The Catskills, NY

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Just northwest of New York City, the beautiful Catskill Mountains rise above the landscape. Once America’s wilderness, the Catskills remains a popular vacation destination for those looking to escape the business of everyday life in more populated areas around the country. The Catskills are also a haven for outdoors enthusiasts and nature lovers who want to experience the rugged, yet picturesque, beauty of this accessibly area.

The proximity to major urban centers is a part of why the Catskills are so alluring to vacationers. The mountains are sort of a retreat for a long weekend, or even a week, during any season of the year. In the spring and summer, lakes beckon boaters and fisherman to the area. In the fall, colorful changing foliage and crisp air delight travelers. Come winter, a snowy solitude falls over the area, making it perfect for a winter wonderland getaway, romantic trip or adventurous vacation.

Among the many attractions found throughout the Catskills, the wildlife and wilderness areas remain the most talked about. With ninety-eight peaks, five rivers, nature preserves, parks, waterfalls, lakes, forests and valleys, the Catskills are a nature enthusiasts dreams. Visitors can spend days exploring the area, only to realize that they’ve only covered a small portion of the expansive Catskills region. Hiking, biking, wildlife viewing, swimming, fishing and horseback riding are just a few of the preferred outdoor activities.

When deciding where to stay in the Catskills, there are a few counties to choose from, including Delaware County, Greene County, Sullivan County and Ulster County. Each county has its own unique historic, and its own part of the Catskills. Delaware County is the perfect place for those that love the outdoors and a laid-back attitude. Modern shops stand side-by-side with antique and specialty shops through the small towns. In Green County, a more remote and authentic Catskills experience is afforded. This is the place where Rip Van Winkle slept for twenty years in Washington Irving famous store, and where the Hudson River School of Painters got inspiration for their bucolic paintings. Today, Green County is home to the Hunter and Windam ski areas as well as the Kaaterskill Falls.

Over in Sullivan County, the town of Bethel gets visitor wanting to see where the famous Woodstock Music Festival was held. The county is also home to the Bethel Woods Performing Arts Center, a Racino and plenty of outdoor fun at the lakes and vast forest areas. In Ulster County, a rich history is still palpable today. Ancient stone structures dot the landscape, and the country’s oldest arts colony, Byrdcliffe, still operates today. Wineries in Ulster County also attract a multitude of visitors.

No matter what part of the Catskills you choose to stay in during any month of the year, you are sure to experience some of the most untouched, beautiful nature areas in New York. Book a New Paltz vacation rental or a Catskill cabin rental to enjoy a whole new side of New York that is a far cry from the busy streets and skyscrapers found in New York City.

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