Property At a Glance: Emerson Resort & Spa
Nestled in the heart of the Catskills, Emerson Resort & Spa offers views of green mountains and the Esopus Creek from nearly every room. Take these in via Catamount Restaurant's floor-to-ceiling windows or outdoor patio while enjoying black angus strip steak and white-corn polenta. The Emerson Spa offers Western and Ayurvedic treatments—among them, massages, facials, and Bindi herbal body treatments. It's also home to a yoga studio and locker rooms with steam, saunas, and showers. Get a workout in the 1,500 square-foot fitness center, which hosts fitness classes and personal training sessions. This deal includes a $30 dining credit to Catamount Restaurant; certain options also include a $30 spa credit.
- Relax poolside or take a dip in the outdoor Jacuzzi.
- Stretch out in spacious suites, which feature Swiss showers, air-jet bathtubs, gas fireplaces, and iPod docks.
- Go shopping: Housed in a 19th-century barn, The Country Store Cafe offers sandwiches, Starbucks coffee, and locally made ice cream for guests perusing the home decor, artwork, and antiques. The resort is also home to several other stores.
- Take a bike ride: Onsite clothing and outdoors shop Emerson Outfitter rents out bikes to guests.
- Have a picnic: The hotel's staff will prepare a picnic to bring along on afternoon hike, or they can suggest their favorite spots to rest and eat.
- See America's largest Kaleidoscope: Standing at over 56 feet tall, this kaleidoscope showcases colorful, moving images with theater-quality sound.
Shandaken, New York: Peaceful Hamlets Nestled in Catskill Mountain Valleys
Set in the foothills of the Catskill Mountains, the remote town of Shandaken was founded around the time of the American Revolution, and its surrounding landscape hasn't changed much since. The town's few roads cut through a portion of the 700,000-acre Catskill Park. During the winter, visitors here can ski and snowboard snow-covered hills. The warmer months bring a vibrant green to the area, inviting visitors to go fishing, swimming, biking, and canoeing.
Shandaken is divided into 12 hamlets scattered in the Catskill Mountains' many valleys. Many focus on the arts, including Mt. Tremper. The area is home to the Zen Mountain Monastery, a rare, Western Zen Buddhist monastery. Also here is the artist's residence Mount Tremper Arts, which supports contemporary artists in the creation and presentation of new works of art. An artistic community here makes sense: not only did the mountains create an ominous setting for Washington Irvings's Rip Van Winkle and The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, but several painters, including Thomas Cole, have captured their likeness on canvas.
About 10 miles east is Woodstock, New York. Though the infamous 1969 festival wasn't actually held in Woodstock, the event still put this town on the map. Known locally as the "Colony of the Arts," this small town is flush with galleries, art studios, and craft shops. Among them is the Woodstock Artists Association and Museum, a historic cultural center that shows the works of contemporary artists, members of the Woodstock Art Colony, and students side-by-side.