Recharge upstate with a weekend of artsy, outdoorsy and culinary pleasures
- Last Updated: 1:32 AM, April 28, 2012
- Posted: 10:24 PM, April 27, 2012
THE HIKING ADVENTURE
Heading up the trail at Overlook Mountain in Woodstock, you may think you’re in for a pleasant five-mile hike. But as you near the summit, you’ll find the vast, crumbling skeleton of a once-luxurious resort: the Overlook Mountain House. That it shares its name with the hotel in “The Shining” is apt; these are deliciously creepy ruins. Built in 1833, the getaway was repeatedly ravaged by fires, and eventually abandoned. The owners’ loss is a hiker’s gain. The trailhead is on Mead Mountain Road in Woodstock, across from the Karma Triyana
Dharmachakra Buddhist monastery.
STAY HERE: Just off Route 28, you’ll find the well-appointed red cottages and motel of the Phoenicia Lodge (5987 Route 28, Phoenicia; 845-688-7772; phoenicialodge.com). A bonfire pit and hammock in the center of the semicircle of cabins give the place a bit of a camping feel. Lodgers hang out on their porches, while kids and dogs run around. When we visited, our neighbors had been there before and planned on coming back soon — a good sign! Rates: Motel rooms are $70 a night, cabins $120 and up.
REFUEL HERE: Sweet Sue’s (49 Main St., Phoenicia; 845-688-7852) is not only the best place in Phoenicia for brunch, it may have the best pancakes we’ve had, period. Try a stack of the Blue Monkeys ($8.95), with blueberries and bananas, and go for the real maple syrup ($1.50). Just bring a hearty appetite, because these babies are huge.
Also tasty: roasting complimentary marshmallows in the fire pit at nearby Peekamoose Restaurant (8373 Route 28, Big Indian; 845-254-6500). First grab a local brew (Ommegang’s Hennepin Ale, $6.50, is a good one) at the cozy bar,.
INSIDER TIP: Aching from your Overlook jaunt? Pick up aspirin at the rather retro Phoenicia Pharmacy (41 Main St.; 845-688-2215), on the town’s short main drag.
THE ADVENTURE: A FUNKY VINTAGE SHOPPING TOUR
Treasures abound in the Catskills. Beginning at Woodstock’s Castaways (36 Mill Hill Road; 845-679-3459), we stumbled across a fabulous vintage mink jacket for a mere $100. In Boiceville, don’t miss Steve Heller’s Fabulous Furniture (845-750-3035) — just look for the sci-fi sculptures he’s created from salvaged ’50s Cadillacs. It’s far out — as are his fanciful woodworks embellished with tail fins and other roadside relics. In Phoenicia, you’ll find the Mystery Spot (72 Main St.; 845-688-7868), run by photographer and artist Laura Levine, whose work has been shown at MoMA. Her “shrine to clutter” offers nonstop spectacle — from creepy dolls to pulp paperbacks to gallery prints of Levine’s photography, including one of Björk in the buff save for a few strategically placed leaves. Music buffs will especially dig the record room. Finally, work your way to the 768 Main cafe and antiques shop in Margaretville (768 Main St.; 845-586-6166).