6 Things To Do in The Catskills | New York

April 8, 2019 Catskills, New York

Things to Do in Catskills New York

When people think of New York, they tend to only to talk about NYC. There's so much more to New York state than the city and if you explore a little bit north, you'll find yourself in a more laid-back relaxing oasis.

Catskills, New York.
Growing up and living in Westchester County, people from the city assume anything that is not within the five boroughs is automatically called upstate New York. This is so wrong, and if you travel past Westchester County is when you hit the actual upstate New York area. Upstate New York has many regions to visit and explore but today I will be mentioning the Catskills.

The Catskill Mountain region is around 100 miles northwest of New York City. The Catskills have been a popular vacation spot for New Yorkers for many years. With over 98 peaks in the Catskills Mountains, the vast forested region is home to incredible hiking and outdoor activities for everyone to enjoy. It doesn't matter what season you visit, there's always something to do The Catskills are home to quaint villages, antique shops, art galleries, delicious farm-to-table restaurants, and miles of walking, biking, and hiking trails. I do recommend traveling here by car so you have the freedom to explore and stop where you want. But there are other forms of public transportation in getting to and around the Catskills.

I decided to take a mini getaway weekend trip to the Catskills and explore more of this area. It's actually my first time ever visiting and staying in the Catskills and I was super excited to have a change of scenery. I've always driven past this region when visiting my brother at his college up in Albany but never really went off the exit to see what the Catskills was all about. In the short time that I was there, I found myself enjoying disconnecting from the distractions of being on my phone or computer and just exploring and relaxing in nature. If you ever wanted to explore beyond New York City, here are some activities I recommend doing during your stay in the Catskills.

*There's many activities to do in the Catskills depending on the season you visit, so this isn't a complete list of things to do there. This was just what I got up to during my short visit.*

Stay in a Cabin.
You'll find many ski lodges, cabins, hotels, and resorts all scattered around the Catskill region. This area is surrounded by nature and one of the best ways to get that full experience is staying in a cabin in my opinion. I haven't stayed in a cabin before this trip and I unexpectedly really enjoyed my time in one. Being in a secluded quiet area in a warm cozy unique cabin, warming up near the fire at night and eating s'mores, listening to music, and disconnecting from my phone was just what I needed. If you want more information on the cabin accommodation that I stayed in during my trip (click here) for a full review!

Things to Do in Catskills New York

Five State Lookout.
A few minutes drive from our cabin we went to see the Five State Lookout. On a good clear day you can see views of the Hudson River Valley and 5 states. You'll find panoramic views from the White Mountains of New Hampshire, the Green Mountains of Vermont, the Berkshire Mountains of Massachusetts, the Helerberg Mountains of New York and the Connecticut Valley. It's a pretty view but it was a tad too cold and windy to wait for sunset to set when we went. When the weather is warmer and the trees have bloomed I bet it's definitely a sight to see!

Things to Do in Catskills New York

Things to Do in Catskills New York

Drive Along the Catskills State Park.
I love visiting state parks and this one was no exception. Driving along a state park you're usually looking at a scenic drive and there's always a nice viewpoint somewhere along the park. Seeing the mountain views and falls during the drive was very pretty but I'm sure it'x 10x better when the trees are fully bloomed in late Spring/Summer seasons or during the Fall when the leaves are changing colors. But coming here in early April did have it's advantages by having less tourists around and being able to visit these sites and not having crazy crowds around.

Things to Do in Catskills New York

Hike and See Kaaterskill Falls.
When you're driving around the State Park, you'll see part of the Kaaterskill Falls during the drive. What you want to do is put Kaaterskills Falls in your GPS and follow the directions or follow the signs where you end up at a parking lot. Park your car and start your hike! There's three different paths to take for your hiking needs, one is hiking to get the mountain view, another one is hiking to the top of the Kaaterskill Fall and last one is to hike to the lower half of the Kaaterskill Falls. Because it was so cold and windy we only did the hike to the top of the Kaaterskill falls viewing platform and went back to the car. We did see the lower part of the falls by doing a shortcut hike. We drove back towards the state park and parked our car in a viewpoint area where we saw many other tourists parking their cars and walking down the hill to get to the lower part of the waterfalls. By doing this you save time and you're not going through the woods and walking many stairs to get to this area.

Things to Do in Catskills New York

Things to Do in Catskills New York

Things to Do in Catskills New York

Winter Activities at Hunter Mountain.
Hunter Mountain is the the place to go for all your winter activity needs. From skiing, snowboarding, tubing, and so much more there's something for everyone here. Hunter Mountain is most popular during the winter season and this is what lures tourists in to come visit the Catskills. Especially near Hunter Mountain, you'll find many ski lodges, resorts, and hotels available for you to stay in if you desire to stay for a longer period of time or if you like to be close to all those activities. Because I came in April and it's Spring but if you're a New Yorker- you know it still feels like winter right now, everything is closed. It was a ghost town but that didn't stop me from exploring the area and it was cool to see the mountain from afar and up close while driving around. Hunter Mountain also provides activities in the warmer months you can just check to see what appeals to you on their website!

Things to Do in Catskills New York

Resort Worlds Casino.
I'm not a big gambler but we kept hearing this particular casino being promoted all over the radio recently so we decided to check it out since we were nearby. This property is huge and you can either book a stay at their hotel or just visit their casino. The casino is beautifully designed, spacious, and very well organized. There's tons of security, tables, and waiters/waitresses there available making sure their customers are safe and happy. I also spotted a few restaurants and bar areas within the property. They also host many events throughout the year with special guests so check out their website for more information on that. So if you're of age and want to check out this casino, I would recommend checking Resort Worlds Casino if you're in the area!

Things to Do in Catskills New York

Shop at Woodbury Commons Outlets.
I actually didn't know the Woodbury Commons Outlet Mall was considered part of the Catskills. I've been coming here for many years since it's the closest outlet mall near where I used to live. My parents love this place and I can remember the many times we came here to shop over the years. If you never came here before, I recommend checking it out and bring comfy shoes. It's a huge outdoor mall with many shops from all brands and budgets with great discounts and prices! This place gets super packed on the weekends so come early if you want to beat the crowds and also find a good parking spot. You'll find the best deals during Black Friday and the end of the summer for back to school season. If you're coming from NYC, I recommend either stopping here first before heading to your final Catskills destination just to stretch out your legs, walk around, get some shopping done, or grab something to eat. Or if you're heading back to NYC, you can make a stop at this outlet mall to do all the things I mentioned above before heading home!

Things to Do in Catskills New York

Youtube Video.


Comment Below,
Have you ever visited the Catskills?

84 comments

  1. The Catskills look so pretty! I’d love to visit and get back to nature in those cabins!

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  2. I would love to visit the Catskills in autumn. I bet it's like a color explosion. Oh the views you would have out of that cabin window.

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    1. I can only imagine how gorgeous it would be in the Fall!

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  3. Wow.. Catskills look amazing. A hike to the Kaaterskill Falls sounds great and worth it. The falls looks gorgeous.

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  4. Frankly, I've never heard of the Catskills - but it looks stunning. I've been considering doing a getaway cabin adventure, but was waiting for warmer weather. This is definitely a sign for me to go ahead!

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  5. Visited the Catskills long ago and love it. Need to get back and your post is just the reminder I need. So much diversity in New York (well, frankly all of the Northeast). Might have to try to fit in a Catskills visit in between May and June trips to Niagara, Finger Lakes and then the Adirondacks.

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    1. Totally agree with how much diversity the Northeast has to explore!

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  6. I have cabin envy! I think that would make me so content sleeping in the middle of all that big outdoors. Although I've been to Woodbury Commons, I'm ashamed to say that we didn't stop off at the Catskills. Had I known just how beautiful it is there, we certainly would have done. On the list for next time.

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    1. Hope you get to make it to the Catskills soon but how amazing is the Woodbury Common mall?

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  7. I've heard of the Catskills before but never knew anything about them. It's beautiful there and I'd love to visit the outlet mall. What a great way to escape nature on a rainy day!

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  8. Ohhh. I would love to go for a hike in the Catskills. It looks very enticing with those waterfalls. Would love to see the fall colours there!

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    1. The fall time would be amazing time to visit! I can only imagine how gorgeous it would be with all those different colors :)

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  9. While I'm not into casinos, everything else is right up my alley. I think Catskills would be a great place to visit on a weekend getaway. Love the bedroom in the cabin!

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    1. Highly recommend checking out the cabin. They have amazing locations across the United States!

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  10. Wow, Catskills is such a beautiful area. Love to hear about all the things to do there. Would love to visit. I've never been to New York.

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  11. What a fantastic place to visit with so many different things to do and see. I'd choose the Catskills over the Big Apple any day!

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  12. Wow! Love the beautiful images! The Catskills look like a beautiful place to visit! I had no idea New York was so beautiful. I've always wanted to go, though. New York is on my bucket list!!

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  13. Wow! This area really has it all! I love that I can do a combo of hiking and shopping in the same area. I also like places that are year round - as you mentioned, just as nice in April as it would be in peak season. Thanks for sharing!

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  14. The Catskills looks beautiful! I’d love to stay in a cabin there.

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  15. The Catskills looks like a really beautiful area to visit either from New York or during any trip to the region. I love that full floor to ceiling window in the wooden cabin, the view is incredible, a great way to get back to nature!

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  16. We have been to the Catskills before, and LOVED it! I would love to go back there again!

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  17. I would love to stay in that cabin! It looks like pure quiet and relaxation, away from the daily grind and routine of the rat race in the city. Paradise!

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  18. No, I haven't been to the Catskills before but sure, I would love to.

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  19. The cabin is fascinating!I want to stay in the cabin because it seems calm and quiet also.I love silence. Informative lists.

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  20. Those were some amazing photos! One of them actually looked like Colorado!

    I actually hate NYC and if I was ever to take a vacation to NY I would definitely prefer the route you took. But I would definitely avoid the Casino and shopping. I just love the outdoors!

    I also grew up taking day trips to Hunter Mountain to ski. It’s fabulous there!

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    1. So many activities in the Catskills to enjoy. Thats amazing you grew up going to Hunter Mountain!

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  21. I haven't been to Catskills, New York yet. I would like to go there soon. Hope to visit this beautiful place.

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  22. Catskills is on my bucketlist and I definitely dream of staying in a cabin. It’s so picturesque and cozy!

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  23. It's been years since I've visited the catskills. Now I feel like I have to make the trip out of NYC to visit! My dad actually grew up nearby!

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  24. I've always wanted to explore upstate New York. We drove through once on our way to Boston, but didn't get a chance to stop and look around. I have always heard that the Catskills are great for hiking...and maybe rock climbing if I remember correctly. We hope to make it up there one day and definitely stay in one of those cabins you mentioned!

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    1. There's so much to do outdoors in the Catskills! Hope you get to stop and explore next time :)

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  25. I've never been to the Catskills before, but from your photos, it looks like a beautiful place to visit!

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  26. This is so beautiful! When I think of New York, I only tend think about NYC. It's great to know that there's so much more to New York state than the city to explore.

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  27. You are right, many thinks that New York City are just a concrete jungle, and it is awesome to know that it got places like Catskills. Btw, your cabin looks impressive! If we decided to visit New York, I'll add Catskills to our itinerary.

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  28. I must say the photos tells it all, and I wish I could make to catskill someday.

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  29. I love the Catskills! One of my favorite areas close to NYC, thanks for this great list!

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  30. Well, to escape from the NYC and have a lovely weekend to Catskills is a nice idea! I like the lovely cabin in the post. And I am curious about the ski place there. Is it a big skiing area?

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    1. Yes, the ski scene here is really incredible during the winter. It's one of the major reasons people come to the Catskills!

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  31. Well, I am 100% guilty. Whenever I hear New York, I only think about NYC.

    Actually this is my first time to hear about Catskills and would love to visit next time we are in New York. This is a perfect weekend getaway if you want to relax and be with nature.

    Thank you for sharing this post. Happy to learn something new today.

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    1. Hope you get to visit on your next NY trip, you will love it!

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  32. It really looks like getting back to nature - especially with the cabin stay. I love that idea of disconnecting from real life for a little while. I really perked up when reading about the outlets at Woodbury Commons. Such a nice past time.. :)

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  33. I am yet to visit New York but when I do, I know what not to miss out.Catskills. It's a lovely place which I would love to get lost in. Lovely pics.

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  34. I am an adventrous hunter and I would like to check out this place in the future 😍

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  35. I have slept in a cabin at smokey hills mountain in TN and it was fun and relaxing contrary to my fears that a bear will just come in a tear us apart. It's very refreshing and therapeutic too.

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  36. I've heard about the Catskills! I've never been, though. I'd love to head there in the fall when it is a bit chilly and the leaves are changing. So pretty!

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  37. I've read/ heard of Catskills in novels/ TV shows but this is the first I'm reading about actually visiting there! Sounds like an amazing place. The 5 state lookout is where I'd want to heard first - 5 states from one view point, really?! Sounds awesome! Love the Kaaterskill Falls too - your pics are really cool.

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  38. the place looks wonderful! I would so stay at the cabin, it feel ideal for fall

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    1. For sure, I have youtube video on this place if you want to see how it looks through video :)

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  39. I go to the Adirondacks a lot, but never the Catskills. I'm not sure why, it just hasn't come up yet. Saving this post for the future so we can plan better haha!

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  40. https://daysdreamt.blogspot.com
    I never realised that there are mountain areas in Nyc ...Dont judge me here, I have never been to America

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  41. Catskill looks like an amazing place to explore. I think this happens with almost all the major cities. Tourists and travellers tend to explore the city only ignoring the places nearby. I see NYC is not an exception.
    The place looks really beautiful and so close to nature. I would love to stay at the log cabin and may be try my luck at the casino. I have always wanted to visit one, just to see how it feels!

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  42. I had no clue the Catskills were so close to NYC. If I go back to New York, I’m definitely making this a destination on the itinerary. It is beautiful!

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  43. Wow, what a gorgeous place. I would definitely enjoy staying in the cabin. It looks very serene.

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  44. Wow, that places looks incredible and so peaceful. I would most definitely need to stay in that cabin. I don't think I would ever leave..

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  45. Would definitely love to go ski Hunter Mountain one day! I've only ever been to New York - New York!! But would love to visit and spend time exploring the rest of the state!

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