Home Traveling guide A Philadelphia Guide to Vacationing in the Sullivan Catskills

A Philadelphia Guide to Vacationing in the Sullivan Catskills

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Sullivan’s Catskills make an ideal base for a post-pandemic (fashionable!) multi-generational reunion.

The tasting room at Seminary Hill Orchard & Cidery in the Sullivan Catskills / Photo courtesy of Seminary Hill Orchard & Cidery

Reconnect with extended family in a place that isn’t your own backyard. Three hours north of town, Kenoza Hall (rates from $499) is a 22-room lakeside retreat — an adult summer camp surrounded by serene forest. The former 1880s boarding house was redesigned by husband-and-wife design team Foster Supply Hospitality, who added custom wallpaper and soaking tubs while retaining historic details like the original hardwood floors.

There’s also a Philly connection (there still is): the kitchen is overseen by chef Eric Leveillee, who worked at Marigold Kitchen and Vernick Food + Drink before becoming the culinary director of Foster Supply. Its all-day menus combine classic dishes with local and seasonal ingredients.

The 55-acre property is packed with activities to keep the whole group busy — an outdoor pool, movement studio, private lake access for swimming and canoeing, walking and hiking trails — but also offers enough space for some quieter time away from the herd. Hemlock Spa, for example, offers treatments like a deep-tissue massage and a prickly pear butter wrap, as well as an outdoor barrel sauna and daily morning walks.

sullivan cat skills

The Kenoza Hall Junior Suite in the Sullivan Catskills / Photograph by Lawrence Braun, courtesy of Kenoza Hall

Venture off the property to explore the surrounding towns, starting with breakfast in downtown Livingston Manor – either at Main Street Farm, for fresh-from-the-glutton eggs and local cheese on baked baguettes in the oven, or the Neon Croissant, for chocolate and cinnamon brioche bread. Plan to return one evening to hit Upward Brewing Company, a family business for award-winning pre-dinner lagers at Kaatskeller; consider the wood-fired pizzas on the picnic tables on the bustling outdoor patio.

After breakfast, head to Buck Brook Alpacas, a farm in Roscoe offering private tours and interactive walks where you can feed (and take selfies with) the woolly creatures. On the way back, stop at Seminary Hill Orchard & Cidery for a group tasting with epic views of the Delaware River. Request a tour of the orchard, where dozens of apple varieties await future batches of crisp, dry cider.

In the town of Callicoon, a stone’s throw from the cider house, find a launch for Lander’s River Trips, an adventure outfitter that can help you customize an Upper Delaware trip by kayak, canoe, or tube, depending on skill level. comfort of your group. Next, head to the Catskill Provisions Distillery, in the beautifully restored former Callicoon Fire Station. Sample NY Honey rye whiskey and Pollinator vodka from the 12-year-old distillery, and arrange for a private dinner. They can accommodate meals for groups of 15 to 100 people in a bar next to the main tasting room which is equipped with a long family table and access to the outdoor patio. Save room for soft drinks at Ollie Grey’s, a hassle-free dairy bar with picnic tables overlooking the water.

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Published as “If You Missed Family…” in the June 2022 issue of philadelphia cream magazine.