Hotspot Catskills Region, N.y.

August 16, 2009|By Kayla Cross | Kayla Cross,The Baltimore Sun

The Catskills region of New York is known for the mountains that dominate the horizon, wildlife centers and, of course, 1969's Woodstock Music Festival. Relive memories of the celebrated hippie hoedown or create new ones with the area's many shops and parks. Visit the site of the "Aquarian Exposition" in Bethel, now home to an arts center and museum, just in time for the 40th anniversary.


Remember the tie dye: : The Bethel Woods Center for the Arts, on the site of the Woodstock Festival (Aug. 15-17, 1969), pays homage to its music and culture. The Museum at Bethel Woods offers exhibits on Woodstock performers, from Jimi Hendrix to Santana; a history of the festival and other highlights of the 1960s. This weekend's 40th anniversary celebration features Jefferson Starship, Richie Havens and Country Joe McDonald.


Commemorate soldiers: : The Minisink Battleground Park in Highland remembers those who fought and died in the Battle of Minisink, on July 21, 1779, after a militia group attempted to ambush a British army unit that had raided local towns. The park features a picnic area, walking trails and a visitor's center.


Shop for antiques: : Throughout the Catskills are antique shops full of nostalgic pieces. In Callicoon, visit the Antique Center in a restored 1800s building. Or try the Cutting Garden in Youngsville, which features antiques, flowers for the picking and works by local artists.


Walk with wildlife: : Explore the outdoors 2,500 feet above sea level at the Mountain Top Arboretum, a living museum on more than 10 acres in Tannersville. Roam the park, take a guided tour or hear lectures about nature, art and local history. The garden features 50 species of conifers.


Climb a mountain: : Snowboarding, skiing, hiking, and rock climbing are just a few of the activities available in the region. In winter, resorts such as Hunter Mountain in Hunter boast 240 acres for skiing and snowboarding, with hiking trails and fly fishing among the summer activities.

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