The Catskills: A Heap of Old-Fashioned Fun, Only Two Hours From New York City Don't miss summer classics like hiking and tubing in spectacular upstate scenery. Budget Travel Tuesday, Jun 20, 2006, 12:00 AM At the Saugerties Lighthouse on the Hudson River, you can stay the night in one of two romantic rooms (Robert Wright) Budget Travel LLC, 2016


The Catskills: A Heap of Old-Fashioned Fun, Only Two Hours From New York City

Don't miss summer classics like hiking and tubing in spectacular upstate scenery.

We've been lucky with weather so far, but the good fortune ends as we wake up to a rainstorm. Fortunately, there's still plenty to do; several of the towns around Fleischmanns have lots of terrific antique stores. .

It turns out that not knowing anything about your path means you're likely to get lost. The upside is that you discover things you wouldn't otherwise. Somehow a list of roads I couldn't attempt to re-create leads us toThe Bridges of Madison County. Or, rather, Sullivan County, but we certainly feel like we're seeing the picturesque bridges through the eyes of Clint Eastwood and Meryl Streep. If you have to get lost, the Livingston Manor Bridge and Beaverkill Bridge are lovely rewards.

All weekend long we looked forward to finishing our road trip at the Munson Diner. We read about it inThe New York Times: It's an old-school diner lifted out of Manhattan and replanted in the town of Liberty. Sadly, it's not yet open for business. Instead, we stop at theLiberty Diner, a serviceable spot full of track-suited seniors and a fine early-bird special. Finally, we start to see the Catskills ofDirty Dancing. We eat our chicken soup and saltines, and, after spotting Max Kellerman's doppelgänger, Steve throws out his best "Nobody puts Baby in a corner."

The closer we get to New York City, the busier the roads become. And with our wedding just over a month away, the stress should be hitting me as soon as the Tappan Zee toll line comes into view--but it doesn't. The last four days of nonstop togetherness have been a perfect preparation for our future life. There will be incredible highs (the lighthouse), bizarre twists (the kaleidoscope), and splendid moments that catch us when we least expect them (those covered bridges). We may get lost sometimes, but I totally trust that we'll find our way back home.


  • Liberty Diner30 Sullivan Ave., Liberty, 845/292-8973,bowl of chicken soup $3

Finding your way

For the most detailed road information, your best bet is to pick up a local fishing map. The Delaware county tourist office has a downloadable version at For maps of Ulster, Sullivan, and Greene counties, visit their websites:,, and The many side roads off Rte. 23A are particularly fun to explore, so allow for extra time in those parts. Both the Livingston Manor and Beaverkill Bridges are along Rte. 17 in Sullivan County. (But be careful: Rte. 17 is a notorious speed trap.) Log on to for information about those and other bridges.

Get Inspired with more from

Note:This story was accurate when it was published. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.

Budget Travel Real Deals

See more deals »


Our newsletter delivers vacation inspiration straight to your inbox.

Check Prices