What to Do in Phoenicia: How to Spend a Day in This Catskills Town
Head to the Ulster County hotspot for Catskills views, outdoor to-dos, and what just may be the most Instagrammable diner in the Hudson Valley.
Matte color postcard entitled "Bird's Eye view of Phoenicia, N.Y., Looking North." Published by Hauser & Keen, Phoenicia, N. Y. Made in U.S.A.
Phoenicia is a true gem of the Hudson Valley, an out-of-the-way Catskills town that is also home to a bevy of acclaimed dining institutions and a world-class contemporary music festival. A popular vacation destination, it has more than enough corners and crannies to explore over the course of a weekend.
Here’s your guide to an ideal summer day in this bucolic mountain town. Heading there soon? Tag us @HudsonValleyMag on Instagram if you hit any of the spots on our list!
9 a.m. – Instagram breakfast at Phoenicia Diner
Expect classed-up, organic takes on traditional diner fare at this much-Instagrammed local institution. Featured in Jim Jarmusch’s 2019 The Dead Don’t Die, as well as a good many vacation photos, Phoenicia Diner serves a menu of A-list hits, which range from the cornmeal waffle to the ‘local yokel’ skillet with pork belly, blistered tomatoes, and chive grits.
5681 Rte 28, Phoenicia
Open daily 7 a.m. – 5 p.m., closed Wednesdays
10:30 am. - Brave the waves with The Town Tinker Tube Rental
All it takes is $50 and a strong stomach to tube down the Esopus with this local institution. These 1.5-2 hour trips drop riders upriver for what might turn out to be a white-knuckle ride through the stream’s gorgeous, tree-lined upper reaches.
10 Bridge St, Phoenicia
Open 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. Memorial Day weekend through September, by appointment only after Labor Day
12:30 p.m. – Pick the perfect pie at Brio's Pizzeria
Brio’s looks like any old pizza spot, but its lunch menu truly goes the distance, featuring wood-fired pizzas alongside duck quesadillas, Black Angus burgers, and classic Italian sandwiches. Try one of the fruit-filled, lactose-free smoothies after a morning spent basking in the sun.
68 Main St, Phoenicia
Sun-Thurs 7 a.m. – 10 p.m., Fri-Sat 7 a.m. – 11 p.m.
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2 p.m. – Take a break at the Emerson Resort & Spa
Located just south of town, the Emerson caters to all types, from weddings to groups looking for weekend getaways. For those who want to cool their heels for a few hours, the spa is ready to assist with Thai massage, seasonal body scrubs, Italian mud wraps, and waxing services.
5340 Rte 28, Mount Tremper
5 p.m. – Grab a beer and a bite at Woodstock Brewing
One of the newer brewpubs to hit the Catskills, Woodstock Brewing's mountainside location and plentiful outdoor seating make it a scenic choice to wile away an hour or two sharing wings or nachos alongside house brews like the Pineapple Passion Fruit Gose and the Woodstock Lager, which contains notes of “fresh baked biscuit” and “new spring flowers.”
5581 Rte 28, Phoenicia
Mon 3-9 p.m., Thurs 3-10 p.m., Fri 2-10 p.m., Sat 12-10 p.m., Sun 12-9 p.m.
6 p.m. – Catch a show at the Phoenicia Playhouse
Smack in the middle of town, this renowned building plays host to a number of programs, from the Fringe and Magic Festivals in July to August Comedy Night and various smaller programs and performances. Those visiting in early August should make a point to swing by the Festival of the Voice, a weekend of groundbreaking and radical new music.
10 Church St, Phoenicia
8:30 p.m. – Enjoy a late dinner and a night at The Pines
This renovated roadhouse in nearby Mount Tremper has a small number of well-appointed rooms on a scenic 3.5-acre property on Little Beaver Kill. It also serves dinner Thursday through Sunday in a decidedly rustic setting. The menu has a Mediterranean and Mexican focus, with fresh hummus, enchiladas, and a roasted eggplant salad. For those looking to hang out a little longer, weekend brunch includes buttermilk biscuits, kale and goat cheese omelets, and Bloody Marys.
5327 Rte 212, Mount Tremper