There’s nothing like the pure rush of sliding fast down snowy slopes. In the Catskill Mountains, we have many slopes to choose from and a wide array of accommodations in our quaint towns, so you can make the most out of your mini-vacation. Try one, or all three, of our Build-Your-Own-Ski-Weekend itineraries for the ultimate antidote to cabin fever.
Itinerary I: Belleayre
Eat. Stay. Play.
Belleayre Mountain is our publicly-owned and family-friendly winter wonderland, a great, laid-back place to enjoy some recently added features (new terrain park, new gondolas, and new kidscamp area) and just have fun.
Spend rock-n-roll themed nights at Woodstock’s Hotel Dylan, where you can warm yourself by the outdoor fire and settle in with a vinyl record. Pamper yourself at the Emerson Resort & Spa with an apres-ski massage, followed by dinner and drinks at Woodnotes Grille. At the modern yet cozy Graham & Co., you can stay just two blocks off Phoenicia’s main street and explore the area on complimentary bicycles. You can also hang your hat at the Best Western Plus in Kingston, where they offer deals on Belleayre lift tickets.
Belleayre is convenient to sweet little Catskills creek towns, where there is so much great food that the hard part is choosing. Enjoy legendary pancakes in Phoenicia at Sweet Sue’s. Feast on Mexican at the Sportsman’s Alamo Cantina, with its great beer list, woodfired pizza at Brio’s, or surf and turf at The Phoenician. Do not miss the rustic farm-to-feast fare at Peekamoose Restaurant.
While you’re in Phoenicia, take a few minutes to browse Tender Land Home, a delightfully curated collection of lovely and quirky gifts and goodies, and the Nest Egg Country Store, home of all you can imagine for your mountain retreat—much that is necessary, and still more that is hard to find elsewhere. And complement your snow fun with a session and a sauna at the Dewa Spa at Menla, where you’ll find a unique menu of Eastern and Western treatments and discover an enchanted oasis in the process.
Itinerary Ⅱ: Plattekill
Eat. Stay. Play.
Plattekill Mountain is family-friendly, family-owned, and has everything from two-mile beginner slopes to some of the steepest double black diamonds in the eastern US among its 38 trails. Plattekill’s got a rustic, cozy base lodge with wood stoves, Wi-Fi, craft bevvies, live entertainment, and a heart the size of the Rockies. You can reserve the whole mountain for yourself and your set on a weekday, if you’ve been fancying a retreat that no one will ever forget.
Plattekill is located in the teensy, enchanted town of Roxbury. To get the full Shangri-La experience, stay at the Roxbury Hotel and Spa. We don’t want to spoil the surprise; just know that HGTV has called this place “one of the most amazing hotels in the entire country” for good reason.
Stay and get a hometown Catskills welcome and a fab breakfast served in a railway caboose at Arkville Bread & Breakfast. And check out the fine eats at Chappie’s, the new western outpost of the man behind The Rhinecliff and Rhinecliff Event Catering.
While exploring this part of the Catskills, don’t skip a venture into Margaretville. It’s handy from both Belleayre and Plattekill, and a lovely place to find sweets, eats, arts, and treats. A taste of Italy in the Catskills, try Trattoria Locale‘s artisanal pasta, hand-pulled mozzarella, and house-made breads.
Itinerary Ⅲ: Hunter
Eat. Stay. Play.
Hunter Mountain is a sleek resort with on-site lodging in slope side rooms at the Kaatskill Mountain Club, featuring an indoor pool, spa, fitness center, restaurant, and outdoor hot tubs. With 13 lifts and a summit 3,200 feet above sea level, it’s the closest “big” mountain to New York City—lots of trails and glades and four freestyle terrain parks.
If you’d rather stay off-mountain, check out Jessie’s Harvest House & Lodge in Tannersville, born of the love between a granddaughter of the founder of what was then Hunter Mountain Ski Bowl and the talented chef she married, himself a Hunter Mountain lover since the age of three.
Another great possibility for your Hunter trip is Villa Vosilla, a fourth-generation family-owned gem where you can spend your off-slope hours in the heated pool or hot tub, eat gourmet Italian fare and stretch out in the yoga studio. Tannersville, the “Painted Village In The Sky,” is a lovely place to explore. Check out the 100 cheeses, 300 beers, and eclectic array at Last Chance Cheese and Antiques Cafe. In Hunter itself, stop in at Hunter Mountain Brewery for good beers, exceptional pub grub, and rib-sticking winter favorites like old-fashioned meatloaf and mac-n-cheese.
Everything is house-made to simple and delicious perfection. If anything should ail you in this neck of the woods, reach out to Wellness Rx LLC in Tannersville—they've got standard and natural health products and wellness services, including acupuncture in private treatment rooms. On your way to Hunter, or on your way home, schedule a stop in the town of Catskill. It’s another once-sleepy town that’s now brimful of fun shops and eateries.
Visit the Rip Van Winkle Brewery for award-winning microbrews and delicious Italian-American fare, to enjoy at the brewpub or take along. Or check out the Mediterranean Bistro at 394 Main, where the menu’s keen focus on Mediterranean-style cuisine—think homemade hummus, homemade falafel and taboulleh, simply accented meat entrées—is a nod to chef Salah, who hails from Egypt.
Want some intellectual stimulation to balance out all the thrills, chills, spills, eats, and drinks? In nearby Windham, you can find a truly great and ferociously indie community-minded bookstore at Briars & Brambles.
No matter which mountain you decide to head for, you can get good deals on state-of-the-art equipment in Kingston. You’ll find a ton of great winter gear, including ice cleats, snowshoes, and cold-weather wear, at Kenco Outfitters in Kingston; for a specialized ski and snowboard shop that also handles rentals, check out Potter Brothers. Both are on your way to the mountains, near Exit 19 off the NYS Thruway.