Adventure, Blog

Your NYC-to-Catskills AutoCamp Road Trip

The Catskills are calling

Nothing beats Summer in upstate New York, and a leisurely road trip to AutoCamp Catskills is the perfect way to kick off a dreamy long weekend of campfires, hiking, swimming hole plunges, and stargazing. To inspire you, we’ve curated a list of spots along the way to see art, order a classic milkshake, and stock up on one-of-a-kind antiques to bring home with you. The drive is usually around 2 ½ hours, and full disclosure—there’s probably more here than can fit into a day. So pick and choose what sounds best to you and leave the rest for the return trip, or if you’re really ambitious, wake up early and you’ll have time to do it all and be to AutoCamp in time for an IPA as the sun sets. 

For the purposes of this itinerary, you’ll be taking Rte 287 north out of the city, crossing the Hudson on the Mario Cuomo Bridge (a.k.a. the Tappan Zee to those in the know), and following Rte 87 from there to Woodstock. Now let’s hit the road.

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Grab a Bagel and Explore the Bronx’s Hidden Gems 

Fortify yourself with coffee and the quintessential NYC breakfast at your favorite local spot and head north through Manhattan, taking in the scenery as you go. Once you’re in the Bronx, there’s two famous city gems to choose from—okay, there’s actually a lot more than that, but here’s our top two picks. Wave Hill is a lush, 28-acre year-round garden that’s carefully landscaped to make you feel completely transported. Home to more than 4,000 plant varieties, greenhouses, and incredible views, it’s so stunning that it’s become a popular venue for weddings. The site also has a picnic area and a delicious cafe that sources much of its produce from a farm in Kinderhook, New York. 

If history is more your speed, stop instead at The Met Cloisters, on the edge of Fort Tryon Park. Built in 1933 to evoke Medieval monasteries and castles, the museum is home to rare European works of art, like the famous Unicorn Tapestries, as well as special exhibitions. Stroll the terraced gardens, climb to the top of the tower, and swing by the very good gift shop before heading on your way.

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Wander Through an Outdoor Sculpture Park

The Storm King Art Center is truly one of the coolest things New York state has to offer. A 500-acre outdoor museum, the bucolic park is home to iconic, large-scale site works by artists  like Andy Goldsworthy, Maya Lin, Louise Bourgeois, Alexander Calder, and many more tucked among the landscape. Strolling by a Roy Lichtenstein boat rising out of an otherwise normal pond is a surreal experience (and excellent photo op) that’s worth stopping for. 

Squeeze in a Little (or a Lot of) Shopping 

While not exactly quaint, we have to mention the super-popular Woodbury Common, which is home to steeply discounted outlet stores from covetable brands like Gucci, Arc’teryx, Dior, Ganni, Loewe, Off-White, and tons more. It’s easy to lose hours here, so keep your eyes on the road (trip). 

For something a little more atmospheric, pull into New Paltz and pay a visit to Water Street Market and beeline for the Antiques Market, full of excellent vintage finds that won’t break the bank. 

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Refuel in Kingston

If you’ve worked up an appetite with all that art and nature viewing, and shopping, stop by the hottest new burger spot in Kingston: Moonburger. The fifties-meets-futuristic spot was inspired by classic American drive-thrus, but with welcome twists—all the burgers are the meat-free Impossible kind, the milkshakes are made with oat milk, as many ingredients as possible are sourced locally, and they’re prepared to accommodate all kinds of vegan/gluten-free/dairy free dietary requests. Oh, and it’s all also incredibly delicious. 

Grab a pick-me-up like the Chocolate Maple Cold Brew at Village Coffee and Goods, or if you’re not in the mood for a burger, grab a seat and order one of their hearty quinoa bowls or a pesto toast. They also have a small shop if you want to grab some local produce, farm fresh eggs, or other essentials to bring with you for the weekend. 

Don’t leave town without visiting Kingston Wine Co. The charming shop stocks a huge, well-curated range of biodynamic and natural wines, dry hard ciders, and even a deep selection of craft spirits and imported sakes, with lots of options under $30. Buy a few interesting bottles for sipping in the coming days. 

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Arrive in Woodstock and Settle in at AutoCamp

Woodstock is full of stand-out restaurants, bars, and coffee shops (a new favorite is Harana Market, which sells delicious Filipino dishes and a selection of Asian groceries), so scope out what looks good before making it the final few minutes to AutoCamp Catskills. Check in at the Clubhouse and settle into your luxury Tent, Airstream, or Suite for a relaxing trip filled with easygoing upstate memories.