If there’s one town in Ulster County that’s got a Wild West feel, it’s Phoenicia. Outdoor enthusiasts of many stripes, from trout fishermen to Esopus River “tubers” who bounce along the river in rubber rafts, converge on Phoenicia for just pure fun. In addition to being cradled by the Catskills, Phoenicia and its surrounding areas – Woodland Valley, Chichester, Big Indian – feature some of the most stunning and pristine water features available in Upstate New York.
But it also has a level of sophistication that belies its rustic, rough-and-tumble appearance – call it the Colorado Effect – found in its summer International Festival of the Voice – opera in the Catskills! In recent years both Sweet Sue’s and the Phoenicia Diner have put the Phoenicia area on the breakfast-brunch culinary map. Those who like to rough it a bit head to Uncle Pete’s Campground; and those who are more arts-oriented head to Mount Tremper Arts. High rollers head to the Emerson Resort and Spa where even Presidents have found an evening accommodation.
Not far away at all in both western and northern directions is tons of winter fun: skiing and snowboarding at both Bellayre and Hunter Mountains.
And where else can you attend a talk featuring “The First Lady of Fly Fishing?”