The Catskill Mountains are making a comeback. What else is new? Jokes aside, it appears that this physiographic province of the Appalachian Mountains has made quite a few comebacks over time.
First, in the late 188s, this was a popular summer destination for vacationers. A few decades later, its lavish hotels attracted Jewish families who wanted nothing more than have a swim and play shuffleboard. Then the hippies showed up in the 1960s. The Brooklyn hipster culture couldn’t have passed by the Catskill Mountains either.
Did you think that was it? No. This resilient area has been capable of reinventing itself to stay current with the trends, much like Madonna. So, now, the Catskills have been reborn again, making a full cycle and becoming a summer escape destination again. Still don’t think that this is the only suitable time of the year to visit. The resorts welcome travelers throughout the year.
How the Catskill Mountains managed to thrive even amid the global pandemic?
Despite the pandemic, or perhaps even due to it, the Catskills have seen many new hotels open. Why would anyone be a prisoner of Covid-19 when there is a perfect getaway right in the State of New York. Only two hours’ drive from Manhattan separates you from the pristine open spaces of this beautiful area.
The wide-open spaces of the Catskill Mountains allow for numerous outdoor activities.
And it’s no wonder that visitors could come here safely. The area expands over 6,000 square miles allowing a myriad of outdoor activities. So, even when the industry nearly shut down last year, The Catskills managed to thrive. Of course, the proximity to New York City certainly helps as tens of thousands of New Yorkers escape their homes seeking refuge from their tiny apartments in the wide-open spaces of the mountains.
Come summer or winter, the Catskill Mountains await
The Catskills welcome visitors all year round. The Eastern ski towns and ski resorts come to life with the first snowflakes. So, you can join other cross-country skiers and snowshoers alike in the winter dance on the slopes. The buzz of sleds becomes an enchanting soundtrack for the snowmobiling lovers. And if you crave for something more extreme, downhill skiing and snowboarding are an option in some ski resorts.
And the spring and summer do not disappoint either. Mountain biking, hiking, climbing, zip-lining, cycling (serpentines certainly make it an exciting experience), whichever adrenaline-boosting activity you enjoy, you can do it here. Do you like camping? No problem! Also, the abundance of water and mesmerizing waterfalls allow you to enjoy water sports like canoeing, rafting, or kayaking. You can also dial it down and go for a good old-fashioned swim. And did you know that the Catskill Mountains are the birthplace of fly fishing? No wonder because the Delaware River is rich with fish. Trout, perch, bass, walleye, and panfish are only some of more than 60 other species that live in it.
Hiking, cycling, skiing, fishing, and other activities, lakes, rivers, waterfalls, and beautiful landscapes await in the Catskills.
Especially last year when we were under a stay-at-home order, many have decided to pack their bags, move long-distance out of New York, and settle someplace where they can enjoy more time outside. But remembering that the Catskills are right there, within driving distance, reminded many that they don’t have to leave NYC for good. They could enjoy fun outdoor activities while staying safe.
How are the Catskills making a comeback?
The Catskills have been and continue to be a popular destination for New Yorkers and everyone else who lives within driving distance. There is no surprise there. Besides the fantastic natural beauty, what lures travelers are excellent restaurants, breweries, and unique lodging opportunities that offer unforgettable experiences to their visitors, who then want to come back.
But, when we say comeback, we mean the opening of some new boutique inns and huge resorts. Many well-known resorts that made good food and entertainment prevalent in the Catskills and defined the area have become a distant memory. Still, these new accommodation options have paved the path to the rebirth and restoration of the allure this stunning region has always had.
The reopening of hotels with views of the lakes, mountains, and rivers and excellent restaurants is why The Catskill Mountains are making a comeback yet again.
Some of the abandoned properties have been turned into stylish new hotels and restaurants. For example, the Urban Cowboy Lodge was established in the 19th-century Alpine Inn. Also, a part of the Roxbury Motel occupies a motor lodge that dates back to 1963. Then, Callicoon Hills reopened this year. It used to be a famous retreat for New York residents for 120 years. Now, it offers summer camp vibes with a bar, restaurant, and a massive swimming pool.
Moreover, the Hotel Kinsley opened a second building on Pearl Street this January. The plan is to occupy four historic buildings in Kingston, restored for the new glory in the form of stylish hotels. Then there is the new wellness resort from Foster Supply Hospitality and the Eldred Preserve. This incredible place features a boutique hotel, a restaurant, a lounge, and a private lake, among other things, and offers a tranquil retreat from the hustle and bustle of city life.
All in all, once the expansion and renovations are complete, the Catskill Mountains will restore their previous glory and become a luxurious travel destination.
Families with kids won’t be disappointed either
If you have kids or feel like a child, you will love the new Kartrite Resort and Indoor Waterpark in Monticello. It is the largest indoor waterpark in New York, where you can go down the slides, enjoy the lazy rivers, and find many different adventures. And it’s not just water adventures. You can also find a rope course and go rock climbing. Then, there is the arcade, mini bowling alley, and VR game.
And that is not all. Several bars and restaurants will be calling your name once you get here. And don’t worry, you can enjoy some alone time without kids, as there are free daily activities to keep them busy while you have a much-needed break. Sure, you may feel like a child and enjoy fun water activities as much as the next kid, but let’s face it. You lack the energy levels and stamina of a kid, so you deserve a break.
Historic sites of the Catskills
Finally, it’s not just fun, games, luxury, and relaxation you will find in the Catskills. There is quite a bit of history and culture here. To begin with, it was the setting for many Hudson River School paintings in the 19th century.
The place where the legendary Woodstock Festival took place is now known as Bethel Woods Center for the Arts and is a full-scale concert venue.
Also, remember the 1969 Woodstock Festival? Well, this is where it happened – in the town of Bethel. The famous site has now become Bethel Woods Center for the Arts. It is a wonderful concert venue with a world-class museum that celebrates the legacy of the Woodstock era. This year, there is a special exhibition called “Lights, Color, Fashion: Psychedelic Posters and Patterns of the 1960s.” If you come to Bethel Woods, you will get the chance to experience what it was like to be at the Woodstock Festival back in 1969.
But it’s not the only museum you can visit here. There are also the Thomas Cole Museum, Catskill Fly Fishing Center & Museum, Hanford Mills Museum, and the James Cox Gallery at Woodstock.
With such wonderful nature, the Catskills will always come back.
Yes, the Catskill Mountains are making a comeback. But, if you think about it, they really never did go anywhere. Perhaps their popularity has occasionally diminished. Still, this stunning region always manages to find its way back to the forefront of popular travel destinations.