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Your guide to Woodstock
Welcome to Woodstock
Despite the fact that the 1969 Woodstock Festival took place a 90-minute drive to the southwest at Bethel Woods Center for the Arts, the town of Woodstock is the exact cross-section of arts and nature that you’d expect from its association with the famous music fest. Sitting in the foothills of the Catskills, the arts colony was established here in 1902, drawing artists of all types — ranging from craftspeople and photographers to actors and musicians. Free-spirited creativity has a certain kind of purity here, inspired by the vast forests, peaks, and waters — in fact, the Ashokan Reservoir is so crisp that it supplies 40 percent of New York City’s drinking water.
When is the best time to stay in a vacation rental in Woodstock?
Woodstock is at its best in the summer months with comfortable temperatures from day to night, though a burst of summer rain isn’t unusual. Events are also in full swing, such as the Maverick Festival, with chamber music from June to September; Mower’s Saturday Market flea market and the Woodstock Farm Festival from May through the fall; and the Woodstock-New Paltz Arts & Craft Show, with a spring edition in May and fall one in September. Summer is also prime time to book one of the area’s house rentals and revel in the greenery with outdoor activities such as hiking and biking. Autumn brings its own delights with stunning fall colors, especially around the second week of October. While snow tends to blanket the area in the coldest months, the Catskills’ winter sports offerings can’t be topped. As the snow melts away, spring brings back the tourists, as the temperature works its way up to its comfy zone.
What are the top things to do in Woodstock?
Overlook Mountain Wild Forest
While most mountain hikes lure visitors with their sprawling mountaintop views, Overlook Mountain (with the Hudson River Valley in the foreground and five states in the distance) does that and so much more. Along the way up the Spur Trail, you’ll find the ruins of the never-finished Overlook Mountain House. At the summit, an impressive fire tower reaches 3,140 feet high. Also worth a visit: The Karma Triyana Dharmachakra Tibetan Buddhist monastery across the street from the trailhead.
The Center for Photography at Woodstock
What started as an artists’ colony’s urge to give photographers their own space has grown into a gallery and workshop center that both showcases and supports photography in every kind of light.
Just a 10-minute drive to the east in Saugerties is a 6.5-acre earthwork sculpture that was hand-shaped from bluestone by artist Harvey Fite over the course of 37 years. Sitting on 50 acres of meadows, forest, and quarries, the site — often likened to Stonehenge — also hosts theatrical and musical performances.