May 20,2009, Market Watch: Leave The Hot Concrete For The Catskills

May 20, 2009, 5:52 p.m. EST

Leave the hot concrete for Cold Spring

It takes just a short trip to find respite from the city that never sleeps

link to complete article:
By Bao Ong, MarketWatch

The Catskills

The concrete jungle of New York City, especially during the heat of summer, can be oppressive. After a few weeks of crowded trains and sidewalks, not to mention the stench of trash, who doesn't want to get away for some fresh air?

Only about 100 miles north of cramped New York is the Catskill region, with more than 6,000 square miles of mountains, forests, rivers and parkland.

Your best bet is to rent a car to make the two-hour drive to the Catskill -- you'll want a car to get around once you're there -- but buses and Amtrak are an option.

Once you arrive, the 700,000-acre Catskill Park and Forest Preserve is a must-see. There are 35 mountain peaks, some reaching elevations of 3,500 feet. Any outdoor activity you can imagine is here -- fly fishing is particularly popular. The preserve is filled with green forests, farmland, waterfalls and six major river systems. The hiking and biking trails are first-rate, rock climbing is abundant and there's plenty of skiing to be done.

But the outdoor activities aren't the only options. Antique shops, yoga retreats, luxurious spas and charming restaurants dot the area. There are also quaint co-ops and farms to visit -- a great family activity.

A House Around the Bend
The view from Overlook Nook, a vacation home for rent in the Catskill Mountains.

If you need a place to stay, consider Innstow, a restored Victorian mansion once owned by railroad tycoon Jay Gould. Rooms start at $110 a night, and breakfast is included. Don't miss the homemade cocoa zucchini cake. See the site.

You can also look into A House Around the Bend if you're interested in a renting a small cottage with a wood-burning stove or fireplace. Prices vary but a two-night stay for two starts at $300. See the site.

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