The days are short and cold now in New York’s Sullivan Catskills, most widely known as a summer vacation destination. But winter is long on fun.

An easy 90-mile drive from New York City— and a few hours from metro-New York, Philadelphia, and parts of New England— the Sullivan Catskills is a place where travelers seeking to avoid air travel, escape and embrace winter.

Start at Bethel Woods Center for the Arts, at the site of the 1969 Woodstock festival when it hosts its second annual Peace, Love & Lights drive-through holiday light show. Turn off the lights and enjoy a winter wonderland. This year’s 1.7-mile display runs through January 2, 2022, On Monday evenings you can walk through. 

If 2021’s weather is any indication, it should be snowy. Ski or snowshoe across a trail. Or take a breathtakingly beautiful hike. is a wonderful source to research hiking trails to suit your fitness level. 

The Sullivan Catskills

There are two other must-see trails. The Sullivan Catskills Dove Trail and the Good Taste Beverage Trail. But you’ll have to drive. The Dove Trail commemorates the 50th anniversary of the 1969 Woodstock festival. It was unveiled in 2019 with 50 dove sculptures all “perched” in villages, towns, and businesses. Each is permanently mounted and was hand painted by a local artist. Before year end, 10 more doves will be added. Make sure your mobile phone is charged for selfies. If you’re considering visiting all of them, be forewarned. The Sullivan Catskills encompasses almost 800 square miles. 

The adult-only Good Taste Beverage Trail traverses the county, too. Lined with over a dozen craft wineries, breweries, distilleries, and cideries there are award-winning beverages in tastings carefully arranged for safe sipping. Most locations offer food. Some offer live music. One features a trek up Beer Mountain. At the top, a spectacular view. At the bottom, a beer. As always, drive responsibly and designate a driver. Fuel up for the trails at any number of restaurants. The food scene here, dubbed “Catskill-icious,” ranges from small batch Grizzly Bagels goodness to the Italian steakhouse cuisine of celebrity chef, Scot Conant. 

The Sullivan Catskills

The river town of Callicoon, on either side of the railroad tracks, annually holds its Dickens on the Delaware extravaganza. On December 11 do some holiday shopping as proprietors emulate days of yore and dress in Victorian garb. There’s a photo studio, caroling, music, kids’ activities, hot chocolate, and spiced eggnog.

Other noteworthy towns to visit: Narrowsburg, Livingston Manor, and Mountaindale. In Wurtsboro, Canal Towne Emporium’s year-round Christmas Shoppe carries Dept 56 villages, old world glass ornaments and Byer’s Choice Carolers. The Dance of the Lights holiday show is a popular store event that runs through Christmas Eve. 

By February when Cabin Fever sets in head for the ice. The Arnold House holds its annual Ice Fishing Derby where you can indulge in oysters and cocktails while you wait for the fish to bite. On White Lake, the annual King of the Ice contest is serious business. Registration begins at 5 am. If you prefer warmth, pack your bathing suit and head to Kartrite Resort and Indoor Waterpark, where it’s always 84 degrees. Another family favorite is Villa Roma Resort and Conference Center where the Winter Fun Package includes snow tubing, bowling, kids sledding, and inflatable bouncers. For self-care try Yo1 Wellness Resort where ancient Ayurvedic practices and yoga are plentiful. At Resorts World Catskills, try your hand with slots and table games then relax at Crystal Life Spa.

The Sullivan Catskills

Plan to spend the weekend. In winter, the hoteliers offer special packages to encourage mid-week and weekend visits. You might even stay longer if work from anywhere is an option for you. From full-service resorts and charming inns to vacation rentals and B&B’s there’s a wide selection. The newest accommodations are The Eldred Preserve and Callicoon Hills Resort, and Kenoza Hall.

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As you drift off for the night, a reminder that the Sullivan Catskills have always been about an attention to health and hospitality and their Catskills Confidence programcontinues that tradition. For details on food, lodging, and activities visit to book a winter experience.