Stacey and I spent this past holiday season in NYC to decompress and really try to settle into life as newlyweds. We cooked feasts on feasts on feasts, and while incredibly fun and fulfilling we were exhausted from the break (lol).
We took the opportunity after Christmas to go upstate for a little bit of R&R, an experience that really underscored the diverse nature of New York State (you know that tag line on I (heart) NY that says "and You thought you knew New York"? Totally our experience with the Catskills.
We left early Monday morning and took a mostly uneventful drive up the Hudson to Woodstock, just in time for lunch. We originally planned on eating at Shindig, local oriented comfort food, for brunch but the wait was crazy! So we went next door to Oriole 9, a bustling brunch spot in its own right known for serving food sourced from local farms.
We originally had a few hikes planned, but the day was gloomy and icy -- not ideal conditions for a high in an area we've never been before. So we opt to drive down the scenic Route 212 to take in the area.
As if on cue, 4:30pm rolls around and it starts to get dark. We head to our accommodations at Hotel Dylan, a converted motel transformed into a beautiful 70's Woodstock throwback, complete with shag rugs, vinyls, and of course a classic VW van.
Being dark and cold we lounged around, then head back up to Woodstock for dinner at Shindig. It's crazy how at 8pm everything's already starting to close up!
(PS that duck confit was heavenly...)
Next morning the weather totally clears up! We get so excited by how cute the motel was we end up enjoying our having some coffee listening to Bob Dylan...
We finally get packed up and start driving towards the Giant Ledge hike, a short 3 mile round trip hike to an overlook of the Catskills that we read off Escape Brooklyn's blog. We stopped at a bakery chain born out of the Catskills, Bread Alone Bakery, to fuel up.
Getting to Giants Ledge was a bit of an adventure itself: Route 47 is a narrow-ish country road, and trailhead/parking lot is at a hairpin turn, largely unmarked. There's really no service up there, so just put a pin on Panther Mountain Trail and watch out for that hairpin turn.
The hike itself is beautiful! In the winter months it's pretty icy so if you want to try it in the winter, plan on doubling your time navigating the ice and snow.
We were only out there for 2 days, but that brief getaway was such a great change of pace from the drab wintery city. Even when it's grey and cold on the east coast, there's always beauty in something.