I Love NY! or do I love NYC? Tourists and even many born and raised New Yorkers associate New York with New York City – and understandably so. The City famous for its fusion of world cultures, cuisines, and fashion has an unfathomable appeal to all. The City with no limits to its universal acceptance of everyone and everything. The City where beauty is defined. Not surprisingly, few view NY in a wholesome light: New York City plus the State. The State has its own unfathomable appeal and defines its own beauty. Among many such beauties, the Catskill Mountains region is a worthy contestant. Catskills is a vast region of NY, which reminds New Yorkers that we not only live in a stone and glass jungle but also in a green, mountainous State. Less than a 3 hour drive from the City, many parts of the region make for a perfect long weekend getaway. One such part is a legendary town of Woodstock.
“The 60’s,” “Summer of Love Concert,” and “Hippies are what we know of Woodstock. The town has changed since then but you can still feel the original vibe and purpose. Occasional indigenous folks roam the streets with awkward hats and outfits and boutique stores reminisce with merchandise that reminds of the old days. The newer eateries, bed and breakfasts, cabins in the woods and other creative lodging attract all kinds of travelers. A plethora of outdoor activities from biking, hiking, skiing (Hunter and Belleayre Mountains), horseback riding, fishing and swimming in natural swimming pools and holes (for people in “the know”) to the generous cultural scene including concerts, film festivals, and theater are only some of the activities that lure wanderers to the area.
One of the humbler known places in Woodstock is a hidden sculpture park and museum. Only 15 minutes away from the center of Woodstock, the park is strangely left undiscovered by many. The name is Opus 40. Thirty seven-eight years in the making, built by a single man (Harvey Fite) using just hand tools and some traditional methods, the monolith work shows incredible fortitude and passion. Spend some hour walking around grounds and appreciate the artistic labor – the Opus.
Hunter Mountain, an under an hour drive from Woodstock, in the early fall did not disappoint. Taking a sky ride on the ski lift overlooking autumn’s offerings of green hiking trails and hills instead of the winter’s unforgiving icy slopes was an infinitely different experience and a happy ride. Just when entering the mountain resort, there is a small beach area on the left with yet another natural swimming pool.
Woodstock is more than an ex- hippie, love struck town. Take a road trip. See some history. You won’t be bored.
Thanks so much for reading!