1. Where to Stay
The Villa at Saugerties (from $135) is a contemporary take on the B&B: a Mediterranean farmhouse outside and pure Philippe Starck inside. Five rooms swathed in natural fabrics and cool earth tones have a rustic Zen feel. But it’s not all sleek modernism — there are still cookies and hot cocoa by the fireplace at night.
B&B purists prefer the restored Victorian Smythe House (from $115). Rooms are outfitted with stained-glass lamps, oriental rugs, antique furnishings, and four-poster beds. The Culinary Institute of America–trained chefs-owners prepare standout breakfasts to your specifications. Try the eggs en cocotte (baked with cream, butter, and Parmesan) or request a packed picnic lunch.
The secluded Saugerties Lighthouse (from $160) is accessible by a half-mile hike or by boat. The working lighthouse and conservancy has only two rooms available; book well in advance. Both rooms face the Hudson; view sunrise from the East Room and sunset from the West Room. From the tower, overlook the Catskills.
2. Where to Eat
The former owners of Grove in the West Village now run Miss Lucy’s Kitchen. Comfort-food classics like tuna melts and meat loaf dominate lunch, but sophisticated dinners (scallops with tomato-asparagus risotto, homemade liverwurst with cornichons and mustard) recall Miss Lucy’s urbane roots.
On weekend nights at New World Cooking Co., live music accompanies innovative fusion dishes like wasabi deviled eggs or Saigon-street-style fried calamari. A substantial vegetarian menu includes blue-corn-crusted seitan steak. Timid diners take note: Chef Ric Orlando rates levels of spiciness between one and ten on his “Ricter Scale,” but you’ll start feeling the kick around four.
The adult vibe at the Red Onion is a respite from the child-friendly restaurants of Saugerties. An extensive cocktail list (including a sidecar made with blood-orange juice) complements the rust-colored walls, red banquettes, and low lighting. Pastas are made in-house and paired with unique flavors, like ravioli filled with peas, mint, and Parmesan.
3. What to Do
Hike (or ski) along the North-South Lake Loop with views of the Catskills and Hudson River. Stretch out in nearby Woodstock at Bliss Yoga Center, where founder Debi DiPeso is Jivamukti-certified. Rejuvenate with Ayurvedic herbal remedies or a massage at Shakti Yoga.
4. Insider’s Tip
There are many farms in Saugerties, but the locals pick their apples at Greig Farm, a friendly family-farm twenty minutes from Saugerties, in Red Hook. The 500-acre spread has blueberries in summer, raspberries and pumpkins in fall, and ten varieties of apples from August through October. What you eat while you pick is free; what you buy is cheap.
5. An Oddball Day
Take a picnic to Opus 40, a six-acre outdoor rock sculpture carved by Harvey Fite using only quarrymen’s tools. It took him 37 years to make, but you can clamber over swirling ramps that weave around pools and trees in half a day.
Come to Saugerties lists community events like festivals as well as garden Q&As.
Former Time Out New York and Playboy staffer Aimee Szparaga wrote a punchy, comprehensive digest of Saugerties attractions and eateries.
Catskills Guide takes you beyond Saugerties and into the mountains with information about hiking, hunting, and fishing.
Nobody puts Baby in the corner anymore, but the Catskills Institute at Brown University preserves the culture of the Jewish summer bungalow colonies.