While many New Yorkers flock to the Eastern Catskills, newly rife with hipster-chic resorts like Scribner’s Catskill Lodge and Instagram hot spots such as the Phoenicia Diner, there’s an entirely different side to the region just on the other side of the mountains.
Sullivan County, on the banks of the Delaware River, has a quieter, less suburban feel, with plenty of places for the discerning traveler to stay, eat, and shop.
Herewith, AD takes a look at the area’s best destinations on offer.
Foster Supply Co. ’s Nine River Road is a cozy and relaxed getaway spot in Callicoon. But don’t expect frills from the eight-room riverfront inn. Upon arrival, guests are greeted with a handwritten check-in log, room keys on the kitchen table, and, perhaps most importantly, a plate of freshly baked chocolate chip cookies and brownies. Rooms are neatly outfitted with antiques, and luxurious touches like Sferra linens and Malin + Goetz toiletries. An Instagram-worthy living room has a cozy wood-burning stove.
Nine River Road.
If you want a more polished experience, the DeBruce, in nearby Livingston Manor, opened last year in the 19th-century building that was formerly the DeBruce Country Inn. The new DeBruce has 14 modern rooms decorated in crisp whites and neutrals, some with claw-foot tubs in the bathroom, and many with sweeping views of the Willowemoc Valley. Breakfast and dinner are included for guests, the latter of which consists of a multicourse meal prepared by the inn’s executive chef, Aksel Theilkuhl, who forages most of his ingredients from the 600-acre hotel grounds.
Sullivan County has long supplied New York City with everything from organic vegetables and trout to farm-fresh cheese and dairy products, so it’s no surprise that that’s a critical emphasis for local fare, too.
Perched above a Mobil gas station in Cochecton, the rustic, unpretentious dining room at Henning’s Local serves comfort food with a hint of a Scandinavian accent from Norwegian-born chef Henning Nordanger. Rainbow trout from the nearby Beaver Kill comes Norwegienne, with sour cream, chives, and potatoes, and the classic Steak Diane, a filet mignon swimming in a sauce of cognac, capers, and mustard, is every bit as good as Julia Child would make.
In Livingston Manor, Jon Westergreen, former head of the county’s chamber of commerce, opened the aptly named Kaatskeller, a hyperlocal pizza joint in a retro-chic Alpine-inspired building, last summer. The pies are wood-fired with local kiln-dried ash and topped with ingredients such as horseradish cheese from nearby Calkins Creamery and arugula from Claryville’s Neversink Farm. Westergreen’s partner, Christopher Tierney, owner of Manhattan speakeasy Apothéke, designed the cocktail menu.
The natural geography of the western Catskills lends itself to a flurry of outdoor activities ranging from hiking, birding, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, and, of course, fly-fishing. Nearby Roscoe is arguably the fly-fishing capital of the U. S. , where anglers cast their lines into the Beaver Kill, a 44-mile long tributary of the Delaware River, hoping to catch trout. But outdoor endeavors aren’t necessarily the raison d’etre for a visit.
Buck Brook Alpacas.
Buck Brook Alpacas, a family-run breeding farm situated on a hilltop outside of Roscoe, is open to visitors who wish to stock up on all things camelid. The gift shop offers densely woven socks, colorful sweaters, handmade soaps, and plush rugs.
Main Street Farm.
A Brazilian magazine editor who decamped for country life is the brainchild behind Nest, a mountain-inflected boutique that sells everything from clothing and jewelry to antiques. Much of owner Anna Bern’s furniture offerings are handcrafted in Brazil, but a few locally sourced goods make appearances as well, such as a spiky retro chandelier or a hand-painted stump stool. Nest has two locations: one in Narrowsburg and another in Livingston Manor.
Catskill Distilling Company.
Part grocery store, part café, Livingston Manor’s Main Street Farm brings all of the region’s farmers and local food purveyors together in one neat package. Freezer cases are packed with local fish and butchery, but the market’s shelves are also lined with gift-worthy products such as Catskill Provisions honey and Aaron Burr Cider from Wurtsboro. Next door, Upstream Wine Spirits stocks bottles from the area’s buzzing distilleries, including Catskill Distilling Company’s rare buckwheat whiskey and Prohibition Distillery’s Bootlegger Gin, made in Roscoe.