If you’re a bride-to-be, or a bridesmaid in charge of planning, choosing an ideal bachelorette weekend is not an easy task. But since it’s officially fall in the Northeast, meaning leaf peeping, woodland hikes, and indulging in warm comfort food is finally in season, may we suggest you consider a bucolic retreat upstate for your weekend away with the girls?
A little less than three hours from New York City by car, the Catskills provide a breath of fresh air and a scenic escape from the daily grind. Skip the bottle service and expensive plane tickets in favor of stylish lodges, farm-to-table eateries, and invigorating outdoorsy activities.
Go ahead and load up the car with road trip-approved snacks, queue up a Spotify playlist, and get ready for a bachelorette trip that defines what a fall getaway should be with our detailed guide below.
Where To Stay
The recently renovated Scribner’s Lodge (above) includes a picturesque location right next to Hunter Mountain, and a minimalist cabin aesthetic that will look great in all those Instagram posts. Each room is outfitted with mini freestanding fireplaces, hand-woven looms, and patterned vintage rugs. Upon arrival, guests are greeted with a packet of marshmallows, graham crackers, chocolate and a welcome note encouraging you to craft your own s’mores outside at the fire pit. (You should.)
Not too far away in Tannersville, the Deer Mountain Inn offers a heartier take on rustic—think bourbon-colored leather couches, all-over wood paneling, and an architectural look straight from the turn-of-the-century Arts and Crafts Movement. The Inn offers several rooms as well as two cottages with multiple bedrooms, which is perfect for a group that wants to stay together.
Over in Phoenicia, the Graham & Co. is a modernized motor lodge, decorated with whitewashed walls, industrial-chic light bulbs, and cowhide rugs. It’s decidedly straightforward—there’s no bar or restaurant—but is a solid choice if you’re planning on going out for dinner and drinks.
Where to Dine
Sweet Sue’s fluffy, mouthwatering pancakes with buckwheat, local Wild Hive Farm cornmeal, gooey berries, bananas, and tasty mix-ins are not to missed. Whimsical, colorful illustrations of menu items hang on the wall to help you decide.
Phoenicia Diner is a go-to for its farm-fresh egg skillets and hearty, fully loaded sandwiches during lunchtime. Be prepared to wait during peak hours, but don’t worry—board games and beverages in the side room will keep you entertained.
When it comes time for lunch, warm up with the ultimate in comfort food at Last Chance Cheese & Antiques Cafe, where you can dig into Swiss fondue, chicken pot pie, and over 300 beers. Live music, a hodgepodge of vintage bric-a-brac, and a quaint general gourmet store help set the scene.
Just a short stroll down the street, Twin Peaks Donuts will satisfy your sweet tooth; sizzling circles of dough are made to order in flavors like caramel dip with cinnamon apples and Girl-Scout-cookies-inspired “Samoa.”
Later in the evening, go big with the private room at Peekamoose for an intimate dinner with your crew. Foraged birch tree trunks, taxidermy, a glowing fireplace, and wooden seating create an alpine aesthetic, while the always-changing menu showcases locally sourced ingredients at their peak. Under the helm of chefs who honed their skills at Gramercy Tavern and Le Bernardin, the restaurant serves up dishes like mushroom risotto, pan-seared rainbow trout with spaghetti squash, and slow-braised short ribs. Similarly, Prospect at Scribner’s sources fresh ingredients from the Hudson Valley, whipping them into plates like Chilean sea bass and chicken liver mousse. Pair your meal with divine cocktails and a striking 270-degree view of the mountains. And if you want something extra fancy, head out to Deer Mountain Inn’s on-site restaurant, which offers a seven-course tasting menu from Michelin-starred chef Ryan Tate.
If you want to break up your journey on your way back into the city, make a pit stop at Kingston’s charming Brunette wine bar, serving natural varietals in a stylish setting where “a true love for pink prevails.” Or, grab an early dinner at the highly regarded Wm. Farmer & Sons, outfitted with gleaming copper accents and a chic gray color palette that feels very much like it was plucked from the city. Artisanal country ham boards and a veal lasagna with leek fondue will satiate you before you hit the road again.
What to Do
As is expected, the Catskills are replete with outdoor activities like zip-lining and nature walks. Head to Kaaterskills Falls, the highest two-tier waterfall in New York, for a moderate and picturesque hike—the bottom of the falls presents a perfect photo-op for the whole gang. Take in even more nature at Mountain Top Arboretum, a sprawling 178-acre public garden filled with plants, bedrock, meadows, wetlands and trails to explore. When you need a break from the woods, check out the mom-and-pop shops that are the basis of the area. Stop by the Catskill Mountain Country Store for fudge, jams, and treats, or the antique and vintage shops in the area, such as Mystery Spot Antiques. And be sure to check in with the concierge at your inn; vinyasa yoga, meditation and sound bath sessions, guided tours with Table to Farm and other activities are always on the schedule at Scribner’s.