Winter is in full swing, and it's time for some pampering, shopping, libations, good food, and skiing in the Catskills. Whether you live in the Hudson Valley or travel from afar, the Catskills is a great destination with girlfriends for some much needed rejuvenation of the mind, body, and spirit! Our itinerary includes places to sip and shop in the towns of Phoenicia and Woodstock.
GETTING HERE IS EASY
Step 1: Call up your gal-pals, and start packing!
Step 2: Load up the car, or take an Adirondack Trailways bus to Woodstock or Phoenicia.
Peace, love, stay is the motto at Hotel Dylan, a boutique hotel that opened in Woodstock in June 2014. Owner Paul Covello used his love of music as inspiration while renovating the building, which incorporates Woodstock's musical heritage and sits at the base of Overlook Mountain. He chose the style services of NYC husband and wife team Bob and Cortney Novogratz, who have design shows on BRAVO and HGTV. The style of the boutique hotel keeps with its Woodstock Native American heritage and even includes wallpaper with arrows. There are ten rooms, including one two-floor suite. The rooms are bright, modern, and functional with Bohemian sophistication; they even include a Crosley record player with albums for you to play. Another feature is the outdoor fire pit, where guests love to sit, sip, and relax. The hotel is listed in features of where to stay in the New York Post, The New York Times, and several magazines including Travel & Leisure "BEST Places to Travel 2015." Santa Fe Restaurant, an area favorite Mexican restaurant, plans to open a location in front of the hotel this summer. Check out the hotel’s monthly specials, which include a March Ski and Stay–a two-night stay for $100 per night and discount lift tickets to nearby Belleayre, Hunter, and Wyndam Mountains.
The Emerson Resort in Mount Tremper is an award-winning, well-known spa resort nestled among tall pines near the Esopus Creek. Fifty-rooms await you in the inn and lodge. A two-floor suite at the lodge sleeps six and has mountain and streamside views—a perfect cozy setting for cracking open the bubbly or relaxing with some cocktails. Some rooms also have whirlpool tubs and gas fireplaces. The inn's imperial suites at the Emerson accommodate up to six and feature Swiss showers. Dinner at The Catamount Restaurant (which will change in May to a new restaurant called Wood Notes Grill), as well as breakfast and quick bites at the Country store are also available.
The historic inn took its name from Ralph Waldo Emerson, who in 1826 wrote "Nature," an essay inspired by the serene beauty of this area. The publication of "Nature" prompted the American conservation movement, which led to the establishment of the 600-square mile Catskill Forest Preserve that surrounds the The Emerson. The historic grounds were once named "The Riseley Flat" on which a thriving dairy farm was built in 1840. A barn built in 1860 is now the restored country store and home to the world’s largest kaleidoscope, located in the barn silo. In 1874, trains began stopping at this site daily, bringing visitors to the Hudson Valley; their first taste was fresh ice cream from Riseley Dairy.
SPA & GLAM TREATMENTS
The Spa at The Emerson is long known in the area for its experience in holistic wellness, offering both western treatments and Ayurvedic rituals drawing from ancient Indian healing wisdom. The relaxation room is where you can sip on champagne or wine with your girls; cheese and cracker platters are available, as well as chocolate-covered strawberries. Outside, you will find a heated deck and Jacuzzi. There are also a warm and toasty steam room and sauna inside.
The Spa at the Emerson offers flexible scheduling to accommodate your group. Manis and pedis, 50-minute Swedish massages, and body wrap treatments are just a few of the favorite services offered. Different specials are offered monthly. During March, The Spa will offer a BOGO Special—purchase any 50-minute treatment and get any 25-minute treatment free!
28 West Gym is across the street from Hotel Dylan and offers walk-in passes for only $10 per day. This full-service gym features five different yoga classes a week, as well as fusion, Pilates, zumba, aerobics, and step classes. There is a delightful stretching room, and they have all the top-training equipment that anyone could want—from arc trainer and recumbent bikes to stair climbers and spinners.
And, don’t worry, being away doesn’t mean missing yoga. Euphoria Yoga, right in the heart of Woodstock on Tinker Street, has a variety of workshops, classes, and teachers to help you practice and explore both the physical and mystical aspects of yoga.
GET OUT and SKI
If you like skiing, you’ll love skiing in the Catskills! Three major ski areas are 30 to 50 minutes away from Woodstock. Check with each ski area for special events during your getaway dates.
Belleayre Mountain, just 30 minutes from Woodstock, has a total of 55 trails, parks, and glades, as well as eight lifts, including its new high-speed quad. Family-friendly Belleayre offers affordable prices and the best glade skiing in the Catskills. Hunter Mountain is a favorite among those from the tri-state area. Three separate mountains encompass a wide variety of terrain, catering to skiers and riders of all abilities levels. There are many amenities at Hunter with several restaurants and spa services. The resort also offers Ladies Day Wednesdays for $66 per person. Windham Mountain offers authentic big mountain experience here in NY. It's more vertical then the Berkshire's, closer than Vermont, and a premier alpine experience with its two mountain peaks, fifty-three trails, five terrain parks, and 1600-foot vertical drop. The Alpine Spa is the resort’s newest feature. This is a unique setting for a massage or facial or yoga classes.
SIPPING & SHOPPING
Phoenicia means Main Street. No visit would be complete without stopping at the Nest Egg. This old time country general store has something for everyone! You'll find local honey, jams, syrups, and some of the best-made fudge in the Hudson Valley. This shop is packed to the rafters with mountain hospitality and made-in-New York items and books about the local area. The Tender Land Home is a boutique for gorgeous furniture, home accessories, and gifts. Dave, the owner, is so kind and helpful. Make sure to say hi for us. Catskill Mountain Storehouse is the place to buy or rent outdoor equipment and sporting goods.
As far as sipping and dining go, eat where the locals go! For breakfast, lunch, or dinner—and dare we mention local baked goods—it's Brio’s Restaurant and Pizzeria. Sportsman's Alamo Cantina is the place to sit at the bar for beer or cocktails and have a Tex/Mex lunch, dinner, or late-night snacks and drinks. The spot also has theme nights, like Taco Tuesdays. The Phoenician Steakhouse serves delicious steaks, seafood and Italian specials. They have an impressive wine bar, where you can sip a few libations before dinner in a modern atmosphere. Around the corner sits Tavern 214, a gastropub offering seasonal farm-to-table favorites and a nice wine and craft beer menu. Enjoy small and large plate selections of goodness, such as fresh ground fennel and sausage sliders, locally smoked salmon flatbread, lobster macaroni and cheese, tender steak, and Shaver Family local rainbow trout. Tavern 214 features Catskill Mountain coziness with a fireplace in this 1920s colonial tavern.
Just east up Route 28 from Phoencia, you’ll find Peekamoose Restaurant & Tap Room, a restored country farmhouse in Big Indian. Stop in their tap room or dining area to taste their winter dinner menu; fisherman's stew soup, house made charcuterie, wild mushroom risotto with white truffle oil, cider-braised pork shank, and wood-grilled sirloin steaks will make your mouth water. The restaurant has received more national press then we have room to mention.
Woodstock also has unique boutiques that are frequented by locals and visitors from around the world. Woodstock Trading Post is known for their palette of soft comfy clothes and accessories. They carry lines like Free People and are a local favorite for many. Pegasus Footwear has the best selection of shoes, clogs, sandals, and hiking boots. They carry over 50 brands of comfy walking shoes, including Merrel, Clarks, Dansko, Frye, Birkenstock, and more.
The Tea Shop of Woodstock is fun to visit for a personal tasting and to purchase different teas and honeys to take home and taste with friends. Some of the favorites for this time of year are Chocolate Puerh, Cream Earl Gray, and Scottish Breakfast. The shop carries organic Chopra blends, ready-to-make scones, and brewing vessels and cups to help you remember your weekend getaway.
Woodstock Peace Love Cupcakes owner Janice Hardgrove-Kollar might have a song in her heart, but she's got baking in her blood. She won Food Network's title for "Best Cake in the Country" in 2008. Her cupcakes and cookies have Woodstock-inspired names, and the shop carries organic and gluten-free goodies. Try their signature Woodstock tie-dye tender vanilla cake with tie-dye frosting.
If shopping makes you hungry, stop in at some of Woodstock’s eateries. Nana's Creative Cafe is a gourmet cafe and deli that serves breakfast and lunch. They also make incredible baked goods and serve gluten-free and vegan specials. This is a great place to stop in and eat or order takeout on your way to a busy day skiing or relaxing at the spa. Woodstock Meats makes delicious deli sandwiches, so if you have a hankering for a roast beef sub and freshly made soup and salad, this is the place to go.
Loungy, intimate, modern, and Mediterranean best describes Oriole 9, well known on the Woodstock scene. They serve breakfast and lunch daily. Local free-range eggs, French toast, sandwiches, wraps, and salads are on their breakfast and lunch menu. Vegan and hors d'oeuvre menus are also available. Yum Yum Noodle Bar is open for dinner daily, as well as lunch on the weekends. This is a great place to enjoy a cocktail at the bar at this cozy restaurant. Fresh and delicious food suitable for every palette is on the menu. Noodle bowls, grass-fed miso burger, vegetable dumplings, raw kale salad, and warm flourless chocolate cake are some of the standards that people love here.
Commune Saloon Bar & Grill is Woodstock's newest hot spot. It is located next to the Bearsville Theater. This is the place to let loose and have some unique craft cocktails and local Hudson Valley ciders. Fish, meat, and vegetable options are on the menu, and they only use organic produce. You'll love the atmosphere of this intimate bar. They open at 4:30 and as the evening progresses, a great fire pit is lit outdoors. This is a must- stop on your girls’ adventure out!