We LOVE the Catskills! We vacation there on weekend trips a lot, especially these last few years during the pandemic.
I gave birth to our daughter, Georgia in April of 2020 when our son, Teddy was two—it was an interesting time, to say the least. About every four months I would have what I can only describe as an adult temper tantrum, yell up the stairs to my husband who was working from home that we were leaving, book the same house in the Catskills, pack up the car, and away we went.
The Catskills is my calm down place.
There is water everywhere, rolling hills, nice folks, tons of hiking, and the cutest little towns with great food!
Our two favorite towns are Roscoe and Livingston Manor.
After being there numerous times, I have some good information on where to go and where to eat!
We love the hike to Russel Brook Falls. Google maps will not get you there all the way so here is the secret to get to the waterfall that will take your breath away.
- There is a parking area at the end on Russel Brook Road, you take the seasonal road to the very end and typically there will be few cars there and you will see signs for Mud Pond and Trout Pond.
- Take the foot path down towards the creek and follow the creek (which will be on your left hand side) until you get to the foot bridge, cross the bridge and a few meters up you will see a tiny foot path in the bushes to the right. Against all your better instincts take it!!!
- You are going to walk through this jungle of invasive plants on a tiny path, there are no pricker bushes so it’s safe for kids, at the end of the path you are going to start to hear the thunderous sound of water.
- Walk up the hill a bit towards the sound of water and on the right will be Russel Brook Falls!
You will have to scale down but its doable, we have done it with a three-month old in a carrier sack and a toddler. We pack a picnic and sit there and watch the kids throw rocks into the water for hours, there is typically no one else there. It's our little slice of heaven.
When that gets old you can get yourself back to the main trail and continue it upwards. About a mile up or so there is Mud Pond and its a great place to swim during the warmer months.
The kids love to go to Buck Brooks Alpaca Farm. Call ahead to request a tour and make sure to hit up the cute gift shop for some cozy alpaca blankets!
Our favorite brewery is Upward Brewery in Livingston Manor.
Fantastic beers, a great shallow pond full of tadpoles and newts for kids to find, and Adirondack chairs all around it. It’s at the base of Beer Mountain with hiking trails and there is great food to eat for lunch or dinner!
The town of Livingston Manor is ADORABLE with great places to eat and shop. We love to buy meat to BBQ at Van Smokey Meat Shop . We also love their sandwiches and jerky too!
Our favorite BBQ joint is the Smoke Joint. We go there at least two to three times when we go to the Catskills—in my opinion BBQ is its own food group and they serve some of the best around!
Our favorite place for breakfast sandwiches is the Walk In. OMG their biscuits are INSANELY good. Truly a thing of beauty. The coffee is fantastic too.
You will find the cutest specialty food store in town that makes wonderful sandwiches for breakfast and lunch called Main Street Farm. Great coffee and on the weekends they have a small vegetable stand out front, yummy donuts—you will see a line out the door.
Livingston Manor on Sunday has a great farmers market with fresh veggies, fruits, and flowers. It’s super cute and we always hit it up before coming home.
Some great home goods shops are in town:
The Farm House Project is wonderful!
I love the shop called Long Weekend . Amazing vintage furniture and the owner is adorable.
Nest has beautiful modern home goods and is a truly stunning shop.
Concrete and Water has great clothes!!
Grab a great sweatshirt and hat at Homestedt.
There are also some really cute vintage shops and antique stores.
What can I say I love Livingston Manor, maybe some day the hōm market will have a shop there too—hey, a girl can dream.
Tag us at @studiohomcollective and let us know some of your favorite spots in the Catskills!
More to come!