethora of activities to suit all interests and skill levels. Whether you’re a hiker, angler, cyclist, or simply enjoy being surrounded by nature, the Catskills have something for everyone.


One of the most popular outdoor activities in the Catskills is hiking. With over 700,000 acres of forest preserve and hundreds of miles of trails, hikers of all levels can find their perfect adventure. For breathtaking views, head to the iconic Overlook Mountain or Slide Mountain, the highest peak in the Catskills. If you’re looking for a less strenuous hike, explore the picturesque trails surrounding Kaaterskill Falls or the tranquil forests of Ashokan Rail Trail.


The Catskills are also known for their exceptional fishing opportunities. The region is home to numerous lakes, rivers, and streams that are teeming with trout, bass, and other fish species. Popular fishing spots include Esopus Creek, Beaverkill River, and Pepacton Reservoir. Whether you’re a seasoned angler or a beginner, casting your line in the crystal-clear waters of the Catskills is an experience not to be missed.


Cyclists will find plenty of scenic routes to explore in the Catskills. The region offers paved roads that wind through picturesque valleys and challenging mountain bike trails for adrenaline seekers. Bike along the Catskill Scenic Trail, which stretches for 26 miles through charming towns and breathtaking landscapes. For a more challenging ride, tackle the challenging climbs and descents of the Catskill Mountains on the Devil’s Path Trail.


As winter blankets the region in snow, the Catskills transform into a winter wonderland, providing opportunities for skiing, snowboarding, and snowshoeing. Head to popular ski resorts like Windham Mountain or Belleayre Mountain for slopes suitable for all skill levels. Cross-country skiing and snowshoeing enthusiasts can explore the groomed trails of Plattekill Mountain or the Mount Tremper Outdoor Trails for a peaceful winter adventure.


For those seeking a more leisurely outdoor experience, the Catskills offer a multitude of parks and nature preserves to explore. The Catskill Park, covering over 700,000 acres, is a treasure trove of natural beauty. Visit the Minnewaska State Park Preserve to hike along picturesque cliffs and enjoy panoramic views of the Hudson Valley, or explore the serene forests and pristine lakes of the Catskill Forest Preserve.


Overall, the Catskills are a haven for outdoor adventurers. Whether you’re seeking challenging hikes, thrilling bike rides, or peaceful moments in nature, the region’s diverse landscapes and abundant recreational opportunities will leave you with unforgettable experiences.


Historical Sites and Landmarks

The Catskills region is steeped in history, with a rich cultural heritage dating back centuries. Exploring the historical sites and landmarks in the region is a fascinating way to delve into its past and gain insight into its development.


One of the most iconic landmarks in the Catskills is the Kaaterskill Clove, a deep ravine that was once a popular subject for Hudson River School painters. Its dramatic scenery, with cascading waterfalls and sheer cliffs, continues to inspire visitors to this day. Take a hike to Kaaterskill Falls, one of New York’s tallest waterfalls, to witness its beauty firsthand.


The Thomas Cole National Historic Site in Catskill is a must-visit for art enthusiasts and history buffs. Thomas Cole, a renowned artist and founder of the Hudson River School art movement, lived and worked in this house. Explore the beautifully preserved studio and admire the panoramic views of the Catskill Mountains that inspired his masterpieces.


History comes alive at the Delaware and Ulster Railroad, a heritage railway that takes visitors on a scenic journey through the Catskills. Step aboard vintage trains and enjoy a leisurely ride through picturesque valleys and alongside the Delaware River. The railway also hosts special events, such as Polar Express rides during the holiday season.


The Grey Towers National Historic Site in Milford, Pennsylvania, just across the border from the Catskills, is a must-visit for architecture and history enthusiasts. This magnificent mansion was the home of Gifford Pinchot, the first Chief of the United States Forest Service and a prominent figure in American conservation. Explore the beautifully landscaped gardens and learn about Pinchot’s conservation legacy.


The Woodstock Museum in Saugerties offers a glimpse into the legendary Woodstock Festival, held in the nearby town of Bethel in 1969. Discover the impact of this iconic music event on both the local community and the larger cultural landscape. The museum showcases memorabilia, photographs, and multimedia exhibits that capture the spirit of the Woodstock era.


For a dose of rural history, visit the Farmers’ Museum in Cooperstown. This open-air museum showcases rural artifacts and exhibits that depict farming life from the 19th century to the present. Explore historic buildings, including a working farmstead, and learn about the region’s agricultural heritage.


Another notable historical site is the Senate House State Historic Site in Kingston. This Georgian-style house served as the first meeting place of the New York State Senate in the late 18th century. Take a guided tour to learn about the house’s history and its role in New York’s early government.


These are just a few examples of the many historical sites and landmarks that await in the Catskills. From grand mansions to preserved museums, each place offers a unique glimpse into the region’s rich past and cultural significance.


Scenic Drives and Viewpoints

The Catskills region is blessed with awe-inspiring landscapes, and one of the best ways to soak in its beauty is by taking scenic drives and visiting stunning viewpoints. Whether you’re looking for panoramic mountain vistas, serene lakeside views, or charming rural landscapes, the Catskills offer a wealth of options that will leave you in awe.


The Catskill Mountains provide a picturesque backdrop for many scenic drives in the region. Route 28, also known as the Catskill Mountains Scenic Byway, winds through charming mountain towns, offering breathtaking views of the surrounding peaks. Start your journey in Kingston and make your way to the Ashokan Reservoir, where you can marvel at the reflections of the mountains on the water.


An equally stunning drive can be experienced on Route 23A, known as the Catskill High Peaks Scenic Byway. This route takes you through the heart of the Catskill Mountains, offering dramatic views of towering peaks and deep valleys. Stop at the iconic Kaaterskill Falls and witness the cascading waters as they plunge into the pool below.


For a peaceful drive through rural landscapes, consider the Upper Delaware Scenic Byway. This scenic route follows the Delaware River, offering glimpses of tranquil waters, rolling hills, and quaint hamlets. Take in the scenic beauty as you drive through the charming towns of Callicoon and Narrowsburg.


If you’re a fan of covered bridges, be sure to embark on the Covered Bridge Scenic Byway. This route takes you through the western part of the Catskills and features several picturesque covered bridges, such as the Bingley and Hamden covered bridges. Enjoy the nostalgic charm of these historic structures as you drive through the countryside.


In addition to scenic drives, the Catskills also offer numerous viewpoints that provide breathtaking panoramas. The Overlook Mountain Trail, located near Woodstock, leads to a fire tower that offers stunning views of the surrounding valleys and mountains. On a clear day, you can see as far as the Hudson River.


The Hunter Mountain Skyride is another popular attraction that provides panoramic views of the Catskills. Hop on the scenic chairlift and ascend to the summit, where you’ll be rewarded with breathtaking vistas of the surrounding peaks and valleys.


If you prefer a more leisurely option, drive to the Sky Top Tower in Mohonk Preserve. Take a short hike to the tower and enjoy panoramic views of the Shawangunk Mountains and the Hudson Valley. The colorful foliage in the fall creates a particularly enchanting vista.


Whether you choose to embark on a scenic drive or visit a renowned viewpoint, the Catskills region promises unforgettable vistas that will leave you inspired. Take your time, savor the beauty, and create memories that will last a lifetime.


Waterfalls and Natural Wonders

The Catskills region is blessed with an abundance of natural beauty, including breathtaking waterfalls and awe-inspiring natural wonders. From cascading falls to serene lakes and majestic mountains, exploring these natural wonders is a must when visiting the Catskills.


Kaaterskill Falls, one of the most iconic waterfalls in New York State, is a must-visit attraction in the Catskills. This two-tiered waterfall plunges a total of 260 feet, making it one of the tallest waterfalls in the state. Hike along the trail to reach the base of the falls and marvel at the sheer power and beauty of the cascading waters.


Another stunning waterfall in the region is the Plattekill Falls. Nestled in the Catskill Mountains, this hidden gem offers a tranquil and picturesque setting. The hike to the falls is moderate, but the reward is well worth the effort. Stand in awe as you witness the water plunging into the pool below.


If you’re looking for a more adventurous waterfall experience, consider visiting the Buttermilk Falls in the Homowack Kill Wilderness. This series of cascades and pools offers opportunities for swimming and cliff jumping, perfect for those seeking a thrill. The scenic hike to the falls is surrounded by lush greenery and offers breathtaking views along the way.


Aside from waterfalls, the Catskills are also home to mesmerizing lakes and reservoirs. The Ashokan Reservoir, nestled amidst the mountains, is a popular spot for boating, fishing, and picnicking. Take in the serene views as you paddle across the tranquil waters or simply relax on its scenic shores.


For a unique natural wonder, visit the Giant Ledge and Panther Mountain Trail. This hike takes you to a series of large rocky ledges that offer panoramic views of the surrounding mountains. Witness breathtaking sunsets from these elevated viewpoints and be sure to bring your camera to capture the stunning scenery.


The Catskills also boast numerous state parks that showcase the natural beauty of the region. Visit Minnewaska State Park Preserve, where you can hike along picturesque cliffs, explore pristine lakes, and enjoy breathtaking views of the Hudson Valley. Sam’s Point Preserve, part of Minnewaska, is known for its unique ice caves and stunning views.


Lastly, for a truly unique natural wonder, head to the Natural Stone Bridge and Caves in Pottersville. Explore the largest marble cave entrance in the eastern United States and witness the stunning rock formations and underground waterfalls. Take a guided tour to learn about the geology and history of this natural wonder.


From the majestic waterfalls to the serene lakes and impressive rock formations, the Catskills offer an array of natural wonders that will leave you awe-struck. Take the time to explore these beautiful sights and immerse yourself in the natural splendor of the region.


Museums and Art Galleries

The Catskills region is not only known for its natural beauty but also for its vibrant arts and culture scene. Boasting a diverse array of museums and art galleries, the Catskills offer visitors the opportunity to explore fascinating exhibits, admire renowned artwork, and immerse themselves in the region’s artistic heritage.


The Albany Institute of History & Art, located in nearby Albany, is a treasure trove of culture and history. This museum showcases a wide range of exhibits, including artworks, historical artifacts, and interactive displays. Learn about the region’s rich history and immerse yourself in the vibrant arts scene through their rotating exhibitions.


The Thomas Cole National Historic Site in Catskill is a must-visit for art enthusiasts. This site, dedicated to the renowned landscape painter Thomas Cole, offers visitors the chance to explore Cole’s former residence and art studio. Admire the collection of his original artwork and learn about the influential Hudson River School art movement that he founded.


The Woodstock Artists Association & Museum is a hub for contemporary art in the Catskills. Established in 1919, this museum showcases works by both emerging and established artists, with changing exhibitions throughout the year. Explore the diverse collection of paintings, sculptures, and mixed media pieces that showcase the region’s artistic talent.


In the town of Beacon, the Dia:Beacon is a renowned contemporary art museum housed in a former Nabisco box printing factory. This expansive museum features large-scale and immersive installations by acclaimed artists, providing a unique and thought-provoking artistic experience.


Art lovers should also visit the Storm King Art Center, located just outside the Catskills. This vast outdoor sculpture park sprawls over 500 acres and features more than 100 sculptures by prominent artists. Explore the grounds and be captivated by the integration of art and nature in this breathtaking setting.


For those interested in the region’s history, the Delaware County Historical Association Museum in Delhi offers a fascinating glimpse into the past. Discover the rich heritage of Delaware County through interactive exhibits, historical artifacts, and archival materials.


Another unique museum worth visiting is the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum in Hyde Park. Learn about the life and legacy of President Franklin D. Roosevelt through engaging exhibits that detail his presidency, the Great Depression, and World War II.


These are just a few examples of the many museums and art galleries that grace the Catskills region. Whether you’re interested in contemporary art, local history, or the legacy of influential artists, the Catskills offer a diverse and enriching cultural experience.


Performing Arts and Entertainment

The Catskills region is not only a haven for natural beauty and cultural heritage but also a vibrant hub for performing arts and entertainment. From live music performances to theatrical productions, the Catskills offer a diverse range of options to satisfy every artistic taste.


One of the most beloved cultural institutions in the region is the Bethel Woods Center for the Arts. Located at the site of the historic 1969 Woodstock Festival, this open-air amphitheater hosts an array of concerts and events throughout the year. Enjoy performances by renowned musicians spanning different genres, from rock and country to classical and folk.


For lovers of classical music, the Bardavon 1869 Opera House in Poughkeepsie is a must-visit. Built in the mid-19th century, this stunning theater hosts symphony orchestras, ballets, and operatic performances. Immerse yourself in the grandeur of the space and be captivated by the world-class musicians and performers.


The Belleayre Music Festival in Highmount is another hotspot for music enthusiasts. This annual summer festival features a lineup of concerts by acclaimed artists across various genres, including jazz, classical, and pop. Experience the magical atmosphere of live music surrounded by the beautiful landscapes of the Catskills.


The Shadowland Stages in Ellenville is a theater company that presents a variety of plays, musicals, and performances throughout the year. Enjoy professionally produced shows in an intimate setting, showcasing both classic and contemporary works from Broadway and beyond.


The Catskills also have a thriving local theater scene. The Forestburgh Playhouse, located in Sullivan County, is one of the oldest continuously operating summer theaters in New York State. Attend a performance at this historic venue and marvel at the talents of local actors and musicians.


In addition to live performances, the Catskills offer a variety of entertainment options. The Resorts World Catskills casino in Monticello is a popular destination for those seeking excitement and gaming. Try your luck at the slot machines, indulge in gourmet dining, or catch a live show.


The region also hosts numerous festivals and events that showcase the local talent and celebrate the rich cultural heritage. From traditional music festivals to arts and crafts fairs, there’s always something happening in the Catskills to entertain and engage visitors of all ages.


Whether you’re a music lover, theater enthusiast, or simply enjoy being immersed in the performing arts, the Catskills region offers an array of options to satisfy your entertainment cravings. Immerse yourself in the vibrant arts scene and let the talented performers whisk you away into a world of creativity and expression.


Local Cuisine and Dining

When it comes to culinary delights, the Catskills region is a food lover’s paradise. From farm-to-table restaurants to cozy diners, the area offers a wide range of dining options that showcase the region’s local flavors and ingredients.


One of the defining features of the Catskills cuisine is its emphasis on fresh, local ingredients. Many restaurants in the region source their produce, meats, and dairy products from nearby farms, ensuring that you can savor the flavors of the season. Indulge in farm-fresh vegetables, artisanal cheeses, and locally raised meats that have been lovingly prepared by talented chefs.


The Catskills are also known for their rich culinary heritage, with a vibrant Jewish food scene. Delicacies like matzo ball soup, pastrami sandwiches, and knishes can be found in the region’s delis and Jewish delicatessens. Don’t miss the opportunity to try these traditional Jewish dishes that have been passed down through generations.


For a truly unique dining experience, visit one of the many farm-to-table restaurants scattered throughout the Catskills. These establishments offer menus that change according to the seasons and highlight the freshest local ingredients. Immerse yourself in the region’s agricultural bounty as you savor dishes crafted with care and creativity.


If you’re looking for a quick and hearty meal, head to one of the Catskills’ iconic diners. These timeless establishments serve up classic American comfort food, from all-day breakfasts to juicy burgers and homemade pies. Enjoy a slice of nostalgia as you dine in the cozy booths and chat with the friendly locals.


The Catskills are also home to a thriving craft beverage scene. Sample the region’s locally brewed beers, ciders, and spirits at the numerous craft breweries, cideries, and distilleries. Take a tour, indulge in tastings, and learn about the art of craft beverage production.


For those with a sweet tooth, the Catskills offer plenty of delectable treats. Visit a local bakery to indulge in freshly baked goods, from flaky pastries to artisan bread. Don’t miss the opportunity to try the region’s famous apple cider donuts, a beloved autumn treat.


Lastly, the Catskills host a variety of food festivals and events throughout the year. From wine festivals to food truck gatherings, these events provide an opportunity to sample a wide range of local culinary delights in one place. Experience the gastronomic diversity of the region and discover new flavors.


No matter your culinary preferences, the Catskills offer a range of dining options to suit every palate. Whether you’re craving farm-to-table cuisine, traditional Jewish dishes, or classic comfort food, the region’s vibrant food scene will leave you with a newfound appreciation for the local flavors and culinary talent that abound in the Catskills.


Accommodation Options in the Catskills

When it comes to accommodation, the Catskills region offers a diverse range of options to suit every traveler’s needs and preferences. From luxury resorts and cozy bed and breakfasts to rustic cabins and campgrounds, there is something for everyone in this picturesque destination.


For those seeking a luxurious and pampering experience, the Catskills are home to several upscale resorts and spas. These resorts offer top-notch amenities such as spa facilities, fine dining restaurants, and breathtaking views. Indulge in spa treatments, unwind in the swimming pools, and enjoy the ultimate relaxation in the lap of luxury.


For a more intimate and charming stay, consider booking a room at a bed and breakfast. The Catskills are dotted with these cozy establishments, offering personalized service and a warm, homely atmosphere. Wake up to a delicious homemade breakfast and enjoy the personalized recommendations and insights from the friendly hosts.


For those who prefer a more rustic experience, the Catskills provide an abundance of cabins and cottages. These secluded retreats are often nestled in the heart of nature, offering privacy and serenity. Disconnect from the busy world and enjoy the simple pleasures of nature, whether it’s relaxing by a crackling fireplace or stargazing from a private deck.


The region also offers a variety of campgrounds and RV parks for those who love the outdoors. Set up your tent in one of the scenic campgrounds and wake up to the sounds of nature. Many campgrounds offer amenities such as hiking trails, fishing ponds, and picnic areas, ensuring a memorable outdoor experience.


Additionally, the Catskills are home to a number of budget-friendly hotels and motels. These accommodations provide comfortable rooms and basic amenities at affordable rates, making them a great option for budget-conscious travelers. Many of these establishments are located near popular attractions and offer easy access to outdoor activities and cultural sites.


When choosing your accommodation in the Catskills, consider the location that best suits your interests and activities. Whether you prefer to be nestled in the mountains, close to hiking trails and outdoor adventures, or in a picturesque town filled with shops and restaurants, the Catskills have options to cater to your preferences.


It is recommended to book your accommodation in advance, especially during peak seasons, to ensure availability and secure the best rates. With a variety of accommodation options to choose from, your stay in the Catskills is sure to be comfortable and memorable.


Shopping and Souvenirs

Exploring the shopping scene in the Catskills region is a delightful experience, as the area is filled with charming boutiques, specialty stores, and local markets. Whether you’re searching for unique souvenirs, local crafts, or delicious farm-fresh produce, the Catskills have something to offer every shopper.


One of the best ways to immerse yourself in the local shopping scene is by visiting the region’s farmers’ markets. These vibrant markets showcase the bounty of the Catskills, offering fresh and organic fruits, vegetables, cheeses, meats, and other delectable products. Chat with local farmers, artisans, and food producers as you peruse the stalls, and take home a taste of the region’s agricultural heritage.


Boutique shopping is also a must-do in the Catskills, with small towns and villages offering a range of unique shops and galleries. Discover one-of-a-kind treasures, handmade jewelry, and locally crafted pottery as you explore the quaint streets. From art galleries to antique stores to specialty boutiques, there is no shortage of delightful finds in the Catskills.


If you’re a lover of handmade and artisanal crafts, be sure to visit the Catskills’ craft stores and studios. Discover beautifully crafted wooden furniture, intricate quilts, handwoven textiles, and other handmade goods created by local artisans. These pieces reflect the region’s rich artistic legacy and offer a special touch to your shopping experience.


The Catskills are known for their thriving art scene, and many towns host art walks and festivals where you can explore and purchase artwork directly from local artists. From paintings and sculptures to photography and glasswork, the unique and diverse artwork captures the essence of the region’s natural beauty and cultural heritage.


If you’re interested in exploring the region’s history and craftsmanship, consider visiting historical societies and museums that often have gift shops offering books, reproductions, and souvenirs related to the local history and culture. These unique items make for meaningful mementos that tell the story of the Catskills.


For those who appreciate a good bargain, the Catskills are also home to outlet malls and vintage stores. Score great deals on designer brands and browse through an array of vintage clothing, collectibles, and retro treasures.


Don’t forget to indulge in the local food scene and bring home delicious edible souvenirs. Visit a local farmstand or specialty food store to stock up on fresh produce, homemade jams, artisanal chocolates, and other gourmet treats. These culinary delights will not only satisfy your taste buds but will also serve as a delicious reminder of your time in the Catskills.


Whether you’re seeking unique crafts, local artwork, or farm-fresh ingredients, the Catskills region offers a delightful shopping experience. With a plethora of options to explore, you’re sure to find the perfect souvenirs and treasures to take home with you, preserving the memories of your time in this captivating destination.


Festivals and Events

The Catskills region is a vibrant hub of festivals and events throughout the year, offering visitors a chance to celebrate the art, culture, music, and natural beauty of the area. From lively music festivals to food fairs and cultural celebrations, there’s always something happening in the Catskills to engage and entertain visitors of all ages.


One of the most renowned events in the region is the Woodstock Film Festival, held annually in Woodstock. This five-day festival celebrates independent films from around the world, showcasing thought-provoking narratives, documentaries, and shorts. Attend screenings, meet filmmakers, and immerse yourself in the world of cinema during this vibrant event.


The Catskills also host a variety of music festivals that cater to different tastes and genres. The Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival in Oak Hill is a must-attend for bluegrass enthusiasts, with multiple stages featuring top-notch performances by renowned artists. The Mountain Jam Music Festival in Hunter boasts a diverse lineup, attracting music lovers of all genres and ages.


For food lovers, the Catskills offers a range of culinary festivals that celebrate local flavors and ingredients. The Harvest Festival, held in various locations throughout the region, showcases an array of farm-fresh produce, local food vendors, and cooking demonstrations. Sample delicious dishes, sip on craft beverages, and enjoy live music as you immerse yourself in the region’s gastronomic delights.


The Catskills are also known for their heritage festivals that celebrate the diverse cultures and traditions of the region. The Irish Cultural Festival, held in East Durham, is a lively celebration of Irish music, dance, and cuisine, attracting thousands of visitors each year. The German Alps Festival in Haines Falls offers an immersive experience of German culture, featuring traditional food, music, dance, and crafts.


Nature enthusiasts will enjoy the many outdoor festivals that celebrate the natural beauty of the Catskills. The Catskill Forest Festival in Margaretville showcases the importance of conservation and sustainable forestry through educational exhibits, demonstrations, and guided hikes. The Shandaken Primitive Biathlon is a unique event that combines cross-country skiing and marksmanship, drawing participants and spectators from near and far.


Throughout the year, various towns and villages in the Catskills host seasonal events and holiday celebrations that offer fun for the whole family. From Fourth of July parades to Halloween festivals and winter holiday markets, these community events create a sense of camaraderie and highlight the region’s strong community spirit.


It’s important to plan your visit to the Catskills around the festivals and events that interest you, as they can greatly enhance your experience and provide a deeper understanding of the region’s culture and traditions. With an ever-changing calendar of events, there’s always something exciting happening in the Catskills to create lasting memories.


Tips for Traveling in the Catskills

Traveling to the Catskills can be an enriching and rejuvenating experience. To make the most of your trip, here are some helpful tips to ensure a smooth and enjoyable journey in this captivating region:

  • Plan your activities: The Catskills offer a wide range of activities, so plan ahead to make the most of your time. Research hiking trails, check event calendars, and make reservations for attractions or dining experiences that require advance bookings.
  • Embrace nature: The Catskills are known for their natural beauty, so take advantage of the stunning outdoor landscapes. Pack appropriate clothing and footwear for outdoor activities and ensure you have essentials such as sunscreen, insect repellent, and a reusable water bottle.
  • Check seasonal closures: Some attractions or hiking trails may have seasonal closures or limited access during certain times of the year. Before your trip, check for any closures or advisories, especially if you have specific attractions or trails on your itinerary.
  • Prepare for weather changes: The weather in the Catskills can vary greatly, particularly in mountainous areas. Be prepared for fluctuating temperatures, rain showers, or sudden weather changes by layering clothing and packing a waterproof jacket or umbrella.
  • Support local businesses: The Catskills are home to a vibrant community of local businesses, so make an effort to support them during your visit. Shop at local boutiques, dine at farm-to-table restaurants, and purchase souvenirs from local artisans to contribute to the local economy and have a more authentic experience.
  • Respect nature and wildlife: While exploring the natural wonders of the Catskills, remember to practice Leave No Trace principles. Respect wildlife and their habitats, stay on designated trails, and pack out any trash or litter to help preserve the region’s natural beauty.
  • Be mindful of seasonal crowds: The Catskills can get busy during peak seasons, such as summer and fall foliage season. Consider visiting during shoulder seasons, like spring or early fall, to avoid large crowds and secure better rates for accommodations and attractions.
  • Stay updated on events and festivals: Keep an eye on local events and festivals happening during your visit. Attending these festivities can enhance your experience by providing insight into the region’s culture, music, art, and culinary traditions.
  • Stay connected: While the Catskills offer a chance to disconnect and enjoy nature, it’s always good to have some form of communication and navigation with you. Ensure you have a reliable map or GPS system and have your phone charged or carry a power bank for emergencies.
  • Take your time and savor the experience: The Catskills are a place to unwind, relax, and immerse yourself in the beauty of nature and local culture. Slow down, take scenic drives, explore charming towns, and embrace the laid-back pace of life. Allow yourself to fully savor the experiences and create lasting memories.

By following these tips, you’ll be well-prepared to explore the Catskills and make the most of your journey in this captivating region.



The Catskills region is a remarkable destination that beckons travelers with its natural beauty, rich history, vibrant arts scene, and welcoming communities. Whether you’re seeking outdoor adventures, cultural experiences, or a peaceful retreat into nature, the Catskills have it all.


From hiking the scenic trails of the Catskill Mountains to exploring the region’s historical sites and landmarks, there are endless opportunities to immerse yourself in the area’s beauty and heritage. The Catskills also offer a thriving arts and entertainment scene, with museums, art galleries, live performances, and festivals that celebrate the region’s creativity and cultural diversity.


Indulging in the local cuisine is a must-do in the Catskills, with farm-to-table restaurants, cozy diners, and farmers’ markets offering a delectable array of flavors. From locally sourced ingredients to traditional dishes and culinary festivals, the Catskills showcase the region’s gastronomic heritage.


Choosing accommodation in the Catskills is a delight, with luxury resorts, charming bed and breakfasts, rustic cabins, and campgrounds providing options for every traveler’s taste and budget. Whether you seek pampering, a cozy retreat, or an immersive outdoor experience, the Catskills offer a range of accommodations to suit your needs.


As you explore the Catskills, immerse yourself in the vibrant arts scene, discover the natural wonders, support local businesses, and cherish the memories you make. From scenic drives and picturesque viewpoints to waterfalls, museums, festivals, and more, the Catskills have something for everyone.


Remember to plan ahead, respect nature and wildlife, and take your time to fully savor the experiences the Catskills have to offer. Whether you’re seeking adventure, relaxation, or cultural enrichment, the Catskills will captivate you with their beauty, charm, and warm hospitality.


So pack your bags, embrace the serene landscapes, and embark on an unforgettable journey through the magnificent Catskills. You’ll discover a destination that will leave you rejuvenated, inspired, and longing to return for more.