24 Hours in the Catskills

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It’s no surprise that I managed to turn my anniversary into both a weekend getaway and excuse for me to plan a trip (which you probably know is my favorite thing to obsess over). Thankfully, this one was simple, and something different from my usual. Rather than party-centric, visiting friends, music festival, or multi-city European getaway, I went on my first ever ~romantic~ weekend trip.

GOALS: Do this once a month.

Welcome to The Catskills (specifically, Phoenicia, NY)

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The entrance to The Graham and Co. the perfect hotel/motel we chose for the night

Ok- so it wasn’t exactly a weekend getaway, because we only stayed one night, but it really felt like enough time to be worth it. We boarded a 2.5-3 hour bus ride from Port Authority Bus to The Catskills Sunday morning at 9 am, to arrive around noon. The bus was unlike any grimey Chinatown or Greyhound I had taken before, had decent sized seats, and didn’t smell, which was nice considering it was $65 per person (round trip).

I chose Sunday-Monday for a few reasons

1. Sunday is basically a weeknight for hotels, which makes it cheaper (the room was $185 for one night, and worth it)

2. Who doesn’t want a long weekend. Fuck Mondays.

3. Most boutique hotels, especially in peak season, require a 2-night minimum for weekends, and I didn’t want to spend too much.

I haven’t even been gone a full day and I am already dreaming of returning. This adorable boutique hotel is a great combination of rustic and hip, clearly you’re out of Brooklyn, but the staff knows their clientele and their needs (they hand you a Budweiser at check in, all the toiletries are their own signature packaging and scent). This isn’t too surprising because the owners are also designers of Brooklyn based boutique, OAK.

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Me thinking I am never going to leave

While on this night away from it all, I managed to relax on a hammock, try my first dirty martini, go white-water tubing, and relax by a pool drinking boxed white wine. The perfect about of turn up and turn down diversity I needed, which made 24 hours feel like an entire weekend, and had me home by 10pm not exhausted on Monday.

For a town of 300 people, the food was great. One thing I realized about Phoenicia that surprised me, was that despite having small town vibes (people actually being nice, there not being a lot of people at all) it was a lot less hick, and a lot more hippie, and managed to still sell me a $8 juice for breakfast (clearly we aren’t too far from NYC after all, smh). This is nice because you don’t end up living off truck stop food and it feels more like a vacation and less like a road trip.

The Phoenicia Diner

We road beach cruisers on the highway about a mile to get to this cute retro diner (that fed us modern flared diner food, and had quinoa and stuff if you’re about that).

For lunch, I got a fried cat fish sandwich and pre-gamed with tortilla soup because I couldn’t resist. While drew got a BLT with a crabcake on it.

The next day for an early dinner, we split shrimp and grits and mac-n-cheese.

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Tavern 214

We sat on the outdoor patio of this white-table-clothed restaurant as I sipped this martini with bleu cheese olives. Very romantic, quiet, vibes.

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Mama’s Boy

This is where I got my juice (kale, pear, and cucumber). They have a huge lawn on the main street where we sat on benches and enjoyed our breakfast. One of the cutest and small-town things I saw was this board of items you can redeem for free, hoping to encourage good vibes and deeds around town. Drew actually took them up on it and got a free cookie- which was great.

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I wish more than anything there was a photo of me in a wetsuit, helmet, and sneakers tubing down the river, but there is no way that camera would have survived. This was insanely fun, we went to FS Tube Rental where they drove us up the mountain and dropped us off at an entry way to the creek for $30 including all rentals. We floated down the not-so-lazy river for about 90 minutes before returning to town. I definitely lost Drew towards the end, lost my tube, flipped over, and took shelter on a rock for a minute.

The majority of the rest of our time was spent in The Graham & Co.’s beautiful pool. One of the many perks of a 20-room boutique hotel, is that there are never that many people staying at once. Also, because the hotel doesn’t have a liquor license, there is no bar, which means BYOB is totally allowed, and no one who isn’t staying at the hotel has an excuse to use the pool in exchange for buying one drink (though I do that in NY whenever possible).

OK- so you’re convinced and want to visit too?

For a couple, or friends, this is an amazingly relaxing trip that can be done for about $250 each (each: hotel $100, bus $65, 1 breakfast, 2 lunches, 1 dinner $80) it can definitely be less if you pack food, opt not to drink when out to eat and only BYOB at the hotel, or go for the slightly cheaper bunk houses at the hotel (not much cheaper to be worth it).

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We are truly OUT HERE

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I want this shit forever

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Feeling all too at home

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Accessories for a relaxing night

  • Max

    cold cocktail on a hot lap