1. Where to Stay
Start your day with raw food at Turquoise Barn (from $145), a bed-and-breakfast that offers two stylish en suite rooms in a converted carriage house built in 1864. The vegan breakfast includes chia pudding made with fresh almond-and-Brazil-nut milk and a green smoothie made with wild edibles from the organic garden, which you can follow up with on-site yoga and raw food classes (call in advance to arrange).
Head into the forest at Harmony Hill Lodging and Retreat Center (from $140; two-night minimum), where you can choose between a tree-house yurt (available May through October only) with domed skylights, hardwood floors, and kitchens, or an eight-person mountain chalet with a fireplace and a wraparound deck. Pair your stay with life coaching ($100/hour) and guided meditation ($25/half-hour), or find serenity by exploring the property’s stone labyrinth.
Go camping without electricity in comfort at Stony Creek Farmstead, where four rustic tents (from $525 for two nights) come with cast-iron stoves, flush toilets, oil lanterns, and two snug bedrooms – a master and a bunk. Eggs, grass-fed meats, dairy products, and seasonal vegetables are all available at the 24-hour honesty shop, and on Saturday nights you can make pizza ($15) at the outdoor wood-burning oven.
2. Where to Eat
Sip one of seventeen custom tea blends ($2 per cup; $16 per 4-oz tin) at Tay Home (open Thursday–Sunday), a stylish but whimsical tea bar and design shop in the charming town of Andes. Try the Persian Rose, a Ceylon black blend with rose petals and cardamom, and enjoy vegetarian lunch options like the Nini Panini with refried beans, fresh greens, and cheese, served with quinoa salad ($10). You can also pick up eclectic gift items including colorful Nepalese felt slippers ($60), and handcrafted Buddha-head candles ($20).
Have a true farm-to-table meal at Fable, the light-flooded dining room at Stone & Thistle Farm. Saturday dinners ($50 for four courses, through Thanksgiving) and Sunday buffet brunches ($20, through Columbus Day) kick off with a tour of the farm. Menus change weekly, but a recent dinner menu featured Syrah-braised lamb shoulder and a pear tart with double maple whipped cream. The beer and wine list keeps it local with New York State’s Cooperstown Brewing Old Slugger ($4/bottle) and Arrowhead Springs Meritage Reserve ($8/glass) among the options.
Enjoy seasonal produce from the Lucky Dog Farm at Hamden Inn (dinner only, Tuesday–Saturday), which shares owners with the Lucky Dog Café (open daily for lunch) across the street. Gently priced daily specials like grilled cheese with soup and salad ($5) are available, but dishes like the meatloaf sandwich made with local grass-fed beef, sun-dried tomatoes, and homemade garlic mayo ($10) offer something more unique.
3. What to Do
Hit the nineteen-mile Catskill Scenic Trail, whose hard-packed surface on top of a former rail bed is ideal for hiking and biking. Plattekill Mountain Center rents cross-country bikes for use on the trail ($30, plus $10 for pick-up/shuttle service along the trail), while hiking is self-guided. Keep in mind there are no trash bins on the trail and cell phone service is spotty at best. Horseback riding on the trail is unavailable, but you can head to nearby Stone Tavern Farm, which offers hour-long rides ($55 per person).
Get a dose of culture in the country at West Kortright Centre, housed inside a church with stained-glass windows, kerosene chandeliers, and elaborate woodwork. This active nonprofit offers a varied repertoire of performances (tickets from $10), ranging from Bach to bluegrass. Also on the schedule are obscure workshops, like Persian miniature and calligraphy (from $40), as well as free exhibits in the Roberts Room.
Find a staggering variety of rare and used books at Bibliobarn (627 Roses Brook Road, South Kortright; 607-538-1555), where 39,000 titles occupy the shelves of a renovated two-story barn. Leaf through selections from offbeat categories like “Fiction with a Dollop of Theology” or “Generally Ineffable,” and ask live-in owners Linda and H.L. to show you their nineteenth-century book bindery.
4. Insider’s Tip
Tap into one of the locals’ best-kept secrets by booking seats for the Saturday night dinner at Mountain Brook Inn, a word-of-mouth social event presided over by the gregarious owner. Look for the prix fixe menu ($35 per person; BYOB) on the inn’s website early in the week and book a seat while you can. The three-course meal features unfussy country food with a French twist served in a cozy room with a fireplace and seven tables that seat up to thirty.
5. Oddball Day
Tap into the region’s wealth of top-notch antique shops, and go on a Saturday or Sunday when no appointments are necessary. Kick off the treasure hunt in the town of Andes, where you can find curios, like taxidermy and driftwood sculptures, at Kabinett & Kammer. Next, drive northwest to Franklin Durable Goods to peruse their more exciting offerings, including a massive confetti rug in vivid colors ($800). While in town, stop by the new Viviana Hansen Gallery, which showcases fine art, mid-century modern, and classical antiques. Next, drive to Bovina for brunch at Russell’s, a funky general store and social hub where locals and weekenders mix over farm-fresh egg sandwiches served on ciabatta (from $3.75, plus fixings). Then stop by the main outpost of Fisk Antiques, a two-story barn that houses vintage garden items, tableware, and toys (Fisk also holds antique auctions on Route 28 near Andes). Later, drive north to Lyon Mountain Blue Barn Antiques (2527 Roses Brook Rd; South Kortright; 607-538-1768), which stocks nearly 700 objects in two barns, ranging from massive armoires to carved wood kitchen utensils, oil paintings, watercolors, carpets, and clocks. Wrap up with dinner at the Hidden Inn (Thursday–Sunday only) in South Kortright, which serves tasty tavern bites and globally inspired dinners – try the crispy crab fritters with Granny Smith apple, avocado, and wasabi ($13) – in two pastel-colored dining rooms on the ground floor of a white farmhouse.
Discover more of the fine art and antiquing spots in Delaware County by searching the town-by-town shopping guide at Catskills Art & Antiques.
Refer to Delaware County Today for a daily calendar of events in the area.
See what’s new in the Catskills by reading Watershed Post, a news and information hub for all neighboring counties, including Delaware.