While I love the New York City life and energy, it can get overwhelming after a while. For that reason, many New Yorkers love to get away for the weekend and go “upstate” every now and then.
One early summer weekend I decided to visit Catskills region together with a few American friends.
The term “Upstate New York” actually refers to almost everywhere else in the NY state, outside of New York City. The total area of New York state covers 140 000 km². Outside of NYC, there are rivers, mountains, forest, lakes, and farms.
During our drive, I was surprised how quickly the scenery becomes rural, compared to the dense urbanity and skyscrapers of NYC. Only half an hour outside of the city and we could already see farms and forest lined roads.
The Catskill Mountains are located 2 h drive north from the city. This is one of the most popular places to take a weekend getaway because of its close proximity to the city, outdoor adventures and hiking opportunities. We did a full day hiking and tubing down a river on the next day.
Some of the popular places in the Catskill Mountains are Woodstock, Phoenicia, Hunter and Shandaken. Each of these small towns has its own unique character and vibe. Contrary to popular belief, Woodstock, NY is actually not the place where the legendary music festival was held. It happened on a rural site in Bethel, NY. However, Woodstock still pays tribute to the hippie culture of its time.
My weekend in Upstate New York was just the perfect amount of time to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Looking forward to exploring this area again, maybe in beautiful autumn colors.