• It’s always fun to share news of a new endeavor that reflects the hard work and creativity of its daring entrepreneurs, and Rolling River Café Gallery and Inn, in Parksville (25 Cooley Rd) is a great recommendation. Their bijou restaurant features fresh fare prepared and served by Rob and Kim Rayevsky and their daughter Miriam, in a fun, friendly atmosphere that has everyone I’ve sent, returning almost immediately. Their outdoor seating, with strings of lights through the trees and charming café tables (including a private, romantic spot along the river), has a European feel, and is so alluring you’ll want to bring your fleeces and extend the season as long as possible. Make reservations as they only have about a half a dozen tables. Open Wed-Sun beginning at noon. They also have Wi-Fi. Directions: Take Frost Valley Road, then left up onto Round Pond Road. Follow that for about 25 minutes and it’s right before the light at the entrance to Route 17. (Along the way the road forks, stay left toward “Parksville”).
• Peekamoose Restaurant & Tap Room: The best “local” restaurant is in Big Indian (it’s a remarkably beautiful 30 minute drive down the Frost Valley Road to Route 28. Go left and it’s about 1 mile on the left). Owners Devin and Marybeth Mills have renovated an old farmhouse into an inspired space of wood, glass and intriguing and playful artwork. The food is simply outstanding (not surprising given their experience at Picholine and Le Bernadin), and they make an effort to use local growers and the freshest ingredients available. Open Thurs-Mon, 4-10pm.
• The Catskill Harvest Market also has a cute eatery, where you can nosh on divine sandwiches, etc. On Route 52 between Liberty & White Sulphur Springs.
•Eureka Cafe in Grahamsville has great dishes, pizza and gourmet supplies
• There are concerts held 30 minutes away at the new Bethel Woods Center for the Arts, located on the site of the famous 1969 concert. This is an exquisite outdoor concert venue with spectacular farmland views, and now a new museum dedicated to the concert.
• Good for rainy day fun, there is a roller rink in Ferndale, which is near Liberty. I hear it’s a real trip back to the 70s with fun for the whole family. Skaters World Roller Rink, 1234 Old Route 17.
• Anne-Marie Kremer at Claryville Pottery offers a fabulous array of vases, plates, mugs, and bowls in various finishes and glazes. She’s past the post office and just down the road on the left on the way out of town, she hangs out an “Open” flag when she’s there, but feel free to knock on her door even if it’s not out. Well worth a stop.
• Antiquing: Hamilton’s, which you pass on the way to the house (on the left) in Neversink. Coming from the house go down the hill then go right. It’s soon after the sign for Superior Lumber, on the right. Grahamsville has Half Moon Antiques on the main drag on the left.
• The New Age Health Spa is just minutes down the road in Neversink, and offers half day and full day programs for non-guests, which include massage, facials, yoga, reflexology, seaweed wraps, pilates and more.
• Frost Valley YMCA is a magnificent facility for outdoor pursuits for adults and children (fly fishing, canoeing, horseback riding, cross-country skiing, etc). Check out their website for calendars of activities. Or better yet, call them. As a Claryville “resident”, half day use is something like $10, including lunch, full day $15!
• Mongaup Pond (125 acre pond, about 15 minutes away) has boat rentals, swimming, fishing, etc during the summer months. There are a number of NY State hiking trails that head off to Frick Pond and other destinations. Also have activities for children.
• Use of tennis courts at Grahamsville town park (you’ll see little covered bridge at entrance) is free.
• The Neversink is mostly private fishing, but ten minutes’ drive you have the Willowemoc, which is outstanding, and 25 minutes, the famous Beaverkill. If you have interest in a very professional, licensed fishing guide who knows the area like the back of his hand, please ask. Rick Miller is a gifted instructor (I know from personal experience) and has all the gear, too, if you don’t.