Journey From NYC to the Hudson Valley in the Catskill Carriage
The upstate trek gets a Cinderella-style upgrade.
Photos by Gabe Brodbar
When it comes to visiting the Hudson Valley, there are only so many ways to get here from New York City. Option one is to take the train. Yet as anyone who has ever commuted on the Metro-North line knows, sitting out the two-hour ride amid whining children, unpredictable temperatures, and unexpected stops is no walk in the park. Option two is to book a car, although that comes with heavy expenses and unavoidable traffic delays. Option three, then, is to take a bus. Yet out of these three possibilities, the mere thought of booking a bus ticket and negotiating the ins and outs of route schedules and transfers is anxiety inducing in itself.
Or, at least, it was. This summer, Catskill Carriage is here to save the day. A luxury transportation program, Catskill Carriage connects New York City visitors with some of the top sites and attractions in the Hudson Valley. First launched on Labor Day weekend in 2017, the initiative now has three routes.
“The idea came after years of picking up very unhappy friends and family from the Monticello Bus Station who were coming to visit me in Delaware County,” says Gabe Brodbar, the founder and CEO of Catskill Carriage. “The story was always the same: a terrible experience at Port Authority, a dirty and sometimes smelly bus, and a very cranky bus driver. People simply arrived terribly unhappy, which is not the way to welcome them to our beautiful region.”
To remedy this, Brodbar soft launched his first route in 2017 to connect the Big Apple with Monticello, Callicoon, Livingston Manor, and Roscoe. In 2018, he expanded the service calendar and launched a new division of bespoke trips for corporate clients. The first two routes, dubbed the Livingston Manor Express and the Callicoon Local, kicked off on Memorial Day weekend of 2018. This August 3-5, the Carriage celebrates the start of its third route into the heart of the Hudson Valley. The new program stops off at Mohonk Mountain House in New Paltz, Senate Garage in Kingston, Sportsman’s Cantina in Phoenicia, and Scribner’s in Hunter.
“Mohonk Mountain House has been our lead partner and a real champion of this line,” Brodbar explains. “Phoenicia was chosen because we got a lot of requests from homeowners asking us to serve their town, and it’s cute as heck!”
From Haymaker Bar & Kitchen in Midtown West, the journey to the Hudson Valley takes two to four hours. Yet with onboard amenities like Wi-Fi, power outlets, homemade baked goods and snacks, and a beverage service, riders will barely notice the passing of time. In addition, all the 2016 to 2018 luxury buses have spacious seating, reclining chairs, and ample legroom. Even the bathrooms get a glamorous upgrade with Aesop vanity products.
Dubbed “the Hampton Jitney for upstate NY,” Catskill Carriage is a lifeline for Hudson Valley visitors, who can score one-way tickets from $55 or round trip rides from $110.
Would you take a ride on the Catskill Carriage? Let us know your favorite way to get to and from NYC in the comments or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.